CFP: Imagined Genealogy of Michel Foucault

Summer 2018
(This call is no longer active, the project is complete!)

Call for Creative Participation: AIDS Quilt Block for an Imagined Genealogy of Michel Foucault

We are organizing a 12 by 12 foot AIDS Quilt block for the NAMES Foundation this fall ( The AIDS Memorial Quilt is the largest ongoing community art project in the world. It has been displayed on the Washington DC Mall six times with immeasurable aesthetic and political impact. During the peak of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, San Francisco activists created the NAMES Foundation. The foundation began a national campaign in which people create two by three foot panels on which the names of loved ones who died of HIV/AIDS complications are written and memorialized. The panels are sewn together in configurations of 8 to create 12 by 12 foot blocks. Across the changing landscape of the past decades, the Quilt has been and continues to be an important tool of political action, raising awareness and pressuring government and other stakeholders to look for solutions to the AIDS epidemic.

Currently there are four panels registered to the memory of Michel Foucault, though only two are visible in the NAMES database. As a creative lab housed in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at UT Dallas, where pieces of the AIDS Quilt are on view during AIDS week each year, we are interested in making a complete 12 by 12 foot block to honor Foucault’s wide-ranging scholarship with this call for participation.


We invite participants to submit a 12 inch by 12 inch square that will be sewn together with other contributions, and a letter accompanying each square.

Who can submit?

  • Anyone. We invite your submission in just about any form or combination. You can submit a 12 by 12 inch square yourself, or with students—as a class or as a group project. You can submit as a collective. You can request multiple squares.

To begin:

  • Fill out this form (
  • We will send you three plain fabric squares, you can choose one or complete all three of them
  • We will send you a strip of fabric you can use to sign the work (* see below)
  • We will send you an addressed envelope (for return to us by October 7, 2019)

What to submit:

Your square should memorialize or celebrate Foucault or an artist or scholar inspired by him that you would consider part of his imagined genealogy. Please send us a completed square, or squares, which can include:

  • Drawing, writing, painting, sewing, embroidering, audio recording, video (image/link/QR code), photograph, …
  • Take pictures with your squares—we’d love to see work in progress and the final piece
  • A letter—these letters become part of the NAMES archive. We would love to make a collection of letters (for a published anthology based on this project later). You might consider:
    • a love letter to Michel Foucault from you or your collective
    • an imagined letter to Foucault from a theorist, artist, scholar, etc.
    • a manifesto about how Foucault inspired you
    • a Haiku or other poetic form
    • a story about “the first time I met Foucault…”
    • an artist statement or process essay about how you made your square
  • * A lot of people sign the panels they submit to the NAMES Foundation. We invite you to sign the extra strip of fabric that we will send to you. You do not have to sign if you want to remain anonymous. We will sew these strips together in a signature panel within our block.
  • Do you think you will do this with a class? If so, please share your lesson plan! We would love to circulate it before the end of the summer.


Final deadline:

The final deadline (the last day to put it in the mail) to send us your submission is Monday, October 7th. If it will take more than a week to get to us, please drop it in the mail earlier.


This block will be on display with a panel dedication ceremony in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas during AIDS Week in 2019. After this, it takes about 6-12 months before it will enter the NAMES database. Once it is in the database we will allow for it to travel internationally, with other blocks from the quilt.

For inspiration see the AIDS Quilt Touch Online URL:


We are LabSynthE, a laboratory for synthetic and electronic poetry at UT Dallas: