Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2021

Queering Computation
Elliot Bohlen

Queer theory is rooted in failure and non-normativity, which are two concepts this project embraces. This analysis is centered in the rejection of compulsory norms such as capitalism and heteronormativity. By being identified as a failure in a system, one’s existence becomes an act of resistance against these “protocols,” becoming glitches, bugs, and errors. There is a strong link tying queer theory to non-normative computation, which I will now refer to as “queer computation,” as both are opposing the system. Normative uses of code, determined by strict protocols, demand websites to become seamless tools that discourage critical and emotional engagement. This homogeneity leaves little room for deviation. Queer computation creates opportunities for deviation, and is a place where I feel confident resisting. By exploiting and breaking the web’s protocols when creating digital work, I feel that I am embodied as a queer individual who is constantly “othered.”

Deviating from these norms allows for valuable opportunities for play, resistance, and engagement. I created a collection of single serving sites that utilize queer computational techniques and notions of embodiment. The web is regarded as a neutral space but, in these sites, I imbued the medium with emotion, physicality, and identity. I paired this with a book titled 404: Page Not Found which contextualizes the ambiguities presented in each site, as it is a place where I display and annotate my source code. I hope to propose an alternative to normative computation in favor of one that is more human and engaging.


Dotun Abeshinbioke

Darina Abuzarova

Sung Hyun (Julie) Ahn

Anisa Al Raisi

Hazal Aysel

Vivek Bajaj

Sunayana Bali

Elliot Bohlen

Madison Brang

Allison Bynum

Rachel Chang

Lilliana Checo

Jizheng Chen

Lena Chen

Mi Chen

Raghav Chhabra

Shreya Chittaranjan

Christopher Chu

Shenny Chuang

Calen Chung

Mae Craford

Chengcheng Cui

Rebecca D'Agostino

Dani de los Santos

Nika Diomidovskaia

Aira Dolfo

Maya Eapen

Yaron Erkin

Louis Falisse

Xiaoke Fei

Bernadette Figueroa

Shih-Ju Fu

Ana Furtado

Martina Gallo

Chenxi (Lisa) Gao

Sierra Glicker

Danielle Beatriz Go

Danni Gomez

QingYing (Mimi) Guan

Peiru Guo

Siyu Hang

Trudy Hoang

Will Howell

Annie Hua

Wallis Huang

Charis Huling

Sana Jamali

Aeva Karlsrud

Lake Kennedy

Byunghyun Kim

Destiny Kim

Yeji Kim

Zen Koo

Padmaja Kothari

McKayla Lankau

Hyunseung Maddie Lee

Jade Lee

Jiwoo Lee

Juna Lee

Victoria Lee

Emma Lepore

Scarlet Li

Sunny Li

Sohyunn Lim

Misty Lin

Stephanie Lin

Yu Tong Tiffany Ling

Lilian Liu

Phoebe Lo

Charlotte Lomas

Kevin Loumeau

Wen Hsin Lu

Dirm Luawo

Peiyun Luo

Youran Mao

Imani McIntosh

Rebecca Mesonjnik

Velimar Molina

Matilde Sofia Monti

Gavin Mullally

Syalsabila Karissa Munaf

Michael Mungai

Sanjana Navar

Katelyn Paik

Aileen Pan

Chanjoo Tiffany Park

Namjoon Park

Storey Pearson

Mariel Quadrino

Simran Rao

Felitasari (Tata) Rekso

Yasmin Rozmee

Rainier Salas

Julia Sams

Eva Serrano Reisner

Anvita Shah

Suditi Shah

Amal Shaheedi

Joyce Shi

Samantha Simotas

Claira Smith

Hyunji Song

Carolina Stierli de Abreu

Niharika Sundarigari

Rachael Tomaszewski

Tiffany Tong

Svasti Ujagar

Ariana Ushiki

Diana Victoreen

Yiqi Wang

Yutong Wang

Zheng Wang

Jasmine Wei

Savannah West

Summer Wojtas

Jacquelyn Wu

Ricky Xie

Connie Xu

Karrie Xu

Ellen Yang

Jacqueline Yang

Emily Yun

Monique Zeitouny Dayan

Cecilia Zhang

Cheryl Zhang

Claire Zhang