“The 1970s Hearing Test Art Machine Hacker”

Hearing test machine hacking. It sounds funny, but that’s what I did. I recently learned that my Mom also did the same thing almost 30 years before. As we know, today’s technology has come a long long way from the 1970s.. I’m not an expert on this by any means, but I have been doing some research. In my previous writing passage, I told the story of how I created the wall around my deafness and hearing loss. As I watched the bullies from my first-grade class torment the kid with the over-the-ear hearing aids I became terrified to reveal my own struggles. So, what happens to a child in the first grade experiencing his or her first bout of fear already knowing that they are “missing” a large part of what is happening around them? The reaction and actions taken are not exactly conscious or beneficial. Perhaps they are the cellular involuntary fight or flight reactions – while simultaneously flipping on the light switch to the ego. Once the ego knows that it has been invited to the party, well, it seems to take the driver’s seat. In this case due to age, the reactions were intense, fearful and full of ego, almost as they they should for a child.

At the time hearing tests were given in school. We would all line up at the nurse’s office and sit in front of the person administering the test. I watched as the other kids raised their hands every few seconds while the nurse recorded the information from the test administrator. Was the administrator an audiologist? Who knows, I’m not sure, I can’t remember, but I do remember realizing that the test was very similar. Maybe there were two versions of the test that they were using for every other kid. I counted the seconds in between when they raised their hands. This was NOT an extensive test, it literally was 60 seconds and 8-10 raises of the hand. Give or take a few seconds, either way, this system of testing went on all the way through junior high school. I hacked the system with a keen awareness on how everyone around me was recording the test and how they participated. I created my deaf eyes during these times. I passed all tests during those early years for the most part. I am sure there were other kids just like me, slipping through the system or hacking as well. Slowly but surely the testers took notice over time.. Not only that, I was really slipping in classes, my grades were mostly lower B’s & C’s and falling. I was missing a way too much and knew it. Art classes, and art in general was and still is my greatest teacher and best friend. I began the output of overcompensation.

These two soundless animations above spell out “Over – Compensated” in sign language. The top animation also spells out the word ART at the end of the sequence. The animations express the world of missed communications and the constant rapid fire pace of trying to fill in those blanks with out being detected as missing anything. It amazes me as to how long one can perpetuate their own reality for long with out making changes. It comes down to fear and ego, and the victim becoming the hero in the story. There is a constant metaphor at work to all of this, lets dig in more on that.

The more I missed, the more I made.­...

More to come.