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York College Art Gallery

LGBTQ+ in Queens

The Future American Retrospective (FAR) is an ongoing documentary project spearheaded by York's Daniel Phelps. Phelps, and his crew, recorded the 2018 LGBTQ+ Symposium’s conversations in a variety of new technological formats. Those interviews and conversations are featured in the exhibition at York College’s Fine Art Gallery.

March 28 - April 26, 2019

Gallery Installation views:

Looking Back on a Generation of LGBTQ+: Ideas and Issues, was the title of the fall 2018 LGBTQ+ Symposium held at York College. The event brought together multiple generations of LGBTQ+ activists, scholars, students, and Queens community members to reflect on over sixty years of personal and political histories as well as looking forward as a community poised to tackle an ever-changing landscape.

With the support of the Queens Memory Project and The Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College, two panels from the symposium were recorded in high-fidelity 8K immersive video/Virtual Reality (VR). The first panel discussed “Activism” in the LGBTQ+ community. The second panel discussed how “Gender Fluidity” has emerged as an important factor in defining identity.

In the front of the gallery is FAR’s first-of-its-kind, 4-screen immersive public VR space, allowing multiple people to experience the Symposium discussions, conversations, archival photos, and LGBTQ+ art in a welcoming public environment.

A VR head-mounted display allows viewers to experience the environmental footage recorded for The Future American Retrospective Project. Locations include flying high over the California skyline, Manhattan Rap-Battle events, gun shops, small-town kitchens and more.

In the gallery’s two rear spaces are full length videos (presented on 4K-Ultra Hi-Definition video monitors) featuring the unedited conversations in “little big planet” format. This flattened immersive video technique allows viewers to follow the conversation as they see fit, promising context and a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.

Through art, technology, and modern archival practices, all of these discussions represent rich, long-lasting contributions to Queens LGBTQ+ communities in particular and to knowledge about LGBTQ+ lives for everyone.