ErotobotDinks (2014)

I have a outsize obsession with visible texture. When it’s done right–it is like I can almost feel that which I am seeing, sliding beneath my finger tips through nothing more than the act of maintaining an attentive gaze.

With its gooseflesh, dirt, the black mirror-like water, water droplets on goosebumps and even Dinks’ hair, this would’ve had less impact if it had approached me out of a crowd and broken a baseball bat in half over my head.

It’s unquestionably pornography. And honestly being somewhat familiar with Erotobot’s work–all of his photos feature a discomfiting edginess. Shot in abandoned buildings or seeming post-industrial wastelands. It’s dark and sinister; explicitly and graphically depicts sex–frequently of a rather rough variety. Like just looking at the work, I worry a bit that he’s another in a long line of perverts making beautiful work through sometimes questionable disregard for consent, boundaries or interpersonal respect.

But despite how over-the-top the obscenity is in this image, my reading of it leads me in rather the opposite direction. Straight up there’s no way getting this shot didn’t take time. Evidenced by the goosebumps and the fact that Dinks would’ve had to get undressed and roll around in the puddle and dirt for this scene to have come about.

Yes, it’s possible that there were degrees of unseen coercion. And I don’t know if it’s because I want so much to like this–if you feel I’m wrong, please chime in (consent is just about the most important thing to me and if/when I fuck things up, I welcome correction)–but this feels consensual.

The way it’s played toward the camera. Dinks’ expression speaks of wanting so desperate it actually feels like a kind of physical pain that can only be assuaged by sating the desire. There is something here the resonates with an honesty that I find entirely unnerving. (I relate to this so hard.)

But there’s also a way in which Dinks (and maybe that’s not her name but I hope it is because it’s awesome) is presented as seductive but also maybe a little bit dangerous–as in while the image is presented so that the viewer can station themselves between photographer and subject–and thereby presume the show is for them and them alone; standing in such a position carries a lot of potential risk for harm, violence or some sort of untoward resolution.

Beyond that I only know three things:

  1. I am devastated this was not an photography I created,
  2. I wish it was a photograph of me, and,
  3. I suspect that the way that Art and Pornography can happily coexist has less to do with hybridization and a lot more to do with setting out to create something meaningful and evocative instead of easily salacious.

andre-jblue veins and goosebumps (2010)

Generally, I am against frame line decapitation; however, my interest in synesthesia– esp. visual conveyance of the tactile–overrides that objection here.

This is a rare instance where the tendency for digital to render textures more-or-less plastic-like contributes to the image by blurring the boundaries between beaded water droplets and goosebumps. In my opinion, the ambiguity serves to emphasize the skin.