Deaf Sound (2014)

On the occasion of Composing Differences, organised by Virginie Bobin and hosted by MoMA PS1, Council invited French choreographer Noé Soulier and American designer Jeffrey Mansfield to further the research on the diversity of hearing modes initiated with TACET.

How does sound manifest itself in the body and consciousness of the deaf? Sign language itself offers no answer to this para- doxical question, since it only takes into account sound as per- ceived by the non-deaf. Deaf designer and architect Jeffrey Mansfield and the non-deaf choreographer Noé Soulier have been looking into this inconceivable lack or gap at the heart of language. They met for the first time in a studio at MoMA PS1 to start a cross-inquiry into the different manners of hearing and expressing the inaudible. Together, they pinpointed a series of parameters and material qualities — volume, amplitude, elevation — which make it possible to map out what deaf people sense in response to sounds. They used this to extract a monologue blending together first-person accounts, anecdotes, and analyses. Experimenting with all the effects of manipulation and spatialization afforded by sign language, they invent a choreography and set out an equal challenge to deaf and non-deaf alike.

Deaf Sound, workshop, 2014

with

  • Jeffrey Mansfield
  • Noé Soulier

feedback

  • Tarek Atoui
  • Fran Benitzer
  • Virginie Bobin

Deaf Sound is organised on the invitation of Composing Differences, organised by Virginie Bobin and hosted by MoMA PS1.


top image: Jeffrey Mansfield and Noé Soulier, workshop, Composing Differences, MoMA PS1, 2014. Photo and video by Kendall Waldman