1st Edition

Curating Access Disability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation

Edited By Amanda Cachia Copyright 2023
    332 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is an interdisciplinary collection of twenty-four essays which critically examine contemporary exhibitions and artistic practices that focus on conceptual and creative aspects of access.

    Oftentimes exhibitions tack on access once the artwork has already been executed and ready to be installed in the museum or gallery. But what if the artists were to ponder access as an integral and critical part of their artwork? Can access be creative and experimental? And furthermore, can the curator also fold access into their practice, while working collaboratively with artists, considering it as a theoretical and practical generative force that seeks to make an exhibition more engaging for a wider diversity of audiences? This volume includes essays by a growing number of artists, curators, and scholars who ponder these ideas of ad-hoc, experimental and underground approaches within exhibition-making and artistic practices. It considers how, through these nascent exhibition models and art practices, enhanced experiences of access in the museum can be a shared responsibility amongst museum workers, curators, and artists, in tandem with the public, so that access becomes a zone of intellectual and creative "accommodation," rather than strictly a discourse on policy. The book provides innovative case studies which provide a template for how access might be implemented by individuals, artists, curators, museum administrators and educators given the growing need to offer as many modalities of access as possible within cultural institutions.

    This book shows that anyone can be a curator of access and demonstrates how to approach access in a way that goes beyond protocol and policy. It will thus be of interest to students and scholars engaged in the study of museums, art history and visual culture, disability, culture, and communication.

    Introduction: Committed to ChangeTen Years of Creative Access

    Amanda Cachia

    Part I: Curatorial Reflections in the Age of COVID-19

    Chapter 1 The "Swell": Disability Arts in the Time of COVID-19

    Faye Ginsburg, Mara Mills, and Rayna Rapp

    Chapter 2 Becoming Indisposable: Curating Disability in a Time of Pandemic

    Jessica A. Cooley and Ann M. Fox

    Chapter 3 Connect2Abilities: Staging Virtual Intercultural Collaboration during COVID-19

    Boram Lee, Ruth Rentschler, and Shin-Eui Park

    Part II: Curatorial Reflections

    Chapter 4 Disabled Artists, Audience, and the Museum as the Place of Those Who Have No Part

    Jennifer Justice

    Chapter 5 Generative Forms of Experiential Access

    Liza Sylvestre

    Chapter 6 From Dust to Dust: Hallucinating the Absent Exhibition

    Fayen d’Evie

    Chapter 7 Perspective: Highlighting Disabled Experience through an Interdisciplinary and Socially Engaged Art Project

    Molly Joyce and Sandy Guttman

    Chapter 8 Unseen Journeys Made Visible: Using Socially Engaged Art to Cross Boundaries and Create a Universally Enriching Experience

    Jean Cathro

    Chapter 9 Human Threads: Altered States

    Nicola White and Alison Stirling

    Chapter 10 Incarnate Experiences: Learning to Curate Exhibitions for Disabled Bodies

    Maite Barrera Villarías

    Part III: Access Critique

    Chapter 11 On Brand: When Design Museums Discover Disability

    Liz Jackson and Bess Williamson

    Chapter 12 Accommodating and Enabling Anxiety Disorders and Agoraphobia in Digital Access Systems for Cultural Heritage

    Johnathan Thayer and Erik Pagan

    Chapter 13 Do You Hear My Point? Addressing Accessibility Issues within Spatial Audio

    Jesse Austin-Stewart

    Part IV: Collaboration & Conversation

    Chapter 14 Codesigning Access: A New Approach to Cultures of Inclusion in Museums and Galleries

    Janice Rieger, Bree Hadley, Sarah Barron, Sarah Boulton, and Catherine Parker

    Chapter 15 Desiring Disruption: Experimental Approaches to Audio Description

    Ramya Amuthan, Emily Cook, Sean Lee, Andy Slater, and Aislinn Thomas

    Chapter 16 Curating Together: A Tangled, Intergenerational, Interdependent Community of Practice

    Eliza Chandler, Carla Rice, Sean Lee, and Max Ferguson

    Chapter 17 Networks of Care: Collectivity as Dialogic Creative Access

    Amanda Cachia

    Part V: Artistic Access Praxis

    Chapter 18 Troublesome Access in Pope.L’s Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration

    Christopher Robert Jones

    Chapter 19 "My Practice is Staying Alive": Critique and Care in the Sculptures of Emily Barker

    Brandon Sward

    Chapter 20 Considering Amanda Coogan’s Performance Art as an Accessible Practice

    Caitlin Swindell

    Chapter 21 Open Access: Accessibility as a Temporary, Collectively Held Space

    Carmen Papalia

    Chapter 22 Alt Text as Poetry Project

    Bojana Coklyat and Shannon Finnegan

    Chapter 23 Disability Access Rider

    Johanna Hedva

    Chapter 24 A Primer On Working With Disabled Group Members: For Feminist/Activist Groups and Organizations

    RA Walden



    Amanda Cachia is an independent curator and critic from Sydney, Australia. She received her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the University of California San Diego in 2017. Cachia has curated approximately 40 exhibitions, many of which contain social justice themes and content. Her research interests include contemporary art and disability, decolonizing the museum, and accessible curatorial practices.