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Form Follows Foreplay

Saturday, June 8, 2019
7:30PM—9:30PM EDT
The Beach at Fishermans Path, Fire Island Pines Free
Molly Adams, Nicolas Baird, Evander Batson, Parker Bright, Andres Chang, Tiger Dingsun, Luba Drozd, Charlie Ehrenfried, Casey Halter, Wilson Keithline, Deirdre Keough, David Kim, Aidan Alexis Koch, Shannon Lee, Jake Sillen, Yannik Stevens
As the sun sets on Saturday, the Institute of Queer Ecology will translate the mating rituals of five species found on Fire Island, including a horseshoe crab orgy and a bluejay throuple. These translations, taking the form of mark-making in the sand, will be performed in five movement phrases on the beach and will be accompanied by a live score of music with field recordings responding to the island's natural and social ecologies—tidal shifts and pop cultures mixing with animal tracks and seduction rituals. The performance will be followed by a dance party on the beach.

The Institute of Queer Ecology initially proposed producing a Sand Poem as a form of empathic research display, following our 2-week experiment in drafting a queer theory of Island Biogeography. E.O. Wilson, the famed Sociobiologist, and Ecologist, published the “Theory on Island Biogeography” in 1967, asserting how multispecies communities reach a state of balance. The book became a seminal work of early ecology and still influences how people think about the balance of nature, harmony, and equilibrium today. Influenced by the residency’s particular position on an island that’s two defining features are its historic queer community and its designation as a national seashore and subsequent wildlife preserve, IQECO sought to map a comprehensive ecology of these human and nonhuman communities and display our research in the sand. The temporality of sand is especially salient to think with on an island faced with precarity. 3 feet above sea level, Fire Island was breached in multiple sections during Hurricane Sandy, and one of those rifts has permanently altered the island’s geography. A similar rift is affecting queer relations across the community, as dating apps replace cruising, and the cold glow of screens erase an intimate social choreography that evolved endemically on this island. The title, Form Follows Foreplay, is taken from Christopher Bascom Rawlins’ book, Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction. During our research, the Institute of Queer Ecology speculated that the island’s architecture has a direct relationship to various choreographies and mating rituals playing out daily on-site.