My overall aim is to refine ideas concerning the developing immersive sensorium (and what is most appropriate for Ben and Nathalie) and also to be ambitious as possible in moving toward a further potential version of the Sensorium. To do this I need to learn more from Ben and Nathalie, this will come from the staff and the results of their weekly missions and from my own developing work and ideas. Everything feeds into the developing work. Its important that the work keeps moving forward, to avoid stagnation.
It is also very important to keep working at Cherry Road I feel as I always learn something new about Nathalie and Ben.
Working with Bobs assistant Anna is also very helpful as her observations on both Nathalie and Ben are insightful in offering another point of view.
Much of the work, is in knowing what point of view to follow as there are so many that surround people with disability and my role is to let the voices of Ben and Nathalie speak loudest of all to inform the continuing work. i.e Bob was extremely keen for me to keep working with people directly in the centre as each exposure and use of the equipment helps Nathalie and Ben access new experiences as they learn to control it. Ben’s movements are deliberate and can be observed as such:
13.11.14 Ben was grumpy and in a general bad mood when he entered the space this week but soon cheered up when he was in charge of the joystick, he was the most engaged I’ve seen so far. Did more gentle sounds make him more introspective? Anna thought he was searching for a melody using the joystick, trying to find what he’d heard before. At one point I left the room, during my absence the sound got very loud, so much so Ben actively attempted to turn the sound off. Do the images need to be more patterned to impact upon Ben-yellow white? Bob suggested that a new program could comprise of two balls moving around a screen controlled by a joystick, when they hit, they explode resulting in big sound and colour, this would expand Bens ability to control something external to him.
The joystick that Ben uses to change sound and image also keeps his arm and hand moving, he is motivated to do this through the experiences he enjoys.
Work so far has concerned the engagement of the visual and aural-sight and sound. I want to try some ideas around the vestibular, balance, where the body is in space. Wheel chairs are always level with the ground, what if a system could be made to incorporate ideas of the current sensorium with an hydraulic platform? To start I want to remake the revolving disk to put a wheel chair on and start to work around movement and perception of sound when turning.
Nathalie is a far more subtle person and much more work needs to be done to understand her sensory world. Bob was very keen to try and analyse her movements: are they deliberate or not? Does Nathalie know she is producing sound from the ipad? Last time (6.11.14) she vocalised a lot, Anna thought Nathalie was copying the sounds of Bloom, waiting for the sounds and then copying them vocally. Joan (Nathalies mum) has a key role to play in working with Nathalie at home to see if she reacts in different ways to the same stimulus at home. Try to get inside Nathalies head, what is she sensing? Nathalie needs a different interface, a different touch system than affects sensory change. I need to work out what this is