For the first day of Haptics I had the pleasure of working with Antonio Guimaraes.
Antonio generously offered to compile notes and authored a blog post on our behalf, so long as I shared photos and provided clear, detailed descriptions of their content.
I’d like, if I may, to add my own addendum to Antonio’s post, if only just to say a few quick words about my experience working together.
Antonio, for those readers not currently members of the ITP community, is blind. This was the first time I’ve collaborated to any significant degree with someone who did not have the use of sight.
There is of course the old adage about ‘seeing something anew through someone else’s eyes’ and I’ve certainly had that experience (often pleasurable, though sometimes painful, especially when it comes to confronting one’s own less than attractive behavior).
The way in which I’ve most often experienced seeing anew is after having worked on something alone, usually a piece of writing, then showing it to someone else for the first time and having them share some piece of insight that – as my mother would say – takes your head to another place. (To be clear: ‘another place’ refers to an entirely new perspective, not an altered state of consciousness). There are even times when the simple act of relinquishing a piece of work can trigger a sort of vaguely premonition-like ‘seeing anew’ well before that person has even had a chance to give you feedback.
I’m not sure to what extent those last few thoughts are related to the experience working with Antonio – though they may be – but I will say it was without a doubt a collaboration unlike any I’ve had thus far while at ITP. Not so much a collaboration in co-creation, that was not really the point of the first three experiments, but something closer I imagine to the etymology of the word: a doing of work together. A co-laboring.
For what it’s worth, working with Antonio was the most ‘present’ and ‘in the moment’ I’ve felt since starting the program at ITP. I’m fairly certain it brought both the circuitry and the code, albeit they were fairly simple examples in this particular exercise, into sharper focus than at any other point during any other school assignment or activity thus far.
And for that, I’m grateful.