Saturday 2/18 from 9:00am-6:00pm (EST) | Friday 2/24 from 12:00pm-9:00pm (EST)
Art, Gender, and Disability: Aesthetics of Access
The Feminist Art Project’s Days of Panels at the College Art Association 111th Conference
Zoom & In-person | Free and open to the public. Funded by the FORD FOUNDATION.
TFAP’s Aesthetics of Access sessions parts 1-5 will be presented in-person at the New York Hilton Midtown (Trianon Ballroom, 3rd floor) on February 18, 2023 from 9:00am – 6:00pm EST (masks required) with the option to watch virtually. Parts 6, 7 & 8 will be hosted virtually on February 24, 2023 from 12:00pm – 9:00pm EST.
Check back for TFAP VIRTUAL REGISTRATION LINKS in JANUARY. Click here to receive an email alert when registration goes live.
* CAA CONFERENCE ATTENDEES: TFAP’s Aesthetics of Access virtual panels are hosted by the Rutgers Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities and NOT on the CAA conference platform. Separate registration is needed to join.
Forthcoming – PRESS RELEASE | FLYER
Convener | Tatiana Flores, Rutgers University
Chairs | Amanda Cachia, PhD, Otis College of Art and Design; California State University Long Beach and Constantina Zavitsanos, New School
The TFAP@CAA 2023 Days of Panels will be accessible. Admission is free, CAA conference registration not required. All sessions will be in English. Professional audio description, ASL interpreters and Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided, and the in-person portion of the event will be live-streamed. Both the in-person and virtual sessions will be recorded and will be made available on the TFAP website. Attendees should contact TFAP with any specific access needs and/or questions two weeks in advance. The New York Hilton Midtown is accessible with elevators and ADA accessible restrooms.
Description – Art, Gender, and Disability: Aesthetics of Access
How do the complex identity categories of gender and disability productively intersect with contemporary art? The Feminist Art Project’s 2023 Days of Panels will explore a new paradigm in feminist and contemporary disability art praxis, which points towards the concept of an “aesthetics of access.” In the introduction to her edited volume, Feminist Disability Studies, scholar Kim Q. Hall begins by pointing out the connection between disability studies and gender studies – namely that disability nor gender are irreducible to bodily impairment or biological sex. Other characteristics that define and unite both marginal identity categories include notions of bodies out of control, bodies being disciplined, and bodies being oppressed. Both disability studies and gender studies pose the question: how can our bodies break out of these restrictive categories to consider more empowered representations?
In 2010, disability studies scholar Tobin Siebers published his ground-breaking book, Disability Aesthetics. Siebers’ work traced a history of the representation of the disabled body throughout art history, suggesting that disability was always already present in art, but never acknowledged or theorized as such by art historians. Siebers’ thinking was grounded in analyzing often problematic representations of disability. However, in the contemporary moment, artists are no longer confined to representations. Instead, artists turn to more sensorial approaches to artmaking by deploying an “aesthetics of access.” Within this methodological framework, artists use the materials of access – audio descriptions, captions, tactile objects, sign language and transcripts – as subject matter for their work, moving away from image-first projects, whilst simultaneously considering the access needs of their audience. Similarly, access as it applies to gender studies also means equal participation to resources and opportunities. The panels collectively explore these ideas, and individually focus on captions as content, choreographing gender and disability, prostheses and cyborgs, and feminist caring collaboratives.
Forthcoming – PRESENTER ABSTRACTS AND BIOS
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 | 9:00am – 10:30am EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 1 – A Letter to the Translator
Opening with welcome remarks from Tatiana Flores, Amanda Cachia, and Constantina Zavitsanos, Part 1 features a Keynote by artist Jesse Darling. Based in London and Berlin, their sculptures, drawings and objects reflect the vulnerability of the human body and express the desire to resist the constraints imposed on our lives by social and political forces.
Jesse Darling, Artist | The Feminist Art Project 2023 Keynote Address
*30 minute break.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 | 11:00am – 12:30pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 2 – Media Access and Artistic Practice
This panel looks at how captions, alt-text, and audio description are part of critical access practices that aim to make visual and auditory content more accessible to people who are d/Deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, low vision, neurodivergent, and/or have certain cognitive disabilities. These practices are often approached in a dry and compliance-oriented way. How can we instead approach them creatively? How do creative approaches to access find common ground with access practices as it relates to gender? Panelists have been considering these questions through their individual artistic practices, their advocacy work in disability community, and their collaborative work.
Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat, Artists | Reflections on 4 Years of Alt Text as Poetry
Jordan Lord, Artist | Polyvocal Narration: Collaborative Audio Description and Captioning
Krishna Washburn, Artist | How It Feels: Audio Description for Dance and Movement that De-Centers Sight
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 | 12:30pm – 2:15pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 3 – Alt-Text as Poetry Writing Workshop
*45 minute lunch break. (12:30pm – 1:15pm)
*Alt-Text as Poetry Writing Workshop (1:15pm – 2:15pm)
Alt text is an essential part of web accessibility. It is often disregarded or understood through the lens of compliance, as an unwelcome burden to be met with minimum effort. This workshop shows how we can instead approach alt text thoughtfully and creatively.
Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat | Alt-Text as Poetry
*15 minute break.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 | 2:30pm – 4:00pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 4 – Choreographing Gender + Disability
This panel explores the work by contemporary disabled dancers and performers who utilize the genre of “the aesthetics of access” to guide their choreography and their experimental movement explorations. Panelists will discuss the ways aesthetics of access in dance re-imagines audiences, performance, and media, and how this methodology choreographs powerful intersections between gender and disability.
Kayla Hamilton, Artist | The Ethics of Care, Black Women and Dance
Jerron Herman, Artist | VITRUVIAN
Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez, Princeton University; Independent Choreographer; Founder and Facilitator of the Accessibility Advisory Team at Movement Research | Audio Dance: The Regenerative Power of Sound on the Body
*30 minute break.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 | 4:30pm – 6:00pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 5 – Feeling Bodies, With Bodies
Movement performances by three contemporary disabled artists and performers who bring to life the concept(s) of the aesthetics of access, by decentering sight as the primary mode of enjoying a performance or a movement experience. How can we experience the feeling of bodies and “being with” bodies through multi-sensory and unconventional pathways that offer generative new information, set apart from but alongside, gender and disability?
Kayla Hamilton | Holding the Space with Words
Jerron Herman | VITRUVIAN
Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez | The Circle or Prophetic Dream
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 6 – Prostheses & Cyborgs
*15 minute break after opening remarks. (12:15pm – 12:30pm)
Opening with remarks from Amanda Cachia and Constantina Zavitsanos, this panel considers how constructs of the prostheses and cyborgs work to offer new animations of the disabled and gendered subject in contemporary art practice rather than deploying traditional binaries of oppression, such as masculine/feminine or able-bodied/disabled. By drawing on theoretical feminist applications of the cyborg within posthumanism, illustrated in the work of Donna Haraway, Octavia Butler, and Sami Schalk, artists will demonstrate how gender and disability intersect, but also how these identity categories can productively be dissolved.
Panteha Abareshi, Artist | Disability Fetishism
Jillian Crochet, Artist | The Haptic Body: Touching Formless Futures
Berenice Olmedo, Artist | Anthroposthetic
*30 minute break.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 | 2:30pm – 4:00pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 7 – Caring Collaboratives
This panel honors and grows the autonomy and wisdom of trans, queer, & women artists, activists, care-, & cultural- workers — who are disabled, chronically ill, and immunocompromised. It notes how people do, and can, intentionally gather together to support one another, mentally, physically, and culturally, as a form of dialogic creative access. Dialogic creative access is a dialog of and on access, towards embodying and deepening principles of justice. Creative access is the art, showing and deepening struggle as an inherent part of care building for disability collectives and community. Each of the participating collectives have formed in recent years and are intersectional in their approach, focusing on feminist, trans, and crip revisions to healthcare.
Julia Bonn and Inga Zimprich, Feminist Health Care Research Group (FHCRG) | Feminist Health Care Research Group: Vulnerable Spaces
Christina Zück, Agnieszka Habraschka, and Júlia Ayerbe Sickness Affinity Group (SAG) | Rituals of Support
Anonymous, Power Makes Us Sick (PMS) | An Abolitionist’s Approach to Autonomous Emotional Support within Communities
*3 hour break. Come back at 7:00pm for a REMOTE Access Party by Critical Design Lab!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm EST
TFAP Aesthetics of Access, Part 8 – REMOTE Access Party by Critical Design Lab
Remote Access is a crip nightlife event curated and designed by the Critical Design Lab. This project considers parties and crip nightlife events as designed spaces, with opportunities for playful and participatory ways of producing access as a collective cultural practice. Disabled people have long used remote access as a method for organizing pleasure and kinship. We call forth our community for an evening of pleasure activism through crip nightlife praxis and #CripRitual with DJ Who Girl (Kevin Gotkin).
ART, GENDER, AND DISABILITY: ASTHETICS OF ACCESS
is made possible with the generous support of the