Audiologist recommended googling “communication tactics” and here is one result: Communication strategies when talking to individuals with hearing loss
Choose your environment
Some environments are much easier for communication for people with hearing loss. Here are some things you can do to ensure the environment is perfect for communication:

  • Make sure the room has enough lighting. People with hearing loss often rely upon lip reading, facial expressions and gestures to supplement their remaining hearing and improve communication.
  • Pick a place that has minimum background noise. Though our ears and brain are able to filter out background noise in most situations, people with hearing loss often have a very difficult time hearing over excessive noise.
  • If you will be in a group setting, choose a location – or if you’re at a restaurant, a round table – where the person with hearing loss will have visual access to everyone’s faces to facilitate better communication.

Here are a few examples of using the above tips to pick an appropriate environment for communication:

  • If you’re planning a dinner out, pick a restaurant that you know has ample lighting, does not play music and has decent acoustics. Choose a restaurant that you have been to before, where you know the noise levels do not get too loud. Another good tactic is to select an off-time: Rather than having dinner at 7 p.m. on Friday or Saturday night – the busiest dinner hours – opt instead for a late lunch or early dinner, between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. when restaurants are likely to be the least busy.
  • During a group gathering at your home, if you’d like to have a conversation with a friend or family member with hearing loss, invite him or her to speak in a different, quieter room. Turn off the TV and any other sources of noise.

Tips for communicating
Here are some great things you can do to help facilitate better conversations and include someone with hearing loss:

  • Make sure to keep your mouth uncovered. Don’t talk through a yawn or while chewing gum. This distorts your lip movements and makes it difficult for someone with hearing loss to speech read.
  • Don’t speak from another room or when your back is turned to the person.
  • Sit or stand close to the person with hearing loss, but not so close that he or she can’t easily switch focus between maintaining eye contact and speech reading.
  • If the person with hearing loss hears better in one ear, take note of that and try to speak more toward their right or left side.
  • Before starting a conversation, say the person’s name so you can get his or her attention.
  • When giving specific information, like an address or time for a meeting, write the important information down or ask the person to repeat the specifics to you so you can make sure you got them right.
  • Pay attention to the listener’s cues. People with hearing loss sometimes feel embarrassed or get tired of asking others to repeat themselves or clarify. If the person looks a bit puzzled, find a tactful way to ask if he or she understood you.
  • In group settings, make sure to avoid speaking over each other.
  • Don’t talk about a person with hearing loss as if she or he isn’t there. Instead, talk directly to that person and do your best to use the above and below tactics.

Communication repair strategies
Sometimes, there will be a breakdown in communication. Here are some things that you can do to get back on track for successful conversation with your friend, family member or colleague:

  • Speak at a normal level. Sometimes it’s tempting to speak too loudly to someone with hearing loss, but this can distort the words.
  • Provide the topic of conversation or key word to someone having difficulty understanding, especially if there has been a topic change.
  • Spell a tricky word. For people with hearing loss, many consonants sound the same, which can trigger misunderstanding. Write it out on paper if necessary.
  • Use gestures if they might help.
  • Speak more slowly, but still clearly.
  • Rephrase what you have said.
  • Shorten your sentences and use less complex phrasings.
  • Change environments if the location is giving you problems.
  • Ask the listener what he or she needs you to do to facilitate better communication in the event of a break down.


I’ve been thinking about absence or opposite of dialogue.

Antonyms are: quiet; silence; monologue; soliloquy (talking to yourself).

A dialogue that isn’t a dialogue is talking to someone who isn’t listening or present in the conversation. That dialogue would be a monologue.


Soliloquy: an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present (often used as a device in drama to disclose a character’s innermost thoughts).

Etymology: from Late Latin sōliloquium a talking to oneself.

Primarily used of theater, particularly the works of William Shakespeare, as a term of art, particularly for finely-crafted speeches. An archetype is the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy in Hamlet. In informal speech or discussions of popular culture, the term monologue is used instead. However, the terms are not precisely synonymous; a monologue is held in the presence and directed towards other characters on the stage, whereas a soliloquy does not acknowledge the presence of any other stage characters if present, and is directed to the audience.

So this blog would be a monologue intended for an audience rather than a soliloquy.

Maybe this series of works where I was playing with the ideas of mono/dialogue might be more in the realm of soliloquy.


