[ISEA2019] Artist Statement: Luca M. Damiani — Blocked: Sound Sensitivity

Artist Statement

Blocked : Sound Sensitivity plays with the interconnection between neurodiversity and media design, using auto-ethnographic data based on my observation of my acoustic disorder of hyperacusis, as well as inputting parallel insights from my high-functioning neurological condition of Asperger’s.
Hyperacusis is an auditory condition in which exposure to everyday sounds is perceived more loud than normal, creating pain, discomfort, vertigo, fatigue, as well as related reactions within anxiety and depression. In this video artwork, He briefly reflect on the relation between surrounding sound that the hyperacusis condition affects, changing the sensorial narrative, making everything more artificial, uncoded, wrongly filtered and channeled disruptively. Part of the hyperacusis condition brings sensorial reactions in relation to sound and also light there is a sense of in-between, of penumbra of sound and noise, as well as distant emotional reactions which feels at time artificial and looked from outside. Not being able to work with sound itself (due to the condition), here he tries to express the feeling visually with computational graphics and text.
The artist is currently following a variety of therapy programmes in relation to the hyperacusis disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). As part of this therapeutic programme, he collects notes on my different levels of moods, reactions, and reflections each day. This creates patterns and data that I also use as part of my auto-ethnographic work; He can then be more analytical and explore artistic interpretations of this data, observing what the sensorial disorder brings up and classify triggers and reactions.
Looking into shaping an ethnographic narrative, here he interprets and reads this data in the form of poems, relating to the emotional human experience in response to the hacked sensorial disorder. And so, to underline this conceptual relationship, he interwines art and technology in the process of making, abstracting the ethnographic data to create new graphic visualisations of silent hacked sound, layered with a written and spoken poem that is shared with a human emotion and artificial computed identity. This process allows a representation of the specific acoustic neurological exploration, via words and visual pixellated related sound, conceptually visually interpreting and reflecting the disruptive action that hyperacusis creates in the acoustic sense.

  • Luca M. Damiani is a Media Design Artist and a Lecturer at London College of
    Communication (University of the Arts London, UK). Luca practices internationally in the fields of the Arts, Digital Media tand Visual Culture. He works and experiments with creative techniques such as digital tech, illustration-animation, photography, coding and mix-media. With a multi-methodological approach, Luca explores artistic processes re-considering the combination of methods. His ongoing research-based practice looks at various areas of applied art and design, with the main focus on technology, digital art and neurodiversity. A published artist-author of several books and papers, his work is actively exhibited and showcased. Luca has collaborated with many institutions, such as: Computer Arts Society, Mozilla Foundation, NESTA, Framestore-VFX, Disney, Amnesty International, BBC, TATE, V&A and Thames & Hudson. lucadamiani-art.com