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UPDATE 10/27: Due to unforeseen circumstances, our featured speakers aren’t available and tonight’s scheduled workshop has been canceled. If this virtual program is rescheduled, we’ll share that information via WAM e-News, social media and here on the website. We apologize for any inconvenience.

When you speak with others, whose conversation is it? Who is included and, more importantly, who’s being left out? How does the way we design the conversations we have, and the spaces in which we have them, affect who can access that interaction freely? How could we better make room for one another in our conversations? After nearly three years of meeting and engaging online, Zoom (and its counterpart platforms) have now become commonplace. And meeting virtually has opened up avenues for accessible participation for individuals with differing levels of sensory ability that face-to-face encounters usually don’t achieve—thanks to readily accessible live captioning, easy ways to “pin” and “spotlight” speakers, etc.

Join us for an online version of the Flashlight Project, a workshop, where we’ll explore the frameworks of conversation in this now-familiar, virtual environment, led by artists Liza Sylvestre and Christopher Jones. Let’s use what we learn together to deconstruct the normative ways we interact to find fresh modes of communication that might invite more folks to join in.

About the Artists

Artist Liza Sylvestre is shown seated, facing the camera. Liza Sylvestre  is a multimedia artist and Research Assistant Professor within the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign where she has co-founded the initiative Crip*: Cripistemology and the Arts. Her work has been shown internationally at venues including the Plains Art Museum, Weisman Art Museum, Roots & Culture, Soap Factory, Soo Visual Arts Center, John Hansard Gallery, ARGOS, and MMK. Sylvestre has been the recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and residencies including a 2021 Joan Mitchell Fellowship, artist-in-residence at the Weisman Art Museum and the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science (CATSS), and a Citizens Advocate Award from the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH). Sylvestre’s work has been written about in numerous publications and books including Art in America, Mousse Magazine, Ocula Magazine, Art Monthly, and SciArt Magazine.


Artist Christopher Jones is seated in front of a bookcase, dressed casually in a gray t-shirt and smiling enthusiastically.Christopher Robert Jones is an artist and writer based in Illinois. Their research revolves around the “failure” or “malfunctioning” of the body and how those experiences are situated at points of intersection between Queer and Crip* discourses. They are currently a Specialized Faculty in the Studio Art program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.




Image (top): Christopher Jones and Liza Sylvestre on a darkened Zoom screen, with only their faces illuminated by flashlights. Captioning at the base of the screenshot reads: “Hi, how do you communicate. What is communication. What is zoom, zoom.” Screenshot from a Flashlight Project workshop courtesy of the artists.