Ariel Goldberg’s book, Just Captions: Ethics of Trans and Queer Image Cultures, will uncover the processes and relationships integral to producing images of trans and queer life in its emerging years, between the 1960s to the 1990s. Through close readings of self-published books, grassroots exhibits, traveling slideshows, photography workshops, correspondences, and short-run publications, Goldberg will explore modes of dialogue that revolve around the production of influential images to study how the permission (or lack thereof) to take and distribute images of trans and queer individuals was first achieved.

Ariel Goldberg weaves together research and first-person narrative to animate the crucial role of language in photographs. Their first book of poetry, The Photographer (Roof, 2015) catalogued emergent speech and habits of image-making in the digital era. Their book of essays, The Estrangement Principle (Nightboat Books, 2016) examines the label “queer art.” Goldberg’s art criticism currently focuses on this watershed moment of art institutions increasingly exhibiting trans and queer identified artists. Working as a curator for The Poetry Project from 2013-2017, Goldberg centred the work of queer communities and histories by organizing events across literary disciplines and generations. In 2020, they co-curated (with Noam Parness) “Uncanny Effects: Robert Giard’s Currents of Connection” at the Leslie-Lohman Museum.