There is No Key Note

Academic lecture, participatory flower arranging action, 2018.

A participatory performance action offered in lieu of a keynote address at the Imagine Queer conference at Newcastle University. The action aimed to orchestrate and aestheticise a polyphonic situation that shared the power of the keynote among participants.

Participants were invited to collectively arrange flowers, recite texts of their choice, and to leave the performance space whenever they wanted, thus co-authoring the conculsion of the conference, whose aim was to explore “the radical potential of queerness now”.

Central to the action’s conceptualisation was staging a way for Nemer to withdraw from the position of power afforded to him as closing keynote speaker.

The gesture employed a polyphonic, participatory aesthetics through which to redistribute power more equitably, while proposing a strategy informed by queer histories of withdrawal and sublimation for my retreat.