Printing a New Story: Self-representation, Disability, and Digital Fabrication
Keywords:Digital fabrication, disability, complex embodiment, counter-hegemonic narratives, poetic practice
This essay presents an account of an AHRC Connected Communities Innovation project which used creative writing techniques as a process for generating personally meaningful digitally-fabricated objects, probing the potential of making practices to catalyse cultural change with and for disabled people. This account explores the processes and products of experimental approaches to digital fabrication, speculating that they may be understood as a kind of poetic language, capable of generating counter-hegemonic narratives, which may be read as acts of self-representation. Digital fabrication’s literal/metaphorical qualities are read through the lens of ‘complex embodiment’, proposing that this technology may be particularly suited to inclusive auto/biographical expression, empowering disabled people to print new stories for and about themselves.
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