Henrique Santos  – Title unknown (201X)

Dear whoever-made-this:

I love it. LOVE it. Have you ever thought about making it a t-shirt?

I’d buy three. No lie–because I love the design and what it shows but moreso for the fact that when asked about how I identify my sexual orientation I could point to this instead of trying to use words that feel awkward, short-sighted and confining.

Keep making awesome work!

AE

FeminismoPornoPunk – Documentary still from Public domain porn version (2008)

Catalan Theater Directory Roger Bernat staged Public Domain in 2007. The underlying notion being to eliminate the audience/actor distinction.

[Public Domain] is (like) a life-size board game in which the spectator is more than just a pawn. Theatre-maker Roger Bernat assembles a group of people – the audience – on a square. Who are they, where do they come from and what is their relationship to each other? They walk across the square while listening to a series of questions and instructions on their headphones. Some are more innocent than others. The same can’t be said for the result; through the participants’ simple movements, small groups start to form in the audience. These micro communities expose underlying social patterns and tell a tale that Bernat carefully orchestrates. While [Public Domain] starts off looking like a 3D poll brought to life, the project ends up transforming into a bizarre fiction.

Maria Llopis reimagined Bernat’s concept as DIY porn for the Beatriz Preciado curated Arteleku in Donostia, Spain one year later.

I’m an extremely sexual person. However, I’m also aware that as someone who passes for straight, white and cismale–although I would never claim any of those terms in self-identification–I experience a degree of privilege.

As someone who passes, it’s assumed that I fit squarely into the cismale heteronormative default. I don’t though. I care very much for others’ autonomy in self-identification but the truth is I’ve never found label words especially useful. About the only label I don’t dispute is the distinct of being a ‘switch’ on the D/s spectrum.

It’s difficult to lack a readily available means of expression. On the one hand I want to distinguish myself from what I may be perceived as being by others. But how do I do that in a way that isn’t appropriative at the same time as also not being entirely fucked up and entitle?

I can’t say I’ve discovered anything that works. But I have definitely learned the importance of safe spaces–and not just safe spaces for me but spaces that are safe for myself and inclusive and safe for others, too.

At present this fits the form of a tweak to the ubiquitous Golden Rule: do unto others only as the would of their own free will and volition do unto you. (Being that I am on the autism spectrum, this isn’t the most effective coping mechanism…)

The above image suggests several things:

  1. I can’t look at this and not flashback to that scene in The East where the anarchist kids are playing spin the bottle. It strikes me that there’s huge overlap between that space in the one above; an emphasis on  intimacy, connection and using consent and negotiation/re-negations to test/push through largely arbitrary boundaries. (It’s also enormously helpful–not to mention fucking wonderful–that The East includes a queer perspective!)
  2. It also reminds me of Stranger by the Lake (a great film for it’s artfully graphic depictions of gay sex and is currently streaming via Netflix). With the world growing increasingly compartmentalized, sex is everywhere but unless you are a multinational corporation or resemble the board of said multinational corporation–whether or not you have access to similar mountains of cash in your private life–there is increasingly no viable venue for safely and consensually engaging with sex on a non-conceptual, tangible level. I think the idea of creating such space is important. But it’s hardly new. The LGBTQAAI community has fought tooth and nail to create such spaces.

This relates to the above image insofar as it is very clearly a safe space, concerned with sexual expression that insists on equal space for queerness.

It also doesn’t feel as if it’s about exhibitionism. That’s a huge thing for me. I am hardly shy. Truth told, there’s like maybe three things I would never consider doing in front of a camera. But I am not an exhibitionist. I don’t have any sort of problem with exhibitionists. But I am not happy with my body. However, for better or worse, my sexuality is tied to the body I have. (I regret very little in life but I wish that I’d done something like appear on I Feel Myself–although they probably wouldn’t take me and I’d have to do something more in line with Gentleman Handling, unfortunately… stupid biologically male body.)

I wish I knew where I could find spaces like the ones this image points toward. I would love to be able to express my sexuality more openly in a fashion that was neither intrusive or entitled.I wish there were more spaces like this–focused on rejecting mass marketed fantasies and instead projecting DIY ethos and creating for ourselves the truthful and open spaces for complicated expression we most want to see in the world.

Interesting, the lack of such space is perhaps the biggest obstacle I face in my own creative work. i patently object to the myth of the rock star photographer. I think the vast majority of Tumblr photographers (good or bad) use fine art nude photographer as a pretext to appropriately channel sexual energy. I have an immense problem with that–not in and of itself but if that’s really your goal then at least be up front about it.

I love looking at naked bodies just as much as the next person. But I am more interested in the correlation between you and your body–with particular emphasis on your negotiation of your own sexuality. I want to ask what turns you on–not as any kind of prelude so much as I find it endlessly, almost transcendentally intriguing to understand how someone else experiences something that profoundly moves them. I’m curious as to what their experience of puberty was like, how they masturbate, whether or not they’d be comfortable with showing me? Is it okay if I show them?

I can’t approach photography except as collaboration between equals. The subject has just as much of a stake in things as does the photographer. And as far as my own work goes, what affects me is conveying something of the highs and lows, the narrative of what it is to be a being with a carefully considered inner life, hopes dreams and aspirations but who is also tied to an inconvenient simultaneously autonomous and desiring body.

It seems simple enough but it goes back to the question of would the person I am asking realistically ask the same in return from me. So far my life so far has demonstrated the answer is a resounding no.

