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> > > Disability Arts Online commissions new video works in partnership with SICK! Festival

Disability Arts Online (DAO) is delighted to announce that filmmakers/curators Lisa Mattocks and Sandra Alland have been selected to work with SICK! Festival as part of a Viewfinder commission to explore the artistic practice of artists engaged with the festival.

A photograph of multimedia artist Lisa Mattocks, she is sitting at her computer with video equipment on her desk.

Lisa Mattocks

Since the pilot festival in Brighton in March 2013, SICK! Festival has expanded with dual festivals taking place in Brighton and Manchester earlier this year. With a focus on performance that confronts the challenges of life and death and how we survive them (or don’t) SICK! Festival has important connections with disability arts, programming many of the artists who appear on DAO’s pages.

The festival pairs contemporary performance with debates and talks from artists, professionals and academics, and supports this work with input from community engagement organisations.

SICK! Festival’s mission is to bear witness to the physical, mental and social realities of our lives, shining a light on urgent issues that often remain misunderstood or taboo. As such, SICK! Festival produces performance work that highlights issues around identity and whilst not focusing solely on disability, includes work that explores disability issues.  

Viewfinder is DAO’s most ambitious project to date; encompassing individual artist commissions, which will be featured on a new video channel of curated content focused on promoting disability arts practice to broad audiences. Our newly branded Viewfinder video platform will curate the most entertaining, enlightening and powerful disability arts into one area where work can be viewed.

To support the collection Lisa Mattocks and Sandra Alland have been commissioned to curate a collection of online videos and to conduct filmed interviews exploring the artistic practice of six artists, resulting in digital media work in two formats: miniature video insights that will be licenced through Wikimedia Commons and used on Wikipedia; and longer works that will appear on Viewfinder. Trish Wheatley, Director of DAO says:

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be partnering with Sick! Festival on this commission, and I’m really excited to see what Lisa and Sandra will produce. Their work will contribute directly to our main aims of increasing the widespread awareness of the richness and diversity of disability arts practice and how that intersects with wider socially engaged practice.”

A photograph of multi-disciplinary artist Sandra Alland. She is wearing a tie and wrist supports and is against a backdrop of handwritten words.

Sandra Alland.

Lisa Mattocks has been documenting, recording and making live art, visual art and performance art for the past 10 years. She runs a development/production collective in Manchester called The Future working in collaboration with a range of artists to develop and create new work. The political sensibilities of the organisation are central to the way The Future works with an ethical and political desire to instigate and influence change. Lisa makes and tours performance, creates video, visual art and websites, and has collaborated with several major contemporary artists. She also works regularly with Quarantine as a collaborator, videographer, graphic designer and occasional performer.  

Lisa says:

“I am delighted to have been selected to collaborate with Sandra Alland on the video commission for Dao and Sick. The commission presents an interesting and unique opportunity to work with exciting international artists; creating bold and significant new work.”

Sandra Alland is a writer, filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist whose work has been presented at Tate Modern, Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, mac Birmingham, macrobert Stirling and Schwules Museum (Berlin). Sandra co-won Canada’s 2013 bpNichol Award for her book on disability poetics and gender, Naturally Speaking, and received a 2013 Scottish Cultural Commission (as part of LGBT History Month) for documentary filmmaking and mentorship of disabled and D/deaf filmmakers. Sandra is currently curating an intersectional performance and visual art project entitled Cachín Cachán Cachunga!, performing with a poetry band the They They Theys and directing shorts about queer and trans D/deaf and disabled artists, I’m Not Your Inspiration. Sandra’s work focuses on themes including communication, language, disability, classism, racism, gender inequality/variation/fluidity, grief, failure and carrots.

Sandra says:

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with Lisa on this Dao/Sick! commission. With our combined skills and experiences, I think we’ll curate a uniquely exciting program of artists’ films for the Dao Viewfinder platform – and create some brill video interviews of boundary-pushing Sick! artists.”

The output from this Viewfinder commission, to be made public in March 2016, is intended to enhance critical thinking about disability arts and open up public knowledge and understanding via popular mainstream online media, including Wikipedia.