A Diversity of Tactics

I am a writer, performer, activist and professor currently living in Brooklyn, NY. I teach at Eugene Lang College (Culture & Media, Gender Studies and Integrated Arts) and the School of Media Studies at The New School, in the West Village. My artistic, activist and academic work are mutually informing extensions of each other. My research and teaching are importantly influenced by the cultural and political scenes that I inhabit; my artistic productions are invested in an odd-ball and fleshy approach to the theories of cultural expression I take up in my academic productions.

As an artist I got my start in the booming (largely feminist) spoken word scene of Vancouver in the late 1990s and since then have been making work that draws from cabaret, costume-based and alter-ego performance, agit-prop theatre, stand-up comedy, video and sound art, installation and intervention. These performances reflect an ongoing quasi-pseudo-autobiographical meditation on feminine composites, class mobility, sexuality and style.

My current academic work focuses on the social life of queer and feminist grass-roots performance. This work includes a book on translocal cultures of queer and trans- feminist cabaret, provisionally entitled Sliding Scale, and a large-scale archive and ethno-historiography of feminist and queer community-based performance and media in Canada, called Viscera & Ephemera. I am also in the process of developing a collaborative research-creation project with Jasmine Rault and Dayna McLeod, called the Cabaret Commons: a user-generated digital archive and gossip rag for grass-roots queer and feminist artists, audiences and researchers. We are preempting the creation of this archive through a project/process we’re calling “Feeling Speculative in Digital Space.” Over the course of the next year or so, we’ll be doing some utopic imagining for a digital space that is informed by trans- feminist and queer ways of knowing, being, and making. My first book, entitled Poetry’s Bastard: The Illegitimate Genealogies, Cultures and Politics of Spoken Word Performance, is under contract with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

I am deeply committed to the knowledges and aesthetics of transformational media, performance, subjects and scenes, and my art-research-activism-teaching moves through the politics, spaces and places of genre, memory, agitation, consolation, desire and perverse identifications.