The First Edition emerged in the fall of 2010. From scientific cupcakes an interactive fundraising component for Out In School‘s High School Confidential event. We stood in lab coats with clipboards for notetaking while talking gender and sexuality, selling posters, and helping people to select which elements might represent their personal molecule in the form of buttons and magnets.
Living Culture is Iterative
As the Work continued to be accepted for showings, the interactive public engagement component energized a total of three iterations. Input was collected online, in person while facilitating engagement with the installation, and through colouring books with pages completed by those who chose to linger. Some elements were moved around, and others were deleted or added based on feedback. The feedback was mostly warm, the conversations rich, and the generosity with emotions and stories humbling.
Media picked up on us. Posters were sent around the world. At one point the project website count was over 60,000 visitors. We stopped paying attention and kept engaging with participants. Over the years, things died down; the social media accounts were allowed to go fallow and followers moved on. But metrics of the current moment don’t reflect what was happening at the time.
Evidence from the Past Informs the Present
With the 10-year anniversary we plan to open the archives to share what was gathered. There are many pages of language suggestions and critiques made by participants. We have several colouring book pages to consider, and all the digital input too.
We will be looking to the past, considering the present, and asking questions about the future to inform the Second Edition of the Queeriodic Table.