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Ilan Manouach

Artist Creates a Tactile Comic Book For Blind Readers

Original image
Ilan Manouach

When it comes to translating books with pictures, braille alone won’t do the job. One way around this is by replacing images with 3D shapes readers can feel. Comic book artist Ilan Manouach took this concept one step further by creating his own tactile language to convey feelings as well as objects, Fast Co.Design reports.

Manouach’s new medium, dubbed Shapereader, uses tactile glyphs called "tactigrams" designed to feel reminiscent of whatever it is they represent. Anxiety is written out as block of jagged zig-zags, and “to observe” is a pattern of star shapes spread out against a blank background. The dialogue is printed in standard braille, and readers can refer to a braille index in the book to determine the meanings of each pattern.

Manouach was inspired to create a graphic novel for the blind after spending time alone in the northernmost region of Finland, called Lapland. He told Fast Co.Design, "My whole visual landscape [there] consisted of layers of dense snow imprinted by different animal traces, leftovers of a frenetic night activity.” His first Shapereader piece Arctic Circle reflects this visceral experience. “Walrus” (a chunky pattern of broken-up boxes), “arctic moss” (flowy fan shapes) and “snow goggles” (thin, vertical lines) are just a few of the more than 200 tactigrams Manouach created specifically for the story.

Shapereader isn’t yet available to a wide audience—the only way to check out Arctic Circle for now will be to see it on display at Seattle’s Washington University in September. But Manouach is working hard to spread word of his invention. Throughout the next year he plans to get people excited about Shapereader through a series of workshops, conferences, and exhibitions.

[h/t Fast Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Ilan Manouach.

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WASProject via Flickr
The World’s First 3D-Printed Opera Set Is Coming to Rome
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WASProject via Flickr

In October, the Opera Theater in Rome will become the first theater to play host to a 3D-printed set in one of its operas. The theater’s performance of the 19th-century opera Fra Diavolo by French composer Daniel Auber, opening on October 8, will feature set pieces printed by the Italian 3D-printing company WASP, as TREND HUNTER reports.

Set designers have been using 3D printers to make small-scale set models for years, but WASP says this seems to be the first full 3D-printed set. (The company is also building a 3D-printed town elsewhere in Italy, to give you a sense of its ambitions for its technology.)

Designers stand around a white 3D-printed model of a theater set featuring warped buildings.

The Fra Diavolo set consists of what looks like two warped historic buildings, which WASP likens to a Dalí painting. These buildings are made of 223 smaller pieces. It took five printers working full-time for three months to complete the job. The pieces were sent to Rome in mid-July in preparation for the opera.

Recently, 3D printing is taking over everything from housing construction to breakfast. If you can make an office building with a printer, why not a theater set? (Though it should be noted that the labor unions that represent scenic artists might disagree.)


Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama to Launch Her Own Museum in Tokyo

Still haven’t scored tickets to see Yayoi Kusama’s world-famous “Infinity Mirrors” exhibition? The touring retrospective ends at the Cleveland Museum of Art in October 2018, but art fans who are planning a trip to Japan can also enjoy Kusama's dizzying, colorful aesthetic by visiting a brand-new museum in Tokyo.

As The New York Times reports, Kusama has announced that she's opening her own art museum in the city’s Shinjuku neighborhood. Slated to open on October 1, 2017, it’s dedicated to the artist’s life and work, and includes a reading room, a floor with installation works—including her “infinity rooms”—and two annual rotating exhibitions. The inaugural exhibition, “Creation Is a Solitary Pursuit, Love Is What Brings You Closer to Art,” will display works from Kusama’s painting series "My Eternal Soul.”

Kusama is famously enigmatic, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that news broke just recently that she was planning to launch a museum. The five-floor building was completed in 2014, according to artnet News, but Kusama wanted to keep plans under wraps “as a surprise for her fans,” a gallery spokesperson said.

Museum tickets cost around $9, and will go on sale on August 28, 2017. The museum will be closed Monday through Wednesday and visits are limited to 90 minutes, so plan your schedule accordingly.

[h/t The New York Times]


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