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Art Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Other Social Sciences Theory

Transgender Traces: Techno-Bodies Through Time

By Binghao Wong, 2015

This decade has witnessed the rampant visibility of transgender in popular consciousness, culture, and media. Consequently, transgender is being increasingly represented in visual culture and contemporary art. However, its recent insurgence must be examined with skepticism and at a critical distance. Past queer movements have taught us that difference is often fetishized, assimilated, co-opted, and then discarded by heteronormative hegemony. Instead of viewing transgender as a trend or trace, this paper advocates extensive, nuanced engagements with its ever-expanding spectrum of possibilities. Employing critical theory and various other queer methodologies and materials, Transgender Traces analyzes the emerging contemporary art practices of transgender artists Heather Cassils and Zackary Drucker in relation to vital historical and theoretical issues. Both artists perform a common thematic of techno-bodies through time, alluding to the diverse embodiments and durational experiences of transgender subjects. By recognizing the radically diverse plurality of transgender, rather than its reductive, tokenistic traces, TransgenderTraces aims to contribute to discourse that critically re-values queer inclusion and visibility For full text or more information, please e-mail at wong.binghao@gmail.com

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