[-empyre-] (no subject)

Macon Reed swapmeetproject at gmail.com
Wed May 11 10:00:24 AEST 2016

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the lovely intro Kyle!

Kyle and I were talking and thought a good idea for a starting point
would be to share a bit about my most recent project, Eulogy For The
Dyke Bar. For those who are not aware, there are very few dyke (or
lesbian) bars left in the country. While spaces focused primarily on
cis gay men have felt some loss, whole neighborhoods, bars, and apps
often remain present and active for them to experience. Female and
feminine-spectrum queer people are hit much harder by the impacts of
things like gentrification, socio-economic disparities, etc.

Project Description:

Eulogy For The Dyke Bar is a fully immersive structure that revisits
the legacies and physical spaces of dyke bars, an increasingly rare
component of the contemporary queer cultural landscape. Made of simple
materials and seductively saturated colors, this hand-made
installation includes a full bar, pool table, jukebox, and
wall-to-wall wood paneling.

The installation is activated through its use as a fully-functional
bar and programming within the space. As as interactive,
community-centered site, Eulogy For The Dyke Bar acknowledges the mass
closing of dyke bars, asking a host of questions: Why are these spaces
closing? How do cultural and socio-economic factors, such as
assimilation or gentrification, contribute to this phenomenon? Are the
same factors impacting spaces for gay men? What role have physical
spaces such as dyke bars played in the past and how has that changed
over time? How do we learn from these spaces and move forward in
creating new ones that are safe and affirming for all female and
feminine-spectrum communities while embracing expansive notions of
gender and sexuality across generations?

*Eulogy For The Dyke Bar uses the term "dyke" in its most expansive
sense and recognizes that gender and identities are complex and fluid.
If you have identified with the term or an experience of feminine-
spectrum queerness in the past or present (or perhaps future), and/or
feel an affiliation or ally-ship with dyke culture, you are welcome,
and valued at the dyke bar.

Events in EFTDB:

Central to EFTDB is the active, meaningful inclusion of members of the
queer community across spectrums of gender identity, age, sexuality,
race, sobriety, class, etc. The closing Eulogy Ritual event is a
powerful site for conversation as it creates a space of support,
healing, education, and storytelling across generational, ideological,
and other divides within the community. Poets, organizers, artists,
writers, and other community members come together to memorialize dyke
bars with stories and performances that contemplate their place within
queer community in the past, present, and future. Additionally EFTDB
hosts trivia nights, drag shows, podcast listening sessions of the
Last Call: NOLA series, and panel discussions with theorists, bar
owners, and community organizers.

In closing:
This recent project of mine and has really changed the way I plan on
working in the future. I see my work as both an object maker and
organizer here, creating a sort of container or frame for a
conversation to take place. I got to create this installation two
times this year and was really moved by the number of people that
turned out to both share their stories and listen. The piece
definitely hits on gentrification and socio-economic disparities that
queer (and particularly female and feminine-spectrum queer people)
experience, but also reaches to connect and heal people across
generational divides. I prefer when a project can work on a lot of
different levels at one time, guided largely by those who bring
whatever they need to share to the space. I have more to say and think
the project needs to improve in a few important areas, but will start
by sending this out for starters.

Looking forward to hearing more from you Erin and Miguel (and everyone) I
think we will have lots to think about!

Thank you,

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