Saturday, September 1, 2012

Underwater wheelchair

Sue Austin is a British multimedia, performance, and installation artist working toward her master's degree at the University of Plymouth. She is disabled due to ME and it is central to her art: She is the world's first underwater acrobat in a wheelchair (photos above and here). She uses the materiality of the chair to reconfigure preconceptions about physical limitations and question the meaning of "other." Her performances result in what she calls “surreal juxtapositions and quirky re-presentations of disability equipment to facilitate new ways of seeing, being and knowing.” Austin developed the world's 1st self-propelled underwater wheelchair - which is equipped with swimming floats, fins, and 2 foot-controlled drive propulsion vehicles - with a team of engineers and diving experts. She demonstrated it in the pool at the Osprey Leisure Centre in Weymouth last week and is staging a series of undersea scuba performances called "Creating the Spectacle!" (see video here), to mark the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing events. While the artist has gathered no moss, her chair has developed rust, which has her considering the construction of 2nd generation model made of titanium.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.