concept of disability aesthetics.

Describe Tobin Siebers’ concept of disability aesthetics. In what way is modernity, or art’s modernist period, preoccupied with disabled subjects? How does this concept demonstrate the essential connection between aesthetic form and the human body?

In addition, describe what Lennard Davis means by understanding disability as a modality, or a way of being in the world. What, exactly, is a “disabled moment” as a modality? How is ability, as opposed to disability, temporary? Why is that important for Davis? How can all of this help us change the binary of ability/disability? Think especially about what Davis refers to as the “Medusa-like gaze of the observer.” Explain this in your own words.

Finally, consider how Viktoria Modesta demonstrates Siebers’ disability aesthetics in her music video for “Prototype.” Watch her music video here:

Consider what the narrative of the music video is. How are her aesthetic choices similar to Siebers’ descriptions? How are they different? How does Modesta provide a postmodern update to Siebers’ view? Does Modesta and her video catch the viewer in a “Medusa-like gaze,” as Davis describes it? Do we, the viewer, who is defined by an able-bodied world, get caught in a “disabled moment?” How and why? In true postmodern fashion, what “truths” is Modesta revealing about ideas of disabilities, femininity, technology, power, and individual agency/empowerment? Why is this important? Pay attention to Modesta’s performance, her music, and the video itself.

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