My earliest memory of adaptive communication and language play is of one spring when I was 4 or 5, and not knowing its rightful name, called a cardinal a ‘red jay’ after the more prominent blue jay variety. I remembered this years later while studying in Germany, where beginning a new language left me communicationally inept with a proficiency even less than a toddler’s. Turning to wordplay for creative and adaptive support, I was able to hold fast to a vocabulary of basic words and phrases while gradually bridging the divide between English and the language of my peers.

Another bird-related anecdote: ‘trauben’ in German means ‘grapes’, while ‘tauben’ refers to pigeons-- one would think it easy to remember which drink you shouldn’t order in a restaurant or offer to a friend.

I continue to work specifically through language play, conceptually infusing everyday words, staple idioms and popular culture with deadpan humor, logic games and purposeful misunderstanding. Through drawing, collage, altered books and a variety of printmaking rich in text and open interpretation I strive to invoke the kind of creative communication and potential in misunderstanding I found most compelling living abroad, thus expressing language’s absurd to poetic spectrum of definition and the subjective, and encouraging such alternate perspectives for how to both further understand our world and communicate with those around us.





















                                                                    BRAD THIELE 2017


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