½ RIGHT Image


By David Finkelstein | November 5, 2008

“½ right” is one of a series of short videos Darrin Martin has made exploring his experience of lost and distorted hearing from ear damage. An inset square shows the back of Martin’s head, headphones on, as he takes an ear test. The doctor reads words to him which he is supposed to repeat back. (The words appear as written text at the bottom of the screen.) As the test goes on, he gets more and more of the words wrong, and we can feel his anxiety increasing. Superimposed on this image are floating icons like the cursors and other symbols you see on a computer screen, seeming to represent the words that Martin is trying to decipher.

The soundtrack includes oscillating tones such as one might hear in a hearing test. As the test continues and Martin has more and more difficulty, the overall image becomes an increasingly complex college of colors, lines, and abstract forms, which seem to express not only the anxiety caused by the test, but also the increasingly altered state into which Martin’s hearing problem is pushing him, an alternative mode of perception which this experience makes available to him. As in the other videos in this series, Martin is effectively turning his experience of distorted perception into a source of inspiration to create complex and beautiful composition of color, form and sound.

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