Thank you for entering my studio! My name is Saverio, I am an artist, and I hope you feel welcome here.

Untitled Queen described the accessibility features of the Untitled (World) show as “cool and sexy.” Those words echoed many ideas I was building while thinking of art as an inclusive practice. I am looking at accessibility features as a creative material to produce artworks and artistic experiences. I cannot follow speeches without captions, and I was used to frustrating myself with my language barriers; now, I feel those events are boring and mostly annoying.

I want to work to make cool and sexy art. I am approaching the idea of multi-sensorial artistic experiences, offering more than one access point. Traditional categories in art often refer to the sensory information they offer; I am blending several media to create shared experiences that hopefully will not feel exclusive.

I spent most of the last two years working with collective projects, and this residency will allow me to return to my practice. I am dissecting a common ableist stereotype: able-bodied folks often believe that disabled-bodied folks must have developed some hyper-sensing to compensate and be equally productive in a capitalistic society. What if my hearing loss became a hyper-sight? Or a hyper-smell? What are my superpowers? And yours?

Please leave your comments and questions around,
I will be happy to connect with you!


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Paul B. Preciado, Countersexual Manifesto, 2000.

Pietro Celo interpreting in LIS a quote from Paul B. Preciado’s Countersexual Manifesto.

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Etching #2

Close up of my finger brushing the aluminum plate with a mix of white powder and water. The last polishing step.
After polishing, more polishing.
Close up of copper sulfate crystals, the size of sand but so turquoise that seems wet.
Copper sulfate crystals are of a shiny turquoise, like a breeze in summer dusk after a storm.
The oxidation process of the aluminum plate is bubbling nice and I am not prepared for a sound recording of it.

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Etching #3

Early processing to trace the outlines on the aluminum plate.

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Etching #1

During the last days, I spent quite a lot of energy preparing plates for etching. I am working to prepare a work on paper that will be also a tactile experience, the preparation involves different metals, sanding, and polishing. I am learning how to approach the different surfaces, their acoustic responses, and tensions.

I am curved on a copper plate, secured to a working table with clamps, holding one side firmly with one hand while scraping off the edge with a machinist's file. I am wearing light fabric gloves with rubber palms.
Shaping the edges – bisellature – of the copper plate.
a copper plate and an aluminum one, same sizes on some newspaper. The copper one is more rounded and shiny, the aluminum is sharp edged and opaque.
The plates ready to be polished.
A self portrait in the mirror-like surface of the copper plate right after polishing it, holding my smartphone with two hands, I wanted to document the shape of the plate and its rounded edges.
Very satisfied with the polishing!

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Haptic sounds

Is it possible to separate our thinking of sound from the ear? If the ear is not experiencing all of the sonic spectra how can be understood that the human body and the cyborg body can be resonators, captivating vibrations that communicate sounds through a distributed nervous system? I am looking at the digital devices that we are using in our daily life and all of those have a “silent mode” turning sounds into haptic responses. Little bells grayed out logo or crossed out speakers. Still, those feel loud, vibrating, calling for our attention.

Close up of my left hand, open, palm up. I drawn my left ear in the middle of the palm with a special tattoo-ink, and then covered with a foil to protect the ink while absorbing.
There are a lot of tiny details that I can see trough the foil but I did not photograph properly, sadly all of this turned in a stained stamp-looking effect very quickly.

Understanding the sound beyond the ear made me think of disappearance at first. Then I started to reposition my ears on the other parts of my body where I am experiencing sound. Exposing ears all over our skin to remind each other that is not only the tympanic membrane that understands sonic space. Ears all over the body, it is a cyborg’s proposal.

My cat is sniffing closely my left hand, curious about the temporary tattoo.
My cat love to sniff the ink, between companion spaces we both enjoy the plant based liquid. I can feel the breathing and the purring, those are bright sounds.

I am quite unhappy with the first sketches but I wanted to be transparent with the process, I am going to work with different outlines.

Close-up of my left hand, palm up. The ink developed properly and it is quite dark on my white skin. My left ear is recognizable but not sharp as I was planning to.
I will work on a different drawing, the ink lines expanded and the drawing looks more like a stamp rather than an outline. Left me disappointed with the final result, will work more on this soon.

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Mixed feelings (working title).

This is a proposal for a podcast series conceived as a meeting point for non-hearing and hearing communities. It can be seen as an attempt to open space to communities that have been excluded since the early development of radiophonic transmission and long-distance voice-based communications. While writing these notes, I cannot stop ruminating about the historical intertwining between the invention of voice-based long-distance communications and the efforts that some of its pioneers dedicated to affirming education models today described as oralism and their eugenics roots. Another stream destabilizes my thinking, its banks I try to summarise as an understanding of progress impossible to tear apart from a general cult of profit and its pervasive spread controlling mass media. I have memories of radio broadcasting being dismissed in my childhood as a historical heritage in favor of television. Now that the internet has created a favorable momentum for digital radio, I must admit that the absence of advertisements relieves me. Nevertheless, my comfort is often unaware of hidden profiling techniques, whose consequences we experience beyond marketing purposes in unprecedented political persuasion.

