Why Queered Temporalities?
Time is tricky: It’s a thief, an illusion, an investment. It flies, binds, disappears. Time is not neutral. It’s the medium of sacred history, assuming objectivity and linearity. It’s a purveyor of naïve progress narratives and “normal” life cycles. It’s a tool of imperialism, relegating infantilized Others to the past: stuck, stagnant, backward and requiring modernization and salvation. It’s Eurocentric by design—Greenwich Mean Time positioning England as the regulatory center of temporal measurement.
Time deserves a good queering. In doing so, our theme takes its cue from such cultural theorists as Jack Halberstam (In a Queer Time and Place), Lee Edelman (No Future), José Esteban Muñoz (Cruising Utopia) & Elizabeth Freeman (Time Binds).
Why “Anachronistic” and “Asynchronistic”?
As we inch toward the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, “OUT of Time” (“OUT” connoting queerness) endeavors to both honor and unsettle such accepted LGBTQ+ lineages, (re-)imagining other queer pasts and building possible queer futures from the jumbled remnants of our ancestry. Less interested in work that approaches history as straightforward or sacrosanct, we solicit work that complicates, confuses and contemporizes history: que(e)rying its objectivity and approaching the past not as precious, but as possible. In addition, we solicit art that engages the temporal dissonance of gay generational divides.
At a time when technology has us speeding ahead at full velocity and (xenophobic, transphobic, racist, jingoistic, anti-environmentalist…) politics have us spinning further into oblivion, “OUT of Time” is extra apropos. Thus, we also seek work that critically addresses our current sociopolitical climate of impending disaster in ways generative and galvanizing.
Can You Give an Example?
Yes! Last year’s Opening Night Showcase, “BODY SHIP” by Jeepneys and White Boy Scream (pictured in the header image above), touched on more than one meaning of “OUT of Time,” reinterpreting Magellan’s historical journey to the Philippines as a futuristic opera—one replete with apocalyptic visions of neon danger and colonial purging.
What Can We Expect?
In addition to OUTsider’s always wild, diverse array of queer art and academe, this year we will be peskily playing with time, whether resurrecting vanished queer historical practices and artifacts through parties, showcases and a festival design that put a wackadoo spin on the colorful queer past, or summoning our own raucous queerpocalypse with spectacular flair.