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Love Underground was born out of a DIY residency with Transport for London (TfL) that we called ‘Alt Art on the Underground’. The idea was to run a brief that invited artists to be  ‘parasites’ on a powerful institution with cultural clout, like TfL. It was an invitation to create context-specific art, with a focus on expressing desires for what everyday spaces like public transport could be. 

The idea for the Cruise Code, which uses tube station names and LGBTQ+ colour schemes as signifiers for romantic and sexual desires, was inspired by the legacy of public transport and adjacent spaces as popular cruising spots, queer communication tactics like Polari and the Hanky Code, and the role of badges and buttons in the queer liberation movement.  

The map and badges that are part of the code function as a covert communication system. They are a way of signalling to people in the know, of finding each other and taking up space with public feelings and desires. This invites embodied encounters, and hopefully opens up the possibilities of cruising to a more diverse group of people. This project imagines London as an erotic commons. ♥


We must dream and enact better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds (José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia). Desire and The Erotic lace our histories as sources of pleasure, but also of resistance and change. Promiscuous reading of histories in the queer archive inspired Love Underground, including the Hanky Code, Polari, and badges from the queer liberation movement. The project hopes to contribute to futures with better pleasures and more erogenous zones.


The concept and creatvive direction for this project is by para dimeless. They are an artist interested in anarchist modes of cultural production. Their work takes many forms, is often collaborative, and has recently focused on queer/ing semiotics. They are also the co-founder of holobiont, a creative organism working with others to shift our cultural ecosystem towards social and ecological balance.


Love Underground on Dazed.
Interview with Polyester Zine.


The photography you see on this page was conceptualised with and shot by El Hardwick. Their work explores relationships between bodies and their surrounding environments, queer world making practices, and how we can heal on a damaged planet.


To the wonderful models. AnjaliHugh, CarlottaNathanDestiny, Paul, Mads & Magda, Roro, and Wet Mess.

Roro for helping make this website. They are a magical mind and generous soul.

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