Sound Gestures

Sound Gestures

Kentalis School, Amsterdam

Kentalis/Signis is an elementary school for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing. De Appel and Kentalis have organised together three artistic projects over a period of three school years that investigate sound and the ownership of sound: Sound Gestures.

The first project of Sound Gestures was focused on the artistic practice of Christine Sun Kim. Christine Sun Kim explores the medium of sound through technology, performance and drawing. For this school project we focused on the distinctive ways in which Christine understands the concepts of sound and listening. This understanding has been determined by her being deaf since birth. The starting point of the project was a Skype meeting between the school and Christine Sun Kim.

The youngest students of the school (aged 4 to 8) explored the physicality of sound. During these workshops they experienced sound without a mediated interpretation of what sound is and created meaning through their own experiences. The students made sounds themselves and investigated the different frequencies of sound through their body and different materials.

The sound vibrations are visceral and internal, in contrast with Sign Language. Through these exercises the students reclaimed the sounds as they became part of their world by looking and feeling.

The students aged 8 to 13 years explored the conceptual and social aspects of sound. The starting point of this exploration was the artwork ‘Classified Digits’ (2017) by Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader. This video work shows a series of awkward yet commonly experienced social situations.

The students analysed and practiced the social situations, the gestures and movements. They investigated how small gestures can start or stall our communication with others. More specifically they investigated how gestures can influence your communication in making new friends.

Together the students selected a series of ‘social situations’ from their own experiences and transformed these situations into a performance. During the workshops the students learned how to deal with the social impact of gestures in their communication and how to use their body language and mime without speaking or using Sign Language.

Sound Gestures is part of the school projects of De Appel Education Programme. With the school projects we want to respond to the gentrification processes that are happening in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, by investigating what the needs and concerns are of the schools. Based on these, we developed together with four schools from Amsterdam Nieuw-West a programme that will expand over the next two years and possibly beyond.

See also: ( BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim ) ( CLOSE READINGS: Classified Digits video by Christine Sun Kim and Thomas Mader )

For more info about all education projects ( Education )

See also