a:active, a:hover { or position: unavoidable; pays homage to the continuous screening of porn clips inside sex-focused nightclubs. Looming overhead in open areas of the bar, several monitors often function as fixed gazing points in lieu of access to smartphones. The on-screen content mirrors the chosen theme of the night in silent acknowledgement of the bodies in the space. To see representation of one’s self, or one’s desired self, on screen suggests that the performance of sexuality is accepted and that living the viewer’s fantasies is both tangible and encouraged. Even without paying direct attention to these films, they linger peripherally, silently impacting the ambient pulse of the space.

This media becomes a public keyhole at which to peer at the desires of those around you. To watch this media is to almost always share the gaze with another, providing a common vocabulary with which to ignite an interaction. They are conversation pieces as much as they are a live bait, drawing out curiosity and arousal. A new understanding of proximity and vulnerability can be felt as a result of looking at taboo images in public space.

Functioning in many of the same ways, sex-focused websites act as their own kind of nightclub where cam entertainers enact a similar peripheral seduction. They function as public forums for people to cruise, be cruised, buy sex and live fantasies in a tailored environment. The difference between porn videos in night clubs and porn videos on websites are that many of performers of the pornography can talk back. a:active, a:hover; } or position: unavoidable; is a site specific installation that mashes these two similar media together to look at IRL nightclub screenings ontologically.

From self-shot porn clips mixed with footage by anon internet amateurs, this work is a creative documentation of a public online performance, encouraging critical thinking about the reciprocity of the gaze back and forth between a live audience and the perceived safety of the screen-barrier itself.

The artist uses text to speak out from the screen, asking the audience questions about their relationship to the act of collective viewing. Separated in three parts, a viewer’s relationship with the performers themselves, the viewer's relationship with itself, and the viewer's relationship with those around them, are examined in a non-linear video piece.

This project is also made available as a downloadable screensaver as a reminder that when one is not looking at a screen, the screen is still active and influencing others who may see it. To combat the neutrality of the screen is to combat the misunderstanding that those whose bodies you can see but voices you cannot hear cannot effect you. The reality of the space inside the screen seeps out and penetrates viewers psychologically as well as physically.

SHOWN @ Sexual Fragments Absent curated by Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Thursday, April 27, 2017