This project is motivated by my personal challenges to get out of bed on a daily basis. Further it stems from my political commitment to access the experiences of others, exploring creativity differently and difference creatively. Failing to get out of bed can be seen as a radical act of defiance. Going against the pressure to pretend I am ok. To pretend everything is going to be ok if I just get out of bed and do stuff.
Failure to get out of bed invites an alternative route of doing or making that counters the authority of a singular or one “correct” outcome that is to get up and produce. Taking care of myself is an action. Choosing to stay in bed can be a choice and an act of self care.
Cripping notions of resilience is about imagining a place for non-recovery, imagining a life where days in bed will be available and utilised without shame. Such imaginings enable us to think of more accessible futures and alternative interdependent ways of sustaining an artistic practice. For some neurodivergent artists and artists who have experienced disabilities getting out of bed is already too taxing at times. What if we could take the opportunity to create and perform straight from our beds. Bed/blogging and bed/forming is a strategy to produce a space free from compulsory neuro and body normativity.
Making the aesthetics of care visible means accepting unstable possibilities and inconsistencies are a very probable outcome allowing us to imagine ourselves otherwise. What kind of settings do we need as neurodivergent artists for our bodies and minds to thrive not just survive? What potentials might we unlock by permitting ourselves to have a day in bed without having to explain ourselves?
Living in a society where the necessity of caring for others is devalued and grossly underpaid, makes being in need of care raising for most of us a huge sense of discomfort. The ethics of care sees autonomy as partly illusionary, fostering the myth that ‘society is composed of free, equal, and independent individuals who can choose to associate towards an aesthetics of care with one another or not’ (Held, 2006: 14).
The aesthetics of care are about making the need for care obvious, highlighting one’s conditions of labour and wellbeing. This project is a kind of call for political action to change the normative consciousness and counter the myth of independence as the ultimate desired outcome and able-bodied and able-mindedness as a default position.