maximal me

Queer Maximalism

Last week we had a talk from artist Pete Jiadong Qiang on their VR and AR works, followed by an exhibition of their VR works. Pete refers to their aesthetic as Queer Maximalism. In contrast to aesthetic minimalism, Queer Maximalism embraces extra-ness. Vibrant colours and complex forms celebrate personal expressions and personality more generally. It a form of Digital Autoethnography that explores the self and its constitutive parts. Pete’s work is fluid.  In each of his character, or avatars, one body part is blended into the next by a textural collage that draws from the most mundane (their bedroom, West Bromwich), to the most fantastical (WOW characters, floating dolphin hands which make my hands feel weightless). Pete’s world-building follows suit, drawing the viewer in to examine the detail in each world. It is hyper in every way.

In the VR worlds, Pete explores their hyper body. Pete described theirs as  a Hyper-religious-sexual-gastronomic body. Someone accurately described the VR rendition of Pete’s body as a visual spicy hot pot.

The question was posed: what would be your maximal self?

If you were to do an ethnography of yourself, what would it comprise of?

Maximal me isn’t there. At least not visibly

less in space more in time

Maximal me is a ghost

My hyperbody would be sonic, which means its fluid, like Pete’s. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t touch it, it still feels, like when the airs crisp

As sound, my individual self if hidden and a multiplicitous self would come into being

my voice is not just mine, but a chimera of roddy’s and alexs and now vids…

like my opinions

I speak out of their mouths

Wind oscillates a dance while a mish-mash of songs play

Maximal me is syncopated

At 140,70,129 …