As a collective, we in John Q often incorporate archival materials, make the research and creative processes of our work public, and aim to frustrate the boundaries between art and scholarship. In responding to OUT/LOOK issue no. 11, we were struck by the historical proximity of OUT/LOOK – occurring within our own lives yet far enough back to be a different era. Throughout this issue – in the letters section, the editor’s introduction, and many of the articles – we see the fraught attempts by OUT/LOOK writers and readers to address problems of inclusivity and representation. Our response to the issue, which takes the form of a series of errata, is influenced by these problems across this historical proximity, even when we do not address them directly.
Founded in 2009, John Q is an idea collective whose work aims at frustrating the line between art and research. From performance to peer reviewed essays, past projects have been particularly focused on social histories and memory. The collective is deeply invested in the notion of public scholarship. This can mean simply communicating research across boundaries, such as specialized to vernacular languages. John Q is also interested in the possibilities of publicly situating research methods, and even in producing scholarship with various publics.
John Q’s first public works emerged from archival research. Projects have included public intervention and re-performance, magazine projects, editorial work, writing, and video installation. The collective has been recognized by a museum catalog, private foundation grants, awards from Artadia (NY) and the American Historical Association, and a residency at the Elsewhere Museum funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.