Charlie Ambery

My art operates in the intersection of form, and as a neurodivergent artist, I am interested in how people with ADHD experience sound, space, accessibility and therapeutic interventions.

My research has involved examining the science that informs these interventions, and I look at the body as the site of experiencing discomfort and sensory processing as a way to cope, creating a different sense of time that reflects a neurodivergent experience or ‘Crip Time’. I create functional work from a starting point of dialectical behavioral therapy and pieces for self-soothing in the form of sensory distress toleration. The notion of ‘self-soothing’ conjures the image of when babies are left to cry instead of being coddled so they can learn to go back to sleep on their own. ASMR is an example of how we coddle ourselves, and finding practices to soothe ourselves is a life-sustained skill.

I strive to make artworks and tools accessible; I write poetry for actors to perform as ASMR, responding to the content used to self-soothe, whilst experimenting with drone synthesises and textiles. My work is exhibited as installations and broadcasted on my show on Slack’s Radio as a way of reducing physical barriers to accessing my work and connecting with distant bodies. Performing as an avatar in a digital world, I am creating a trajectory from space in the real world to immersion in digital fantasy. The pieces aim to replicate the loss of time to distraction, coping and fixation in a specific moment through the audio illusions in traditional ASMR of being taken close care of and the illusion in drone music of an expanding depth of field. Furthermore, I collaborated with theatre companies, architecture, and computer science students to create this work.