A Fair New Idea?! #3: ACCESS SERVER

A Fair New Idea?! oproep 3: Digitaal Werken in de Kunsten

A Fair New Idea?! is veel meer dan de ondersteuning van één project voor verdere ontwikkeling. Het is een reeks van vier open oproepen rond verschillende thema’s. Deze eerste, met als thema ‘Digitaal werken in de Kunsten’, hieronder vind je een van de ideeën die niet verder ontwikkeld zijn in het traject, maar daarom niet minder van waarde zijn.

Which challenges for working digitally in the arts carry your interest?

ACCESS SERVER addresses the unequal inclusion of disabled people in art institutions. There is unequal labor resting on disabled people to make access requests for closed captions, sign-language and scent-free spaces. Our tool collectivises this labor through a digital email server that compiles access requests and puts pressure on institutions to transform their relationships to access.

Why do you want to participate in this call?

ACCESS SERVER is a digital arts tool that disrupts systematically ableist institutions. ACCESS SERVER is a website and email server that provides email templates and 20€ per email to support disabled people’s access requests, acknowledging the labor of asking spaces and institutions for access in an ableist world. As trans*crip hackers we will develop a website with texts and resources on accessibility, organize a fund and code an email server. By collectivizing these ‘individual’ emails we hope to transform institutions’ relationship to access. The project builds an interface between people with disabilities who email for access to events and organizers who need information on how to reduce barriers and create access. All emails routed through the server will link to the website in the footer, and automatically cite previous access requests to the same institution. This creates care, engagement, community and networking, shared knowledge about access, and hopefully fewer barriers.

How could your work on these challenges have an impact towards fairness and sustainability in the arts of Flanders and Brussels?

What does it mean to build collective digital presents: sustainable or fair for whom? Sustainability is informed for us by the Principles of Disability Justice, moving away from urgency and into a slow, transformative wave of justice. By creating the ACCESS SERVER, arts institutions in Flanders and Brussels will have a wave of emails from disabled people who will have more energy resources (because they will be paid for this labor), and more sense that they are not the ‘only one asking’ (because of the compounding of requests generated by the server) to send their access requests. This email chain, and the capacity for more persistent requests will disrupt ableism as usual and require arts institutions to consider their relationship to disability access. We believe that this will result in more accessible events and spaces being created. The arts institutions in Flanders and Brussels will directly and persistently be asked to work in service of and with disabled people in these contexts and beyond.

Contact details

MELT (Loren Britton & Isabel Paehr)mail@meltionary.com