Diego Ramirez performing Once More, With Diversity Feeling
One of my ‘signature moves’ is to consider the social coding of my position in the arts and upset its meaning within a virtue economy. In other words, I am very sarcastic. Mel Deerson, after an original commission by the online platform Recess, helped me develop this sensibility in 2019, when she asked me to participate in A night in Hell, a public program to her show A show about hell at Kings ARI. She curated a series of performances to activate this huge medieval backdrop of hers like a stage. It is Deerson’s angelical pattern to appear every couple of years in my life with grassroots energy. Then momentarily disappear to become the light in someone else’s dark world. Thanks to her appreciation, I performed Once More, With Diversity Feeling, an ‘audition’ for a Mexican vampire in the canned Buffy The Vampire Slayer reboot, which was mediatised as emphasising diversity. Inspired by novelty acts, I sang pitchy songs with over the top lyrics—like a goth softboi—hoping to get ‘casted’. The audience wanted to laugh at me but didn’t want to be ‘problematic’. This kind of perverse tension is now a staple in the push and pull that characterises my output.