Close Up

24 June 2016: Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness

"Notes on Blindness is one of the first great virtual reality experiences" Thomas McMullan,

Presented as companion piece to the acclaimed British documentary Notes on Blindness showing on the same evening and in conjunction with Indefinite Visions Symposium, Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness is an innovative Virtual Reality (VR) project which allows users to access John Hull’s world of blindness in an exploratory, user-led experience. The VR piece draws upon John’s sensory meditations of blindness, in particular the awakening of his appreciation of "acoustic space". Guided by narration from his original audio diaries, the experience uses binaural sound tethered to real-time 3D visualization, to map environments built up through multi-layered patterns of sound.

Into Darkness recently won the prestigious Tribeca Storyscapes award, with the festival’s jury praising the project's "meticulous and elegantly crafted audio landscape", its "care and compassion" for both the project's protagonist and its audience, and its profound closing message that "being human is not seeing, it's loving."

The feature film and the VR project are designed as standalone but complimentary productions that hope to enhance and deepen the audience’s understanding of John Hull’s life and experience of blindness.

The tour is a collaborative production by Curzon Artificial Eye and Sheffield Doc/Fest, and is supported by Film Hubs North, Scotland and North West Central’s This Way Up Exhibition Innovation Fund and the BFI’s Distribution Fund.

Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness is a VR and interactive experience produced by Ex Nihilo, ARTE France, and the French start-up AudioGaming, in co-production with Archer’s Mark. It has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund and Ford Foundation – JustFilms, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC) and Région Midi-Pyrénées.