CFS: Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition

Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition
Friday September 27 – Friday December 20, 2013
Curated by Amanda Cachia with the curatorial committee, which includes Jay Dolmage, Editor, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario,
and Geoffrey Shea, Artistic Co-Director, Common Pulse Intersecting Abilities Art Festival, Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada
DEADLINE for submissions: Sunday, August 04, 2013

Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition is an online exhibition that will offer a multi-modal, multi-sensorial platform for a crip phenomenology of cyberspace. The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, in collaboration with the COMMON PULSE Intersecting Abilities Art Festival and Symposium, will be hosting the exhibition at its website: The curatorial committee welcomes submissions of (new and recent) work for this online exhibition from contemporary artists, collectives, community builders and can be makers of all kinds in the Deaf and Disability Arts movement. Works should address the main themes of the exhibition and are intended to work in an online context. Documentation of work created for spaces other than the web will not be considered. This unique online exhibition, to debut in the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies in a new experimental format, will offer and therefore encourages submissions like audio description and verbal imaging, language and text such as captions, subtitles and audio transcripts, still and moving image, and sound-based work especially designed and created for virtual display, by artists who explore the exhibition’s challenging questions and ideas in order to crip cyberspace. Artists are encouraged to collaborate as a means to build virtual community and the space will feature a blog to enhance participation from diverse audiences. Artist fees will be paid. The copyright for artworks used in the exhibition remains with the artists.

What does a crip intervention in cyberspace look like and how might it inhabit it? How might the representation of disability differ or be expanded online, in the space of a computer screen? Evolving technologies have enhanced access and assistance for disabled people to a new, dynamic level, where they are able to now communicate through computerized voice, text and image. Can cyberspace then, be considered a type of brain, or prosthesis, that provides emotional, intellectual and sensorial support for disabled people? Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also enabled disabled people to participate in an online community that might offer alternative possibilities for both their physical and metaphorical mobility. Crip movement in cyberspace is likely to look, feel and sound different to the everyday social realities of their movement in real time that is often littered with barriers in an urban environment designed for the so-called average person. What are the alternative constraints for disabled people in cyberspace, and what kinds of crip artistic interpretations can fill out these spaces in order to make new meaning? The pulse of technology is one that continues to migrate our now posthuman/machine bodies – all bodies – to realms where our embodiments and our senses develop new relationships with space. What might the virtual realm offer disability aesthetics? The body’s exteriority and interiority becomes usefully abstracted or ‘common’ in its difference, through the filter of technological apparatuses. This effectively moves us away from binaries, such as disability/ability, and instead focuses on a phenomenology of cyberspace, which in turn provides a new language and code for complex embodiment. Modes of conventional sensorial access that are occasionally found in a museum setting, such as audio description, audio transcripts or captions, will be offered in this online exhibition, where they will not only continue to function as dynamic modes of interpretation and communication, but they also become independent works of art in themselves, which carry their own weight and space in this virtual crip architecture.

Proposals must be received by SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be distributed by MONDAY AUGUST 12, 2013. Final successful artworks must be delivered as digital files by MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2, 2013.

The exhibition will be launched on the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies website on the same date as the launch of the Common Pulse Intersecting Abilities Art Festival on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2013. The exhibition will be presented for a three month period (until FRIDAY DECEMBER 20, 2013), documented, and subsequently archived online by the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies and the Common Pulse Art Festival.

Amanda Cachia is an independent curator from Sydney, Australia and is currently completing her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation will focus on the intersection of disability and contemporary art. She held the position Director/Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada from 2007-2010, and has curated approximately 30 exhibitions over the last ten years in various cities across the USA, England, Australia and Canada. Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition will be her first online curatorial project.

With the exception of visual material, your submission must be in a .doc or .docx format and include:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • An artist statement
  • A project description (max. 1 page)
  • A descriptive list of the visual material (title, date, duration, etc.)

Digital images: A maximum of 20 digital images
Video: To share video documentation, please integrate links to Vimeo or YouTube into your descriptive list of visual material. Private accounts can be created but please be sure to include the access password in your submission (if needed). Artworks can be in any format that is supported by common web browsers: images (JPG, PNG, GIF), Flash, audio, HTML, writing, Java applets, blogs, micro blogs (Facebook,  Twitter), video (served by Vimeo, YouTube, etc.), Instant Messaging, etc.


TO LEARN MORE: COMMON PULSE Intersecting Abilities Art Festival and Symposium

Canadian Journal of Disability Studies

The organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.