Frances Barrett with Samuel Bruce
A live performance as part of Day for Night, curated by Jeff Khan and Emma Price
13 – 15 February 2014
Performance Space, Carriageworks

Flagging is a queer manifesto performed in semaphore. Performed at the beginning and ending of each day of DAY FOR NIGHT, Flagging heralded a queer time and space. The term ‘flagging’ refers to the hanky-code, which is a visual form of communication between queers. The hanky-code consists of coloured and/or patterned handkerchiefs that are worn (traditionally) in the belt loop or the back left or right pant pocket. To ‘flag’ or to be ‘flagging’ a particular handkerchief in a specific pocket signifies your sexual desire and preferred power dynamics. Frances aligned the term ‘flagging’ to semaphore, a system of sending messages by positioning the arms or two flags according to an alphabetic code. Semaphore is used to communicate to another body – to warn, to welcome, to direct. The hanky-code communicates between bodies – to fuck, to bottom, to top. In this performance the hanky has become the flag, and in doing so, transfers the code of queer desire to a choreographic sequence of signaling. In Flagging desire takes the form of a manifesto for queer action – as performance, as revolution. As Frances performed each letter, a sound was triggered through the specific positioning of her body and flags. Programmed and composed by Samuel Bruce, the flag choreography became an aural composition. Performative action filled the space with sound: bodies, desire and duration resound in this performance.

Flagging Manifesto