The Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT), with partners Access2Arts (AUS), Unlimited (UK) and Watershed (UK) hosted Unfixed – a Creative Research Residency with ten Australian and UK Deaf and disabled artists selected to investigate and explore the determination of bodies as ‘disabled’ or ‘abled’.
The Unfixed Residency was thrilling, confronting, and ultimately a great success. Information about Unfixed can be found on the Unfixed Blog.
A not-uncommon experience for those living with impairment is compensation – when limitation in one area can lead to increased ability in another. As well, increasing numbers of disabled people are using technology that, rather than seeking to ‘fix’ their impairment, provides for an alternative way of experiencing the world altogether. This led the project partners to ask, ‘if disabled people are able to access ways of being in the world that the ‘able-bodied’ are not, who exactly is disabled?’
The selected artists represented a diversity of artforms and lived experience, with half hailing from Australia and the other half from the UK.
Trish Adams, who creates experiential, interactive installations in collaboration with scientists + researchers.
Sarah Houbolt, a circus and physical theatre performer who specialises in aerials, acrobatics and hula hoops.
Michele Saint-Yves, a poet and playwright who explores and evokes the lived experience of ‘otherness’.
Daniel Savage, whose digital and installation works investigate the influence and effect of perception.
John Willanksi, a digital artist, filmmaker, puppeteer and creator of a bespoke doodle-based visual language.
Jane Gauntlett, whose interactive live-art works explore ideas of empathy, neurology and accessibility.
Caglar Kimyoncu, a digital and video artist who also works as a curator and art consultant.
Catherine Long, a dancer who interrogates disability and illness discourses, and the questions these raise.
Aidan Moesby, who creates responsive artistic interventions to encourage personal + communal dialogue.
Sue Williams, an illustrator and writer especially interested in notions of perception and perspective.
This document outlines the selection process and the context within which applications were assessed.
Unfixed was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and the South Australian Government through the Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability program, delivered by Arts SA.