Feb 8, 2016

Mapping queer experiences

Caroline Plummer Fellowship - Week 1

Lots of threads have begun to unravel this past week in playing with the idea of mapping queer and trans* experiences of public spaces around Dunedin city.

I've been:

- exploring ideas of queer choreography and queer contemporary dance technique,
- considering the possibilities of parties, picnics and discussion groups as ways into exploring notions of experimental and temporary queer communities,
- noticing the surfacing of the public and private in all spheres of my life,
- developing small tests that map desires and queer feelings,
- toying with the implications of queer time and queer space,
- scribbling notes on inclusion, exclusion, the binary of dirty / clean, intersectionality, safety, invisibility, darkness, introversion and agency...

So yeah, necessarily I've been thinking a lot about toilets.

 >Otago University library<

In particular, I've been thinking about bathroom experiences for transgender, non binary and gender non conforming folks. There are heaps of disturbing and inspirational legal cases, hearings and stories in a number of countries being talked about online at the moment. So I'm taking creative cues from the important work being done around these issues by trans activists, and on-to-it journalists and lawyers etc.

I've been taking photos of toilets from outside looking in, and from inside looking out and around. And I've been dancing inside toilets, and recording the soundtracks that are played inside public loos. I've been thinking about shame, privacy and the sacred body. And I've been dreaming about utopic queer bathroom designs.

 >The Good Earth Cafe, Cumberland st<

Anyone who knows me well, knows I've always had a thing for toilets. So now I get to make some live art and performance work in relation to these intimate, contentious and mysterious spaces. This part of the Fellowship project will be connecting in with OUSA's Diversity Week, which runs from May 16-20. My hope is to create experimental spaces and structures for temporary queer and trans communities to thrive in. THIS CLOUD IS QUEERING!

 >behind The Atheneum off the Octagon<

I've also been imagining and listing methods of mapping for this project, where the question of how to map queer experience has been opening up.

I've been going on lots of walks, mapping out my own pathways from home to office, to supermarket, to friends' houses, to the green belt, to the Leith.. etc. One night I ended up down the bottom of Serpentine Ave, and found myself drawn to the dark recesses inside The Warehouse carpark.

>The Warehouse carpark, Serpentine Ave entrance<

I started filming short clips of me doing 'queer choreography'. With the question of what is queer choreography? No answers yet! But some interesting off-shooting ideas, which I will focus my next post around I think.


Feb 2, 2016


Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance 2016 (project runs Feb-July) 

@ University of Otago

- mapping queer and trans* experiences of public spaces around Dunedin city - 

one-on-one walks, conversation, somatic experiments, mapping, site-oriented practice, choreographic and live art tests

#co-imagining  #the_political_body  #hand_holding

haha, thoughts on this?
Dunedin is a designated queer utopia.