Sweaty Concepts

Sweaty Concepts

January 2019–March 2019

Coined by the feminist writer Sara Ahmed (and inspired by Audre Lorde), “sweaty concepts” are a way of describing something that is hard to describe, and something that is often hard to experience. For women, people of color, disabled people, or trans folx (for example), sweaty concepts give language to our abstract experiences (experiences that are invisible to dominant groups; experiences for which the dominant group hasn’t developed language — because it hasn’t had to) and legitimize them. Ahmed writes: “More specifically a ‘sweaty concept’ is one that comes out of a description of a body that is not at home in the world…or a description of the world from the point of view of not being at home in it.” Sweaty concepts create understanding by describing the difficulty of inhabiting these identities.

Sweaty concepts are intellectual labor — “they are sweaty because they are work,” Ahmed writes.

Sweaty concepts make clear what power tries to obscure. This quarter we have the work of gloria galvez — and her collaboration with grassroots abolitionist group Critical Resistance — doing the work to illuminate the carceral logics that seep into our everyday lives. gloria does this through imagining prisons both visible and invisible — the material, abstract, and metaphorical confinements that we encounter day to day.

In a way, this quarter’s theme was inspired by gloria’s own sweaty concepts of “thingification” and “thing solidarity” ― like the kind of political solidarity that she sees in the banana. The language of “thingification” serves to break down artificial hierarchies between objects and people who regularly experience objectification.

What sweaty concepts inform or illustrate your lived experience? What experiences need new language to create new understandings?

Artist in resident: gloria galvez



Gentrification Is Eco-Psychological Warfare

Saturday, January 26, 11am-1pm
Presented by Brenda Perez with Vincent Montalvo
Suggested donation $2



For A World Without Prisons: Visual Resistance as Abolitionist Strategy

February 1-10, 2019
Opening Friday, February 1, 6-9pm
Presented by Critical Resistance & gloria galvez


Intro to Prison Industrial Complex & Prison Abolition

Saturday, February 2, 11am–3pm
Presented by Critical Resistance


Abolition of Policing

Saturday, February 9, 11am–2pm
Presented by Critical Resistance


For a World Without Prisons Closing Event

Sunday, February 10, 7–10pm
Presented by gloria galvez & Critical Resistance



Lookism, Faceism, & the Working Artist

Wednesday, March 20, 7:30-9:30pm
Presented by Alice Wynne