Nightmares and Dreams on Progesterone: Trans* Embodiment and Intermedia

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Lorelei d'Andriole


This essay theorizes the connection between trans* embodiment and intermedia, using historical intermedia practice and score-based creative practices by artists such as Yoko Ono, CA Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, Dick Higgins, and Allan Kaprow, as precedent. This paper describes foundational thought to my work as a trans* intermedia artist and serves as an introduction to Nightmare and Dreams on Progesterone: Action Art Scores for Trans Becoming; a text work of 150 poetic action art scores designed for, and birthed from, trans* becoming. Each score is generated from dream journal entries translated into instructions that complicate the art/life divide. As I began taking progesterone as part of my hormone replacement therapy, I started experiencing vivid dreaming as a side effect. As my body changed, so did my dreams. These dreams, from my own trans* subconscious and altered by transsexual action, often directly engage with my identity or arts practice as subject matter. When translated, the scores are written poetically and have a diverse range of abstraction, for example:

Score #77: Fellowship

Three queer people talk about visibility
The most beautiful woman in costume makeup
Takes several ladders to climb towards


Score #58: Insane Clown Posse

Come out to your family


Score #69: Huge

A trans woman
Surrounded by other trans women
All bathing

I believe avant-garde art practices can be liberatory for trans* bodies and that this methodology and these performances have the potential to be instructional for other trans* people for coming into their identity. This introduction provides an intimate portrait of myself as an artist, including biographical information on my Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) journey and how it has affected my creative practice.

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