The Non-Auditory Sensory Other

I learned how to draw at an early age because I needed to see what I couldn’t hear. I learned how to “see” really fast. I learned how to draw the contour lines of objects, faces, bodies and things with my eyes. They were maps and points of reference. I could memorize and retain what I saw quickly. This also applied to what I saw on the chalkboard and in books. I made all of my first friends through drawing and art. If I went to visit a friend in elementary school at their home, or if they came to mine, we drew and made art. We drew cartoons of each other, our teachers, objects and things. Art making was my best friend, and guardian angel. It still is. I adopted the title “artist” right away. Not because I thought I was good at it, but because it was a means of identity. An identity away from dealing with being deaf / Hard of Hearing and the endless confusion that came with missing so much. To this day I’m learning more and more about myself and as I grow older. Both as an artist and a deaf person. I proudly identify as both. It is nice to finally have synthesized these two identities, and to use them as a means of bringing awareness to this world in my own way, which is our birthright.

I watch the body language of people acutely. I’m focused in our interactions both visually and emotionally. I see each and every facial expression and how facial expressions cause the entire upper body to move. I see how the neck and shoulders react in connection to facial expressions and the emotions that flow through. I see where the hands go, move and how they fall. I see the speed at which these things happen, the duration in seconds and the slightest of alterations in those patterns. Reactions can be measured and stored in seconds, I am aware of those too. As you can imagine, over time, these are clearly distinguishable patterns that we as people share. After 40 plus years of watching people every day, you bet I often know “what will happen” before it does. I watch the body react, and then quickly react again as it catches itself responding and then responds again. The first emotion reacts first, then the ego kicks in and tries to “fix” it. I myself had mastered the art of covering up… When I couldn’t hear I was always repeating the parts I did hear and re-directing it to the person asking me. I could then follow their reactions and get them to re-iterate the important part or parts. I could extract the fragments I needed in order to respond properly. I still do this. We can learn so much from each other without words and sounds if we participated more in the way that we communicate with each other. There are far too many things we do on “default” and never question. I’m here to help create a disruption in the default and build a new bridge.

2018, Digital Illustrations, Digital Art, Animated GIFs & Video. A continued series of manipulated images and re-compositions. The variations of each piece show the process of how the works displayed are visual representations for the missing of sounds, words and overall communication. They are intended to be both subtle, confusing and difficult to follow. A representation of the daily life I experience between the world of the hearing and the non.