Tabitha Nikolai




As an act of queer world building I create the things I needed as a kid—speculative fictions, cos/crossplay, and suburban occult. I illustrate these worlds virtually in things resembling video games alongside physical objects that carry a scent of the digital. In doing this I trace the feedback from virtual to visceral, and consider the human impact of spaces and systems broadly considered unreal. The kernels of need from which my worlds grow establish criteria for hopeful futures, and make visible the obstructions that intervene. Some of my past themes have been: the ineffability of transness in a world afraid to speak of us, maintaining a social fabric among the abused, and the challenges of personal connection amid vanishing commons. I tend to work collaboratively because this is how I know to make ideas grow larger than myself, and bridge the gap between the loftiness of world-building and the pragmatism of community-building.

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