I was asked by my previous University to write a short blurb about my time there studying for my Masters and send some photos for their Alumni feature. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on my time there and the impact it’s made. Although dialogue is an essential part of life and practice, particularly collaborative practice that has spanned my career, my specific interest in dialogue as practice really stemmed from my rubbish research and ‘Talking Rubbish” which I developed during my Masters.

Today I looked back at old photos of Supermarket Art Fair 2014 in Stockholm where I launched my Rubbish Newspaper and reflected back on the conversations with other artists and visitors there. I looked at the photos from my Museum of Contemporary Rubbish solo show at Venn Projects in Blackpool where I first ‘performed’ Rubbish Conversations as an informal, unstructured conversation with preview visitors about rubbish (2014).

Even further back than that when I first set up the Museum of Contemporary Rubbish (2010) for my work for Barnaby Art Market which I co-curated as part of Contents May Vary, the market stall exchanges I made with people were centred on dialogue and their value judgements and perceptions of their own and my studio rubbish (brown paper bags and inside out boxes).

Before the Museum of Contemporary Rubbish, I made Limited Edition Change for £5 (remains of a holepunched £5 note) and exchanged them for object or money of equivalent worth involving a dialogue, an exchange.

Antifreeze (2009) Manchester. Photo courtesy of Steve Lilley.

The holepunching and ideas of value can be traced all the way back to 2004 when I first holepunched a fiver and calculated the value of the ‘chads’ would by £1.77.

And holepunching wasn’t limited to money. I holepunched a book called The Rocks Remain in 2003 and made some book works and returned to these images in 2009 and made the video Static which won an award at the 2009 Toronto Urban Film Festival (Best Urban in Idea Award).

This is also around the time where my interest in language and fragmented langauge began to develop as well. I had a mini residency in the exhibition space at Bates Mill where I had a studio, in the lead up to a group exhibition there (the first Temporary Art Show, which led onto Temporary Art Space six month gallery project at the Piece Hall). Temporary Art Show was where I first stamped Blah Blah Blah on the walls which I’ve since turned into an audio piece Blah Blah Blah (2010) and performed it as a duet with Lucy Simm for Girlcott at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2018.

Tracing these interests back and how they’ve manifested and continue to manifest is a really valuable process to indulge in. It reminds me of the inspirations and the contexts they have manifested in and the processes that have shaped the development of the works. Often it’s having an exhibition context to showcase work in that pushes something into a new direction. Sometimes it’s having studio time to play around with materials and ideas. Both of these aspects are ciritical to my practice.

The first batch off offcuts I collected from Bridge Rectifier (see previous post) look like letter/symbol cut outs. Perhaps this was what drew me to them intially when I saw them in the offcut tray (the lasercuter’s bin). This duality of relationship to language combined with being rubbish is a perfect combination!



I took the kids to a lasercutting workshop at Bridge Rectifier in Hebden Bridge. They designed their own door plaque and learned about the lasercutting process. They had lots of questions and learned out lasercutting hands on through the making.

In the chat afterwards (these interesting, serendipitous, liminal dialogue) one of the members there Matt mentioned that it’s a shame there have to throw away the offcuts without having an idea of what to do with them… Did I mention I work with rubbish? I asked. (We know each other a bit from Art Lab but not sure I’ve said about my rubbish obsession when he’s been there before). Please could I collect all your offcuts to play around with in my studio? They have generously agreed to collect them for me and when I’m back in the studio in September I have some new rubbish to work with!


I had another doctors appointment today for an ongoing but undiagnosed issue. Doctors deal with the patient’s medical ailments and biology but they must do so primarily through dialogue with the patient. Their dialogue skills are highly trained. Listening to patients and understanding them is crucial to their work in diagnosing and treating. This dialogue is a specific hierarchy of doctor and patient where the doctor is the expert in medical knowledge but the patient is the expert of their own body and their dialogue is to achieve the outcome of diagnosis and treating according to the patient’s wishes. There is a diagnostic process to follow of ruling things out and this involves a series of questions and tests. Like in an interview situation where the answer to one question might result in altering the course of the conversation, a medical consultation starts of at the basics and follow a checklist of questions which might add a tangential checklist or might divert to another checklist based on the dialogue. The patient may also have questions about the tests, expectations, prognosis. The information exchange is two way and the current policy is patient-centred, informed choice.

Today’s dialogue resulted in an xray.