in collaboration with Jamil Haque and Gelsey Bell.
joint-stereo audiovisual media,
WARNING: Contains some short scenes and fast transitions.
“Aural Architecture” considers aural experiences originating in the mind communicated through sign language and voice. These aural gestalts or perceptual sonic configurations may occur either in the real world or human imagination, be embodied in multisensory modes of expression, and never emerge the same to everyone.
This work challenges two of the biggest misconceptions about deafness and sound: d/Deaf persons live in silence, and only hearing persons can access sound, both of which are inaccurate. Aurally diverse people embody sound in various ways: sonic, visual, tactile, and imagination. Whatever divergent they are, aural gestalts may be properties that d/Deaf and hearing people have in common.
“Aural Architecture” is inspired by 2013’s multisensory workshop in Sharjah by architect and designer Jeffrey Mansfield that investigates how “pure” sign language, which recreates the sensation of sound, allows us to listen visually.
About the collaborators:
Jamil Haque is an instructor and teacher of American Sign Language at Sign Language Center in New York City, New York. A Deaf person, he loves meeting new faces and teaching ASL and Deaf cultures.
Gelsey Bell is a Brooklyn-based vocalist, composer, and scholar. She has released multiple albums, toured internationally, and received awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Opera America, the Japan Foundation, and others. Her recent works include the soundwalk Cairns and the dance-music work shuffleyamamba. She is currently a resident artist at the HERE Arts Center where she is developing the opera mɔːnɪŋ.
composer & director
recording, mixing, and mastering engineer
sign language recorded at
Sign Language Center, NYC, NY on 17 December 2021.
voice recorded at
Harvestworks Audio Studio, NYC, NY on 18 December 2021.
many thanks to
STRUM (Sound, Technology, and Research at the University of Minnesota) Electronic Music Studios
This project was supported by the Jerome Foundation through the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship 2021-22.