A sensory journey

Our first exploration of using blindfolds in performance involved a group of us typing in unison. We really love the images that we created in that experiment, however I felt that it would be beneficial to try other tasks in the library blindfolded to discover what else could work as part of our performance.

This time I was blindfolded alone on the third floor of the library.  I wrote down all the sounds that I could hear around me which was an idea that came after watching Tim Etchells and Ant Hampton’s The Quiet Volume. In this performance the audience are in a library with headphones and are made aware of how noisy a library can be despite it being dedicated to silence.


What I wrote down when blindfolded1

After this exercise I decided to try something different. In The Quiet Volume, the participants were asked to complete tasks such as reading upside down and touching the pages of the books. This allowed them to experience books and literature in a completely new way. Tim Etchells says that ‘the piece exposes the strange magic at the heart of the reading experience’2 which is something I wanted to experience for myself but while being blindfolded. The blindfold means that you have to treat the books differently-  you have to use your other senses to explore the books. I spent an hour  exploring the books through smell and touch and this seemed to have more potential for further development. There was something quite powerful about having a connection between the body and a book- this is something we are considering through creating clothing out of a book.


  1. Sowter, R. 2013 []
  2. Etchells 2010. http://www.timetchells.com/projects/performances/the-quiet-volume/ []
Posted: February 27th, 2013
Categories: Les dames des livres, Library, Uncategorized
Comments: 2 Comments.
    Comment fromant - March 1, 2013 at 11:35 am      Reply

    hi Rebecca.

    Great to read about your experiments.

    If you’re interested in how our brains work when reading, i’d encourage you to get hold of ‘Dreaming by the Book’ by Elaine Scarry. The first few chapters are especially interesting.

    very best


      Profile photo of 11208627
      Comment from11208627 - March 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm     

      Hi Ant,

      That is fantastic, I will definitely have a look at it!

      Thanks for the help,


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