a means of opening up a space
July 29, 2019 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Carmen Papalia is a blind artist whose medium is social interactions, particularly surrounding accessibility. As part of thinking about accessibility and how our public spaces prioritize the needs of certain people over others, Papalia has variously replaced his long cane with a 15-ft long version, a high school marching band, a set of red cords, and a loudspeaker. Lately, he has been working on Open Access, in which he suggests thinking of accessibility as a creative, long-term process[...] not just about the built environment, but about ideas of agency and power.

If you are not familiar with social vs. medical models of disability, I encourage reading the first link as I think it will provide the most context for Papalia's work.
posted by sciatrix (6 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's some great work. Thanks for posting it.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:46 AM on July 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


These are so simple and so amazing! I love the ideas and the execution and absolutely everything.
posted by redsparkler at 12:52 PM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this. His stuff is so good.

Here's an interview with him about Blind Field Shuttle, another one of his pieces.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:33 PM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is so good, I'm looking to feature accessibility in my graduate school design work, so this is enormously helpful to read, thank you!
posted by yueliang at 2:07 PM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


A huge thumbs up for the 15 ft cane (even if it is just a performance piece). I regularly walk through Sydney with a blind friend, who is normally on my elbow when we are together. The amount of people who push in front of us, bump us out of the way, ignore the cane etc is staggering. A long cane might make the difference!
posted by greenhornet at 8:08 PM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


This was wonderful; thanks for posting this. Here's a 9 minute video about the original performance of the marching band version of Mobility Device, which really shows how it works. PS to NYC MeFites: He's doing a performance of Mobility Device with a local marching band on the High Line Sept. 11 and 12.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:22 PM on July 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


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