When the Queer Underground went Overground

Gavin is currently researching a follow-up volume to No Machos or Pop Stars which will explore the intimate connections between the US queer underground and the 1970s music industry. Focusing upon bohemian milieu in San Francisco and New York, the book will be the first to systematically explore the formative influence of LGBTQ+ art and performance upon the course of popular music: from glam and punk rock to disco and pop. Focusing upon the limits and possibilities of being an underground “superstar” in the mainstream, the book will include detailed histories of the lives and careers of Jayne County, Sylvester, David Johansen, Ruby and the Rednecks, Patti Smith, Klaus Nomi and Cherry Vanilla amongst others.


Performance and the art school

Live Class: Performance and the Art School is an exhibition project currently in development that will document the history of performance activity and pedagogy in the UK’s regional art schools.

Covering a thirty-year period from the early 1960s to the 1990s, it will explore the lasting legacies of this history for contemporary practices of education and their place within society.

The project will ask how historic forms of experimental art school pedagogy made processes of learning dynamic and responsive within the “live” moment, and assess the value placed on varied forms of student participation. What might such historic examples suggest we do about today’s marketised, metricised and managerialised forms of education? And how might they help us reimagine and redefine world-making forms of citizenship in the post-pandemic era?

The project is being developed by Gavin with performance scholar and curator Heike Roms.