Introducion by Guido Dettoni
May the four hands shaping the matter become communication between the deafblind person and their intervenors or anyone else? May the tactile shapes become an empathetic approach to the deafblind condition for those who can hear and see? May we learn and discover about ourselves living and sharing an Handsmatter creative process held by deafblind or disabled persons?
I arrived at the conclusion that deafblind persons as well as disabled ones are here to teach us to grow and to be inclusive.
I am referring to the idea that people with disabilities not only can teach us valuable lessons about life but also include in our mindset other visions of being human. This is a common theme in disability studies and is often referred to as the “social model” of disability. According to this model, disability is not an individual problem but rather a social one that arises from the way society is organized. People with disabilities are seen as experts on their own experiences and can teach us about the barriers they face and how to overcome them: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1468017319860216
After experimenting and experiencing the HANDSMATTER process for many years, I proposed it as a working method to be a moment of discovery for the deafblind person at the service of the communication and inclusion of deafblindness.
Deafblind people and their intervenors share within their four hands malleable matter specifically designed for this purpose. The matter softens with the warmth of their hands and the outcoming shape hardens in a cool water basin.
Neither has any conscious intention to do something specific. The four hands intertwine in and with the matter. The intervenor is following and enters a passive state of supporting the process without thinking or observing, sensitive to leaving the other free to continue alone if he or she wishes.
The process may last more than one hour and in the end, we will hold shapes which are like imprints and testimonies of emotions and sentiments experienced in shaping the matter.
During these workshops I discovered and created the Deafblind Shape sculpture.
TEXAS SCHOOL FOR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED
TESTIMONIAL OF CHRIS MONTGOMERY, INTERVENOR
CANADIAN DEAFBLIND ASSOCIATION ONTARIO | long version
CANADIAN DEAFBLIND ASSOCIATION ONTARIO | short version
APPROACH TO HANDSMATTER DEAFBLINDNESS EXPERIENCES
TOUCH PERFORMANCE CAIXAFORUM