© Leo Hosp
To me, queering is characterized by bearing the duality of both disturbing and celebrating. This implies activity: On the one hand, queering can be a process, practice, or change agent that disturbs, dismantles, and resists. On the other hand, queering can celebrate, make visible, and connect. When talking about queering within artistic research, queer aesthetics need to be included. Put simply, queer aesthetics are, rather than being a specific color scheme or the like, challenging norms (e.g. in design) and often include transgressive, maximalist, messy, excessive, and playful elements. They offer multiple ways of relating and reacting to them.
With those thoughts in mind, I would like to draw the first connections to dizziness. Queer, as the Mary Nardini Gang puts it, “is the qualitative position of opposition to presentations of stability” (Mary Nardini Gang 2014). Queering includes questioning deeply internalized norms and beliefs, often leading, in a first step, to uncertainty and insecurity. If the state of dizziness means being destabilized, disoriented, and in a state of uncertainty, can queering then be something that leads to being dizzy? If queering means questioning heteropatriarchy itself, can queering make this system of power dizzy? Can power systems, or specific parts of our belief system, even be (put) in a state of dizziness?
The celebrating character of queering implies viewing queering as an innovative practice that fosters intersectional inclusivity. Here, queering means taking different perspectives and solemnizing marginalized experiences. Queering itself can be a perspective too, which is then also an intersectional perspective, amongst others looking at social categories like race, class, and gender, but also the factors time and space (Molina 2017). Queering space is, again, both about disturbing structures of heteropatriarchy inherent and reflected in spaces, as well as about creating safer and intersectionally inclusive spaces. Those spaces can be a place of belonging, of feeling at home – especially for queer people. Here, further fruitful questions between queering and dizziness appear. Who feels dizzy in which spaces? How does a specific space influence who enters the state of dizziness? Do queer people feel dizzier in certain spaces? Can queering as a practice help to navigate dizziness? If most spaces are rather hostile to queer people, does that mean queer people are experts in being dizzy, and/or in navigating dizziness?
This brings me to queer bodies, meaning more than the bodies of LGBTQIA+ people: Bodies that, merely by existing, challenge stereotypes and norms on gender, presentation, or fashion. Are there certain bodies that stagger (“taumeln”) more than others? Who or what gets dizzy, gets thrown off balance, when queer bodies enter a space? This, both on a metaphorical, and on a physical level, brings us back to an intersectional perspective, including thoughts on (dis-)abilities in space.
I see another connection between queering and dizziness when it comes to the concept of messiness. MYCKET’s practice offers a helpful way of thinking (Vallerand 2021, 389): Spaces that are inclusive for a diversity of people are often messy, and so is thinking about those spaces; and this messiness should be celebrated. To me, messiness has something uncertain, unforeseeable, surprising. It can be overwhelming, but also offers multiple ways of entering and exiting. If the aim is to see dizziness as a resource, if we want to develop practices that allow a productive and creative way of navigating dizziness collectively, maybe celebrating messiness as just outlined can be a helpful way of thinking in the process.
To me, both queering and dizziness are productive terms since they are indicating process and are therefore connected to being in motion and rousing. This active character opens possibilities, it allows new paths to emerge that others can follow – therefore it is a resource in the process of change towards sustainability.
Mary Nardini Gang, Toward the Queerest Insurrection (The Anarchist Library, 2014).
Irene Molina, prologue to Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice: Materialisms, Activisms, Dialogues, Pedagogies, Projections, ed. Meike Schalk, Thérèse Kristiansson, and Ramia Mazé (Baunach: Spurbuchverlag, 2017), 95–99.
Olivier Vallerand, “Messing up the Domestic: Queer Bodies Expanding Architectures” Somatechnics 10 (2021): 397–415.