FROM: Fox Whitney, GENDER TENDER performance project
Time is working differently in the virtual realm. Below is a document of a moment in time that I experienced as a 24 hour day. A Thursday that was high noon and a Friday that happened at dusk but inhabited many midnights. An hour long event that took place on a Sunday but felt like 10 seconds and a lifetime. Hyperspeed and a stick of butter taken out of the fridge left on the kitchen table to soften in winter. A week that felt like a year. A minute that felt like a lifetime.
I keep hearing this from my fam: “Time is working differently these days”. It had already melted for us and we were sliding around and getting stuck and now it feels like a waterslide and who knows how long it is but we just keep going. Our eyes are swollen and our thighs are ragged. And there is pleasure and rage and so much of that beautiful UNKNOWN.
My collaborator Loren Othón summoned Elijah McClain on Thursday. Neve Kamilah Mazique-Ricardi and Wryly T. McCutchen conjured Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells, Brayla Stone and Tony McDade with me on Friday. All of Gender Tender bringing Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and ANONYMOUS into the digital building with us on Sunday. And always I feel that Stormé Delarverie is with me.
I walk in virtual space keeping an eye out for kindred spirits. I find them crumpled on the floor and/or bragging and boasting and/or flirting xo or keeeeeening and/or showing us what they are creating and/or too frozen to even shout out “I am here.”A hashtag is not a voice it is an archive made of light for anyone who cares to follow and maybe that’s the best social media has to offer. It’s not even necessary to friend me or be online. I see you anyways. I hold Stormé’s gun in my hand. It transforms into a flashlight made of sunlight and I send something out into the void to signal to my past and future ancestors:
I see you, you hold me, I am you. Today is our day. Today will last forever.
I won’t forget you.
I would like to acknowledge that I am online and I am also on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.
MELTED RIOT: BLUE
THURSDAY June 25, 2020
Close your eyes
Imagine a sphere of blue light resting in the center of your throat between the base of your neck and your eyes.
The color of the summer sky outside of Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin, 1966.
The color of the summer sky outside during the Clean Sweep protest, San Francisco, 1966.
The color of the sky outside of Cooper’s Do-nuts, Los Angeles, 1959.
The color of the sky outside of Dewey’s Restaurant, Philadelphia, 1965.
The color of the sky.
Imagine we come together underneath the blue sky.
We take the shape of a line, a ladder, a shield, a circle, a river, a mountain.
The clearest bluest sky you’ve ever seen.
Open your eyes
7 PM PDT: https://vimeo.com/432717346
Gender Tender Meditation 5/7. Featuring Loren Othón, Will Courtney and Fox Whitney. IG live June 25, 2020.
MELTED RIOT: INDIGO
FRIDAY June 26, 2020
11 AM PDT:
Close your eyes
Imagine a sphere of indigo light rests inside your skull in the center of your head behind your forehead.
The color of midnight, dark denim, deep water.
Everybody’s Talkin’, a song by Henry Nilsson was on the jukebox at the Stonewall Inn during the week of the Stonewall Riots in 1969. The song was featured in the film Midnight Cowboy, a film I believe is a queer love story.
A queer tragedy. Watching this film from 1969, I imagine I can touch the landscape of New York City at midnight, I can glimpse the same streets Stormé walked on the way to the Stonewall Inn. I imagine Stormé wearing an indigo dyed jean jacket while being assaulted by a police officer, struck by a baton. Blood dripping down forehead, speckling the jean jacket, staining the asphalt.
I imagine Stomé, eyes closed, face down on the sidewalk.
What colors were seen behind those closed eyelids?
The word indigo refers to the dye made from the plant indigofera tinctoria, The green leaves are used to make the inky blue black dye. When the plant blooms, pink and violet flowers emerge. Anything is possible.
What do you see blooming inside of your mind’s eye?
What world can you imagine?
Open your eyes
7 PM PDT: https://vimeo.com/433068510
Gender tender Meditation 6/7. Featuring Wryly McCutchen, Neve Kamilah Mazique-Ricardi, Will Courtney and Fox Whitney. Dark denim deep water. IG live June 26, 2020.
MELTED RIOT: CHROMATIC
SUNDAY June 28, 2020
7 PM PDT:
More info about the residency as well as links to the 7 Gender Tender Meditations and CHROMATIC events by visiting the links below.
The Melted Riot Digital Residency was supported by On the Boards theater in Seattle, Washington. Fox Whitney is currently an Artist in Residence at OtB and is working with the Henry Art Gallery to bring Melted Riot to the Online Photography and Print Collection in September. Find out more about Fox and what he’s up to at www.gendertender.weebly.com.