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Club XXY: Radical Practice in Virtual Environments

Poster

Poster

Club XXY: Radical Practice in Virtual Environments

Club XXY is a practice based research project imagining the future of social spaces, both online and offline in the wake of 2020/1.

Through interviews with architects, journalists, technologists and club promoters, Club XXY explores how systemic exclusion and oppression are imbued into the fabric of built and digital environments, and the critical resistance practices employed by space makers in order to centre and affirm the marginalised communities they serve. This 360° scroll around web documentary collates these interviews inside mock-up virtual environments, and imagines how radical spaces might operate if re-envisaged virtually. 

Club XXY is an output of research into social VR conducted in the advent of a global pandemic, the temporary and permanent closure of community (particularly queer and minoritised communities) spaces and an unparalleled movement of the social, political, working and resting facets of life into the digital sphere.

It also comes at the end of year which has seen unprecedented global protest against state violence and systemic racial oppression. In thinking about futures that look safer and more egalitarian for people of colour and Black people in particular, women and trans women in particular, and D/disabled people (understanding of course that those identities are not mutually exclusive) activists are often forced to think about space from a ‘reformist’ or ‘intervention’ perspective. Working within the bounds of existing structures including political systems and structure of power, but also literally buildings, business models and fundamental physics.

Social Virtual Reality can offer something different. It offers the potential to create new visions of social spaces that can abandon inequitable spatial design, certainly, but in the process expanding conceptions of what bodies can look like, how they move and how they interact with space it can also fundamentally destabilize constructs of gender, race and disability.

Tessa Ratuszynska


University of the West of Scotland

Biography

Tessa is an artist, researcher and producer based between Glasgow and Bristol, making work at the intersection of Documentary, Virtual Reality, Installation and Performance. They curate, produce and host VR and immersive arts exhibitions, working with organisations like Limina Immersive, Submerge Festival and Sheffield Doc Fest and have produced a number of internationally touring VR experiences in collaboration with artist Jane Gauntlett, and with the Bristol based artist collaborative project The OthVRs. This work foregrounds neurodivergent, queer and other ‘othered’ perspectives. Tessa is currently completing a practice based PhD at the University of West Scotland, creating Virtual Reality Non Fiction exploring queer identity, gender and performance and is recently completed a New Talent Fellowship on the Bristol and Bath Expanded Performance Pathfinder working with Bristol and Bath universities, and the Watershed, where Tessa is also a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio.

Club XXY: Radical Practice in Virtual Environments

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