Seeing Beyond Sight


KRON logo

Kathy Knox, a writer who is blind & recently picked up photography, joins Tony Deifell as a guest on KRON


San Francisco

One of the Top 10 Books of 2008

Disaboom logo"One of the more moving photography books in print today. The images are a window into the perspective of a teenager with visual disabilities—a perspective at once jarringly familiar and unfamiliar, astoundingly complex and heartbreakingly simple. They remind viewers that seeing is a way of engagement with the world, but that at the same time, perception is so much more than sight. So much of great photography is seeing things from a new perspective.

Seeing Beyond Sight is a rare book of visual art and an educational resource that speaks with inspirational power, not only to the visually impaired community, but to anyone who has ever considered what it means to see." Read full review

KQED | San Francisco
LISTEN ONLINE | aired 5/11/07


"Forum" discusses the book and the SEEING BEYOND SALON attended by 500 people on 5/17. Host: Dave Iverson | Guests: KATHY KNOX, writer and member of the board of directors of The San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind, SAM LAVIGNE, co-founder of SFZero, a collaborative gaming network, TONY DEIFELL, social entrepreneur, visual artist and author of Seeing Beyond Sight.

KPFK | Los Angeles
not online | aired 5/25/07


"Deadline L.A." hosted by Barbara Osborn & Howard Blume

Tony Deifell discusses Seeing Beyond Sight.

WUNC | North Carolina
LISTEN | aired 6/26/07


"State of Things" hosted by Frank Stasio

Co-teacher Shirley Hand & student Cassie Knight join Tony Deifell to discuss Seeing Beyond Sight.

Contact Quarterly A photographer and choreographer talk about translation

see full article from Contact Quarterly

ARKITEKTUR N The Norwegian Review of Architecture (larger view)

COLORS Magazine

COLORS Magazine

MP3 audio of of the story from COLORS Magazine.

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Sun

Edutopia link

The News & Observer | Raleigh, NC

Article 1: A look past what can be seen (book review)
Article 2: Insight without sight
(about the Shooting Blind Challenge
— with multimedia slideshow below)

PRESS PLAY (w/audio) | 1minute 42 seconds

news & observer


Fast Company

"savvy, passionate, witty, and yes, beautiful" in The Vision Thing, by Keith Hammonds


Shambala Sun

"This book will make you look—and look again—at how you perceive and what you assume." ~ Shambhala Sun

Los Angeles Times

LA Times


The New York Times

New York Times Book Review

The Institute for Photographic Empowerment

Seeing Beyond Sight: An Interview with Tony Deifell

". . . perhaps what makes the Sound Shadows collection so compelling as a participatory project is the very basic understanding, reinforced on every page, that people’s stories are enough: to inspire, to engage, to remind us that true perspective cannot be gained from a single point-of-view." (read full interview by Alexis Roohani)

Culture Catch Literary Review

Blasting Through the Doors of Perception

Talk about high concept -- how about a photography book by blind photographers? You read that correctly, people who can't see (or are substantially sight-impaired) taking pictures. Not just people, teenagers -- the most perceptive stage of being known to man (and woman.) Needless to say, when Tony Deifell, the author/curator of the essential book Seeing Beyond Sight, broached the topic with the outreach director of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in 1992, she thought he was pulling a prank. The results are anything but.

It has long been a staple of literature that the blind see more than the sighted -- when Oedipus is blinded, he finally sees; there is a blind seer in King Lear. What's more, modern science tells us that seeing with our eyes, with light, is only one way of perceiving the world -- the very stars we see every night are pictures of the past. We can't see the present. And, as every magician knows, you can't believe your eyes.

These pictures, by untrained, unseeing photographers, are worth more than that. You see sounds. You see perceptions. You see feelings in ways that you can't with sighted photographers -- even the most talented ones. Whether it's Cartier-Bresson or Arbus, these people combine their sensitivity with their vision. For the artists/poets in Seeing Beyond Sight, it's all about the sensitivity. Of course, sound leads a lot of the images -- a barking dog for instance. But other evidences of the heightened sensitivity are in play as well. The crumble of sheets; the thoughts of family; the cold, hard surfaces of an empty pool. The terse captions capture the dream-state. We, the sighted, are given a rare glimpse into the clarity of vision only the blind are privy to. It is a great gift. In fact, it heightens your other perceptions -- a nice thing to do in a world that is all too often led by the flimsy, Hollywood backlot version of reality.

Thanks are due to all the photographers included in the book, and to Mr. Deifell, who had the audacity and clarity to put the two opposing thoughts -- photographs by the blind -- together in the first place. - Ken Krimstein

Mr. Krimstein is a writer, cartoonist, father, and grump who lives in New York City. So there.

Utne profileThe Colorado Springs Gazette

Colorado Springs