The Buoy

Description (in English): 

“The Buoy” is a work of poetic auto-fiction that functions as a performative powerpoint presentation. Drawing inspiration from long tradition of concrete poetry, “The Buoy” is structured by a series of diagrams that strive to create a new form of language for dealing with topical political issues involving marginalized identities. The formal progression of related diagrams serves to simultaneously defamiliarize our current perceptions about language as a communications medium and to allow for new meanings and associations about language and identity to emerge. The content of the piece asks the following questions: How do we talk about things that are hard to understand? How do we talk about ourselves? How do we talk to others? How do we talk to others about ourselves? And, ultimately, how do we communicate across existing societal and political barriers? The thematics of the piece are concerned with a personal history of growing up queer in Texas, a state that remains socially conservative despite work being done to advance queer rights across the United States. The piece allows for a new way of thinking through aspects of personal identity that may conflict with the context in which one lives. By providing a new mode of signification for communicating these challenging themes, the piece serves to complicate and critique the ways we currently talk about both social issues (on a large scale) and moments of contention in our daily lives (on a personal level). Furthermore, the content of the performance zooms in on the personal, detailing the challenges that emerge with one’s family of origin and how such relationships shift and evolve during the period of emerging adulthood. In an attempt to interact with these fraught concepts, the piece weaves together a variety of texts and theoretical arguments to further emphasize the ways we work to conceptualize and stitch together our own identities and then to communicate those identities to others. How do we talk about who we are? How do we talk about who we are with those closest to us? How do we talk about who we are when we’re worried others will fail to understand? Specifically, the piece employs tactical concepts in sailboat racing, terminology presented by cultural theorist, Eve Sedgwick, in her text Touching Feeling, and larger theories surrounding semiotics and language, as it strives to provide answers to such questions.

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Record posted by: 
Meredith Morran