The Amplifier is an inclusive, non-curated, digital institution for gender-queer identity, empowerment, performance, and occupation. The Amplifier is accessible through a digital interface or smartphone, granting anyone the ability to access the institution regardless of their physical location or circumstance.
The teenage bedroom, in particular, is an important inspiration for the founding of the Amplifier. The teenage bedroom has always been a space of experimentation in identity. Its interior offers relative safety and privacy, where a teen can begin to establish the values, references, aesthetics, and ideas that will come to inform their burgeoning identity.
For those who do not conform to normative expressions of gender, this space can be vitally important for self-discovery. For a young gender-nonconforming person, the public performance of expressing nonstandard gender can be psychologically exhausting, and often times, physically dangerous. The Amplifier empowers the voices of young gender-nonconforming teens.
Technologically, the project operates as a camera filter for social media, which replaces the teen’s bedroom (or other location for those who do not have a private bedroom) with an expansive, saturated, and volumetric performance stage. By placing the teen’s image of themselves outside of their immediate context, into a highly public-seeming (but still private) space, the Amplifier helps young gender-nonconforming people gain confidence in themselves and their forms of gender expression.
Teens may also release imagery or video of themselves “performing” at the institution, but it is not required. The space’s easily recognizable, saturated, idiosyncratic enclosure coupled with hashtag-based aggregation helps to foster a community of gender nonconforming teens. The Amplifier is a space, a tool, and a community that seeks to overcome the psychological and spacial isolation of gender-nonconforming teens.