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Queer Artists in Their Own Words: M Eifler Works to Give Disabled People Access to the Visual World

LGBTQ Pride Month is now. Every day in June, we are celebrating the community by featuring one queer artist and letting them speak for themselves.

The month of June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community and reflect on the advances of queer people to strengthen civil liberties around the world, even in a moment of great political uncertainty. It’s also a good opportunity to spotlight the richness and diversity of culture we have within the community. Hyperallergic is commemorating Pride Month by featuring one contemporary queer artist per day on the website and letting them speak for themselves. Click here to participate.

Guerilla performance of “Masking Machine” at the opening of the YBCA’s Bay Area Now 8 (image courtesy the artist)

M Eifler

Age: 34

Location: San Francisco

Artistic Medium: Performance, Sculpture, Computation, Paper

Who are you and what do you do?

As a white, disabled, queer, nonbinary artist and researcher, I am many shades of invisible. I live inside a vast ecology of unknowable connections, surrounded by people I cannot fully understand. I relish this perpetual ignorance while also striving to create lenses which allow us to perceive the world in new scales, making what was invisible behind the curtain of attentional blindness now irreversibly present.

What are the top three greatest influences on your work?

The land, the ocean, and other people.

Describe your coffee order.

Double espresso.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

My 15-year relationship, which has been the foundation on which I have built all my other accomplishments.

What constitutes a perfect day?

Riding my bike, reading a book, playing in the studio, cooking with my husband, and playing video games with my best friend.

What was your favorite exhibition from last year?

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World at SFMOMA. Liu Dan’s “Splendor of Heaven and Earth” (1994–95) was mind altering.

What would your superpower be if you had one?

The bread and fish thing, but with housing.

Tell us a lie about yourself.

I feel great!

What is one question you wish somebody would ask about your work?

How does your amnesia affect how you experience the history of your own work?

What is the greatest threat to humanity?

Sea level rise combined with an aging population as we march toward large-scale collapse, with a side dish of the ongoing stickiness of Cartesian ontology and its binaries.

What did you make when you first started making art?

I made sofa-sized, spiky, crocheted soft sculptures as maps and models of my invisible disability.

Do you prefer spilling the tea or throwing shade?

Shade, in deck-umbrella-sized portions. It helps keep me cool on hot days.

What is your all-time favorite work of art?

“The Artist is Present” by Marina Abromavić.

What are your plans for pride month?

Strengthening my patience.

What is the future of queerness?

To expand. To get policed by the in-group. To fade and be replaced. To fracture. To blend.

Back in my day…

The internet came through a wire that you had to plug into your Ethernet port. None of this on-the-go connectivity that the kids are using.

Name one guilty pleasure.

Painting my nails.

Greatest queer icon of the internet: BabadookMomo, or a pervading sense of existential angst?

A pervading sense of existential angst.

Is there enough support for queer artists where you live?

Nope. Until we have twice as much housing in the same area it will be impossible to support everyone.

How do you stay cool during the summer?

The basement.

What is your favorite type of milk?

Straus pink ice cream.

“Queer Artists in Their Own Words” is an ongoing feature happening every day in the month of June. For prior posts in the series, please click here.

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