CONTEXT

Philosophically, we’re inspired by Jack Halberstam’s queer theories on failure, stupidity, and wild things. Here, that means embracing AI’s messiness in search of Halberstam’s “disorder of desire”. Historically, queers have had to use code to find one another with examples dating back to the 19th century where homosexuals in the British Navy spoke Polari, 20th century gays wore colored hankies to signal exactly what sex they wanted, and today, lesbian, femme, and transgender people (mis)use Instagram as a dating app. Artistically, we know many artists as fellow Eyebeam alums working with AI including Stephanie Dinkins and Rashaad Newsome. We want to shift their use of AI as a machine-to-human conversation to machine-to-machine. Technologically, we’re inspired by “Generative Agents: Interactive Simulacra of Human Behavior” authored by several Stanford professors. They built a small virtual town filled with 25 generative AIs running off ChatGPT to simulate everyday human conversations, whereas we'll build THE QUE3R WORLD with 7 chatbots using several LLMs to create queer slangs.

IMPACT

We want to create a living language for queers to articulate the criticality of contemporary networked culture, flipping the script on heteronormative technology. We’ll model community-driven machine learning by putting queers in control of AI. We need our networked slang to infect X/Twitter spaces and be catchy hooks on YouTube released rap songs. It’s time to invent the next word, phase, or whole argot. We want our contributors and audiences to feel the responsibility of power, in dialing bots up or back and making slangs more or less legible. We want them to become AI linguists, ethicists, and activists. To go spread the word(s), theirs and the bots, all of which we’ll document in THE QUE3R WORLD book.


AUDIENCE

We want to engage the diversity of queer practices across disciplines, media, and subculture and co-create something queer people can participate in and call their own. Individually, we’re aiming for queer people who celebrate connecting with other queers in subversive, authentic, and non-censured ways. Communally, we’re going to start within our queer kin and work outwards – THE QUE3R WORLD is by and for us. At first, only friends, and friends of friends, will have access to the website. The goal is to grow slowly to allow queer grassroots efforts to direct the machine learning. Organizationally, we hope to work with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, LACMA Art + Technology Lab, and JUNGE AKADEMIE for their AI Anarchies series.

CATALYST

Both Mark and Chris have been collaborating with fellow artists for over a decade, including current THE QUE3R WORLD members Itziar, Sammy, and SHAWNÉ. The WORLD is a project of THE QUE3R LAB, a network of artists and technologists creating more just, representative, and joyful futures for queers through art. As we make and grow together we’ll be asking ourselves: how should we govern, what does mutual care look like, and when should we expand our mission to support individual practices, possibly through fellowships and classes? As an art collective, we’ll be looking at how DIS and Forensic Architecture have evolved. As educators, we’ll speak to our peers Ari Melenciano of Afrotectopia, Paul Soulellis of Queer.Archive.Work, and Taeyoon Choi of School for Poetic Computation.