This is a hybrid event, select your participation preference when you register: go.illinois.edu/Papalia.
Please register by March 17.
Access Notes: This event will include ASL interpretation and CART captions and will incorporate visual descriptions. Attendees are welcome to join in person or via zoom. If you have additional access needs or concerns please email email@example.com.
Mobility Device is a collaborative performance where nonvisual artist Carmen Papalia replaces his detection cane with a marching band that serves as his navigation system. The performance proposes the possibility of user-defined, creative systems of access, where the care recipient maintains their agency in an ongoing negotiation with the people they trust. For Papalia, performances of Mobility Device are a non-institutionalizing temporary solution for the white cane, a symbol that the artist says carries the barriers and biases of the Medical Model of Disability.
Mobility Device is a celebration of interdependence in the area of accessibility. At a time when cities, governing bodies and public institutions are considering how to better serve those in the broader disability community, it increases awareness around the idea that accessibility is best approached as a living practice that is guided by community needs. It illustrates how a growing access ecology can cultivate new standards and practices that help maintain a culture where disabled communities are not only supported in defining the terms around their care and participation but centered in their wholeness.
This event is made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation and with support from the College of Fine and Applied Arts.
Please fill out this registration form by March 17 if you plan to attend.
About the Speaker: Carmen Papalia
Born in 1981, Carmen Papalia is a nonvisual social practice artist with chronic and episodic pain. He uses organizing strategies and improvisation to address his access to public space, art institutions and visual culture. As a convener, he establishes welcoming spaces where disabled, sick and chronically ill people can build capacity for care that they lack on account of governmental failure and medical ableism. His work, which takes forms ranging from collaborative performance to public intervention, is a response to the harms of the Medical Model of Disability.
Papalia holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Fine Arts with a focus in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University. He is an inaugural fellow of the Crip Tech Incubator via Leonardo: the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. In 2020 Papalia was one of 25 artists who received the Sobey Art Award; in 2019 he was a Sobey long list recipient in the West Coast / Yukon region. His work has been featured at institutions such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Liverpool, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery and Gallery Gachet.