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Audio Visual Sensitivity Sketch


Audio Visual Sensitivity

Content warning: viewer discretion is advised, this video includes flashing images that could trigger photosensitive epilepsy and sounds that may be uncomfortable for those with oral sensitivity. 

As part of the nerve pain section of my In Transit artist residency research I wanted to explore my sensory sensitivities. Due to my chronic illnesses, neurodivergence and nerve damage I have become more sensitive to certain sounds, smells and light. When I am experiencing a flare of my conditions certain sounds elicit a unique sort of pain. The sound of people eating is one of these sounds, it has become almost unbearable and I wear ear plugs to help find relief. I would have never understood how severe this really of pain and discomfort could be to an ordinary sound unless I had experienced it, with this clip I am exploring different methods to represent this sensation.


Historically I have always burnt captions into my videos, this is called open captions and they can not be removed. In one of our accessibility sessions with Andy I learnt that closed captions are actually generally more widely accessible than open captions. Closed captions are not burnt into the video, they are a separate file and can be removed, but they can also be adjusted, such as the size, contrast and colour. I have used closed captions for the first time in this video.

Content warnings

As someone with a history of seizures, who suffers from various sensitivities, such as light induced migraines and also complex PTSD I generally try to use thorough content and trigger warnings. In our accessibility sessions we were advised to completely avoid flashing images, as this impedes many people’s access to the content. I think in a commercial setting, when flashing images are not necessary this is best practice but I have been struggling with following this in my artwork. 

My artwork aims to represent my experiences of illness and disability to improve the understanding of my lived experience. When using audio-visual representation to communicate certain neurological and sensory pain I do think flashing images are sometimes necessary. I will try to avoid using this technique without a very specific purpose and I will try to challenge myself to find other techniques to represent this experience.

Charlie Fitz

Charlie Fitz is a UK based sick and disabled artist, writer and medical humanities postgraduate at Birkbeck, where she is a recipient of a Wellcome Trust studentship. She is a member of Resting Up Collective and of the arts practice group TRIAD³. Her multiform projects broadly explore experiences of illness and trauma. She worked as the engagement assistant for ‘Coming Out’ (2017) was on the activist panel consulting on curatorial and learning strategies for the ACC exhibition ‘Woman, Power, Protest’ (2018) both Arts Council Collection(ACC) Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art gallery (BMAG). She was a guest speaker at Robinson College Feminist Society at Cambridge University, presenting on Feminist art & activism (2019). The same year she produced her first joint exhibition ‘Radical Acts of Care’ (2019) in collaboration with Oscar Vinter. The exhibition was hosted online and in person in London and Manchester. Fitz had work in Profile Gallery’s ‘Virtual Exhibition'(2020), Oddball Gallery’s ‘Locked/Down'(2020) and ‘See You At Home'(2021) by Able Zine x Kiosk N1C. She currently has artwork in the virtual show ‘Exhibition: Work in PROGRESS’ by Triad³ and has an upcoming group show for women’s history month called HYSTERICAL in aid of UN Women UK and Mermaids Charity. She has had short fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art published.