Diana Laurel Caramat (Norfolk, VA / Seattle, WA)
Southern Constellations Fellow. February 2019. HD video documentation with sound. Series of participatory workshops with glue polymer, museum collection items, glass jar. Dimensions variable.

Caramat created three sensory-based bodies of work in Social Sensory Stimulation: a video series, a sculptural object, and a social framework for interaction. Designed to accommodate the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum and those with social anxiety, the artist reached out to local communities to encourage interaction with the work to make Elsewhere’s overwhelming environment more accessible. Caramat produced sensory based art objects to then host “Slime Socials” at multiple scales.

The series of ASMR videos prompt audiences to experience the collection outside of the museum through sensory focused experiences. ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) creates soothing tingling sensations for individuals whose bodies are responsive. The videos use color arrangements, expressed tactility through sound, and the artists’ hands to guide audiences in making direct visceral contact with museum collection. The art and facilitated interactions use visual, sound, and direct personal attention to elicit soothing sensations.

Museum collection objects were mined within a primary color scheme as it’s the most soothing color palette for the artist and folks who they personally know on the spectrum. These colors are also present in the Philippines flag, where the artist was born. Caramat concentrated on objects that would work well with slime: a glue polimer turned into a safe, tactile, and pliable compound. Two gallons were created into a large custom couture slime jar. Individuals were invited to socially experience the process and contribute to the making of the slime. The jar encapsulates parts of the collection and the interaction of the project in a glittery and colorful celebration near Elsewhere’s kitchen community calendar. It’s available to any future artist-in-residence who intends to use it in a social context.

The social context of the work comes through sensory based playshops, or “Slime Socials” that occur during the making of the slime with curated facilitation. A large scale social is something between a party and fine art installation with the artist acting as a professional facilitator— this style social was used to engage with museum visitors. A small scale social was also developed during the residency: a mobile mini social in which miniature custom slime packs are gifted for individual personal use. The prototype of this Mini Slime Social lives beside the large jar of slime and can be used by anyone visiting the museum.

Project In Response To: The Kitchen Commons, Co-Lab

Video documentation of artist facilitating “Slime Social” at opening exhibition. Video credit: Amelia Nura


Process

Documentation of ASMR video production and “Slime Social.” Photo Credit: Amelia Nura