To Stim

Niels Otterman

Keywords: Autism, Neurodiversity, Stimming

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'To Stim' is an exploration on the distinction between intentional and unintentional movements as well as their social restrictions. Since I was young I’ve been making stimulating repetitive movements (stims) to manage emotional response, such as joy or anger or as a self-protective reaction to sound and light overexposure. These movements vary from rocking the body, fluttering the hands, to making oral noises. If I were to make these movements in pubic, people could react in a dismissive, uncomfortable or distant manner. Through this project I draw a difference between physical freedom of movement and social freedom of movement. The fact that I can only stim at my place, is the result of a lack of social freedom of movement.

Investigating the boundary between intentional and unintentional movements, the work examines the limits of humanity and the uncanny.