The Only Show During Art Basel That You Can Only See When You Can Not See
Miami Ad School Art Direction Students Elisa Sain and Cris Cordero Create “Basel Braille” for the National Federation for the Blind.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about an experience? What about something that isn’t tangible, something that isn’t necessarily about sharing, but feeling? Above all else, the goal of any artist has always been to create a personal long-lasting connection between themselves and the audience, using their work as the catalyst for inspiration of the future. We as humans yearn for these raw personal connections, we search for them all over, though on our quest for these relationships we sometimes lose sight of what’s important. We live in a time where an artist and their work face a challenge unlike any of the past. Beautiful platforms like Instagram give not only artists, but its audience the opportunity to share and be a part of the work, but this is only on one level and it cangoes deeper. It’s in places like Miami, during events like Art Basel, that we see that our perceptions have become jaded. We focus more on a look, rather than a feel. Though what if you didn’t have that option, what if you only had to rely on a real emotional connection.
TAKEOUT, the Experience Delivery Service that focuses on creating unique and lasting experience for brands and organizations brings you, Basel Braille. The goal of this installation is to create a moment of genuine human connection through interaction. TAKEOUT hopes to change people’s perception of blindness and to include a heavily marginalized group into todays art scene. Founded by Miami Ad School art direction students Elisa Sain and Cris Cordero, this creative duo has focused on creating a counter-culture of art as something personal, lasting, and that goes beyond an Instagram post. TAKEOUT has partnered with Young Artist Initiative, which is an atypical platform that curates experiential exhibits to empower young artists. Forty artists were invited to show at this years exhibition, formal known as, RAW. This event aims to strip the human senses to their purest forms to be felt in a raw space. Within the thesis of RAW, TAKEOUT has taken on the challenge to create an experience far off the swiping screens of our phones and right into the middle of what makes us truly human: interaction.
The concept of Basel Braille is unlike any other, based on the tactile writing system for the visually impaired, messages written in Braille are displayed behind the blind performers. When asked about the messages, Cordero responded: “The messages in Braille are fun facts, because we wanted performers and visitors to have a good time. Just because we are working with a serious topic does not mean everything has to be gloomy. Besides, for whatever reason our brains absorb and keep fun facts and we are hoping that sometime in the future a visitor will remember or tell this fun fact to someone else and go—You know what? A blind person told me this.” It is abundantly clear that this instillation is much bigger than just an event, but hopefully a movement. A dialogue to open a discussion that is worth pursuing , and most importantly, an opportunity to create a connection between the blind community and Miami’s art scene.
As “The only show during Art Basel that you can only see when you can not see” TAKEOUT has partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to create a performance of this level. After months of research and meetings with the blind and visually impaired community of Miami, Sain and Cordero connected the dots and spelled out Basel Braille as an interactive performance brought to you by the blind.
When asked what lead TAKEOUT to create an instillation of this magnitude for Young Artist Initiative, Sain responded: “For their show, Young Artist Initiative wanted us to focus on the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch, to find a way to re-introduce them to the audience in a raw way. We figured this would be a great opportunity to include the blind community into the art world and create an experience that would be based on a sense of humanity.” Taking place December 5th through December 9th, Basel Braille will have two individuals who are blind that will interact with the public. When asked why it was important to incorporate blind individuals into the experience, Cordero was quoted saying: “When you see a blind person on the street your first instinct is to get out of their way. For Basel Braille we wanted people to approach the performers and have a reason to talk to them, maybe even learn something.”
Basel Braille has helped raise money for the National Federation of the Blind and will be taking place at the Historic Post Office and Courthouse Building in Downtown Miami. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and Young Artist Initiative social media accounts.