Christine Sun Kim and the Charming Deaf Music


Born deaf to hearing parents and a Deaf sister, Christine Sun Kim is a New York artist who claims to unlearn what she calls 'sound etiquette'. Christine believes that Sign Language is a form of music represented through its grammatical parameters.

Christine Sun Kim (photo: Hideto Maezawa / Clubberia)

In August 2015 she was invited to the famous TED conferences, a non-profit organization in the United States that promotes the spreading of innovative ideas. In recent years, TED is disseminating these conferences on the Internet, more than 2,000 conferences that have obtained more than 400 million views in 80 languages. So far, Christine has been the only deaf speaker on TED Fellows and her video has been viewed almost two million times (below in American Sign Language and subtitles in 30 languages):

The Exploration of the Sound

Christine graduated from the University Rochester Institute of Technology and has two Master's Degree: one in Visual Art and one in Sound and Music. Before giving her talk at TED she had already caught the attention of other artists, such as Todd Selby, photographer, blogger and fashion celebrity in the United States, who made a short documentary in which you can see Christine working on her art (video in American Sign Language and English subtitles):

With all her work, what Christine teaches us is that there are other ways of perceiving and expressing sound and music, something she wants to convey to society in her numerous exhibitions, conferences and media interviews.

Christine claims:
In Deaf culture, movement is equivalent to sound.
Deafness does not define my work, but it does inform my practice. It's hard to stay away from the stigma of deafness (and disability) everywhere.
The following video shows hearing visitors interacting with sound in one of their exhibitions. Visitors have to walk at a certain speed by touching a tape suspended in the air with an electronic device in order to hear a voice message... and they seem to be having fun.


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