Q&A with Resident Beth Brokhaus

Beth Brokhaus.jpeg

What do you find alluring about your medium?

I’ve always been drawn to film. It’s the ability to tell a story or document an event in compelling visual scenery. Think of your favorite film. What is it about it that makes it your favorite? The first time I saw The Sound of Music I fell in love with it. The songs, the sweeping shots of the rolling hills, and the love story that pulls you in. I couldn’t imagine a better medium to work in.


What capacities does it offer that complements your project?

The goal of Impaired is to allow the viewer to experience hearing loss through the visual story of those that have experience with it. For a person with hearing disability the visual becomes of the upmost importance because depending on the severity of the disability the individual might not be able to take in all the sound.


In what ways do you hope/expect 212 will help to develop your work?

What I was hoping from 212 is exactly what they’ve given me. They’ve provided a space I can step into and shed the expectation and distractions of everyday life, a mentor to help guide me along, and art community that I’ve had been lacking.


Part of the 212 program is that you are assigned a mentor who will help guide you as you develop your project. What excites you about working with a mentor? Do you have any anxieties about it? How do you imagine it will affect your progress? 

I’m incredibly excited to be working with Jack C. Newell, he has an incredible body of work and experience and I’m looking forward to his advice and direction. I think any opportunity you get to learn from someone that has had success in your field is a fruitful opportunity. It’s important to open yourself up to new processes and perhaps look at things from a newly learned perspective.


In what ways do you think working in a shared space with other residents/artists will affect your process?

I don’t think it will affect it at all, I think it will enhance it. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a local art community so I’m looking forward to interacting with creative and artistic minded people. 


Disability is a complex topic with many different ways to approach it. What facets of hearing disability are you planning on exploring/addressing with Impaired? What structures/techniques are you planning to use in addressing these different things. 

Yes, Impaired is a documentary that focuses on hearing disabilities but the core of the story lies in the people who are living with these disabilities and how hearing aids and proper devices affect there lives. It’s those stories and issues that will hopefully foster a connection between the viewer and subject and hopefully facilitate change.