30 September 2023 – 13 January 2024
Vanessa Chang and Lindsey D Felt
Experiments in Art, Access and Technology, or E.A.A.T. chronicles the emergence of access as an animating principle of art, science, and technology. From participatory audio description to captions that evoke poetry, access is being reimagined as an expressive form that catalyzes new sensory possibilities for artistic experience. Despite their multimodal capacities, many media art tools remain inaccessible and have yet to benefit from this creative attention. E.A.A.T. introduces methods in art and technology that embody lived experiences of disability.
Invoking the field’s ethos of experimentation and collaboration, E.A.A.T. prototypes a new program that links communities, institutions, and ways of knowing through creative access. This paradigm marks a turning point in the history of the art and technology movement. In the 1960s, Leonardo, E.A.T. or Experiments in Art and Technology, LACMA’s Art and Technology Program, and others created infrastructure for artists, scientists and engineers to share knowledge. These cross-pollinations transformed then-new technologies like wireless sound transmission and Doppler sonar into artistic mediums. Emboldened by such platforms, artists redefined the social impact of new technologies.
Meesh Fradkin, Carmen Papalia, Josephine Sales, Andy Slater, and Olivia Ting premiere new work developed in Leonardo CripTech Incubator, an art and technology fellowship for disability innovation. They test the limits and affordances of media and machines, drawing attention to ableist values of functionality, usage, and navigation such devices encode. These installations foster dialogue and exploration, bringing transparency to often opaque black box systems. E.A.A.T. artists guide us through uncharted and often challenging forms of access that echo the capricious demands of technology. Opening prismatic entry points into multisensory aesthetic experiences, they prompt critical reflection on artistic spaces and for whom they are made. E.A.A.T. artists deploy access as a expressive form, a liberatory tool, and an experiential technology for sustaining community.