Bubble Tea Queer Reading: “The Man With the Compound Eyes” 酷兒共讀與對話:吳明益的複眼人feat. 珍珠奶茶

Documentation of the Instagram LIVE streamed on July 22nd, 2020, held on The Artist and the Others’ Instagram profile.

//ABOUT THE IG LIVE//

How might we reimagine our relationship with technology, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic?

How might fiction serve as a portal to access queer realities?

In this IG Live, the two co-founders of SLANT PROJECTS, Angiet Chen and Claudia Contu read the chapter 9 of “The Man With The Compound Eyes” (複眼人), a novel by Taiwanese author Wu Ming Yi (吳明益). They both got Taiwanese bubble tea regardless of the different locations they are based (Taipei and London). Rather than providing answers, the duo weaved their experiences with this chapter to access the proposed two questions. The reading re-interpreted the novel from a queer point of view given the themes of “loss” and “re-orientation” that this chapter captures.

After the reading, the duo shared their lived experiences as long-distance, same-sex lovers as anchors to the mentioned themes in order to scrutinise our everyday relationship with technology and queerness. The discussion questioned how our imagination of “virtual intimacy” is limited by the heteronormative concept of ‘physicality’ while having to deal with loss and physical absence of the other. The duo considered how this paradigm could be shifted by rethinking our relationship with technology and allyship for discovering queer realities.