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Love Underground

Love Underground was born out of a DIY residency with Transport for London (TfL) that we called ‘Alt Art on the Underground’. The idea was to run a brief that invited artists to be ‘parasites’ on a powerful institution with cultural clout, like TfL. It was an invitation to create context-specific art, with a focus on expressing desires for what everyday spaces like public transport could be. 

The idea for the Cruise Code, which uses tube station names and LGBTQ+ colour schemes as signifiers for romantic and sexual desires, was inspired by the legacy of public transport and adjacent spaces as popular cruising spots, queer communication tactics like Polari and the Hanky Code, and the role of badges and buttons in the queer liberation movement.  ​

The map and badges that are part of the code function as a covert communication system. They are a way of signalling to people in the know, of finding each other and taking up space with public feelings and desires. This invites embodied encounters, and hopefully opens up the possibilities of cruising to a more diverse group of people. This project imagines London as an erotic commons. ♥

To learn more about Love Underground, check out the website here.

The photography you see on this page was conceptualised with and
shot by 
El Hardwick.


Models: Anjal & HughCarlotta & NathanDestiny, PaulMads & MagdaRoro, and Wet Mess.

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