The Oregon Project

The Oregon Project

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Overview

An interactive experience of artwork augmented with sound that allows one to “hear” a large format drawing.

The Oregon Project is an installation by Artists Keith Salmon, Daniel Thornton, Graham Byron, and Microsoft Researcher Neel Joshi. It provides alternative insight and exploration of a landscape for those with limited sight and is centered around three new large format, abstract landscape drawings of the Oregon wilderness. This project builds on the research done at Microsoft by Kyle Rector, Neel Joshi, and Meredith Ringel Morris that addresses the challenges of visual arts access for people with visual impairments.

The Oregon project exhibit as part of Microsoft Research' Artist in Residence program

Exhibited: October 2016 at 9 evenings 2 in Seattle

Keith Salmon is a critically acclaimed Scottish Landscape painter with a significant visual impairment. Salmon draws inspiration from hiking through the iconic Scottish landscape, capturing in memory the qualities of light, shape and color that his eyes allow him to see. His painted depictions of the wild Scottish landscape are fantastically atmospheric abstractions of shape, line and color that defy traditional definitions landscape painting. Undaunted by his declining vision, Salmon began exploring sound as another medium where he can work, building a catalog of audio files on his travels around Scotland.

Artist Keith Salmon in front of his paintings of Hells Canyon in

Artist Keith Salmon in front of his paintings of Hells Canyon in “The Oregon Project”

In the Summer of 2015, Microsoft Research Intern Kyle Rector and Researchers Neel Joshi and Meredith Ringel Morris created a prototype system to address the challenges of visual arts access for people with visual impairments. The system aids interpretation of visual art through movement and proximity – allowing viewers who are visually impaired to “hear” a painting. In partnership with Seattle filmmaker Dan Thornton and Microsoft Research, Salmon is using this platform to create this new installation.

Microsoft researcher Neel Joshi works on the Kinect-enabled sound system of “The Oregon Project.”

Microsoft researcher Neel Joshi works on the Kinect-enabled sound system of “The Oregon Project.”

This work is supported by the Microsoft Corporation in collaboration with the Josephy Center of Arts and Culture in Oregon. At the Josephy Center this past summer, Salmon created his first American landscape exploration: a series of large format drawings and recordings that form the basis of this work at 9e2.

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In the News

The Oregon Project

—Microsoft In Culture Blog

An interactive experience of artwork augmented with sound that allows one to “hear” a large format drawing. Scottish landscape painter Keith Salmon, who is legally blind, debuted an installation with innovative research from Microsoft that enriches his art even more, with proxemic audio to interpret two-dimensional images.

Art & Technology: “Oregon Project” Lets Visitors Hear a Painting

—Hamptons Art Hub

The team behind The Oregon Project, a large-scale installation created for the 9e2 festival in Seattle, hopes to change that limitation; they’ve created a piece that allows people who are visually impaired (and those who aren’t) to “hear” a painting.

The Oregon Project | Tent Gallery

—Artmag

One of the most impressive and exciting art installations in Edinburgh’s recent memory is currently on display at the Tent Gallery in the Edinburgh College of Art until April 22. The result of a collaboration between the artist, Keith Salmon, and Microsoft’s experimental technology centre, The Oregon Project is a new stage in creating truly accessible art.