A Collaborative, Interactive Sound/Light Sculptural Story Wall:
BODY SCULPTURE NARRATIVES through Linda Stein’s The Fluidity of Gender



In this encounter, students, using The Fluidity of Gender: Sculpture by Linda Stein (FoG) as a departure point to explore identity and protection through the creation of a body sculpture and incorporate sound and light interactivity as well as an accompanying voice narrative.This encounter provides a way to visually represent an answer to the question, “What story do I want to share about protection?

Central Focus

This encounter captures the universal experience of all people who have used their own “armor” to hide something or to protect themselves. Sometimes the protection may only a façade used to survive and get ahead; sometimes it may be a cover used to hide pain and resentment at being treated unfairly.

Through making their own body sculpture and telling their own story, students will have the opportunity to define aspects of their identities to highlight as well as aspects of their identity to conceal. Sharing their body sculpture provides a way for students to express themselves in their own way as well as a way to counter the labels or stereotypes others may have placed on them.

STE(ARTS)M learning is incorporated into empowering, social justice themes. STEM learning tends to foster left-brain convergent thinking – one best answer. The Arts disciplines tend to foster right-brain divergent thinking – many ‘right’ answers. In this lesson we combine these ways of thinking.

Learning Goals

  1. Students will learn about artist Linda Stein’s art and her exhibition The Fluidity of Gender
  2. Students will apply the idea of protection to the self and interpret aspects of their complex identities– what they want to present to others and what aspects they want to conceal. 2A. Each Student or in Pairs with create a Visual Collaged Reference Board for Brainstorming-including cut outs of favorite super heroes, favorite song lyrics they listened to during moments when then needed to feel protected or song lyrics that helped motivate them to protect/stand up for themselves, brave role models, pics of people that are important in their life- to help validate their emotions.
  3. Students will create visual symbols that represent aspects of their self with or without text.
  4. Students will create a body sculpture by casting a part of their own body.
  5. Students will create and record their own sounds, a series of short 10 sec sounds/noise/body movement choosing either a) what it sounds like when you have to protect yourself (like an alarm/ fast heartbeat/intensifying breathing) or b) what it sounds like when you are unable to protect yourself or someone you care about- These sounds can be layered into a final narrative in which students tell their own story by recording it, editing it, and transferring it to be used as an interactive part of their artwork as a touch point to animate sound.
  6. Students will learn about interactivity and the role of sound and light in enhancing experiences with art through discussion and visual examples.
  7. Students will learn basic circuitry and conductivity using LED lights and tiny lily microprocessors as well as touchboard for incorporating sound to their artwork.

Mode of Assessment and Communicating Feedback

Students will keep a Journal that will allow facilitators and students to read and write comments to journals/ start additional written conversations to help validate the students authentic and honest aspects of any personal narratives they are willing to share/ bring to this project– each worksheet / art work viewed/ discussed will be glued into the journals

Materials for body sculpture making, including (but not limited to):

  • Journal
  • packing tape (lots),
  • vinyl adhesive (assorted colors) printer shops usually have scraps to give,
  • student-generated text, images, and symbols,
  • scissors and/or exacto knives
  • bare conductive touchboard: https://www.bareconductive.com/shop/touch-board/
  • twisty wire
  • coin cell batteries and holders
  • LED lights
  • switches
  • tiny lilies for light function available at https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10899
  • Speakers
  • USB Plug (for connecting touchboard to an electrical outlet)
View “Body Sculpture Narrative” lesson plan

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