Sign Discourse

sign discourseA documentary video, made in collaboration with Haggith Gor-Ziv, exploring the experiences of people living with a hearing disability, and the construction of social identity through gestural language by a group excluded from the mainstream discourse. Sign Discourse consists of approximately 40 min. of talking heads only. However, these talking heads do not talk, they sign, and the sounds they emit as they sign have no intentional signifying power and no correlation to the coded gestures producing the talk. Sound, the arbitrary artifact of sign language, thus creates for the hearing audience—and the hearing are those targeted by the piece — the proximity to the experience of being deaf. We are made to hear our hearing, while we listen or rather watch the Deaf recount, in their language — a language socially positioned below spoken language — the story of growing up, going to school, working and raising kids in a society which excludes them from its own language, and hence, from conversation, from a productive social dialogue.