The ADHD Experience

My project is a performance/participatory piece, which is designed to look like a mid class restaurant. With this piece, I try to accurately express what a moment in the life of a severe ADHD person is like. More specifically, the focus is on what it is like to have ADHD in a one on one social situation. It mainly consists of a participant engaging in a conversation with another person, while having the voices of different inanimate objects on the table whispering into their ear in a distracting fashion.

When they walk into the small room, the participant will be greeted by another person at the opposite end of the table. It will look like the interior of a semi classy restaurant, complete with place settings and background music. After sitting down and talking with the other person for a little under a minute, the participant will begin to hear faint voices from behind him. The voice will identify itself as the salt shaker sitting in the middle of the table, and it will repeatedly bother the person to fiddle with it. There will be a small pressure plate beneath the salt shaker, and it will continue to distract the participant from the conversation until they begin to fiddle with the shaker. Keep in mind that the voice from the shaker is only audible to the one participant. If the shaker is returned to its holder, the voice will begin to talk to the participant once again. The participant will realize that there is a direct cause and effect relation between being able to concentrate on the conversation and holding the salt shaker.

It is important that the link between the salt shaker and concentration are understood, because that is the main point of relation between the performance and how those who suffer from ADHD go through daily interactions. This media format is very good for delivering my message, because ADHD isn’t something physical, and cannot be expressed through words, only through experience. I believe this is an important issue because very few people in society actually understand what ADHD is, since most of the supposed knowledge about it is just perpetuated social myths.

Video Documentation:

Prototype Video Documentation:


About Connors Eilersen

I am a graduate (BFA) of Ryerson University, and I like to make things, design things, and think things.
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