Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Machine Writing Questionnaire Part II at TCR

Here is the second part of my "machine writing" questionnaire, posted at The Capilano Review's blog.

I also think that the idea of ‘the body’ being a negative limitation is ableist, in the sense that disability reveals absolutely the limits of what a body can do determined within a social field. Something I will often do in my classes is ask the students to first identify a way that they feel “enabled” by their environment, then to produce an exercise that will intentionally defacilitate them in relation to this environment. Conversely, I ask them to identify a way that they feel “disabled,” and to attempt to use this disability to make art. In other versions of the exercise I also ask them to use art and/or writing to frame ways that their environment is disabling, or the source of a disability they have identified. Many of CA Conrad’s Somatic Exercises are good to assign in this context; because they are so much about mediating ourselves and our writing practices in relation to larger social and political problems. I also look at writers who identify with disability communities or as disabled, such as Jordan Scott, David Buuck, Robert Kocik, Amber Di Pietra, and Denise Leto. It is especially useful to think of the ways all of these writers respond to disability with new forms, no doubt because their experiences of embodiment demand this. In some cases, living with disability in a world inhospitable to people with disabilities seems the most profound art, an art that puts most other performance practices to shame, because what is at stake is so much more—sometimes it is a matter of life and death and always it is a matter of quality of life. As Eleni Stecopoulos has noted: “disability founds aesthetics.”

No comments: