Mikiki and Anthea Black


For the Deviant Practice symposium Anthea Black and Mikiki will present their interrogation of Gabber culture. Their work bleeds between Gabber being the topic of research, and simultaneously its form - movement back and forth looking for evidence, studying, conducting first-person interviews, embodied research on the dance floor, and questioning their own roles as both commentators and participants. For the symposium, they use queer and critical race theories to put this work into broader contexts of queer desire, whiteness, masculinity, and late-capitalist working conditions.

Sunrise Ceremony - Performance 
The Sunrise Ceremony begins at 6:03 am to break with chrononormative displays of public culture. This period of the day directly preceding the dawn is known as “civil twilight.” Notions of civility and time often dictate individual and collective behaviour within public spaces of the street, the dance floor, and the museum. Gabber shows us that each social body lives by its own, often unspoken codes and timescales. By coming down at the museum after the party, but before productive daily life is typically thought to begin stirring, the artists ritualize their work outside of normal museum hours. It’s uncertain who will see it.

A textile project by Black and Mikiki frames the scene in the north facing bay-window and balcony of the Van Abbe Museum overlooking the river. The textile depicts visual and perceptual interpretation of Gabber jacket patterns, party crowds, and Van Abbe collection pieces that depict public gatherings and will be installed for the duration of the symposium. 

Sonic Event + Flyer Drop 
Anthea & Mikiki will present a maximalist soundscape meditation/embodied visualization exercise in the auditorium of Van Abbe as a reflection of and extension of their research on politics of Gabber aesthetics. The sound project would be presented immediately in after the symposium’s ‘party’ to create a meditation on the history of Gabber as creation of ecstatic group event, in relation to other sonic cultural events.

Launch of a limited edition print work that responds the history of gabber party flyers, our aesthetic investigations of the tract suit ‘uniform’’s imagery and the politics of belonging will coincide with the sound presentation.



Anthea Black is a Canadian artist, writer, and cultural worker based in San Francisco and Toronto. Her studio work addresses feminist and queer history, collaboration, materiality and labour, takes the form of print, artist publishing and performance. She has exhibited in Canada, the US, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. Black is co-editor of Handbook: Supporting Queer and Trans Students in Art and Design Education with Shamina Chherawala and The New Politics of the Handmade: Art, Craft, Design with Nicole Burisch and co-publisher of The HIV Howler: Transmitting Art and Activism with Jessica Whitbread. She is an assistant professor in Printmedia and Graduate Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts.

Mikiki is a performance and video artist and queer community health activist of Acadian/Mi’kmaq and Irish descent from Newfoundland, Canada. They later moved to Calgary to work as the Director of TRUCK Gallery. Their work has been presented throughout Canada and internationally in self-produced interventions, artist-run centres and public galleries. Their identity as an artist is intrinsically linked to their history of work as a sexual health educator and harm reduction worker. Mikiki’s creative themes often address safety, attitudes about drug use and responsibility, disclosure of sexual identity and health status, community building through skills sharing, testimonial and story­telling. Mikiki has worked as a sexuality counselor in public schools, a bathhouse attendant, a Drag Queen Karaoke hostess, a health and welfare worker for gay men, a Harm Reduction Street Outreach worker and an HIV tester. Mikiki currently lives in Toronto.

Photo of Mikiki and Anthea BlackPhoto of Mikiki and Anthea Black