Wechsler: Online Performance and Screening by Steacy Easton
September 3, 2020, 7:00-9:00 pm
Performance (via Instagram live)
Hamilton Artists Inc. and Factory Media Centre are pleased to present a special project by Hamilton-based artist Steacy Easton. Please note that this event is a durational performance. Feel free to tune in and watch for as long as you’d like! The performance will be followed by a short Q&A period.
An online screening will be held on both Hamilton Artists Inc., and Factory Media Centre’s websites from September 3-October 5, 2020. A film screening on Factory’s street-facing window will be on view from September 7-October 5, 2020, visible every evening from 6-10pm.
The Wechsler is a test that is given to people with problems recognizing and reconstructing patterns, including those on the autism spectrum. There is a set of coloured blocks. An interloper shows you a pattern on a sheet of cards. You are supposed to repeat the pattern in a short amount of time. The closer you get to the time in matching, the closer you are considered to neurotypicality.
The video depicts me attempting to finish the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, showing just my hands in the process of making the first pattern. It was supposed to take me a minute to finish the first pattern on the Wechsler, it took me 8. There are more than a dozen patterns on the Wechsler, I am curious about how long it would take me to finish more than one of them. The performance I am planning will be an extension of the video work I made in 2016.
In the words of Samuel Beckett, “Fail, fail again, fail better.” By making my own blocks and not paying attention to the time, I attempt to define autism through its resistance to the space of the clinic. The video too is limited by time and so it kind of abstracts itself. I wonder about continuing the practice: burlesquing the clinic, or refusing the isolating potential of video. To claim a kind of autistic aesthetic against the clinic, by using the tools of the clinic explicitly.
Steacy Easton is a writer, curator and artist. They have written for both academic and popular productions, including for Spin, National Post, Pitchfork, and others. Their art has been shown in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Chicago, and is in the collection of the library of the National Gallery of Canada. They are the 2021 Martha Street Studio Printmaker in Residence.
This program is part of Hamilton Artists Inc.’s special projects stream, implemented by the NEW Committee. Special Projects are activities that do not take the form of regular exhibitions. They can be one-off performances, zines, posters, screenings, workshops, community events, digital platforms, outdoor projects in our courtyard, site-specific interventions, off-site projects, or other similarly unique initiatives.