Call a Wrecking Ball to Make a Window


Call a Wrecking Ball to Make a Window is a map-fold book with original text that explores routes taken and spaces made by queer people in New York City from the 1970s through the 2000s. Drawing links between the lives of gay men in that period and my own coming out into the height of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s, the book proposes a fantastic landscape in which these lives overlap through the geography and infrastructure of the city. By following the writings of David Wojnarowicz, the queer writer and artist who died of AIDS in 1992, I trace his moves in and through Manhattan’s grid, attempting to link back to my own queer trajectories, first as a young lesbian, and now as a trans person. The book’s title refers to both to the changing built landscape of New York and to effects produced by the desire to find redemption and instruction through an oversimplification of personal and political histories.

Manhattan is thirteen and a half miles long and, at its widest point, just three miles wide. It can be gotten around by boat in three hours and by foot in less than a day. It is, geographically speaking, a small and navigable place; despite this, it is a monster of a city. It is a good landscape for telling impossible stories.


Making Wrecking Ball at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

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The story of Wrecking Ball 

The video below is a recorded artist talk about the book and the ideas behind it, made for the Queer Urban Geographies conference at Parsons the New School for Design. See more here.