Sunday, 16 August 2009


An autistic girl in the sensory room in an autistic resource base. She is operating a system. An upturned coconut shell over a plastic container with coloured marbles and empty coton reels now hidden, inside. The coconut shell becomes aligned to a switch on the side of a wall which operates alternately two small lights behind tiny coloured concave beads, one tinted red, the other green. When the switch is turned either the red comes on and the green goes out or the green comes on and the red goes out.
Depending on which is activated, the girl operates manually the coconut shell to correspond with that input signal so that it is manoevered either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Simmilarily there is a co-ordinate sound that is emmitted from the girl`s mouth to demarcate the difference in direction either one way or the other. The sound is low and gutteral and it literally played backwards when the signal changes indicates a change in direction. At a certain point of rotation the girl glances up to see if I am getting the optimal points of change-over where one part of the system reverses and is aligned with different signals. I am a necessary witness and not outside of the device that I witness. It is this witnessing back and forth that holds in place the procedures of the device, pacing it and staging its stops and starts between glances and further manipulations. We are running through the pacing of movement and pause at speeds which are monitored by the interpolation of the parts of the machine as they are being operated. This is a process in real time whereby any change in tempo would necessarily affect the pitch of the sound, the movement and integration of limbs and the point of interuption that puts on hold and reinvigorates the entire procedure. This system has nothing to do with cause and affect; with wether the hand initiates the switch or the switch initiatses the cocunut or the cocunut initates the voice. The girl is well aware of that. It is a staging mechanism for bringing together correspondences that create a given space for seizing alignments through time. It`s a meeting place. That being not the room, not the Autistic Resource Base, not the school, not Hackney , not London, but the device we have created together that is making itself known through all these various levels. An intersection through zones that it traverses without ever really knowing where it is going.

No comments:

Post a Comment