Is it possible to imagine a podcast, a digital radio, as a welcoming place to share and an enjoyable zone where the agency of the community is perceived outside the systematic targeting of consumers? And how should this place be? I must write that I am feeling many biases while formulating a proposal from my subjective position to imagine a collating space for communities that have been systematically separated during the consolidation of liberalism’s political imaginaries. I can only find myself on an experiential threshold between hearing and non-hearing communities, with an unbalance toward the hearing group having received only an oral education. Somehow I hope this idea will be seeded by collaborative thinking, crumbling this early individuality exercise and taking it to a format that feels more representative of both communities involved.

Please allow me to approach world-building in radiophonic space as an embodied methodology, for the now, starting from the user’s access needs. A radio station conventionally offers a stereo channel audible mix, and the mixer is in the hand of the producer. I am suggesting offering part of it to the folks that will tune in; this digital radio can be a six channels stream with: 

1 – music stream;

2 – metadata stream, with lyrics, info on the tracks, and descriptive captioning;

3 – oral-based broadcast;

4 – oral full transcript and captions;

5 – sign language based streaming;

6 – sign language full transcript/captions.

I see the imbalance in my proposal where four channels are reserved for creating access-centering oral and hearing-controlled discourse; as anticipated, I am preparing to rework this in the context of a collaborative thinking exercise, inviting d/Deaf broadcasters to articulate this idea better. I can imagine a parallel sign-language-based channel for streaming poetry and storytelling and experimental artistic expression, but I am not taking authority to define a sign-language space; I only feel how much this is needed, along with captions and transcripts to make these contents accessible to the non-signing audience.

Until now, this proposal encompasses a technical format because it aims to dismantle the ableist power of a technologically exclusive medium. I feel this operation is valuable only in the context of curating practices that aim to address ableist circuits of power. I suggest looking at the “working definition of ableism” published and updated on Talila A. Lewis’ blog and “developed in community with disabled Black/negatively racialized folk.” TL helps us see ableism beyond the disabled community, within a proper intersectional approach that is a much-needed filter to explore solidarity around the curatorial thinking of contents to share in this broadcast. As mentioned at the beginning of this proposal, this radiophonic space can exist only if a collaborative thinking exercise happens. I hope this exercise will produce a curatorial kinship in preparing each chapter that does not repeat the usual and unnecessary institutional pledge of creating access to interpreting unidirectionally created content. This is extremely important to me, and I hope it resonates with the title of this proposal. “Mixed feelings” is also underling the necessity of a choral practice where dissonance must be welcome, operating an attunement that does not seek homologations nor blanket agreements.

I hope I will soon have the chance to tune in to a music stream while reading captions from a signing artist, exploring thresholds that aim to bring solidarity across existing cultural barriers.

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A choreography for oscillators #1

Sculpting different sinewaves, I am using only a few modules of this huge modular synthesizer! I am only trying to move the speaker’s cone quietly.
I am using a patch build only with an oscillator running at the lowest frequency with a low-pass filter before going to the mixer.

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Abandoning “visual arts”

I had some exchanges about my work lately, which made me think a lot about the language we use. I feel it is essential to avoid using categories like “visual art” because the comfort zone these words secure is rooted in some profoundly excluding average agreement. Whenever we repeat “visual arts,” we are not communicating any precious information about the artistic practice or the subject of the research; we create a perimeter that bond a conventional understanding of sensing with the privilege of having access to the specific creative experience. It feels like an exclusive category that only announces who will be admitted to the experience of art.

I doubt that the normative understanding of our senses in most European languages is exhaustive so that we can define artistic experiences with those words. The long literary exercises we regard as ekphrasis express this struggle to translate the senses. There must be more if so much effort has been put into describing the experience of a painting in words or music beyond a simple equation of the normative understanding of the sensing.

Two sketches and a photo of my left ear, layered on a whiteboard. A cyborg's ear is made of hearing aid and a piercing.
Sketches for a cyborg’s ear, 2022.

Most of us are familiar with feeling the sound in haptics. It happens with low frequencies and subwoofers, our stomach and lower belly eat the frequencies, and our breath becomes a continuum with the sonic frequencies. I am sketching ideas to explore the thresholds of the sonic experience, the visual, and the haptic. I am looking for the uncanny territory where I am not finding the right words to describe the knowledge that is materializing; a questioning space where allegories may comfort us and doubts may guide our un-learning.

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