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PDA Case Study: A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention

October 4, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

PDA: Case Study: A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention
Sunday, October 4 | 2pm

Case Study: A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention
Conversation with Aislinn ThomasShannon Finnegan, and Ramya Amuthan

Click HERE to register.

This event will take place over Zoom. Please register via Eventbrite (link above) to receive the Zoom link closer to the event date.


In August 2019, artists Aislinn Thomas and Shannon Finnegan published a broadsheet and accessible PDF for A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention: Six writers respond to six sculptures through the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre. Also presented as a series of sound works, the project invited writers and poets across Canada to produce creative audio descriptions for a range of public sculptures installed throughout the Banff Centre.

For this case study session, Thomas and Finnegan will be in discussion, reflecting on the project and the challenges and opportunities of creative audio description in both accessible publishing and gallery/museum practices. They will be joined by Ramya Amuthan, host and producer at Accessible Media Inc, for further reflection.


This discussion is part of Public Displays of Affection (PDA): an expanded series of events on creative possibilities in accessible arts publishing, hosted by Critical Distance. PDA will work within disability arts communities and beyond, building on Kelly Fritsch’s notion that “to crip is to open up with desire to the ways that disability disrupts.” Over the next several months, PDA will produce a collective learning opportunity that considers the pleasures, desires, and disruptions of making arts publishing initiatives more accessible. Stay tuned for more events in the coming weeks and months. Read more about the program here.

This event will take place on Zoom, and have ASL and captioning. Images will be described and presenters will describe themselves. If you have any other access requests or questions please contact emily@criticaldistance.ca

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.


Speaker Info:

Aislinn Thomas​ is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes video, performance, sculpture, installation, and text. She culls material from everyday experiences and relationships, creating work that ranges from poignant to absurd (and at times straddles both). Her recent works explore the generative potential of disability while pushing up against conventional standards of access.
Click here for Aislinn’s work.

Shannon Finnegan​ is a multidisciplinary artist making work about accessibility and disability culture. They have done projects with Banff Centre, Friends of the High Line, Tallinn Art Hall, Nook Gallery, and the Wassaic Project. They have spoken about their work at the Brooklyn Museum, School for Poetic Computation, The 8th Floor, and The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. In 2018, They received a Wynn Newhouse Award and participated in Art Beyond Sight’s Art + Disability Residency. In 2019, they were an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam. They spoke at Carleton University in 2019. They are currently exhibiting, ​Lone Proponent of Wall-to-Wall Carpet​ at Carleton University Art Gallery. Their work has been written about in C Magazine, Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the New York Times. They live and work in Brooklyn, NY.

Ramya Amuthan​ is currently a Host and Producer at Accessible Media Inc (AMI). She works with the live afternoon show team for the daily Entertainment and Lifestyle audio show called Kelly and Company. Ramya’s work involves meeting fascinating people, hearing their stories, and facilitating conversations that bring out the messages wanting to be told to the disability community around Canada. Ramya is also the Co-creator of Adventures, a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind, based in Toronto, offering and facilitating opportunities for blind and low vision individuals to challenge comfort zones and take part in daring physical activities. Ramya always makes time for hobbies; including singing – for herself and sometimes others, dancing – mostly Brazilian Zouk, and brushing up on her culinary skills.