Folding Bodies: Tracing Desire Lines


As a trans and nonbinary artist, I challenge the normalization of trans identity through mainstream media, seeking to create a form that is leaky and uncontainable. My art practice consists of an expansive process of working with graphite and ballpoint pen on print, butcher, and handmade paper with incorporations of naturally dyed fabric. I intricately crease and fold paper to locate rather than label a fluid state of being. Through the accumulation of my marks and folds to create pages and then books, I articulate the necessity of repetition in reaching new possibilities, existences, and expressions. The folds and cuts that form my mutant books become the unifying factor across my body of work as marks of my decision-making and agency. Although resistant to a single definition, mutant books are typically 16-page Zines that can be cut in a variety of ways to achieve different patterns, folds, and structures. Through my use of mutant books, I reach a form of representation that keeps my trans body intact, positioning transness as a way of seeing and being seen, unexpected, and filled with potential. In both my life and making, I navigate the consequences and tensions of visibility and invisibility. Furthermore, in my writing and creating, I am informed by Sara Ahmed’s concept of queer orientations, Jack Halberstam’s trans haptic, and José Esteban Muñoz’s queer futurity. Through the different cuts, creases, folds, and rendering, I construct landscapes and portraits through revisiting moments, relationships, and places that I have been given by my family and have found through my desires. In mapping out my experience of coming into and existing in a queer orientation, I identify points in which I have come into contact with different bodies and objects to reshape my own. I employ the form of the mutant book as an adaptable and moving art object to invite opportunities for reinvention and becoming that disrupt the agenda of heteronormativity and embrace queerness. Across my body of work, I hope to involve the viewer in my path of becoming queer: a process of deviating and reorientating one’s self, often in the face of discrimination, that puts new objects and bodies in reach. In the curves, planes, and renderings of my work, I invite the onlooker to navigate the twists and turns of my assembled table and field, hoping that they get lost and see the potentiality of going astray.



trans, queerness, representation, visibility, zines, potentiality, futurity