18. Written in the stars, as part of the Project for the Blind Astronomer
In die sterre geskryf (“Written in the stars”) was created by Berco Wilsenach in 2009 as part of a body of work called Project for the Blind Astronomer – an artistic investigation into different decoding systems with which our visible night sky can be mapped and explained to a visually impaired audience. The panels are lit from within, creating an effect of thousands of dots floating in mid-air.
The star maps’ information is written only in Braille. This makes for a limited experience for the sighted viewer, who can see the stars maps only for their superficial beauty. The blind person, on the other hand, has a more informative experience but cannot totally grasp the visual impact of the night sky. Both remain in the dark, frustrated by the lack a total sensory experience.
Through the metaphor of the blind astronomer, Wilsenach explores ideas around the access to knowledge through language and the significance of sight in the aesthetic experience.