Strange Vitalities explores the spatialities where luminesce bodies re/generate, deepen, and transmit intimate sensibilities. By employing found materials and performance based approaches, this work asks, how might we embody luminous sensations? Through an engagement with the urban forest, these objects reflect the spontaneous encounters, moments of self-reflexivity, and consider sites of alternative place-makings as vital points of luminessence. Perhaps siloed within dominant ideals, the luminous body holds open the possibility of acknowledging the multiplicities of being and becoming in the world. But instead of making strict claims, Strange Vitalities generates curiosities surrounding ephemerality, form, and viscerality. This work hopes to set in motion the awareness of embodied knowledge, provide a suspension of timespace, and invite viewers into a participatory engagement with complex relationships. By embracing the luminous from within, Strange Vitalities meditates upon a moment of ecological instability, in order to foster alternatives from total collapse.
Marvin Veloso is an interdisciplinary artist–academic based in Toronto, ON., working through performance, visual, literary, and multimedia art. Deeply inspired by queer theorist Mel Y. Chen, and their book titled Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (2012), Marvin echos the proposition toward acts of queer(ing) intimacy, calling to “the potency and intensity of two animate or inanimate bodies passing one another, bodies that have an exchange – a potentially queer exchange – that effectivly risks the implantation of injury” (Chen). Hinging on a recognition of difference, Marvin assembles found-objects as a gesture that takes seriously the task for meaning-making, community building, and for keeping each other safe. Probing insights into relationships between subjectivity, affect, and space and place within an urban context, Marvin brings to the fore the awkward wholeness of our inter-connectivities. Troubling rigid binaries embedded within (hetero)normative ideals, which impede on intimate relations between body and place, he initiates a queer exchange with the environment to vitalize, render, and animate emergent intimacies that bring us closer to feelings of accountability.
In June 2022, Marvin Veloso graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors (summa cum laude) in Culture and Expression, and a certificate in Cultural and Artists Practices. In 2018, he obtained an advanced diploma in graphic design from Seneca College. His works and performances have been featured in Applied Arts Magazine, and YorkU’s EcoArts and Media Festival. Marvin has worked professionally as an artistic director at an advertising agency; a freelance designer for cultural institutions like the Ford Foundation; and as a research assistant interested in arts, activism, and urbanism for the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at YorkU. As a queer-of-colour artist, born and raised in Scarborough, Toronto, Marvin recognizes the asymmetrical power relations embedded within Western modernity, the ongoing struggles cutting across race–class–gender and geography; and in repsonse, pursues a transformative justice for all.