YOU don’t often hear U2 blasting from cars these days, but full credit to whoever was unleashing Discotheque on Brisbane Street at 2.15pm on Wednesday.
The song’s opening line ‘‘you can reach, but you can’t grab it’’ seemed to perfectly sum up the experience of walking blind through the Quadrant Mall, with only sound and touch to guide the way.
Adventures in Sightlessness brings a new kind of art to Junction Arts Festival, one where you are the artist, and the art is navigating the city with your eyes closed.
Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone.
Melbourne-based sound and visual artist Bruce Mowson is there to give you a nudge when you need it, like I did when less than a minute after setting out, I was on course to give a set of metal seats a shin they’d never forget.
Mowson gives you a walk-through of the course beforehand so you can plan out the sounds and landmarks along the way.
My initial plan of ‘‘one arm trailing the wall the other by my side’’ was literally thrown to curb when I walked confidently into a concrete pillar.
After adjusting my stance to include a fending arm, and getting some locationary advice and a pep talk from Mowson, I was back on board, managing to avoid a number of head-high signs I had spotted on the walk-through.
It may have taken 20 minutes to complete a two-minute walk, but somehow you get the feeling it’s more of a psychological journey anyway.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Adventures in Sightlessness.
WHERE: 68A Brisbane Street.
WHEN: Thursday-Friday 4-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-2pm.