Alt-text as Poetry, an online workshop by Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat. Presented on (May 7, 2020) by Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Eyebeam, and Grey Art Gallery at New York University.
Alt-text is an essential part of web accessibility, making visual content accessible to blind people and people with low vision. It is often overlooked altogether or understood through the lens of compliance, as an unwelcome burden to be met with minimum effort. How can we instead approach alt-text thoughtfully and creatively?
This online webinar reframes alt-text as a type of poetry, using language that is pared-down, yet expressive. Several writers will describe artworks and event documentation images—those most often found on institutional websites—and have their texts workshopped, learning from one another’s strategy and techniques. Alt-text as Poetry creates an opportunity to rethink accessible visual content, inspiring thought, care, and playfulness.
Shannon Finnegan is a multidisciplinary artist making work about disability culture and access. She has created projects for Friends of the High Line, The Invisible Dog, and the Wassaic Project, and other institutions. In 2018, she received a Wynn Newhouse Award and participated in Art Beyond Sight’s Art + Disability Residency. She was an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam in 2019.
Amelia Bande is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer and performer from Chile. Her solo and collaborative work has been shown at Artists Space, The Poetry Project, Storm King Arts Center, Tang Museum, MoMA Library, MIX NYC, Abrons Arts Center, Participant Inc., and more. She has been an artist in residence at WORM Filmwerkplaats, The Shandaken Project and Yaddo. Her chapbook The Clothes We Wear was published by Belladonna in 2017.
Bojana Coklyat, a visual artist, activist, and scholar, focused her MA studies on the intersection of Disability Studies and Art Administration. In 2019, she curated “Crip Imponderabilia,” a show for the NYU Gallatin Gallery. Coklyat is also currently on the NYU Advisory Committee for the Kimmel Gallery and has done consulting work for The Whitney, NYU Gallatin Galleries, and the New York Jewish Museum. Coklyat recently completed a 2019–2020 Fulbright Research Grant in the Czech Republic, focusing her research on access in the arts for disabled people.
Candystore is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist and writer whose work has appeared in Paper Magazine, Riot of Perfume, Phile Magazine, RFD, Mesmer, Hand Job Zine, and others. She-he has performed at Club Cumming, The AC Institute, Situations Gallery, LaMama Galleria, and every time she-he uses a public restroom.
Kimberly Drew is a writer, curator, and activist. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies. Drew's writing has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, W, and Teen Vogue. Drew recently left her role as the Social Media Manager at The Met. Her upcoming book, "Black Futures," which she is co-editing with Jenna Wortham is due in 2020. You can follow her at @museummammy on Instagram and Twitter.