Patterson Scarlett, Broome Street at Broadway (Rooftop Elevator Room), 2011, from the Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public book.

Check out Prof. Katherine Franke’s new article on “Public Sex, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Afterlife of Homophobia” in Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public (Carlos Motta and Joshua Lubin-Levy, editors).


Forever & Today, Inc. presents Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public, a collaborative project by Carlos Motta and Joshua Lubin-Levy, including a book and a related series of performances, all taking place in and around Forever & Today, Inc.’s Lower East Side/Chinatown storefront—a gathering place and site for activity from Thursday-Sunday, 12–6pm, September 17–25, 2011 (Curated by Ingrid Chu and Savannah Gorton).  Book launch & performance: Saturday, September 17, 6–9pm and Performance series: September 18, 23, and 24 & 25 (details below)

Motta and Lubin-Levy’s book, Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public, on view and available at Forever & Today, Inc., assembles drawings from memory of spaces in New York City where a public sexual encounter occurred, and presents contributions from an intergenerational group of over 60 gay men.

Conceived as an atlas of queer affection, Petite Mort proposes a subjective blueprint of the city, one that values not simply the space “as is,” but how it has been performed and engaged, highlighting the fundamental connection between public space and queer life.

The collected drawings, depicting sites extending from a residential rooftop to The Rambles in Central Park, remind us that public sex is not exclusively about a personal pursuit of pleasure—they also contain the seeds of historical social and political action that have brought together communities of gay men.

Petite Mort asks questions challenging us to expand our vision for queer politics: What if our politics were rebuilt around a broader notion of intimacy rather than individuality? Can we foster, rather than police, the trust and affection inherent to desire and pleasure? Should equality be about difference, rather than assimilation?

The performance series includes: Sketchy Walk by Juan Betancurth and Todd Shalom, a self-guided late-night cruising walk in the Lower East Side/Chinatown; Last Call by J. Morrison, interactive performances lasting for the duration of one song; and TENS by Cyrus Saint Amand Poliakoff, participatory performances exploring how language and electricity operate in the body.

Printed in an edition of 500, proceeds from the Petite Mort book benefit Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ). Beginning September 17, 2011, a free PDF is available at www.foreverandtoday.org.


Anonymous, Daniel Arango, Pablo León de la Barra, Jarrod Beck, Jean de Boysson, W. Chase, G J Climer, Ashton Anders Correa, Jonathan Crespo, TM & Liam Davy, David Deitcher, John Paul Detty, Rafael Perez Evans, Allen Frame, Jack Fritscher, Vincent W. Gagliostro, Terence Gower, Daniel Greenfield, Daniel Handal, Christopher Hollowell, Aram Jibilian, John Jurayj, Dave King, Doron Langberg, Michael Lehman, Trygve Luktvasslimo, Sebastiano Mauri, Matthias Vriens Mcgrath, Michael, Billy Miller, John Monteith, Matthew-Robin Nye, Eugenio Percossi, Matthu Placek, Eric Rhein, Manu Rodriguez, Samuel Roeck, Sergio Roger, Cyrus Saint, Patterson Scarlett, Christopher Schulz, Jacques Servin, Ethan Shoshan, Jean-Michel Sivry, Daniel Smith, John J. Spencer III, Max Steele, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, George Towne, Ultra-red, Jonathan VanDyke, Antoine Vigne, Jason Wee, Seth Joseph Weine, Eric Wolf, and Jake Yuzna.


Johan Andersson, Kate Bornstein, Jill H. Casid, Ingrid Chu and Savannah Gorton, Joel Czarlinsky, Tim Dean, Aiken Forrett, Katherine Franke, Gordon Brent Ingram, José Esteban Muñoz, Eileen Myles, Ann Pellegrini and Janet R. Jakobsen, and John Paul Ricco.


J. Morrison: Last Call, Sat. Sept. 17, 6–9pm & Sun. Sept. 18, 12–6pm at F&T, Inc.
Juan Betancurth and Todd Shalom: Sketchy Walk, Fri. Sept. 23, 10–11pm, outdoor location;
very limited capacity, RSVP required (RSVP opens Mon. Sept. 12, 12pm, rsvp@foreverandtoday.org).
Cyrus Saint Amand Poliakoff: TENS, Sat. Sept. 24, 6–9pm & Sun. Sept. 25, 3–5pm at F&T, Inc.

Carlos Motta is an artist and and Guggenheim Fellow (2008) whose work has been presented at MoMA PS1, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, X Biennale de Lyon, with upcoming projects at New Museum and Performa 11.

Joshua Lubin-Levy is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies, New York University who has directed and/or performed at Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, and Performance Space 122.

Forever & Today, Inc., a non-profit founded in 2008, is a sponsored organization of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3). Curating and commissioning projects in collaboration with a single artist, collective, or collaborative entity, the organization extends unique opportunities for artists to create new work and engage diverse audiences through exhibitions, performances, site-specific installations, publications, and educational and public programs.

Funding for Petite Mort was made possible in part by USA Projects, an online initiative of United States Artists, with donations by over 70 supporters.


  1. […] Katherine Franke’s new article on “Public Sex, Same- Sex Marriage, and the Afterlife of… Patterson Scarlett, Broome Street at Broadway (Rooftop Elevator Room), 2011, from the Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public book. Check out Prof. Source: blogs.law.columbia.edu […]

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