Spatial Language in Jest
(7 minutes, 2010)


Spatial Language in Jest untitled flyer










Installation views for solo show at Kai Middendorff Galerie


The work consists of a video, sound composition and print.

The starting point was three videos in which jokes were relayed in American
Sign Language (ASL). Each time the hand gestures in one storyline showed
visual similarities to those of another, an edit was made to that one. In so doing,
a continuous change takes place between one extract of a tale and the next,
while the punch lines of the jokes are always avoided.

For every jump in association, another hand sign technique, known as the
Kodály Method, was briefly inserted. These breaks were edited together
producing a video sequence totalling seven minutes in length.

The gestures used in this video were then learnt and performed in front of
a video camera in one session and without any subsequent editing carried out.

While the face generally plays an important role in sign languages for those
who cannot hear, Spatial Language in Jest only focuses on the hands.
It therefore does not present actual sign language, but considers gesture
from a more general perspective.


Special thanks to Kai Middendorff for his wonderful support.





Spatial Language in Jest score
Digital print 118,9 x 84,1 cm






Spatial Language in Jest audio excerpt















Spatial Language in Jest video excerpt
Camera: Bernd Thiele