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Date of Publishing:
March 29, 2024

© Leo Hosp

Queer Accompaniment

Leo Hosp

From autumn 2022 until spring 2024, I accompanied the Action for Sustainable Future (ASF) hub as an artistic researcher. The ASF hub was a temporary support and funding structure for projects working at the interface between art, science, and society. Regarding its name, the ASF hub can be described as an action providing the framework for further actions taken by the projects. The hub can be considered innovative since it went beyond financial funding and involved accompanying offers like workshops or counseling for the projects from their establishment onward. By doing that, it aimed at fostering the engagement of society in and with research and at rethinking how research is being done. Rather than merely involving civic actors, the projects emerged from society and were offered guidance from the beginning. Many experimental elements were present: The projects were encouraged to experiment, e.g., by using both artistic and scientific methods. The ASF hub can be seen as an experiment of governing research, e.g., by combining monetary funding and other supportive offers, thus bringing together financial issues with intimacy. Finally, the support structure was set up experimentally, involving not merely “practical” offers like counseling on project management but also artistic elements. Part of the latter was my accompanying artistic research: Under the title I can see queerly now, I investigated queer perspectives on and queering as a practice in collaborative processes, which was entangled with my own queer identity. My research was connected to the work on dizziness by Ruth Anderwald + Leonhard Grond, wherein, amongst others, we brought together thoughts on queer(ing) and dizziness and explored artistic research as accompanying research.

“Seeing queerly now” plays with the vagueness of queer as an (un-)clear viewpoint that can(-not) be reached. When talking about queer perspectives, I like to start with the metaphor of looking through a kaleidoscope. It can be playful, seeing your ecologies in a fun way, yet it may also lead to catching a glimpse of a surprising effigy of reality that appears cracked or nebulized. These are the two elements of queer perspectives: On the one hand, celebration – cherishing marginalized experiences, fostering solidarity, care, and compassion, and centering joy. On the other hand, disturbance – challenging and dismantling power structures, resisting normativity, busting the apparent given, and providing alternatives. In my research, I balanced a fine line between seeing queering and queer perspectives as something beneficial for collaborative processes and acknowledging the resistance of queer against being utilized, instrumentalized, defined, or even understood.

Accompanying the ASF hub meant offering queer perspectives as points of view for all involved to take. They include multiple stimuli and angles, both new ones and ones that have always been there, yet that we might have forgotten. Taking queer perspectives and practicing queering within collaborative processes can make normative structures visible and flexible, it may help make sense of our ecologies collectively and individually and realize our common ground by coming together and becoming attentive to each other.

Now, after roughly one and a half years of accompanying the ASF hub, I realized I will never come to fixed results on what queer perspectives on project work are, yet queer elements of project work became discernible. Thus, instead of a conclusion, I am proposing a manifesto of a queer way of doing project work, opening up my research at the end of it. It is not to be read in chronological order, even though the reading flow is directed by the limitations of written text. I invite you to engage with the manifesto by, e.g., executing it, adding or removing things, distributing it, mixing its points around, or visualizing it; and, if you wish, let me know your thoughts. Which points do you like? Which do you dislike? What is missing? What could be left out or adapted? And how can this manifesto be implemented?

The Queer Project Work Manifesto

Dream.
Embrace and plan failure.
Practice care and compassion instead of understanding.
Embrace and plan dizziness.
Seek joy and follow the process.
Commit to twisted and branched paths, and to getting lost.
Embrace not knowing.
Include sensations of your body and mind.
Disturb normative power structures.
Embrace transformation and change.
Include nothingness.
Celebrate marginalized experiences.
Slow down.
Remember your common ground with others.
Combine things that you do not think go together.
Ask for help.
Let go of all expectations. Use positive expectations of best-case scenarios to put you in a state of joy, and then let those expectations go too.
Let yourself be surprised.

Footnotes
Literature

See: Hosp, Leo. 2024. “I Can See Queerly Now. Queer Perspectives on Project Work.” Reposition Journal of Reflective Positions in Art & Research, no. 02: Manuscript accepted for publication.