My work explores the livedexperiences of a disabledbody in cyberspace. An awkward, but loving, digital embrace with my “dysfunctional” body.
Ash Hagerstrand (she/they)
Mad Pride (2023)
We dream of augmented bodies pushed beyond the boundaries of organic living. Yet when we augment and optimize disabled bodies it causes discomfort and disgust. People gawk at the wheelchair user, people sneer at my cane. When placed into practice why is the cyborgian body so disquieting? Our relationship to technology hinge in our association with wellness— augmentation is only divine, sleek and transcendent as long as it does not stray too close to reminders of mortality.
“Utopian” futures are often imagined as free from illness, disability, and even death. “eternus” reimagines disability and the process of dying as essential human experiences through the lens of an ai-powered health company. As the machine reaches its goal of eliminating human suffering the human population falls to zero. With no one else to heal, the machine becomes trapped in a “re-optimization” loop, attempting to re-examine decaying and glitching research files for where they went wrong.
Ash Hagerstrand is an artist, writer, and curator currently working in Brooklyn NYC. They graduated with their BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. Their artistic practice explores the complicated intersection of disability and technology. As an extension of this practice, she founded Chronically Online Gallery, a virtual art space dedicated to showing disabled and chronically ill artists