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~~~~~ “...derelict in uncharted space...”

Chunky Move & Melbourne Fringe

Conceptualised by Fayen d'Evie and Benjamin Hancock for the 2023 Melbourne Fringe Festival as part of their Radical Access Commission.

In 1974, a Star Trek fan club launched Project Communicator, a non-profit initiative to bring the wonderment of Star Trek to blind audiences through descriptive radio plays. Despite being endorsed by the Star Trek cast, Paramount Pictures perceived the project as piracy, and the radio play was abandoned. This show paid homage to the creative innovation of Project Communicator via an ambitious performance season at Chunky Move Studios and a digitally broadcast radio play season.

The objective of this performance was to create an innovative way of navigating a physical space by experimenting with inter-sensorial translations beyond baseline concepts of access and inclusion. Therefore I developed a 3D model of the stage using SketchUp. This helped visualise the space throughout the creative process and plan accordingly, particularly when access was limited.

Inspired by the concept of tactile pavement, the stage design used tactile lines to define the perimeter of the glyph-shaped space. We also installed slimmer lines inside the area - complementing the textured raised mats and plywood props - allowing the performer with vision impairment to travel safely and independently throughout the space, with her mobility cane. The tactile lines also benefited sighted performers as they could feel the different textures while moving around.

In collaboration with Vision Australia, we developed an acrylic tactile diagram of the stage using the 3D model. The diagram served as a tool during the shows and the tactile tour, which was open to blind, low-vision and sighted audience members to explore the stage and textures before the live performance season.

This project was created by Fayen d’Evie, Benjamin Hancock, Rebecca Bracewell, Luke D. King, Georgina Kleege, Nelly Kate, Andy Slater, Lloyd Mst, Jon Tjhia, Alex Craig, Anastasia La Fey, Aaron McPeake, Ashley Buchanan, Marco Cher-Gibard, Anna Seymour, George Thomas, and Sheri Wells-Jensen, in association with Antony Hamilton, Vitae Veritas, Bryan Phillips, Madeleine Flynn and Charles Gushue.

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