Yesterday, 26.03 I visited a cake decorating workshop @ http://www.sussexdeaf.co.uk/. This was the 1st time I spent in a deaf-based environment and I think it was an experience I’d recall for some time because it felt like an opening into, perhaps, a different, if not new, sensations or the imagining of aesthetics even..
To begin with, I think the sense of the environment – as a different one – was very prominent. Possibly because of the unfamiliarity with silences, sounds, noises and the need to adjust perceptions accordingly.
Unlike other workshop events where people chitchat and you can hear that murmur in the background, there, the background noise was silence.
When people spoke, made sounds, they came in short punctuations producing different rhythms and intonations to the rather familiar english language. English was sensed like a language I don’t know. A bit perhaps like another european language which some sounds are familiar and connectible to known ones – but you are in an interaction that the language and behaviour needs to be learnt, adjusted and adapted to the event.
Because people have in themselves a sense of the switch between silence & noises in a different way, noises made are with different intonations or even materiality. (Perhaps not materiality.. hummm..) Well, what I mean is that when a person moves a table, a chair, etc. there isn’t the kind of noise/silence sensibility of most people. There isn’t an attempt – aural at least – to silence the noise.
The sense, and indeed the aesthetics, of movements for linking and interacting with people had to become different. Usually I am expressive with my hands, so in a flash of door shutting, a quick switch from the street into the Sussex Deaf Association building, I had to use hands and body movements as possible communicative codes (eg pointing at something) rather than abstract expressive movements. These are personal adjustments, however I am sure even a person that doesn’t express themselves with hands usually, will find themselves having to be bodily different while linking with a deaf people’s environment. (..guess that’s one of the reasons am going to press publish rather than save this as draft.. perhaps this might also refer to other people’s sensations..?)
Being, even for the hour that was, in a physical link-up with deaf people, kind of made me think – or further convince myself – that there are many aesthetics, ie ways to imagine sensations, that are yet to be developed or even explored. Perhaps the interesting bit, and one that I doubt would have come to my limited mind had I not visited the workshop, is that unlike the somehow conceptual aesthetics I tend to dwell with, the ones that now come to mind have a more physical base. None is better, or more than the other. They are all, in my mind, fluctuating elements, equal in time, however am interested that a different range of aesthetic sensations came about.. Here’s a list that also includes some I mentioned above.
Aesthetics based on the:
Sense of movement interaction/linking.
The sense of difference.
Sense of sound
Sense of noise
Sense of links
Sense of rhythm
Sense of time
Sense of interaction
Sense of self-confidence
Sense of known language as an unknown
Sense of possibilities & potentialities
What if each sense was an organism of sense-aesthetics?
* The ringing note in my mind is that all these possible inspirations came via switching, or “switch-modes”, or switches without any particular/specific intent. I wonder if someone attempted to design an event – or some process or other – that will Produce such inspirations, that they might go much further than convincing other people in their own self righteous intentions..