"Art is a tool of empowerment and social change, and I consider myself blessed to be able to create and use my work to promote health reform, bring awareness about ALS and help others." - Tony Quan
The EyeWriter project is an ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS, and other degenerative neuromuscular diseases, with creative technologies. The EyeWriter itself is a pair of low-cost eye- tracking glasses & custom software that allow artists and graffiti writers with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.
The EyeWriter was inspired by Tony Quan, aka Tempt1, a legendary LA graffiti writer, social activist and publisher, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2003. A team of 5 internationally renowned artists collaborated with Tony and a LA-based commercial production company, the Ebeling Group, to create DIY technology that would allow Tempt1 to again create graffiti.
In August, 2009, TEMPT ONE was able to make artwork in the streets of LA for the first time in seven years. Tony made a number of drawings in his hospital bed in Alhambra, California,using the EyeWriter, and transmitted them over the internet to a team of artists in downtown Los Angeles, who projected his artwork, in real-time, onto a 10-story building beside theSanta Monica Freeway. TEMPT was back.
In January 2010, members of the development team travelled to India to collaborate with engineers from IIT Bombay to create the MumbaiWriter: a variation of the original EyeWriter made from parts obtained locally in Mumbai. These MumbaiWriters are being donated to ALS patient and neuromuscular disease support groups in India.