Friday, May 23, 2008

"Equilibrium"- journey of a bilateral CI user

Adrean Mangiardi, a bilateral CI User who directed this film, grew up oral but learned ASL when he was a film student at RIT.

Although this film is not in ASL, it is purely visual/symbolic with no dialogue except the end where it is captioned. The film called "Equilibrium" is a great experimental film and shows what it's like being bilateral.

"The purpose of this film is to express the director's perspective on cochlear implants and what's like to wear them. It is focusing on the struggle to balance between the old cochlear implant in the right side vs the new cochlear implant in the left side." (source from D-PAN website,

This film was featured in the PBS documentary, "Through Deaf Eyes", and was featured in March 2007. Congratulations, Adrean!

To watch another film created by Adrean: "Paper Airplane"


RLM said...

I really don't know what to make out of this short film whether it feature the daily frustration of CI user or humanize the existence of CI user.

I would appreciate the following answer. Thanks.

I am really impressed with the quality of film production.

Robert L. Mason (RLM)

AL said...

Interesting video.. What was the sound like on the video if anyone can describe it to me and how it relates to the story itself? Perhaps that will help me understand what the filmmaker was trying to convey about the old v. new CIs, or the difference between one CI and bilateral CIs.

Kim said...

I guess I didn't hear the sound very well either, but what little I heard mostly sounded like "noise." I understood from the visuals he wasn't enjoying the implant because something wasn't quite right, so he had to fix it, and then everything was OK at the end when we saw the captioning. Anyway-- my husband was in the other room and heard it and he said it was the most awful noise he ever heard-- indescribable screeching. He wondered what I was watching. hahaha!

ASL CI Users said...

rlm, we agree with you about the quality of the film production. We are not sure how to interpret this film either but believe that it is simply an artistic film showing how Andren experiences with unilateral and bilateral CIs. Our understanding from an interview with him (featured on another blog) is that he benefits much more with bilateral. I believe there's another website with his bio that may answer your questions:

ASL CI Users said...

There is another film (link will be added in this post) that may help you understand Adrean's background. It's called "Paper Airplane".

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I'm glad to hear good comments about the quality of my film. Thanks to Erik Call, my director of Photography, who also has a BTE cochlear implant.

by the way, i have to admit, after plenty of feedbacks based on the distorted music, more than most of the viewers were able to understand the singer, which wasnt what I wanted. So, I decided to focus on distorting the music in a way that the viewers wouldn't be able to decipher the lyric.

you can view the latest "equilibrium" in this link

Digging deeper into my film, the part where the CIs turn into tools where the new one is a new kind of rubber wrench and the old one is just a classic metal wrench. Its pretty straight forward based on the technology of the CIs. The new one which used to be Auria (left side), was, based through my experience, difficult for me to understand the sound, which was why I distorted the music in a exaggerated way. Additionally, before hearing the music, i included the sound of "connecting" between the external device to the internal device and stretched the horrible screeching sound as if the time slowed down. It was the sound from the forklift scraping against the metal crates. I wanted to express the detail during the connection. Back in the day when i had my first implant, i had so many shocks when I put it on and off. The worst one was when someone bumped it off by accident and got a massive shock through my whole side of my face. But I'm grateful that I don't get a shock anymore. Keep in mind that auria doesnt shock me like that because its new, but i'm just making a point that it did happened occasionally. Plus, i used to show off to my friend where i maximized the volume and whatever the sound comes in, they would see my face twitching. It was amusing.

anyway, I hope my answers help you guys understand the video.

as of now, I'm currently a grad student in the school of the art institute of chicago and the last project I did was focused on synesthesia. I built a chair with installed bass shaker for vibration and shot a video of my point of view of my daily life. The purpose of that project is to present how a ci user might experience life with and without sound and allow the viewers to experience the same as they sit on the chair. there are more work to be done and this will be very challenging. wish me luck guys.