close up of a yellow and blue circuit board

What’s behind Short Circuit?

There is a sense (real or assumed) that disabled artists may often be excluded from ‘digital’ arts – by a lack of access, confidence, knowledge and opportunities to play.  Access is often an afterthought and disability can be seen as a problem. Rather than ‘bolting on’ access to standard opportunities, Short Circuit provides an alternative. It turns things round and starts with the creative prowess of disabled artists, fusing that with a range of experts in digital processes.

Short Circuit is all about the art not the access – the aim is to design an accessible process for artists to explore the potential of digital rather than a process for artists to explore the accessibility potential of digital. It’s a process that is about exploration, play and learning, not focused only on output/creation, although that might be a by-product.

We are not calling this process a ‘hack’ – the word means different things to different people and can be seen as exclusive and inaccessible. It’s closer to a incubation type project. It has a real desire for equity between the artists/technologist/coders/technitions at its heart, and yet it will be disability-led, amplifying the disabled artists voices though it.

The process is seen as being as important as the product, so we want to make it transparent – both for longevity and learning. Thats why we have created this site. And its important for us that Short Circuit has legacy too, so we are linking up with Brighton Digital Festival in September 2013 to report on our progress later within the year.

Is it just for the South East?

Short Circuit comes from a regional perspective but aims for national impact and reach. There is a commitment to working with partners in the South East, and to include a percentage of partners and practitioners and interested NPOS from within the region within the process at all levels, but we are also interested in working with people and partners nationally.

Thanks to…

Mark, Vicki, Ellaura and Mason for the circuit image we are using on the site (and thanks to Flickr and its Creative Commons licence too).