Alt-Text Object Labels
Alt-text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load, but it is also necessary for low-vision viewers on a website or for media. Each component of the installation is accompanied by an alt-text image description and a QR Code created in collaboration with two other disabled queer scholars, Sarah Cavar (they/them/theirs) and Hannah Sullivan Facknitz (they/them/theirs). The alt-text image descriptions make it clear that disabled people belong in museums, and our collaboration exemplifies what Alison Kafer describes as the ‘political relational model of disability’ and its emphasis on interdependence and mutual aid. Via the QR codes, visitors are invited to access a website for additional alt-text about the installations.
The origin of this idea came from disabled spaces on Twitter, a third space where many disabled scholars and activists talk and discuss issues related to disability. They theorize and create together in this accessible space that does not require the usage of images or video unlike Instagram or Tiktok. These alt-text labels are inspired by the Alt-Text as Poetry project by blind and low vision disabled activists and poets Bojana Coklyat and Shannon J. Finnegan, who created a prompt in order to move alt-text away from a burden of compliance model, and into a more playful and sensory experience that acknowledges the wealth of Alt-Text as a medium.
With the above-mentioned collaboration, we co-wrote the Alt-Text for the installations and had Alt-Text poetry to accompany the images on the website. The website itself also has alt-text within the pictures itself, that can be accessed through hovering over the website. The website also can be accessed through scanning QR codes on the object label. Ultimately, the goal was to make accessibility a focal point of the information design for the exhibition and installations, while reinforcing and anchoring the collaborative disability justice approach to my thesis. It is important to note that I cannot make this work without my friends and community members, so this was a way to name and include this nod to community contribution. The Alt-Text and alt-text poetry can be read on my website for the exhibition: https://www.iamtruetomyoscillations.com
This Work is Only Theoretical to
Those Who Do Not Live It, 2022
Neon sign, pink light and yellow accents against a black
background. It reads, in all caps, “THIS WORK IS ONLY
THEORETICAL TO THOSE WHO DO NOT LIVE IT. The text
is left-justified, slightly lower than center and occupies
most of the black background.
No // Sleep, 2022
Yes // No // Sleep, 2022
Interactive fiction zines, paper
There are two 5.5 × 8.5 inches zines, one that says
“No Sleep” on a multi-color red and yellow splash
background, which also says “Iris Xie, interactive fiction
zine, one player” on the bottom of the cover. The
second zine is black and white, with large text on the
cover that says “Yes // No // Sleep,” which also says “Iris
Xie, interactive fiction zine, one player” on the
bottom of the cover.
Signal Lost, 2022
Board game, cards
The box, booklet, and cards before you is of paper and
cardboard printed in various colors of indigo, forest
green, burgundy, sky blue, fuschia, and light pink, with
spectral, glitch-like boundaries that fade to a light blue,
like the cover somehow lost its dye. Across this bleeding
color, faint isometric circles are tangled throughout.
Dotted white lines of various sizes freefall across the
indigo-white-blue spectral landscape.
On the box cover and the booklet, centered, large
bold black letters in all caps read, “Signal Lost.” On the
bottom left the text reads, created by Iris Xie and on
the bottom right the box explains it is home to a party
board game for 3 or more players. As “Signal” sits atop
“Lost” the “I” and “L” connect as one. On the cards, they
say the following words, Keeper, Receiver, Astronaut,
Message, Channel, and Key.
Stim How You Want!, 2022
There are three white shelves, with mounds of tan
kinetic sand that are placed on the shelves. They are
large, over 15 pounds each, and have contrasting
surfaces of smoothness and roughness, with the sand
particles breaking away from eachother
to show texture.
falling asleep // LYING AWAKE, 2022
Falling In // GETTING OUT, 2022
Lyric games, paper scrolls
Four long scrolls sit side-by-side-by-side-by-side,
corners held to the wall by wooden french cleats,
which are hidden and wrapped behind the paper,
and are secured to the walls with french cleats, tape,
and screws. The scrolls start 14 feet off the ground,
cascading onto the ground and rolling out onto the
floor. They bear slight physical creases from un/rolling.
Their titles, left-to-right, are: “falling asleep” (“asleep”
is positioned to the lower right of “falling,” as though
fallen itself), “LYING AWAKE” (in close proximity and all-
caps), “Falling In” (the first of the group to be typed in
a gentle sans serif font), and “GETTING OUT” (written in
sans serif in close-crowded caps).