Eye Art: Mechanising Visual Literacy

The build up to FutureEverything 2010 and the first FutureEverything Award has re-ignited the 40 year debate on visual literacy.

The winning EyeWriter project was inspired by the diganosis of Tony Quan (aka graffitti artist TEMPT ONE) with Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis (ALS), and is the result of a fascinating collaboration between members of Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks, the Graffiti Research Lab, and The Ebeling Group communities.

Eye Art?

Together they have built a “low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that allows ALS patients to draw using just their eyes”. Their goal is to build professional and / or social networks of software developers, hardware hackers, urban projection artists and ALS patients from around the world to creatively connect and make eye art.

In August 2009, after a seven year break, TEMPT ONE’s artwork reappeared on the streets of LA, “drawn”, “conceptualised” or “realised” from his hospital bed, and projected in real time onto “a ten-storey building next to the Santa Monica Freeway”.

After winning the Design Museum’s Brit Insurance Interactive Award in January 2010, five members of the development team went on to create the MumbaiWriter with engineers from IIT Bombay, which is being donated to ALS patients and sufferers of other neuromuscular diseases in India.

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