Wearing hearing aids is hard work. It is a constant struggle to find someone’s voice in the sea of over amplified unrelated sounds. Be patient with me. I’m visual. Everything I missed, and everything “I filled in” to make up for it turns into an image or icon in my mind’s eye. This all happens in real time. Outside of a quiet space, I’m trying to decipher the layered distortions of static that fuse together. As I process these experiences I’m attuned to facial expressions, subtle movements of the body and the emotional vibration of energy absorbed from the interaction. I feel that energy, just as easily as I can see it, from many feet away. I’m going to miss half of what you are saying in sound. Ill makeup for it by reading your lips and body language. I prefer to communicate one on one, in quiet spaces. It can’t always be this way, and sometimes, almost all the time, I won’t show up to the over amplified world of distortions just to fight for comprehension. Please understand that hearing aids are synthetic devices with microphones that amplify the world of sound. They are tools that come with the price of great levels cognitive fatigue. (Look up what that means in context to hearing loss and being Deaf) I speak only from my personal experience. Of course, this may not be the case for all. From the context of someone with “normal hearing” your impression may be that if someone wears them, then they can “experience” the world of sound in a similar way to yourself and other hearing people. “Turning on” hearing aids is not like turning on a light switch. This is not the case, not even close. The spectrum of hearing loss is huge, and this goes for all levels of disabilities. Each and every case is different. That last sentence is the one that should turn on like a light switch.I translate everything visual into symbols, icons, images and patterns. They are linear and stack themselves often horizontally and then vertically. Much like the way that you are reading these words here. These two images are a good reference for the daily flow of communication, missing words, missing sounds, finding solutions to respond and repeating that process. Day in and day out. It is my responsibility to understand how I communicate with myself and with each and every other human being I share this amazing world with. I believe that we all will create a new language within ourselves throughout our lives at some point. I’m finally starting to assert mine a bit more.
Mock-up installation / exhibition view. I would love to make this exhibition happen. Please get in touch if you are interested in discussing!