AIDS infrastructures, queer networks: Architecting the critical path

  • Joan Lubin English Department and Society for the Humanities, Cornell University
  • Jeanne Vaccaro ONE Archives and Gender & Sexuality Studies Department, University of Southern California
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Buckminster Fuller, Kiyoshi Kuromiya, curation, computing

Abstract

This essay pursues how HIV/AIDS and digital media transform one another’s historiographies. Working with the archive of activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya (1943–2000), the essay considers the role of AIDS organizing in the history of the Internet, and in establishing recursive relations between media formats. Kuromiya’s early adoption of Internet technology centered the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, incarcerated people, and people of color to access vital information for community formation and survival. Tracing the unlikely collaboration between Kuromiya and techno-futurist architect R. Buckminster Fuller (1885–1983), which culminated in Kuromiya’s founding of the Critical Path AIDS Project, this essay interrogates the term “adjuvant,” which Fuller borrowed from immunological discourse to describe their co-authorship. Anchored in a critical engagement with the metaphor of the adjuvant — an agent aiding immunological response — this essay elaborates the digital infrastructures underwriting a blueprint for community building, offering a prehistory of digital queer care networks. In conclusion, the essay meditates on the role of curation in theorizing the temporality of AIDS and its ongoing histories.

Author Biographies

Joan Lubin, English Department and Society for the Humanities, Cornell University

Joan Lubin is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Science & Literature in the English Department and Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.

Jeanne Vaccaro, ONE Archives and Gender & Sexuality Studies Department, University of Southern California
Jeanne Vaccaro is a Curatorial Postdoctoral Fellow at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives and the Gender & Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Southern California.
Published
2020-09-14
How to Cite
Lubin, J., & Vaccaro, J. (2020). AIDS infrastructures, queer networks: Architecting the critical path. First Monday, 25(10). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v25i10.10403