Everything is Drag
with Kyle Letendre
Drag is a shiny lens through which we can interpret the world. What if we used its lessons in camp and irreverence to drive design?
Drag is many things: the artform of the queer imagination, a shiny distraction from daily banalities, and perhaps more than ever, a cultural lightning rod. It’s curious that this vehicle for boundless expression has fomented so much rage—but perhaps the best explanation is the most obvious one. Drag, and queerness more broadly asks: is this enough for me? It’s a slippery, bejeweled slide into asking these questions of our communities and relationships, our structures and governments. Maybe this permission to take things less seriously is exactly the cherry-flavored balm we need.
This talk will use my decade of experience in the letter arts to frame drag as the perfect community-focused, anti-capitalist tool for navigating the world. After all, a transcendent drag number and a striking piece of design share much in common: a respect for tradition tempered with the need to poke fun; the delight of a well-timed reveal or surprise; and the license to pour glitter on our blemishes and relish in taboo.
Letterform Lectures are a public aspect of the Type West postgraduate program. The series is co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library, where events are free and open to all.
Kyle Letendre is a human rhinestone based in Portland. Their work explores letterforms as vessels for expression, blurring the binaries between type and image for clients like Target, Penguin Random House, and Nickelodeon.