April 27, 2020 - Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art - Alt-Text as Poetry
April 27, 2020

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art

Courtesy of Shannon Finnegan.

Alt-Text as Poetry
May 7, 2020, 6pm

Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
25 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013

199 Cook Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Grey Art Gallery, New York University
100 Washington Square East
New York, NY 10003


Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Eyebeam, and Grey Art Gallery at New York University present Alt-text as Poetry, an online workshop developed by Shannon Finnegan and Bojana Coklyat, and led by Finnegan.

Alt-text is an essential part of web accessibility, making visual content accessible to blind people and people with low vision. It is often overlooked altogether or understood through the lens of compliance, as an unwelcome burden to be met with minimum effort. How can we instead approach alt-text thoughtfully and creatively? 

This online webinar reframes alt-text as a type of poetry, using language that is pared-down, yet expressive. Writers Amelia Bande, Candystore, and Kimberly Drew will describe artworks and event documentation images—those most often found on institutional websites—and have their texts workshopped, learning from one another’s strategy and techniques. Alt-text as Poetry creates an opportunity to rethink accessible visual content, inspiring thought, care, and playfulness.

Shannon Finnegan is a multidisciplinary artist making work about disability culture and access. She has created projects for Friends of the High Line, The Invisible Dog, and the Wassaic Project, and other institutions. In 2018, she received a Wynn Newhouse Award and participated in Art Beyond Sight’s Art + Disability Residency. She was an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam in 2019.

Amelia Bande is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer and performer from Chile. Her solo and collaborative work has been shown at Artists Space, The Poetry Project, Storm King Arts Center, Tang Museum, MoMA Library, MIX NYC, Abrons Arts Center, Participant Inc., and more. She has been an artist in residence at WORM Filmwerkplaats, The Shandaken Project and Yaddo. Her chapbook The Clothes We Wear was published by Belladonna in 2017.

Candystore is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist and writer whose work has appeared in Paper Magazine, Riot of Perfume, Phile Magazine, RFD, Mesmer, Hand Job Zine, and others. She-he has performed at Club Cumming, The AC Institute, Situations Gallery, LaMama Galleria, and every time she-he uses a public restroom.

Kimberly Drew is a writer, curator, and activist. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies. Drew's writing has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, W, and Teen Vogue. Drew recently left her role as the Social Media Manager at The Met. Her upcoming book, Black Futures, which she is co-editing with Jenna Wortham is due in 2020. You can follow her at @museummammy on Instagram and Twitter.

Access information:
The webinar will use Zoom with closed-captioning and will include ASL interpretation. All content from the slide deck will be read aloud and described. A variety of images will be shown onscreen with a range of contrast and complexity. A Q&A will be conducted using Zoom’s chat function. If you have questions about access or would like to make a request, email info [​at​] leslielohman.org

Alt-text as Poetry is one of several forthcoming online events held by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art that center access, care, queer histories, and the intimacies we can find in times of distance and pandemic. Register for our emails on our website and follow us on Instagram  for information on future programs. 

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
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