Isabel DreslerNon-Binary. (2014)

He seems to me equal to gods that man
whoever he is who opposite you
sits and listens close
           to your sweet speaking

and lovely laughing—oh it
puts the heart in my chest on wings
for when I look at you, even a moment, no speaking
           is left in me

no: tongue breaks and thin
fire is racing under skin
and in eyes no sight and drumming
           fills ears

and cold sweat holds me and shaking
grips me all, greener than grass
I am and dead—or almost
           I seem to me.

But all is to be dared, because even a person of poverty

—tr. Anne Carson; Fragment 31 If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (Vintage, 2002)

Cheyenne Sophiaflint (2013)

Jaw, meet Floor.Floor, Jaw.

You two get to know each other because if Cheyenne Sophia keeps making work this fucking stellar, you both are going to be seeing a lot more of each other.

At first glance this may seem as if it doesn’t belong on this blog. It definitely does but I need to slay some irksome dragons before I get into all that.

First up, FUCKING STOP drawing lazy ass parallels between the work and Wong Kar-Wai or my arch-nemesis Gasper Noé. Cheyenne admits she isn’t familiar with either beyond their use of super saturated color.

Super-saturated color is a TOOL. Insisting there’s overlap between work due to a single prominent feature considered in isolation is like suggesting there’s a parallel between Henry Gaudier-Greene’s and my own work since both of us favor Pentax 67iis.

Secondly, the look associated with Wong Kar-wai is less his and more Christopher Doyle’s invention. Yes, Doyle lets red bleed out everywhere; so in at least one way there is overlap with Cheyenne. However, the overall effect is ENTIRELY different.

Third, Gasper Noé employs a cacophony of colors that sometimes blur but rarely bleed.

Finally, why compare someone whose work is a great deal more interesting than either of these two artists just by virtue of the fact that they predate her and are part of the art establishment?

Now as to why this belongs here. In an interview with wAsTe magazine Cheyenne speak about the importance of queerness to her work. Her answer is revelatory–not to mention displaying mad strong conceptual game:

Learning about queer culture and feminism has been hugely important in making the work I make and feeling like I have something to stand on. They are both a massive part of my identity and my work is essentially one big self-portrait. Queer work is important because queer people are important.

Whether or not the work she makes fixates on depicting sex there is always an edge to it, an underlying insistence upon “being a feminist artist who is open about sex.”

I CANNOT wait to see more work from this artist. And I am over-the-moon at the prospect of a possible collaboration between Cheyenne & Laurence Philomene.

This post is guest curated by azura09:

spaceykate:

In conclusion, Victorian trans porn. Good night, lovelies!

How sometimes it’s easier to get yourself off with your mouth on your lover. How sometimes the photos are better when you pull your clothes up instead of taking them off. 
For some reason this photo reminds me of an afternoon in a bedroom with a big, uncovered window that looked out to an overgrown backyard, laying on a bare mattress licking coconut pie meringue off my girlfriend’s breasts and thighs. I left the rest of the pie by the windowsill and ate it the next morning while drinking coffee from a suspiciously dirty mug.

We were living in different states and not seeing each other frequently so it’s likely I took pictures of her then, if not that afternoon than sometime during my trip. It’s something I’ve done many times because she asks. And then poses happily on the bed fully dressed. 
Usually, I pull off one layer at a time, taking a photo in between each with an old pink camera. I’m impatient—it’s never my idea to forestall sex this way—but she’s right, I’ll want the pictures later when I’m alone. I’ll want the memory of how I undressed her, how when I took off her skirt I discovered she was wearing my black underwear and hadn’t planned to give it back. How she kept shaking her hair out so it fell over her shoulders.
I’ve photographed exactly where her tights were torn in a New Orleans cemetery, standing next to untended gravestones and spilled silk flowers. Other photos from the same cemetery: her bra unhooked and her head titled to the side, photos of me, always clothed but with my bare shoulders cooking in the sun. 

She’s braver with her body than I am. She’ll put even the parts she doesn’t like on display for me, let them be permanently cataloged. The one time I took photos of myself to send to her I was so careful. I got made up, put on the only nice underwear I owned, kept only the pictures from the most flattering angles. 

The photo above is almost certainly a staged one, taken outside any moment of sexual connection. Even so, I like to imagine these models, caught up in their race toward mutual orgasm and the bliss of being partially undressed, kept going after this photograph, and all its duplicates, were taken.

This post is guest curated by azura09:

Hello, I’m azura09 and I’m taking the helm of Acetylene Eyes from May 1-7. We’ve been friends for a number of years and they’re one of people I’m most comfortable talking to about sexuality, gender, and my enthusiasm for porn (both queer and otherwise). I admit that I’m not a photographer and that I have very little working knowledge of what constitutes an artful photograph. Because of this, I’m simply going to focus on images that turn me on and attempt to explain what it is about them that makes me shiver in anticipation. Thanks so much to Acetylene Eyes for allowing me to put my (slightly less refined) taste on display this week.

I’m starting this week off with an image that makes me feel safe.  A kind of safe that seems specifically queer to me, one I’ve never seen straight porn get quite right. It’s that vulnerability that comes with realizing you (and the person you’re with) are on equal footing:

It’s nice to push you down,

make your open your thighs,

 watch you fan your hair out like I got to drown in the best ocean

        to find you, but this isn’t what I need

and I’m telling you, look at all the things you can eat, even as I’m worrying that

I shouldn’t

eat you down to whispering bones.

 queeremmaclaire:

Carson from Crash Pad series with Brooklyn Flaco