a manifesto of queer art

back to void plaza words

i wrote this in 2018, and while i'm not sure i believe all of it anymore, reading it after 5 years made me feel something, and maybe it will make you feel something, too.

Art is a means for the radical exploration of the self and for bridging the gap between the person you are on the inside and the person you pretend to be on the outside. There is no split consciousness. The body/brain dichotomy is a social construct that only exists because we are taught to repress. There is no real you or fake you. Just you and the things you do to distance yourself from everything else.

The cultivation of chaos is essential. Contradictory ideas can coexist. Binaries are not real. People are messy and nothing fits perfectly into any place or time. The space for ambiguity is at the center of queerness.

Pursue pure honesty. Honesty with yourself is sometimes the most difficult kind. Confronting your own trauma, toxic behaviors, and vicious patterns through the act of creation will allow you the room and context to become closer to yourself and to create more authentically.

Pure honesty requires resolution on the part of the creator; you must adjust your processes and behaviors based on what you learn about yourself. You must be open and willing. Change is difficult. Accept well-intended criticism. Listen when someone says you hurt them. Accept when you are wrong.

The act of creation is act of expression. Of feeling. If something you create doesn’t make you feel, then what’s the point? If you can’t make other people feel, what’s the point? Feeling is radical. Apathy and disaffectedness aren’t cool anymore. Fuck nihilism. Fuck doom. Be sad or joyful or angry or horny or whatever. Let yourself feel.

DIY ethos is a necessity. Community is a necessity. Do things yourself. Do them together. Start a gallery in your bathroom. Host poetry readings in a park. Ask for help and offer active support. No one is going to give you anything unless you ask.

Be genuine. Say what you mean. Don’t say what you don’t. In art and in life.

There is no higher purpose. Life is meaningless. Nothing matters. Which means the only things that matter are the things that we do, the things that we make, the ways we treat each other. Don’t take this for granted.

Go to therapy if you can. Be kind. Stick up for yourself, even if it’s hard. Don’t let the undeserving take advantage of your kindness. Save yourself the heartache.

Post fliers on the bulletin board at your neighborhood cafe. Spread news of events by word of mouth. Print zines. Go to book stores. Our community is increasingly centralized online and it has fractured us. No more Instagram performativity. The corporate internet is not a home. We will be present. Face to face. Fuck queer loneliness.

Love is the most important thing. Love your friends. Your chosen family. Your partners. Let yourself be loved, even if you don’t think you deserve it. What is art without love?

posted on 1/28/23