Pop Art and Disability: The Return of The Literati
Last time, I discussed how my love for art and imagination transformed into a love of culture and language. I will now show how my own views have emerged to fit together both art and culture while living amongst my able-bodied and colleagues; in literature and a Pop Art aesthetic. Pop Art is inherent in easily accessible and recognizable media, (Like Star Wars.) resulting in patterns of emotions and actions revealed themselves in the ability-extending (hereafter, superhuman) language during the course of the embodying. (ex: Jedi Luke.) Particularly, the themes that arouse fear of dys-appearance (the appearance of malfunction.) I have called the able-bodied aesthetic. I called it the able-bodied aesthetic in that there are perspectives shared and differing on what the "norms" of the body are, and those perspectives result in actions and the assumption of roles by both the strong disabled and the able-bodied aesthetic. Because the body can be viewed as pleasing from different perspectives, as Lyotard explains to Jean-Luc Thebaud in Just Gaming, to speak of what is pleasing is to pressuppose universals of a particular audience: "It means that there are judgments of taste, and that these judgments are universal. In other words, things are there; they are in place" (Lyotard and Thebaud 1985 p. 11). These differences in "universals" of a particular audience are the basis for what I call the strong disability culture. The strong disability culture is necessarily an interdependent one, with the independent living agency acting as a supplier of resources. A culture develops in the use of signs between disabled and able-bodied as both negotiate their shared aesthetics and narratives. To quote Theodore Schwartz: “Culture consists of the derivatives of experience, more or less organized, learned or created by the individuals of a population, including those images or encodements and their interpretations (meanings) transmitted from past generations, from contemporaries, or formed by individuals themselves” (Avruch 1998 p. 17) if we are to accept the above definition, then we must also accept disability as one aspect of culture, with its own artistic expression, and the common experiences that are accessible through Pop Art, with which both able-bodied and disabled participants can share an easily accessible intercultural “lexicon”.