Seeing in the Dark

This week on State of the Human, we’re hearing stories about people whose vision changed, first throwing them in the dark, then revealing something new. When the lights go out, at first we can’t see anything, but eventually our eyes adjust. We slowly begin to see again, but the world looks a little bit different than it did before. This week, we’ve got four stories about people who learn to see in a new way after finding themselves in different kinds of darkness. A young kid has a superpower to see things no one else can see, but then he loses that ability. A mythologist embarks on a retreat in darkness on a mountain in Wales. An art student learns to see the human body in a new way. And an Oxford University student finds himself, unexpectedly, in darkness.

Producers: Xandra Clark and Sophia Paliza

Host: Xandra Clark

Featuring: Martin Lowenthal, Martin Shaw, Lauren YoungSmith, Ala Ebtekar, Tom Skelton, Dougie Walker

Release Date: 19 June 2013

Original music: John Hollywood

Additional music used during host narration: Johnny Ripper, Robin Grey, Gillicuddy

Additional production assistance: Rachel Hamburg, Darlene Franklin, Lemiece Zarka, Natacha Ruck, Christy Hartman, Charlie Mintz, Victoria Hurst, Josh Hoyt, Nina Foushee, and Jonah Willihnganz.

Warning: This episode contains strong language, and may not be suitable for all audiences

Image via wikimedia



Story 1: The Third Eye

A skeptic has forgotten to see the world he saw as a child, but his mystic mother encourages him to remember.

Featuring: Guru Matt

Editors: Lemiece Zarka and Sophia Paliza

Warning: This story contains strong language, and may not be suitable for all audiences

Image courtesy of Xandra Clark



Story 2: Vivid Darkness

Two different Martins choose to temporarily forgo light and embrace the darkness. Each follows his own path into the dark and finds something there.

Featuring: Martin Lowenthal, Martin Shaw

Producer: Sophia Paliza

Original music: John Hollywood

Additional music: Johnny Ripper, Balmorhea, Lee Rosevere, Zachary Cale & Mighty Moon & Ethan Schmid

Image via wikimedia



Story 3: Seeing Inside Out

A few years ago, surrealist artist Lauren YoungSmith hit a plateau in her drawing skills. To overcome it, she had to learn to see human bodies differently – from the inside out.

Featuring: Lauren YoungSmith, Ala Ebtekar

Producers: Darlene Franklin and Rachel Hamburg

Original music: John Hollywood

Additional music: Broken Gadget

Image courtesy of Lauren YoungSmith



Story 4: Blind-Sighted

When an Oxford University student starts losing his sight, he walks onto the stage.

Featuring: Tom Skelton, Dougie Walker

Producer: Xandra Clark

Original music: John Hollywood

Additional music: Ergo Phizmiz & Margita Zalite, Nic Bommarito, Chuck Johnson

Image courtesy of Urška Mali