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Touched / DaDaFest: The Dark Behind my Eyelids

A conference in collaboration between Liverpool Biennial and DaDaFest International 10.

The title is a quote from Amanda Baggs, autism human rights activist and prolific blogger (ballastexistenz.autistics.org). She explained how processing sensory input, including emotional responses from inside her body, are the main part of her thinking. Thinking is ‘The dark behind my eyelids. The sensation of pressure on my arms. The sound of rustling’. Her interlocutor was incredulous, this was ‘feeling’.

The conference aims to rethink the relation between art, thinking and normalcy. What are our assumptions when we distinguish between thought and feeling, body and brain, identity and difference? How is (dis)ability marked by these assumptions and whose interests are served by them in the space of art?

9.30-12.30 Film screenings The Woman who Thinks Like A Cow (Dr Temple Grandin, USA 2006); Amanda Baggs shorts; The Sunshine Boy (Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Iceland, 2010).

13.00-14.30 Conditions of Development How do the autistic and deaf experiences condition our conceptions of place, space, object and event? Artist Wendy Jacob (The Autism Studio, MIT) and architect Hansel Bauman, who directed the DeafSpace project at Gallaudet University, in conversation with deaf artist Aaron Williamson.

14.30-15.30 Niet Normall – Difference on Display In Spring 2010 the groundbreaking exhibition Niet Normaal – Difference on Display in Amsterdam questioned disability through an investigation of the concept of normality in contemporary society. What is normal and who decides? The initiator and curator Ine Gevers in conversation with artist Mat Fraser.


27 November 2010, 9.30AM-5.30PM


School Lane
L1 3BX