speechless: different by design
April 25–September 6, 2020
Organized by the High Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art, speechless: different by design merges research, aesthetics, and innovative new design to explore the vast spectrum of sensory experiences and new approaches to accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting.
The exhibition will debut new work by six leading and emerging international designers and design teams—Ini Archibong, Matt Checkowski, Misha Kahn, Steven and William Ladd, Laurie Haycock Makela, and Yuri Suzuki—whose projects were informed by conversations with specialists from prominent academic and medical institutions. Their site-specific installations and new commissions will create participatory environments and distinct situations in which senses merge or are substituted for one another. By harnessing the power and impact of design, speechless will offer audiences unconventional multisensory experiences that foster understanding of the varied ways in which we experience the world through our senses.
We invite you to help make this exhibition complete! Share your sounds from around the world to be included in Yuri Suzuki’s new work that integrates audio clips into an interactive installation: Sound of the Earth Chapter 2. Click here to become part of the art.
The Oracle, designed and engineered by California-born, Switzerland-based multi-disciplinary designer Ini Archibong, will explore non-traditional ways of experiencing sound. The space occupied by Archibong’s work will be infused with a soothing, harmonious soundscape created by a custom synthesizer, which removes discordant sound and produces pure sound waves. The installation will feature an array of interactive elements designed to illustrate sound through movement, shape, light, and color, including a pool with an obelisk that visitors can rotate to tune the sound to various bass tones, thereby changing the shape and movement of the water as well; and brass pedestals holding handblown glass shapes that pivot to initiate shifts in light and color. Visitors can turn every element throughout the room to communally alter the sound in the space.
Glyph, by designer and filmmaker Matt Checkowski, will explore the creativity behind each designer’s work in speechless and the role of empathy that informs it through a series of narrative and intimate short film portraits of each artist. He is developing a method of word and image translation whereby the filmed speech of each artist will be transformed live into images, offering a new, universal visual language for the ideas conveyed by the creative minds involved with this project.
Brooklyn-based designer and artist Misha Kahn will create a meandering coral garden composed of vibrant, dynamic inflatables that will move in multiple ways, inflating and deflating over the course of each day. Visitors can touch, sit, squeeze, and otherwise interact with the inflatable forms, both observing the landscape change around them and themselves participating in the alteration.
STEVEN AND WILLIAM LADD
Scroll Space, presented by New York–based brothers and artists Steven and William Ladd, will be a vibrant and tactile room created entirely of tens of thousands of hand-rolled textile “scrolls.” These scrolls will be made in collaboration with 2,000 community members in Dallas and Atlanta through the Ladd Brothers’ community engagement program Scrollathon®, which brings the arts to underserved populations through hands-on creative workshops.
Sound Of The Earth Chapter 2, a sound installation by London-based sound artist and designer Yuri Suzuki, will integrate audio crowdsourced from around the world. The work will take the form of a spherical sculpture with which visitors can interact by placing their ears against the surface. Each spot on the sphere represents a different area of the world and will “whisper” back a corresponding sound sourced from that region, enabling visitors to experience the globe in a fresh way, beyond text and words. Anyone around the world can submit audio via the DMA’s website at earthsounds.dma.org.
LAURIE HAYCOCK MAKELA
The exhibition’s graphic identity and corresponding publication speechless: Beyond Sense is created by Laurie Haycock Makela, a leader in the field of experimental, transdisciplinary graphic design. Playing with the multiple meanings of the word “speechless,” the publication will explore the evolution of the project, document the installations, and feature conversations between the designers and the curator. Both innovative and accessible, her work contributes to the foundation of total inclusive and interactive experience of the project.
speechless: different by design is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Support for the exhibition in Atlanta is provided by wish Foundation.
This exhibition is made possible by
Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor
Exhibition Series Sponsors
Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
The Antinori Foundation
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation
Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
Tom and Susan Wardell
Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Marcia and John Donnell
W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole
Robin and Hilton Howell
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Margot and Danny McCaul
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.