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Composing Differences: On the Diversity of Hearing Modes and Sign Language Production


In collaboration with Noé Soulier, "On the Diversity of Hearing Modes and Sign Language Production" was presented as part of the Sunday Sessions programme at MoMA PS1 on April 27, 2014. Two separate, yet complementary lines of research are presented in sound perception and sign language production. Although seemingly unrelated, these explorations are linked together in their questioning of the myths and meanings inscribed in existing models of knowledge and the generation of new platforms of knowledge production.


Sound Research: In an effort to identify a new, if not overlooked, epistemology of sound that focuses on the physical and material experience of sound, we identify parameters that inform the body’s material experience of sound, from the obvious (volume and rhythm) to the less obvious others (density, fullness, spatial direction, time direction, texture).  Playing a collection of recorded sounds through a transducer, this presentation will also invite the audience to apply these parameters to their experience of listening.


Sign Language Research: In sign languages, the use of classifiers feature parametric ways of doing signs that transform or affect their meaning with nuance. Although signed expressions cannot capture meaning so perfectly, they boast a visibility and physicality that materially suggest meaning on multiple levels. Through the extraction and isolation of specific sign language parameters that affect the suggestion of meaning, novel forms of expression emerge. In a brief performance, these parameters are distilled as filters that modulate some level of implicit meaning that renders the carnal, bodily quality of language in its becoming state.


In collaboration with Noé Soulier, curated by Virginie Bobin with Council (Gregory Castera and Sandra Terdjman), sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the French Embassy, and ART² International Festival of Contemporary Art, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Composing Differences

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