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I am the open feeler who feels too much
— Adam Wolfond

S/Pace

This exhibition film installation accompanies work with Adam regarding S/Pace where Adam explores his relation with rhythm, and space. Pace is the way Adam says he “answers” space - of tapping toys and waving sticks, or tapping them on his wrist. Adam declares that “I can see the blast of the whole not like you” and that the visual field is always moving. Waving sticks and tapping/squeezing rubber bath toys are as visually pleasing as much as self-adaptive in order to move and transition through space itself. Adam writes:

The body is always having movements and I am mobile having objects with me all the time. Boy needs objects to move. I see the objects and focus on assembled parts in the environment like a house and not the door and because I don’t see the door I manage by doing lots of amazing things like pacing my movements to the same way as my assistants. I see the whole but not the same whole as other people. They are not able to see the blast of the whole like I do. They can see the school but I can see everything gathering in the hallway moving; the forging movements of movement. Van Gogh is not like how I see but I manage moments of movement like a painter who is landing the boy’s thoughts and perceptions.

A collaboration with myself, artist Ellen Bleiwas and filmmaker, Eva Kolcze, Adam explores his relation with sticks and rubber bath toys as they “answer” the space or the pace of “fast talkers.” Ticcing as a way to feel the world denotes proprioceptive diversity as Adam notes that,

[h]ands other than legs space good feelings because my hands are the name of mastery other than the legs. The away feeling is hard to manage, and the hands are the way I can walk. The away feeling is the way of naming the way my legs feel and I do not feel them. I want you to understand that I am always trying to feel.

Adam alludes to what Arakawa and Gins name vitality, a way of spacing space that is not self-same as in walking with legs. Madeline Gins noted that “in order for something to be thought of, or for an object to be perceived, something (some event) will need to be adhered to, no matter how briefly” (Gins, 1994, 10). She uses the term to “cleave” as to adhere to, and simultaneously “be cut apart” (9). “How do I move? I can only move by eating up or dissolving where I am. I (anyone) pull in with a bright gulp what is to come next (10-11). When the hesitating, ticcing, the body also seeks to land towards its next move. “What happens to your position when I move, when I move a wall, or change the angle of the floor? What happens when the sidewalk always feels it is moving? (Ibid). In the hesitation, the tic, the wave of the stick, the tap of the toy, Adam cleaves and prepares to move forth. “I can feel my arms and legs but not the ground beneath my feet,” he writes. Adam writes towards a leaky sense of self in the world, a “thinking-feeling through a body that is always moving” (Adam); a way of becoming. Where Arakawa and Gins experiment with bodies in space as a form of vitality (of life-living) “to reconfigure oneself so that you can stay alive ongoinginly” (16), Adam’s vitality is through movement in relation - as hands, twirls, tics, taps and even my hand on his back to initiate movement when he cannot. Adam:

Ticcing through the world is like touching it… I feel the world too much so open bothersome work is to feel inside pandering to language. The work is to feel the world that is touching me.

This is neurodivesity as relation.

Reference:

Madeline Gins. Helen Keller or Arakawa. Burning Books, 1994.