Demonstrating the importance and uniqueness of sign language, Garage presents a workshop by Douglas Ridloff, a poet and visual storyteller creating original works in Sign Language.
Douglas is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization ASL SLAM—a monthly open mic event in NYC that functions as a space for the Deaf community to creatively play with ASL through poetry performances, improv, games, and storytelling, often spotlighting special guests from around the world to introduce to local communities. As a widely popular platform, ASL SLAM has now also been established as a monthly event in Washington DC, Chicago, and Orlando with Ridloff’s vision and guidance. Recently, Ridloff curated a lineup of sign language performances at the Whitney Museum, the Jewish Museum, SITE Santa Fe, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
This workshop will focus on sign language poetry and its various modalities, covering some of the history of sign language poetry as an expressive form, from its origins as a translation medium, working from English source texts, through its evolution into its own original art form with various genres and styles. Included will be a discussion on the similarities and differences between visual poetry and visual storytelling, as well as methods for identifying those differences whether or not to blend both mediums.
Douglas Ridloff will also cover his own life experiences, and how they led to his participation in ASL SLAM, the non-profit organization he runs. He will give a brief overview and history of ASL SLAM, its impact on the Deaf community, and its mission.
There will then be activities where participants will be able to play with language in a safe space, and create their own poetry. Finally, there will be a Q&A session with the presenter.