“trans.genre.anagram is composed of stills from VHS; a phrase continually reorganizes itself in four sets of images, each with a specific word assigned to it. The resulting anagram poem generates different iterations: father/your/own/becoming; becoming/your/own/father; own/your/own/becoming; your/becoming/becoming/father; anastrophe without end. This was one of Waxman’s first attempts at expressing trans temporality through cinema and the internet. The sequence of four horizontal squares cycles through images (some without the associated word, at varying speeds).
The images and corresponding words are: window view of a gigantic icicle (father), a microscopic view of blood cells (own), thermal imaging of a boxer’s silhouette (your), and Waxman’s pre-transition, waist-length hair (becoming). The images were from footage Waxman made on video and from a National Geographic VHS tape given to Waxman by celebrated Canadian film and video artist Colin Campbell, highly influential throughout the 1970-2010s and a teacher of Waxman’s in college. The numbers behind the computer programming running the piece, like other works of Waxman’s from this time, incorporated gematria. At the turn of the century, zines sent through the mail and email listservs were shifting away from being the only way for those on the transmasculine spectrum to get information. Waxman recalls trans people were sharing resources, medical information, and practicing mutual aid on the internet via LiveJournal. Trans life on the internet was not yet “a gaze predetermined by the Instagram square.” Furthermore, the internet was not a topography of social media templates, of data farmed by big business, or strewn with ads: “We were using the internet as message board, as community center outside of bars/nightlife culture, to exchange info, resources, healthcare, relationships, especially those in remote locations or those housebound, or those who used chat rooms, etc., to expand their somatic/empathic experience sexually. All of these building blocks are still there, but under more layers of obfuscation, including selling and being tracked.” ”
– Excerpt from “Centres of Gravity“. Six + Genders, edited by Ariel Goldberg, Protocols, 13 May 2020, prtcls.com/article/tobaron-waxman.
2007 Minnesota, Minneapolis: “Modes of Disclosure”, Form+Content Gallery.