Shitty Alt Text

Alex Haagaard

2019. Printed digital images.

This work, which Haagard initially introduced on the social media platform Instagram, highlights the pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated alternative text (also known as “image descriptions”). While AI accessibility represents a potentially-generative approach to accessibility, it also takes the burden off of content creators to produce meaningful image descriptions, thus negating an analysis of the “access labor” (Hickman) involved in producing access. Shitty Alt Text thus invites conversations about the crip rituals of calling out inaccessibility and negotiating better relations between content creators and observers. Haagaard’s work here, initiated on social media platforms, foregrounds the ways in which hashtag activism is a #CripRitual.

The series includes automated alt text renditions of several highly recognizable works from European Art History.

Mona Lisa, is a black square with white text inside reading “Image May Contain: One or More Persons.”

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