** This online streaming event has ended. This page archives documentation of the event and related programs. **

In conjunction with the event “LIFE WITH VIRUS”: Teiji Furuhashi in New York, Visual AIDS and Normal Screen hosted a special streaming presentation of Dumb Type’s 1994 performance S/N from April 26 to May 9, 2021.

Founded in 1984 by fifteen art students working in Kyoto, Dumb Type’s experimental theater projects combine dance and performance with ambitious multimedia installations. Teiji Furuhashi (1960–1995), a central figure in the group, came out as HIV positive to his collaborators in 1992, prompting the collective to produce a major performance piece responding to the AIDS crisis. The resulting work, S/N, used the notion of a “signal to noise” ratio as a structuring metaphor, challenging Japan’s silence about AIDS with explicit discussion of gay identity, stigma, sex work, and border politics.

Incorporating a two-level set, elaborate choreography, live video, and projection, the performance was critically acclaimed and toured to more than twenty cities around the world. Though Dumb Type hoped to perform S/N in New York, only one venue in Seattle was willing to present the piece in the United States. This is the first time that documentation of the performance has been presented online.


To introduce S/N, Akiko Mizoguchi reflected on the performance’s nuanced consideration of sexuality and its impact on her own identity and study. Akiko Mizoguchi is a queer visual culture theorist based in Yokohama, Japan. Her award-winning Japanese-language books Theorizing BL As a Transformative Genre and its Dialogue Edition have been translated into Chinese and Korean.

Note: Akiko Mizoguchi’s video introduction is no longer available to the public. If you would like to request a private screening link, please contact Kyle Croft, Visual AIDS Programs Director at kcroft@visualaids.org.