Pete Eckert - Dancing on The Edge of Perception

Avant/Garde Diaries
Jul 2, 2013 3:45PM

Twenty-seven years ago, Pete Eckert was fast on his way to a career in architecture when he received the heart-breaking diagnosis for Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that often, and quickly, leads to blindness. Ironically, it was also during this time that he discovered his mother's old camera. Almost immediately, he felt compelled to dedicate himself to this intensely visual medium despite his devastating diagnosis. He quickly enrolled in art school and, within the limited time he still had his vision, gathered as much knowledge of the craft as possible. While he soon lost the ability to see, he has also since become an award-winning photographer. “I view my work during the event of taking the shot in my mind’s eye,” he says. “I 'see' each shot very clearly, only I use sound, touch, and memory.” Eckert takes his photos mostly at night, when his hometown of Sacramento is quiet and empty, and he can move around more easily. Although they clearly depict the isolation from the world of those who see, Eckert considers his highly stylized "light paintings" to be a bridge between the world of the blind and the sighted. Being around such a confident and creative individual, you often forget that, as Eckert puts it, he is “only a tourist in the sighted world.”

Produced, Filmed & Edited by Oddiseefilms / Associate Production by Julia Wilczok / Music by Bunnystripes

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