26 or less

In Denielle Elliott’s essay, View of Neurological Disturbances and Time Travel, she talks about her personal experience with anomic aphasia. Mostly invisible to outsiders, it is like a never-ending game of hang-man for those with injured minds.

Instead of practicing vigilant memory keeping or feeling embarrassed, Elliott encourages a playful approach to time stuck between words. Situated in 26 or less, I am thinking about what play means for me, my acquired brain injury community, and those outside it.

26 or less is an interactive sound and video art lab that asks what trouble with word-finding sounds like when we make the conscious decision to play. Drawing on the intersections of feminist science and technology studies, disability, and sonic ethnography, this project is rooted in communal knowledge making.

Activated by a motion sensor device located at the entrance of the lab, a primary soundscape can be heard playing on a loop. It begins with one speaker saying, “I am drawing a blank, I am trying to find the word, I forgot” and other phrases in relation to word loss, memory techniques, and phenomena. The speaker is joined by others repeating the same phrases. As more speakers join in, voices are heard in unison, as well as interrupting, and overlapping each other.

Visitors to 26 or less will be encouraged to add to the primary soundscape by making personal recordings of their own. If consented to, lab recordings made by visitors will be added to the primary soundscape in real-time. 3 videos of fluctuating CT scans will be projected on the floors or walls of the space with the real-time soundscape.

This project is set to launch in late Summer 2024. Exact timing and location to be announced in Winter 2024.