QIY: Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival

What: QIY: Queer It Yourself —Tools for Survival
Opening Reception: Saturday June 4, 1–5pm
Exhibition Dates: June 4–24, 2011
Where: SOMArts Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street (between 8th and 9th)
What Else:
Free admission. More information at http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/

QIY: Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival

Inspired by the late 1960s utopian builders’ guide A Whole Earth Catalog, QIY: Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival presents a forum for queer do-it-yourself culture and alternative world making.

QIY is envisioned as a laboratory for creating a sustainable queer culture and demonstrating the power of self and community organizing, re-creation, speculation, and transformation. As an antidote to anti-sociality theories of queerness (that suggest queerness can only be rendered as a negation of heteronormativity), Queer It Yourself invites artists to forge their own tools for surviving the everyday challenges of contemporary queer existence.

The exhibition is built around artists’ workstations, participatory spaces, hands-on training sites, maps, and user-friendly art that uses immersive and interactive experiences to demonstrate the idea of art as a tool, as having active agency within the totality of a meaningful lived world.

The QIY curators have queered the index of the original “Whole Earth Catalog” and adapted its thoughtful and useful categories to frame our own QIY space.

Land Use / Dig it (organic farming, community gardens, eco-projects, cruising sites, earthworks, recycling projects).


Photography by Flo McGarrell, part of the Dirtstar exhibition

Shelter / Sheltering (guides to urban and rural homemaking, greening your living space, creating mood lighting with energy efficient fixtures, housing collectives, polyamorous living).


Photography by Tammy Rae Carland

Craft Making / Queering it (queer arts and crafts, craft demos, how-to guides and workshops).


Weaving/Fiber Art by Jeremy Sanders

Commerce / Selling it (selling it, experiments with capitalism, fashion collectives, sexwork, alternative book, art, and product distribution).


Zine by Rachel Woods

Community / Join in (political organizing, queer community organizing, ad hoc political action committees, queer pride, gay shame, organizing your first demonstration).


Poster Art by Joan Jett Blakk courtesy GLBT Historical Society

Nomadics / Roaming (the culture of the road, the runway, the superhighway, transnationalism, queer diasporas, queer immigrant and exile cultures).


Video by Adra Wilson

Communications / Connecting (zines, homo-core music, queer speed-dating, independent publishing, social networking, blogging, promotional strategies, writing your first press release, street art, queer graffiti).


Vanguard Magazine (late 60s) courtesy GLBT Historical Society

Learning / Get Schooled (community art and culture projects, health activism, continuing education, grant writing and fundraising, guides for queer survival).


Poster by Ricardo Gamboa | Youth Leadership & Engagement Project

Style / Working it (working the runway, drag king culture, drag queen culture, fashion and make-up tips and tricks, makeover demonstrations, finding the right photographer for your head-shot).


Workstation display by The |wör|iors curated by Cee Sando

QIY curatorial committee:
Terri Berlier, Josh Faught, Jordy Jones, Rudy Lemcke (chair), Matt McKinnley, Pamela Peniston, and Tina Takemoto

Exhibition Coordinator: Nicki Green

Exhibition Design: Matt McKinnley

Banner image credit: Tammy Rae Carland