I am currently educating myself about disability studies and researching how our society has created ableist systems in everyday life, exposing my own unconscious bias to rewrite in the process. In doing so, I have taken an interest in the actual ADA guidelines and their legal wording. Many times, businesses do the bare minimum, literally checking the necessary boxes in order to build their projects as cheaply and quickly as possible. In order to address this idea, I have made ADA compliant structures that are functionally null. I myself have “checked enough boxes” to be compliant while making objects that do not accommodate majority-bodied people.
I aim to facilitate an experience of futility for my viewers as they react to normal objects, changed by the altered physical reality I have created, whether navigating within or rewriting ADA guidelines. By forming a new system of rules in which majority bodies are now excluded, I want to bring my audience to a point of reevaluation as well as to call into question the concept of “disability” itself. If a “disability,” is a literal lack of ability that requires an accommodation, not the physical, bodily impairment of the individual, the term becomes completely socially constructed based on a systemic reality tailored to majority bodies. My work creates a system, a world, that is not made for them.
Alongside my personal research, I have also been responding to the times through a personal photo series called My Quarantine, which records my personal “new normal.” I have documented all of these photos with my iPhone to spontaneously capture moments as they occur, leaning into the awkward, yet heavy reality of the now through the medium. By formatting the work to be monochromatic, I assert my current situation within history by referencing historic processes, reiterating a connection between the public and the private shared experiences of a certain time period. My Quarantine seeks to encapsulate what 2020 has exposed to the country, from the ruthlessness of our capitalism, as many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck before returning to work for increased exposure and potential medical bills they could not pay to begin with, to the disregard for Black life and its subsequent demand for accountability. This growing body of work began as a personal catharsis, a release of expression and of voice, in the blatant void of regular socialization, and became a criticism and documentation of the world around me.