Without technology, the human body is a pretty proscribed instrument. We cannot write without a pen or pencil, nor eat hot soup without a bowl and, perhaps, a spoon.
And yet, only certain technologies are labeled “assistive technologies”: hearing aids, prostheses, wheelchairs. But surely our pens and pencils, bowls and spoons assist us as well. The human body is not very able all on its own.
My curiosity about how we think about these camps of “normal” and “assistive” technologies brought me to Sara Hendren, a leading thinker and writer on adaptive technologies and prosthetics. Her wonderful site, Abler, was recently syndicated by Gizmodo. I talked to her about why crutches don’t look cool, where the idea of “normal” comes from, and whether the 21st century might bring greater understanding of human diversity.
Artist & Illustrator:
"VICTIMS: Form from the Formless”
"War causes pain and distortion. World War One produced many wounded soldiers. Many documented photographs showed very alive soldiers with the worst wounds ever imagined. Their very face was distorted to the point of no possible recognition. These victims had a formless face.
Monotypes are a challenging medium to create representational form. Taking this handicap into consideration, I used it as an opportunity to create portraits of these wounded soldiers. The intent was to produce the most formless, abstract shapes to create something that had an implication of a “face”. There were originally thirty monotypes created. Only these few survived. ”
Prayer! (2013) - Syrian Artist SUHAIR SIBAI
ِA prayer against the oppressors الظالمين