Sunday, October 11, 2020

Be Queer

You Can Be Anything You Want As Long As Your're Queer

October 11 is National Coming Out Day.  The right day to finally post this.

Nat Pyper, GB Jones Poster (2019)

Larry Wolf, You Can Be Anything Queer (2020)
I've had this poster on the wall behind me for months. I picked it up at last year's Chicago Art Book Fair. It is an encouragement to be who I am, whoever that is, however that changes. 

I like that the font is a shout out to the character cell graphics of the 1970s and 80s with their low res monitors and dot matrix printers. It is also the font of movie theater marques using individual bulbs to create the letters.

The font is a bit hard to read, so that the message can be hidden in plain sight and while it is pretty visible on my video calls, very few people stop and ask me what it says. 

The Source Film

GJ Jones, The Lollipop Generation (2008)

The quote is from GB Jones. The font is from their 2008 film The Lollipop Generation

G. B. Jones’ The Lollipop Generation is a film about runaway queer kids, a gang of lollipop-eating social misfits let loose on the streets of Toronto. They stumble into drugs, danger, and prostitution, and inhabit an underground culture infused with a pervasive yet innocent kind of sleaze. Seasoned with a bottom-up punk aesthetic and a good handful of homemade porn, the film presents an altogether refreshing critique of the stultifying norms of convention.

The Font

Nat Pyper on Instagram (November 16, 2019)
Nat Pyper ( created the complete font as part of their Queer Year of Love Letters.

A Queer Year of Love Letters is a series of fonts that remembers the lives and work of countercultural queers of the past several decades. The series aims to make the act of remembering these overlooked and illegitimate histories accessible to other people, as easy as typing. Better yet: it aims to make the act of typing an act of remembering. That these fonts might be considered typefaces is incidental. They are an attempt to improvise a clandestine lineage, an aspatial and atemporal kind of queer kinship, through the act of writing.

I began making these fonts in order to rapidly document and disseminate the work and ideas that they cite. I pack these histories, or part of them, into fonts for a couple of reasons. First, font files are durable. OpenType fonts (.OTFs) have persisted in their ubiquity since the late '90s and maintain their utility as a nimble and reliable format. Second, fonts have the capacity to contain a hefty amount of information within a tiny package. In under 100 kilobytes, an entire alphabet! In the font’s metadata, a manifesto! Fonts then function as a useful format for ferrying information from one place to another.

Nat Pyper (2018) 

My Desktop Wallpaper

I have a print of Lee Marmon's Laguna Eagle Dancers on my wall from the National Museum of the American Indian. Seen quickly, the eagles are soaring. Looking at their shadows, the humans are clearly present. The photo is my current wallpaper, visible behind the browser. 

Lee Marmon, Laguna Eagle Dancers (1949)

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