Not Hopeless, But Dangerous

A seven-day course in the methods to make it happen

Day 6

Accessibility

In what ways can you make your art accessible? To make change, the art has to not just be in your studio, or bedroom, it has to be in the world. Think globally, but act locally. In your neighbourhood, how can you disseminate information, the art? This is obviously, wheat pasting, stencilling, tagging, moss tagging, but those are not all. Stickers, performance art.

Radical Graffiti, Capitalism is a Death Cult

Image Description: Photograph of a sticker on a post that reads ‘Capitalism is a Death Cult’ around an illustration of a raccoon. (Source: https://todon.eu/@RadicalGraffiti/111349603516773319)

What does it mean to have art accessible? It can mean so many different things to different people. It can mean having the type large enough so those who can’t see can read it, accepting the fact that not everybody can read the language that you use. It can be not having it in the ‘white cube’ space that is not accessible for many people. It can mean even just having people see your work. It can mean so many different things. I will add to this later.

LASTESIS: Set Fear on Fire

Image Description: A book cover in bright green and black that reads ‘set fear on fire - the feminist call that set the americas ablaze. LASTESIS’ (Source: LASTESIS: Set Fear on Fire: The Feminist Call That Set the Americas Ablaze)

LASTESIS ‘UN VIOLADOR EN TU CAMINO’ 29.11.2019 VALPARAƨSO, CHILE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ed59v2hQE&t=6s

What we’re going to explore here in this day is making it accessible for people who are different than us, removing barriers that might be unconscious barriers, f.e. for fine art people it’s the white cube gallery, that’s where exhibition happens - how to you make accessible your art outside of an exhibition or a shop? How do you make your art accessible outside of a website?

Tracey Rose, San Pedro V. The Wall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1vxu45IoyM

https://theconversation.com/tracey-rose-renegade-south-african-artist-understanding-her-30-years-of-outrage-191375

This is also about connecting and supporting your local community. Sometimes the right message at the right time can support someone very much and make them feel not alone. That’s where we take the topic that we bring, which might be a very big topic, but make it in a local environment which can bring a multitude of techniques to bear; from wheat-pasting, stickering, tagging, moss tagging, gorilla gardening, projecting images. We’re only limited by our imagination what can be done.

Radical Posters: https://radicalpostercollective.wordpress.com

This is the challenge, get the art out of the studio and to be seen, or if it’s not feasible depending on the medium and other considerations, there are so many aspects of accessibility that we can work on. With sculptures they take much more than one day but what does accessibility mean - where will the sculpture be, who will see it, and can we do things differently so there is a different audience? Can we make art in a way that is not internalising the gatekeeping that the art world has created? With our art we can break down barriers, yet we also can be aware of and address the barriers to access our own art, both those inflicted on us, and those we might inflict with our unconscious bias.

Moss Graffiti: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeckenzibbel/6276838117

If you’re not able to explain it simply you might not understand it, and this is going back to the core of the topic you selected and finding ways of making it both simple and accessible. Simple is not a bad word - simple doesn’t mean easy. To make something very simple is hard work. This is not about explaining it’s about creating space. If you try to make people think the right way, it’s unethical. The best we can do is create space for people to make up their own mind.

Be Gay Do Crime

Image Description: An edit of a Thomas Nast cartoon from 1880. A skeletal figure in a suit , carrying a saber and wielding a torch, holds up a poster that reads ‘BE GAY DO CRIME!’. The flame from the torch reads ‘Anarchy’. There’s a ‘Free Love’ ribbon on the hat, and a ‘Round Bombs’ border around the hat. It’s wearing a sash that reads ‘Communes’, and the top of the poster reads ‘mob law’. Text across the bottom reads “Many blame queers for the decline of this society - we take pride in this. Some believe that we intend to shred-to-bits this civilization and its moral fabric - they couldn’t be more accurate. We’re often described as depraved, decadent, and revolting - but oh, they ain’t seen nothing yet.”. Source: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/mary-nardini-gang-be-gay-do-crime

This is diversity of methods, and just try to make your work live in the world. It might be that your topic is a very big one, about war, violence, about nations, about other forms of discrimination and abuse, and those are big topics, but can you make it live outside of your comfort zone, in the world, where it can nurture others by being seen?