Soon after I posted an image of my project Unknown Armature: Body Socks—that's another one, above—Duane McLemore pointed me to these "entoptic phenomena," William Hundley's photoset on Flickr:
I have exactly zero sense of how these are done, and I love that whatever anthropomorphism is present fades in and out of the set—appearing and disappearing. These images get at something far more effectively enigmatic than mine do. Like I wrote about here, I've been interested in how dispersed the meaning of a body sock can become.
A body sock is already an informal prosthetic, designed for people with sensory processing disorder, a condition that isn't recognized in the DSM but widely accepted and treated in schools and clinical settings, and often appearing in tandem with autism spectrum conditions. The sock provides a scrim, a filter for otherwise unregulated and overwhelming sensory stimuli. It allows you to be in public, and explore and play, without having to engage all the crash-bang of unmediated public space.
So I've been testing just how diffuse its meaning can become—that is, using a tool that is resolutely practical in its therapeutic design, but re-contextualizing it, sending it out in search of a new narrative, with a new set of users.
In this set of exchanges, I was part performing the role of educator: inviting people to try on this textile costuming, while also talking about sensory processing disorder if asked. But I was also interested in ways to hide in plain sight—indoors and out.
And these experiments took place in the context of Occupy events all over the country, so I was also thinking about these protestors in San Francisco. Ways to become amorphous, present but unreachable. The black blob effect:
So I had some black socks custom made, including a double version, for two wearers:
But Duane also sent me to Kim Walker's A Social Exchange, using large swaths of fabric in Exchange Square, a financial district in London that is all but unused on the weekends.
This beautiful video shows multiple scenarios and performances with bodies and textiles throughout the space.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/14413586 w=500&h=281]
a social exchange_ trailer from kim walker on Vimeo.
images: therapeutic body sock here, Occupy SF here, and Kim Walker here.