Mark
"We do not need pity..."
Visual & Auditorial Public Installation







We do not need pity is a public installation that excerpts the underlined portion of the following American Modified Braille:2

“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us if we [the blind] are not to go on being despised or patronized by condescending sighted people. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals—and communication is the way this can be brought about.”
—Louis Braille


Louis Braille,3 invented a system of reading and writing so that he might bridge the gap in communication between the sighted and the blind. I wanted to render his logic visually. The use of American Modified Braille in conjunction with Louis Brailles’ quote lends itself to the contractual nature of the American Modified Braille language; the same message can be displayed but in fewer characters.  


The installation is made up of seventeen 36" x 24" panels4 each representing a character or contraction to spell the statement we do not need pity.  Each pane has the braille dot structures cut out exposing the underlying brick-wall texture. This change of texture is meant to emulate the tactility of braille commonly found embossed in paper at the standard 12pt text weight. The audio element of this piece acts as a translation from visual to auditory for those that cannot see the work.

1.  Superbraille is a made-up word
referencing a common graphic design term “super-graphic” which are usually typographic graphics enlarged to super proportions.

2.  American Modified Braille was a popular braille alphabet used in the United States before the adoption of standardized English braille in 1918.

3.  Louis Braille (1809–1852) was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as braille.


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