Winnipeg Arts Council

Resonance & Cross-Sensory Translation in Pyrotechnic Arts

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Pyrotechnic arts can have an impact that is experienced both in our bodies and in our emotions. We may feel thrilled by the exhilarating intensity at the finale of a firework display and we may also feel tingles or goose-bumps in moments that touch us deeply. I call this visceral experience resonance. In this seminar, we will explore what brings on this tingling energy in the presence of art.

Drawing on my own experience of sight-loss, I will describe how resonance provides a way to feel connected with art. I will also show how words, touch, and sounds can be used to translate the appearance of light across senses - making it accessible in non-visual forms. On a broader level, this presentation invites participants to consider how the low-vision/blind community can be meaningfully included in public displays of art—such as events featuring fireworks.

Biographical Information:

Collin van Uchelen, Ph.D., is a Community Psychologist, Conceptual Artist, and Pyrotechnician based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Collin's appreciation for fireworks is informed by his own experience of sight-loss from a degenerative blinding eye disease. His work in the pyrotechnic arts explores techniques for translating the light of fireworks into non-visual forms, such as descriptive words, sounds, and tactile representations. Currently, he is choreographing a pyro-musical display from his unique position as a designer who is functionally blind.

Venue Information:

Event is on the 2nd floor at Video Pool Media Arts Centre. The venue is fully accessible with a lift at the entrance, elevators and accessible washrooms.


To request ASL or any other Accessibility Request/Accommodations please contact Jenel Shaw at [email protected] (204)-336-2366