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Tan, KS., 2019.

Too Much/ Not Enough 'Neurodiversity' in UK Art & Academia?

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Birkbeck Arts Week
Venue:Birkbeck, University of London
Publisher:Https://, Birkbeck, University of London
Dates:21/5/2019 - 21/5/2019

It's been 1 year since Kai's #MagicCarpet project was launched at the Art Workers Guild (04/2018), when we unpacked the term 'neurodiverse art'. Since then, there's been a mini-explosion of activities tagged 'neurodiversity' in UK arts & academia, but, or hence, the term remains contested. Have we got too much 'Neurodiversity' in UK Art & Academia -- or is there not enough critical, genuine engagement?

This is the edited transcript of Kai's speech. The speech was part of the event Too Much or Not Enough: Neurodiversity and Cultural Production. This was part of the Birkbeck Arts Week, on 21 May 2019 at Birkbeck, University of London. The event consisted of a film screening and discussion with Kai, curator Alessandra Cianetti, and literary researcher Dr Sophie Jones. We explored the aesthetics of neurodiversity and the place of invisible disabilities in the cultural industries. The evening began with a overview by myself on the contested term 'neurodiversity', followed by the premiere of the film, Brisk/Risks, which explores risk-taking within and beyond ADHD. This was followed by further responses and provocations by myself, Cianetti and Jones and a discussion. Associated with the event was a 5-day exhibition of my #MagicCarpet in Room 106, which was also artist Vanessa Bell's studio. Bell, sister of Virginia Woolf, worked in tapestries too. The exhibition and event were part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2019. There was also a podcast of the evening. This event is funded by a grant from the Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

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