Listening to “How to Catalogue a Crisis: An Afterward to Lost and Found: Dance, HIV/AIDS, New York, Then and Now (2016)” : Jaime Shearn Coan, iele paloumpis, and Samantha the robot screen reader
March 2, 2020
What you are listening to/might listen to is a recording of a screen reader reading, “How to Catalogue a Crisis: An Afterward to Lost and Found: Dance, HIV/AIDS, New York, Then and Now (2016),” an essay Jaime Shearn Coan wrote for On Curating, for a special issue on curating HIV/AIDS, edited by Ted Kerr. The essay is about the practice of care that emerged for him through the process of editing the catalogue for the Danspace Project Platform 2016: Lost and Found. After Jaime shared the link and the PDF with the Danspace Project Kin and Care research group, iele, a visually impaired dance artist, listened to it on their screen reader. iele talked to us about their experience listening, particularly when it came to negotiating the frequent interruptions caused by the inclusion of the links, which the screen reader labored over, letter by letter. They developed a practice of self-care during those interruptions, checking in with a part of their body. The recording is 34 minutes long, but you can jump in/around wherever/however you like.
Jaime and iele welcome you to listen and to engage in the following prompt if you chose to do so.
As you listen, every time the screen reader begins to read out a link, or experiences a glitch, we invite you to check in with your body. Is there any part of you that’s holding tension? Is there any part of you that’s holding an emotion? Where? What is it like? Be with it for a moment, breathe into it. Return to listening.