Look at Helen Keller: New Aesthetic Possibilities from Assistive Technologies for the Blind and Deaf in the Post-Lingual Age

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Aesthetics, Semiology, Art

Presentation Title:

  • Look at Helen Keller: New Aesthetic Possibilities from Assistive Technologies for the Blind and Deaf in the Post-Lingual Age

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • I originally gave this paper a year ago in Los Angeles for a panel on the topic of a “post-lingual” society. For me, the phrase “post-lingua” is an intriguing one. It plays with the idea that human communication and culture has progressed linearly from a primitive use of voice, through the age of literacy, into our current technological and graphical age. This is an age in which the word –in the form of speech act and text –is stripped of its referent and serves as fodder for the image in print, film, and electronic media. The “post-lingual” age is an age in which gatekeepers of proper culture and communication rail against youngsters’ inabilities to read or speak correctly –replaced, so it seems, with sophisticated appetites for mashed-up TV and music and superpowers reserved for Playstation 2. The fear is that we’re setting up our species for an evolutionary turn by which our tongues will disappear from lack of use –marking our time as “after the tongue.”

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