With Tirza T. Latimer
Within an analytical framework shaped by queer theory, art-historical methodologies, and anthropological protocols, this performance investigates the rituals and artifacts of lesbian electronic courtship. Working with (spurious) primary documents that simulate the visual and textual data circulating on websites such as Match.com, this intervention seeks the convergence of two modes of cultural interrogation: performance art and academic conferencing. It also reflects a desire to examine queer culture from disciplinary perspectives that do not often intersect institutionally, however much they may have in common.
Tirza, in black suit art historian garb at one podium, delivering a serious paper on the above topic. The paper’s title is, alternatively, “From Barroom to Chatroom, A Trans-Genre Performance” or “Lesbian Mating Rituals in the Post-Alcoholic Era.” EG stands at a podium on the opposite side of the stage, clad in pink polka-dot pajamas. She works her laptop in real time and the audience sees her internet dating transactions projected large. While Tirza is speaking, EG searches for love on the LEZNET website. She checks out profiles, sends out queries, then discovers Tirza’s profile. They begin messaging back and forth (the audience sees EG type while Tirza’s responses appear automatically). Tirza is aloof, but bates EG to create a profile. The audience watches EG struggle with the template, filling in answers in real time. Tirza’s theoretical posture comes together with EG’s active search as they realize they will be on the same conference panel. The performance ends with the two embracing and walking off the stage.