Friday, April 16, 2010

tactile mind

The hands have the unique power and utility to compensate for the loss of other senses. What has been billed as "pornography for the blind" by Lisa J. Murphy, Tactile Mind is a book of thermoformed images with braille to allow the blind to explore anatomical shapes.

When Helen Keller had long talks with Mark Twain, she would place her hand on his face so that her thumb would touch his chin, her first finger touch the intersection between upper and lower lip and her second finger where it could touch the nose. She would be able to read his words by sensing the vibrations and movement. She and Mark Twain spent many long hours in conversation with her hands placed just so.

There is a natural intimacy when the hands are engaged in the exploration of physical, cultural and social realities. And the hands are the key.


  1. I had a blind student 20 years ago when I was teaching a general metals class for 9th grade. He had an aide and was in the same classes as everyone else in school. I let him do different kinds of projects that I designed just for him. He liked one particular project that was a punched tin "welcome" sign done in braille.
    He was one of the most enjoyable students that I have ever had. Blind students see and feel many things that most of us do not.

  2. Hi there,

    My name is Lisa J. Murphy - thank you for referencing my book 'tactile mind'.
    I just wanted to let you know, I have never called it pornographic - people everywhere are entitled to their own opinions and have made them....