Showcase for disabled people

Tony Quan's graffiti
Tony Quan's graffiti Image credit:

It’s seems as if Banksy has stiff competition, whilst the mysterious Bristol graffiti artist sprays masterpieces there’s a young chap in Los Angles who paints stunning pieces of work just by using his eyes.

When Tony Quan was diagnosed with ALS it didn’t stop his artistic talents, despite being fully paralysed apart from his eyes.

His inspiring work (pictured above) has recently been on public view at a showcase at San Francisco’s SOMArts Cultural Center alongside other displays created by artists with various forms of disabilities.

The Recording CripTech event showed how technology can help creative people with limited mobility achieve their artistic goals and provided visitors with multisensory experiences.

Curators of the showcase, Vanessa Chang and Lindsey D. Felt told “We’d like our audiences to reflect on and question for whom technologies and spaces are built, and to whom they deny access. By engaging a variety of senses in their interactions with museum spaces and artworks, we hope for them to understand how certain bodies have been privileged over others.”

The event included a 15-minute video produced by Todd Edward Herman who has vision loss. The piece of art titled “When I Stop Looking” encourages people to reflect on how they see things and the way sight captures our surroundings.

A screenshot from the “When I Stop Looking” video

Another exhibit, “Prosthetic Memory” by M Eifler who permanently lost his memory after suffering a brain injury.

The artist uses a custom-designed artificial intelligence to create a prosthetic long term memory which features daily videos and a handmade journal which are read by custom software.

Prosthetic Memory

It wasn’t just eye-catching images and innovative videos on display at Recording Cripech, the exhibition also featured adaptive clotheswear from Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi and Jillian Crochet who showed off their “Dermis Footwear”, a latex boot which has cut-outs to make the shoes easier to step into and take off.

The Crip Crouture website explains: “Each wearable item is designed based on an individual’s medical experience, physical position and state of mind.

“Rather than rejecting the notion of physical alteration, I provide intimate and empathetic bodily adornment, not as a correctional physical aid, but as a tool for remapping and engaging with a new physical terrain, one embodied with personal standards of physical comfort and self-defined ideals of beauty.”

YI accessible clothing

The showcase also featured a sculpture by Jillian Crochet. “My Beating Heart” which invited visitors to walkthrough the hanging piece of art with was a metaphor for family and community.

My Beating Heart

Recoding CripTech worked with 11 artists and art collaboratives for last month’s showcase.