Museum Show Highlights Media-Makers on the Autism Spectrum

Page 1 of 1 [ 2 posts ] 

ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,065
Location: Long Island, New York

31 Mar 2022, 9:18 am

New York Times

Quote:
When his autistic son, Nate, was growing up, Josh Sapan used to take him to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens where the video game exhibitions helped Nate connect to the world.

Those experiences inspired Sapan, a museum trustee, to help establish a program that would not only acknowledge the important role moving images can play in the lives of those on the autism spectrum, but would also highlight people on the spectrum who create those images.

“I was just thinking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was some recognition for the work being done by people on the autistic spectrum?” said Sapan, the executive vice chairman of AMC Networks. “In its elevation, it might also stimulate funding and education and awareness.”

The result is Marvels of Media, an exhibition, awards ceremony and festival that opens March 31 and celebrates media-makers on the autism spectrum.

Dena L. Gassner, a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee within the Department of Health and Human Services, served on the museum’s advisory committee. She said that some people on the spectrum respond to the rhythmic nature of moving images, particularly those they can watch again and again. “They like the familiarity and the predictability; there is a pattern to that,” said Gassner, who is on the spectrum, as is her son.

Twenty media works were chosen for awards from more than 3,000 nominations received from 117 countries. The 12 award categories include animated shorts, digital art, documentaries, narrative features and video games.

The selected pieces range from DIY projects to those created with large production budgets.

“The message behind the show is self-advocacy,” said Sara Guerrero-Mostafa, the museum’s deputy director of education and community engagement, who organized the effort with two other staff members — Miranda Lee and Tiffany Joy Butler — along with Sapan and an advisory committee of advocates, experts and artists.

One entry, “Satan Cured My Autism” is a 20-minute “mockumentary” by Jackson Tucker-Meyer — who, like the other artists, is on the spectrum. It pokes fun at what has come to be known as inspiration porn. In his film, Tucker-Meyer, 27, portrays Jimmy, a young autistic character who has two personas: one who “has learned to assimilate into neuraltypical society — we call it masking,” he said, and the other who “doesn’t care about social niceties.”

Among the 18 works on view at the exhibition are Bradley Hennessey’s An Aspie Life, an arcade-style video game that deals with “scripting,” the strategies used in autism education to help people know what to do in different social situations. “Having an exhibit is going to shed more light on our experiences,” Hennessey said.

The 2021 film “The Father of Rodents” by Bryn Chainey, portrays wrestlers from Australia in the United States. Alba Enid García Rivas and Julio Garay, a wife and husband team from Puerto Rico (Garay and their daughter are autistic) have created puppets and an animated film about a grandmother teaching her granddaughter about their Taíno ethnic group: “Dak’ Toká Taíno/Yo Soy Taíno/I Am Taíno.”

The exhibition also features the 2007 short film “In My Language” by the blogger Mel Baggs, who died in 2020. The film, which offers a window into the minds of people who think and communicate in nontraditional ways, gained wide exposure through coverage on CNN when it was first released on YouTube.

The submissions were reviewed by a panel of experts that included Sapan; the actors Joe Pantoliano and Tony Goldwyn; Cheryl Henson, the president of the Jim Henson Foundation; and the producer Brian Grazer.

The festival includes a workshop on creating access riders for artists with disabilities, an animation workshop and film screenings.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,065
Location: Long Island, New York

01 Apr 2022, 9:08 am

Award ceremony in Queens celebrates artists, media makers on the autism spectrum

Quote:
As Autism Awareness Month kicks off, a special recognition was made in Queens for some artists and media-makers who are on the autism spectrum.

"Playing video games for me was an outlet for stress and anxiety," game developer Bradley Hennessey said.

For Hennessey, video games are more than just games. So now he's using video games to show the world, what it's like to be living with autism.

There's obviously the rain, there's people walking, there's people talking, so all these different sounds he's feeling sensitive," Hennessey explained about the video game. "My hope is to give people a bit of an understanding what it's like to live with autism."

Hennessey was one of a handful of artists and media-makers on the autism spectrum celebrated Thursday night by the Museum of the Moving Image at its first ever Marvel of Media Awards ceremony on the eve of Autism Acceptance Month.

"There are 9 of us. Nine out of 12 of us with autism in this film," filmmaker Dani Bowman said.

"I bet you can't tell who is who, and it really doesn't matter because we're all equally competent animators," Bowman said. "It's really hard for people on the autism spectrum to get into the animation industry but we have to push even further. The words I would say, you can't be it if you can't see it."


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman