If metadata is the sum total of what can be said about any information object at any given time, then the bodies of trans people undergoing medical forms of transition are living, always-changing metadata records. They are the information object, and they are also what can be said about the information object.
My transsexual body is a catalog, a finding aid, of every testosterone injection I have given myself in my thigh, of the parts of my body I have willingly destroyed to create something better in their wake, of the process of teaching myself to shave my face (which is way different than shaving your legs, it turns out), of the ways my sexuality changed, of the hours of speech and movement therapy I did, of the fact that I’m still afraid to use gendered bathrooms in public after 4 years.
It is argued that archiving one’s transition works through a kind of performative documentation, partly documenting and partly instantiating the transformation by tracking and tracing the bodily changes.1
This is similar to how 1b Not all knowledge systems will hear archival silences the same way, in indigenous or otherwise colonized cultures.
If 2 Metadata surrogates have more value than what they are surrogates of in a capitalist society, then I am reclaiming that value by creating my own surrogate, rather than the only surrogate being the one constructed through governmental and corporate data collection.
[[Archiving the Wonders of Testosterone Via YouTube]] by [[Tobias Raun]] ↩︎