Moving Materiality: People, Tools, and this Thing Called Disability

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18432/R2JS8W

Keywords:

Critical disability studies, Material culture, Crip theory, Mobility, Performance-based research, Arts-based research

Abstract

This body is wheelchair-bound. Not in the sense of the ableist idiom, but literally: bound to a nine-pound titanium frame through Velcro and ratchet straps ripped from snowboards. This wheelchair is body-bound, bound to the flick of a hip against strapping, pulling through plastic and metal and rubber and gravity and wood, into a tilt onto one wheel. This metal, this flesh, this materiality is bound, too, by rhythm and soundscape: chairs crashing; prodding questions; polite onlookers, silent; the percussive thud of wheels on uneven terrain. It is bound to the gaze of audience and reader and performer and lover. It is bound with the discourses of (dis)ability, in(ter)dependence, materiality and boundedness. This essay too, is wheelchair-body-bound. It is bound to explorations of previous works on the practices, discourses, and materialities of the wheelchair. It is bound by the authors’ personal narratives of living, playing, moving and thinking with, in and through various wheelchairs and other technologies of (im)mobility. It is bound through critical artistic engagement: bound with thinking and, literally, dancing through the ways that flesh-chair-discourse-power bind in the form of a subject, or an articulation, or an assemblage. Finally, this essay is bound through an unabashed and unbounded passion for the exploration of the local, specific, strategic, accidental, and creative ways that one may remake or even re-imagine the bonding of their tools, communities, ideas, bodies, and mobilities.

Author Biographies

Danielle Peers, University of Alberta

Danielle Peers is a community organizer, an artist, and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. Danielle uses critical disability and poststructuralist theories to study disability movement cultures: from the Paralympics, to inclusive recreation, to disability arts. They are the Director of the Media in Motion Lab, which supports creative methods for producing and sharing knowledges about human bodies in motion. 

Lindsay Eales, University of Alberta

Lindsay Eales is a mad artist, community organizer, and PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. She studies disability, madness, dance, and performance. She is also Co-Artistic Director of CRIPSiE (www.cripsie.ca), and the Programming Director of Solidance Inclusive Recreation Society (www.solidance.ca).

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Published

2017-08-23

How to Cite

Peers, D., & Eales, L. (2017). Moving Materiality: People, Tools, and this Thing Called Disability. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 2(2), 101–125. https://doi.org/10.18432/R2JS8W