Volkswagen Arteon as sensed by blind photographer Pete Eckert
Volkswagen is promoting the new Arteon 4-door fastback with an advertising campaign featuring blind photographer Pete Eckart. At the centre of the campaign is an inspiring mini documentary exploring Eckert’s unique creative vision. Pete Eckert trained in sculpture and industrial design before becoming blind through retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease in which the back wall of the eye (retina) is damaged. He transformed his disability into an art form to allow sighted people a glimpse into the world of the blind. The Volkswagen Arteon short film highlights Eckert’s creative ability to leverage his aural and touch senses to capture striking abstract visuals that showcase his unconventional photography techniques while also capturing the unique beauty of the Volkswagen Arteon, the replacement for the up-market Volkswagen CC. Photographs from the campaign, featured below, are presented on the microsite arteon.volkswagen.com, in anticipation of the 2018 Arteon’s launch to the market.
To encapsulate Eckert’s technique as it unfolded in real time, film director O’Grady Peyton took an unorthodox and artistic approach, embracing the shoot’s unstructured and intimate setting to discover the most authentic moments. “Those moments of magic can’t be something that you plan for all the time,” notes O’Grady Peyton. “You need to allow yourself the opportunity to find and capture them on the spot as they happen. We also had a very small crew to maintain an intimate atmosphere on set. The lack of control which is often the case with small numbers was definitely a constant challenge.”
About Peter Eckert
Pete Eckert is a blind photographer. He was born sighted but halfway through his life he went totally blind. He works with his other senses: sound, touch and memory. Through these senses, he builds images in his mind. He uses long exposures and colored light to create unique effects, known as light painting photography.
”I am a visual person. I just can’t see.” says the photographer about himself. Before he went blind, he was preparing his master’s degree in architecture at Yale. But the diagnosis and the ultimate loss of his sight didn’t stop him from teaching himself photography. With the help of his analog camera, different flash lights and his color palette, he developed a unique visual language.
For his amazing artworks of the new Arteon he started by approaching the car very sensitively. Slowly, almost reverently, he traced the lines from the exterior to the interior and internalized every square centimetre of the bodywork, until he had captured the complete Arteon in his mind. Or, as he puts it: “The Arteon emerges before my mind’s eye.”
With all his senses he envisioned the new Arteon and his beauty. The movements with his light color palette were caught by long time exposure – they create a unique imagination of the new Arteon in every single photo. The results are breathtaking visualizations of the car and his mind’s eye.
Volkswagen Arteon Blind Photographer Credits
The Blind Photographer campaign was developed at Grabarz & Partner Hamburg by chief creative officer Ralf Heuel, creative group director Tobias Ahrens, creative team Svein Olsen, Sandra Kemmer, Navid Shahabi, Tim Berger, Vanessa Barz, Artur Schäfer, Tim Heller, Felix Otterski, Erwin Lorenz, Felix Albers, Phillip von Schwerin, Ann-Katrin Erich, group head digital Dirk Lanio, digital creative directors Julijus Rebic and Roman Jonsson, digital director Ina Croissier, head of TV Axel Deeper, art buyers Garnet Matthiesen, Anusha Atreya, and strategy team Oliver Waldmann and Valerie Gast.
Photography art work was by Pete Eckert.
Filming was shot by director TJ O’Grady Peyton via Bubbles Film, Berlin, with director of photography Stephan Fallucchi, producers Barbara Kranz and Frank Hasselbach. Filming was shot on an Arri Alexa camera.
Online grading was by Felix Drawe.
Sound and music were produced at Blut Audio, Hamburg.
Photography was produced at WIDE Production, Hamburg.
Social media photography was by David Daub at Wildfox Running.
Tagged: Ann-Katrin Erich, Artur Schäfer, Blut, Bubbles Film, Erwin Lorenz, Felix Albers, Felix Drawe, Felix Otterski, Grabarz & Partner, Navid Shahabi, Pete Eckert, Phillip von Schwerin, Ralf Heuel, Sandra Kemmer, Stephan Fallucchi, Svein Olsen, Tim Berger, Tim Heller, TJ O’Grady Peyton, Tobias Ahren, Vanessa Barz