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Charlie Fish
Level 7: 1909 points
Alltime Score: 10301 points
Last Logged In: April 11th, 2017
BADGE: INTERREGNUM TEAM: United Kingdom TEAM: Group Creation Public Badge TEAM: Team Shplank TEAM: SFZero Animal Posse TEAM: The Society For Figuring Out How To Get Those Damn Badges TEAM: Whimsy BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 3: Cartographer The University of Aesthematics Rank 1: Expert Biome Rank 1: Hiker Chrononautic Exxon Rank 1: Clockwatcher Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 4: The Chaotic
30 + 75 points

Seeing Beyond Sight Photo Challenge by Charlie Fish

October 15th, 2007 9:27 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: Seeing Beyond Sight has partnered with SFZero to challenge you to see the world differently - with more than your eyes.

Welcome new users: SFZero is an ongoing game in which you can choose to participate (or not) after you do the Seeing Beyond Sight Challenge.

Click here for new user registration.

1. Blindfold yourself.
(wear shades or tape your eyes shut)

2. Go out in public and make your way in the world.
(go 1 block, 1 hour or 1 roll of film; go with a friend or alone; make up your own process)

3. Photograph things you notice. And, just notice.
(What do you notice differently about objects, people, actions, interactions?)

4. Embrace the whole experience as much as the picture taking.
(Engage. Have a conversation with people you encounter. Take it all in.)

5. Share your story.
(For each photograph write a caption about your experience - a few lines or several paragraphs if you want.)

6. Challenge some friends to do it.
(email them the link:

Please don't post all the pictures from your shoot, but chose 1 to 3 that are the best images or are most telling of your experience. Caption the photos describing something about your experience - that is as important as the image itself. Longer stories are welcomed and may be added to

If you depend on your eyes to get around, then it is hard not to use them. Although you can tell us about how difficult it is to be blind, focus more on what you noticed about the world as you embarked on this journey.

This experience isn’t about blindness – it is about seeing, noticing and paying attention with more than your eyes.

This challenge was inspired by SEEING BEYOND SIGHT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLIND TEENAGERS, a new book published by Chronicle Books.

This task is something that I've wanted to do for a long time, well before joining SF0. I particularly admire everybody who has spent time on the streets as part of this task without a friend to guide them. That is insanely brave.

After so many brilliant completions, I wanted to do something a little different. I was originally tempted to go epic and spend 24 hours without sight, but that would have taken planning - and in the end sponteneity won out.

Last Friday night I was drinking in the pub with a friend, and the subject of this challenge came up. I decided then and there that I would do it the following day - regardless of my other plans. I set myself two goals:

1) I would wake up blind, and do my usual Saturday morning chores, without sight.

2) I would attend a theatre matinee, which I had already planned to do, without sight.

The original 24-hour epic idea will have to wait for another day, but meanwhile I felt like those were decent challenges. And there is an extra twist in the tale...

The friend with whom I was drinking when this discussion arose suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, and unfortunately she doesn't have the option of taking off her blindfold. In a neat role reversal, she was guiding me for the day!

Pictures and story below...

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(no subject)
posted by The Vixen on October 15th, 2007 10:07 AM

Wow, this is great. I love how you start it off as a completely normal day. A lot of other people who have completed this task have gone on crazy adventures, but with yours, we get to see a day in the life of Mr. Fish! Great job. Oh, and I love the eye "plasters."

So, when are you, Minka and Mr. Mouse coming to our side of the world? I'm going to keep on bugging you guys, just to let you know :)

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on October 15th, 2007 10:42 AM

Great new take on the task. I love it. I thought we had exhausted new takes on the task. Boy was I wrong. I can't wait to see now what other people come up with.

posted by Fonne Tayne on October 15th, 2007 12:03 PM

I felt like humming a little and rocking, and maybe having a little cry. Funny thing is, Lucy often does hum for no apparent reason.

seems like you thought hard and realized much about a number of things.....

i remember doing this task and thinking about how much of our simple interpersonal communication is really visual...

(no subject)
posted by Loki on October 15th, 2007 12:48 PM

Nicely done!

Blindfolded chores and blindfolded eating both sound complicated and really interesting. A great idea, and a lovely writeup.

And I appreciate the sacrifice of seeing a show that's at least 30% dance without removing the blindfold. If your theater ushers are anything like ours, I imagine you missed a whole lot of frowns generated by your escapade.

What'd Lucy think of the task? I could easily see it being interpreted as rather obnoxious and offensive. (For that matter, I'm not entirely convinced that it *isn't,* despite our best efforts to approach it in a positive way.)

(no subject)
posted by Charlie Fish on October 15th, 2007 1:07 PM

Loki - that was a concern for me, that Lucy would find it insensitive. But she's a good enough friend to tell me if she thought I was taking it too far (for example she made it clear that she didn't want to guide me to the ticket booth without Fiona there as well), and I think she could see what I was trying to do. I didn't want to take the piss! In the end, I think she found it all very amusing.

posted by The Villain on October 16th, 2007 2:58 AM

Starting the task by waking up "blind" was brilliant! I imagine that must've been really disorienting, not being able to look around you in preparation before donning the blindfold.

It's also really interesting how you talk about how you felt lonely when there were lulls in the conversation. I've never thought of about how isolating that'd feel, but it makes a lot of sense.

(no subject)
posted by Adam on October 16th, 2007 3:01 PM

What an amazing completion. Its so well done.

Absolutly awesome and I think it is such a thought provoking experience. When we did our's it was just for about half an hour and it was v v difficult so I have the upmost respect for both you and Lucy especially.

(no subject)
posted by Lank on October 18th, 2007 12:11 AM

Great completion.

And that picture of your lunch is AMAZING!

(no subject)
posted by The Vixen on October 18th, 2007 11:09 AM

Oh lord, not the mushy peas! Whenever I'm in the UK (a lot), I always end up "giving them another chance." But seriously. Why mushy? Why not fresh? Why must they taste like vinegar? I already put vinegar on my fish and chips, why must there be more?

I spent a day in Wells-Next-The-Sea this past June and we went to this tiny little fish and chip shop bursting at the seams with the locals. When we finally got our food, I caught sight of a customer dipping their fish in a little plastic carton of mushy peas. I think it was the unnaturally greenish hue that made me think, "Okay, one last chance..."

I ended up getting harassed by my aunt for not eating it after spending another 10 minutes in line. "Think of us kids during the war... we didn't even have mushy peas served in plastic..."

(no subject)
posted by saille is planting praxis on September 30th, 2008 8:27 AM

I've been spending a lot of time going back over the completions for this task and just wanted to tell everyone who did it and told their story just how much I appreciate it.

I'm almost normally sighted, but I was raised by my grandmother, who has the same sight problems as your friend Lucy as a part of Sjogren-Larsson syndrome. Your description of dependence on routine and placement touched me; everyone in my household growing up learned to accommodate for that, and eleven years out of the house I am still a compulsive organiser. Enough so that I putter around my own space intentionally blinded when I get migraines, but the outside world is a scary something else altogether. You are making me want to level zero this just to remain mindful when dealing with the old lady. thank you.