Konfirm is a sound work prompted by systematic processes which will be presented in audio and visual metaphor.
Jon Adams's artwork explores sense and sensitivity through the 'hidden' and plays with perceptions of normal and the inaccessible. A geologist by training, Adams’ seeking of the concealed in his art often reveals his naturally systematic thinking: his inclination and ability to uncover systems within everyday interactions and landscapes.
In this residency and research project, Jon Adams set out on a personal, artistic and scientific investigation of his own Asperger's Syndrome, through a series of conversations, observations and experiments, working in collaboration with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, where Adams will have a residency.
Rather than a specific pathology, Baron-Cohen sees autism as being on a continuum in the general population. He proposes that certain features of autistic people - ‘obsessions’ and repetitive behaviour - previously regarded as purposeless, are conversely highly purposive, intelligent (hyper-systemising), and a sign of a different way of thinking. He argues that high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome need not just lead to disability, but can also lead to talent.
This collaborative research project has emerged from an initial meeting between Jon Adams and Simon Baron-Cohen at an Arts Catalyst/Shape project Alternative Ways of Thinking at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2011.
Jon presented his sound work as a performance with accompanying talk at the Arts Catalyst's event space in Clerkenwell.
This collaborative research project has emerged from an initial meeting between Jon Adams and Simon Baron-Cohen at an Arts Catalyst/Shape project Alternative Ways of Thinking: Exploring the Autistic Mind at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2011 and supported by Wellcome Trust Arts Award.
Jon Adams works in a variety of mediums, is a trained geologist and considers himself to to be an ‘Outsider Artist’. Adams has Asperger Syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder) and experiences synaesthesia, a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary responses in a second sense, for example, ‘seeing sounds’. The artist’s work explores sense and sensitivity through the ‘hidden’ and plays with perceptions of normal and the inaccessible.
Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at University of Cambridge and Director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. He has degrees in Human Sciences from New College, Oxford, a PhD in Psychology from UCL, and an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry in London.