Molecular Queering

Mary Maggic (US), Byron Rich (CA)

Bodies queer in many ways, most actively through the molecular colonization of our planet. Thanks to petrochemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries (markers of our anthropogenic time), these queering molecules are hormonally active and bio-politically pervasive as a state of toxicity. Our bodies and bodies of non-human species are all undergoing a collective mutagenesis—our kin are both the intersex frogs as well as the gender-bending chemicals in their bloodstream. So what does it mean to identify with our chemically induced world? To create discourse that turns toxic shame into toxic embrace? Am I not only inheriting the genomes of my parents but also the plastic molecules my mother is exposed to as I incubate in her womb? It is with this queering power of xeno-bio-chemicals that the Molecular Queering workshop performs a urine hormone extraction and analysis, a DIY/DIWO recipe for gender-hacking. Bring your own urine!
Financial Support: Allegheny College
Special thanks to The Aliens in Green


Mary Maggic works at the intersection of biotechnology and civil disobedience. Maggic’s most recent projects Open Source Estrogen and Estrofem! Lab generate DIY protocols for the extraction and detection of estrogen hormone from bodies and environments, demonstrating its micro-performativity and potential for mutagenesis, i.e. gender-hacking. It holds a BSA in Biological Sciences and Art from Carnegie Mellon University and a MS in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT Media Lab (2017).

Byron Rich explores speculative design, biology futures and tactical media ecology and his work has been widely shown and spoken about internationally. Currently he is teaching Electronic Art & Intermedia at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. MFA, Emerging Practices at The University at Buffalo (2013).