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The Blind Canvas Project: Art and the Connection to Blindness

Summary

In the field of medical research, awareness campaigns are typically associated with biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical giants. However, in an unusual way, the contract research organization Ora and its clients in the life science industry are standing out with their […]

The Blind Canvas Project: Art and the Connection to Blindness

In the field of medical research, awareness campaigns are typically associated with biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical giants. However, in an unusual way, the contract research organization Ora and its clients in the life science industry are standing out with their latest project.

Ora, which conducts clinical trials for drugs and medical devices, primarily focusing on eye diseases, is launching “The Blind Canvas Project”. This project combines patient stories and generative artificial intelligence in film to explore and understand the lives of individuals suffering from inherited retinal diseases, childhood visual impairments, macular degeneration, and other conditions that lead to blindness.

The Blind Canvas Project is a collaboration between Ora and the BlindCAN Film Festival, which provides opportunities and education for individuals with visual impairments.

The project begins with the stories of patients, captured through black and white interviews where they honestly discuss how their conditions affect their lives. On the artificial intelligence side, “generative AI engines” then transform these interviews into expressive visual artworks. For example, this can involve depictions of natural scenes, like a view from a forest to a bright sky, divided in half, with vibrant autumn colors on one side and cooler, calmer winter tones on the other (as shown in the image above). There are also two heads gazing at each other, one with mixed, rainbow-like colors, and the other with red and orange roots-like veins across the headspace.

“Being a part of this project, surrounded by beautiful art and poignant stories, has been an incredible experience,” said Ben Fox, founder and president of the BlindCAN Film Festival, in a statement.

“While there might be differences in perception, there is a commonality in the human experience between those who can see and those who are blind, which is reflected through the storytelling in this project. We are proud of what we have created in collaboration with Ora and believe it demonstrates that being blind is not synonymous with lacking vision.”

“The exceptional artworks and extraordinary individuals whose experiences are depicted are inspiring the everyday engagement of Ora in connecting people, processes, and technology to deliver world-class clinical research services,” added Stuart Abelson, President and CEO of Ora.

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