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Alison Bennett is a neuroqueer new-media artist, her work has explored the performance and technology of gender identity and considered the convergence of biological and digital skin as virtual prosthesis. Alison received a grant from Lesbians Incorporated in round one of 2019 to develop her project ‘SKIN’ as part of the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
‘Skin’ is an artwork exploring the intersection of autism and queerness, it will comprise of a moving image artwork projected on Melbourne Trades Hall featuring high resolution images of tattoos. Through these marking on the surface of skin, the work will explore neuroqueer experience of entangled embodiment – the sense of one’s body merging with the environment. Projecting images of the surface of the skin onto a building is one expression of this entanglement.
This work highlights as aspect of the unique experience of a marginalised and poorly understood population. Neuroqueers are often excluded from queer spaces due to sensory sensitivities such as difficulty being in loud environments with flashing lights surrounded by too many people . This work will facilitate discussion towards a better understanding of autistic queer experience.
Female experience is under-represented in mainstream discussion of autism. Women have historically been absent from autism research and are often diagnosed later in life. There is an emerging community of women who are realising they are on the autism spectrum.
The project is being undertaken by a queer autistic woman and a majority of the participants identify as queer women. SKIN will have regular free screenings at the Fringe Hub during the festival.