Cruising the Manifold, Disoriented. is a spoken word live act manifesting as a meditation on a carpet, a poetry recital set to a backdrop composed of GAN depictions of queer landscapes.
A Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) trained on an image database of common objects in context (COCO) was made to generate depictions of physical spaces from a simplified textual description. Instead of pointing to the algorithms bias for its inability to offer a plausible representation in the form of a persuasive image, this inability is understood as a queer failure, a failure that allows for these spaces to remain fluid, unfixed by the petrifying forces of the pinkmarket.
Bodies marked by a sexual, gender, race and class difference are compelled to search for spaces of freedom and intimacy away from the gaze of the ‘rest of the population’. Historically these spaces often took the form of gatherings in parks, beaches and public bathhouses. But ever since the post-Stonewall liberalization in which we got recognized as an assembly of LGBT target groups on the pinkmarket leading to the emergence and proliferation of dating apps, these public spaces progressively deterritorialized into the private sphere, rendering queer encounters even more precarious.
Queer encounters are not exclusively sexual. Encounters queer when one comes in contact with (an)other, a moment of touch past the hetero/homonormative. In this spoken word live act, accounts of searching for such encounters on personal excursions to a park, a beach and a darkroom are molded into poetry. A meditation on sensing, (re)orientating and navigating in these unstable landscapes which take form in painting-like, blurry and almost indistinguishable depictions produced by a text to image algorithm.
It is getting late and dark in the tear garden.
There is a man standing next to the roses.
Opposing me. Faceless. He is bigger than me.
I nod in approval and we get lost in the shrub on the left.
Sensing his touch firm and I enjoy his belly pressing upon mine with hairs warmly swirling. Spiking. Heating.
Strong smell sweeps me under the knees and I let myself be caught in the
squeeze embrace of his werewolf arms.
Under this fuzz a swallowing kiss devaurs.
This project was developed as part of the Summer Sessions Network for Talent Development in a co-production of Metamedia and V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media.
photo documentation: Magdalena Orellana