Hostile Infrastructure


A participatory installation that let people experience the feelings of rebelliousness, slight indignity, failure and amusement that disabled people feel on the daily. It was presented in April 2019 at Testing Grounds in Melbourne. Participants were invited to wheel a wheelchair down a long neon lit corridor that narrowed imperceptibly, creating an unforeseen challenge of navigation. 


Artistic Rationale

By using a wheelchair to navigate the work participants will, by design, feel some affiliation with people that live their lives with a physical disability. As a wheelchair user the artist has a great deal of real world experience in dealing with hostile infrastructure. Often it is not apparent that a building, structure or route will be inhospitable to people with reduced mobility and this work is designed to reflect those hidden challenges. The bright colours and neon lights employed are intended to create an inviting installation that participants will want to enter. It is only after committing themselves that the challenges of navigation will
be recognised.

As a person living with a physical disability this work has a special significance for the artist, who uses a wheelchair on a daily basis to navigate the world. He is often presented with obstacles and challenges that at first glance are not immediately apparent. This work is his interpretation of these challenges, in an obviously bombastic manner, that he hopes will create the same feelings of rebelliousness, slight indignity, failure and amusement in the participants.