Editorial: Conceptually Nasty

Emily Roysdon
Welcome to issue 5 of LTTR, your scientifically queer collection of Positively Nasty hey gay art. This issue takes aim at our dreadfully dark political times and offers you inspiration with which to direct your action. Each piece in this issue is loud enough to momentarily quiet the bombs and hear the tune of resistance. For example, anal sex and footwear are recommended for you to consider in planning your future.

Prelude: In a city threatened by curfew there is a tide of queer banditry giving space to the night. The transgressions are those of communion, a coming together to articulate and materialize the dissident demands of the denizens.

Opening Scene: A public house, of baths or books we do not know, is open past hours and welcoming guests. An encounter of the ignoble multitudes ensues. (You are one for picking up this Nasty trade.)

LTTR is an artist’s group of 4 feminists who revel in the honor of receiving and considering responses to our open call. My greatest delight is the ferocity of our conversations as we consider the proposition of each work and then later the ramifications of their proximity. In editing the journal we fashion a statement that represents both the intentions of our call and the responses we received. The process of editing issue 5 is singular in the journal’s history. We were aggressive and grabby. We were ‘conceptually nasty’ in our decision making, ourselves responding to the call to be Positively Nasty. We were hungry for explicit images that did not hide themselves or seek to diffuse judgment, but which named themselves and asked to be confronted.

Conceptually Nasty

1. A process by which ideas and principles of a work form a rigorous and aggressive position in regards to their own meaning.

2. A position that challenges the drive to form judgments rather than transform a model.

3. A focus on identity that vindicates imaginative transitions and prefers elaborate schemas over sex.

As well, in the conjunction of terms, the meaning is doubly articulated as Nasty faces the demand and is open to both material and intellectual concerns. For example, the term can evoke the: unknown, judged, transitional, transformational, historical, forgotten, confrontational, imagin- ative, utopian, progressive, personal, sexual, explicit, forbidden, and abject elements of any form it is applied to.

Used in a sentence: “A conceptually nasty pull from the world’s peace pipe.”

With the boom of our five years loud all around we began issue V asking the big questions. For me, it’s a recurring drive to refurbish the tools of our trade and be diligent and deliberate in our development. Does LTTR continue to serve and inspire those who built it, claim it, and have grown with it? Are the terms of our engagement relevant to the contemporary fields of politics, aesthetics, gender and sexuality in a way that justifies our labor and enthusiasm?

Thus far I have articulated LTTR as both an artist’s project and a site of discourse. I see no grave discrepancy in this formulation. As a site of discourse, this journal should accordingly hold a dimension of risk in its content. And as a collective artist’s project engaged in a politics it must make demands. LTTR thus becomes a site of encounter. Our practice is defined by our strategies as we create the arena in which these experiences are staged. We are invested in poetics and language, action in lieu of protest, and the ability of sexuality to unsettle the subject.

The response to all of these questions is our light-footed persistence. Struggling to defeat the drama and institutionalization that plague groups and movements over time, LTTR edits this journal bare-breasted. Vulnerable and loving together, we hope that our commitment and strategies make evident an ecstatic resistance and vision for actions in these times.