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About the Flaneur
I walk through my blindness the way I wander down streets in Paris: unfettered and alive, alert to the raw material of the senses. I am a flaneur. Come along with me. Just don’t try to take my arm, unless I ask. What’s a flaneur? Read the first post, Return of the Flaneur to Galerie Vivienne. After that, try Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur. Then stay tuned.
Letting Go of Sight
I’ve canoed on Lake Superior for almost as many years as I’ve been losing eyesight. I return year after year like a migrating loon to learn the other side of a slow, uncertain process that we could call “going blind.” After 35 years with the lake as my teacher, I know what lies on the other side. I call it letting go of sight. Read Big Water. See more about the Great Lakes.
Not This PigIf there is an emerging genetic underclass, I could run for class president or class clown. Read more in Not This Pig (2003).
Media in Transition @ MiT
Disabled Americans today have to negotiate for the kinds of accommodations made for FDR, and the caveat “reasonable accommodation” is built into the law. President Franklin Roosevelt did not have to negotiate. He could summon vast resources of the federal government – money as well as brains – to accomplish the work of disability. And it was accomplished with such thoroughness and efficiency that its scale could be called the Accessibility-Industrial Complex had it been directed toward public accommodations and not solely the needs of a single man. Read FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability [MiT8 2013]
Shepard Fairey claimed that his posterization of a copyrighted AP news photo of Barack Obama was a transformative work protected by the fair use doctrine. In other words, it was a shape-shifter. I claim fair use, too, when I reproduce and transform copyrighted works into media formats that are accessible to me as a blind reader. Read Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
The social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars in New York never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it, either. In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in 1916, he could not have expected that one day blind photographers would reverse the camera’s gaze. Read Curiosity & The Blind Photographer. [MiT5 2007]
Category Archives: Ms. Modigliani
In Montreal, for my birthday, we took a stroll after dinner through the flaneur’s paradise on Rue Prince Arthur, a pedestrian mall between Avenue Laval and Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Ms. Modigliani agreed to sit for her portrait by street artist Marie-claude … Continue reading
Naked cyclists make their way past Toronto’s Eaton Centre, June 13, 2009, for the World Naked Bike Ride. Participants in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax rode naked to celebrate cycling and the human body and to demonstrate the … Continue reading
Rusalka by Russian artist Konstantin Vasiliev, 1968. [Source: Wikipedia] Ms. Modigliani found this image while searching for clips of the Song to the Moon aria from Dvo?ák’s Rusalka. According to Wikipedia: In Slavic mythology, a rusalka (plural:rusalki) was a female … Continue reading
Alex Colville’s To Prince Edward Island reassured me last January that summer would come, and with it blue skies and open water. It did, but I don’t know whether I could ever get enough time on the water. Ms. Modigliani … Continue reading
The Media in Transition 6 conference (MiT6) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is scheduled for April 24-26, 2009. The conference theme is “Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission.” The deadline for submitting proposals is January 9, 2009. Ms. Modigliani … Continue reading