P( )rn Theory 3 (manifesto in 10 parts)

This manifesto was first performed live as part of CATCH COIL III at the Invisible Dog in Brooklyn, NY on January 15th. Video edited by Mahx Capacity, and performed by Mahx Capacity, Ginny Woolf, and Parts Authority.

Featuring footage from existing AORTA films, including F*CKLAB: wet, Let Yourself Be Filled, OH (extended), Solo/Duo, Millk Burlesque, F*CKLAB: the Interview, Closing Time, Digital Genitals, Backstage Pass (coming February 2017), Refulgence (coming March 2017), Mylar Fucking, and F*CKLAB: the first time, starring performers Parts Authority, Erykah Ohms, Toxic Shock, Ginny Woolf, Xposed Brick, Kiki Hex, Im4ge Obj3ct, Robyn Sparkles, and Bobbi B. Good.


I.

stay with it
stay with the feeling
try to be simple about
stay with it longer.

grow hunger for this thing you’ve already ingested
(it’s coming from inside the house) this thing already a part of you

stay with curiosity
stay with feeling.

II.

and THEN let the words spill forth and questions erupt like the fifth unstoppable orgasm or a bag of cold milk cut open from the bottom. Thinking brain GO: Does this mean I’m…No that’s gross Ilike that part wherereminds me ofwhat?!?...does that feel like…

How do your body’s reactions reinforce or confuse your previous sense of self? Are you surprised? If so, is your instinct to roll your neck like a dog in the filth-dissonance of new information? Or do you try to bury it push it under say “well first reactions don’t…”

What is the relational narrative that you’ve involuntarily established with this image you’re seeing? Is it the object of your desire? A proxy for self? And as this hole-filled reaction-catalyst of a being hurdles towards personhood, the reality dawns that this desire was produced by people with other people for other people.

And in the realm of (re)produced sexuality and material intended to sexually excite what is ethical? What’s ethical under capitalism? Are they enjoying it? Do they like the physical sensation, or is it more psychological—the voyeurism of indelible imagesor is it simply the relief of income to pay rent…Is this a political statement? Or… Art? Are genitals ever just genitals?

III.

Porn Theory 1 (from the first manifesto)

QUOTE:
Performance and pornography have analogous power: they use human bodies to trigger instantaneous responses in the viewer that are visceral and uncontrollably authentic.  These responses precede language, social constructs, and projected identity. Our bodies react before we have time to respond the way we 'should', sending us scrambling to contain the dissonance between our reaction and who we thought we were.

We see our once-certain selves become gloriously plural. This dissonance is a glitch—a moment of fertile unraveling before self and reality get re-made.

 IV.

Notes for watching:
Let your body lead
Let you mind wander
Watch alone, with friends, with lovers or strangers
Think about the imagery
Think about the aesthetics
Let ridiculous questions come in and out your head
All reactions are the right reactions

Critique (That’s hot but it’d be hotter if…)
Extrapolate (and then in my version there’s a second scene where…)
Problematize (They’re all skinny and white and that’s…)
Discuss (but what did that moment do for you?)
Lavish (yes, yes, yes, yes)
Mentally gnaw on (so I was thinking about that film we watched last week…)

And in those moments where the room falls silent as if everyone’s breath has been stolen out from under their words and a non-verbal agreement that something exceptional is happening overtakes the room… 

Let it fucking resonate.
And marvel at how shocking and exceptional it is to be alive
A human thing of living pleasure watching other pleasure bodies be human things.

V.

Porn Theory 2 (from the grant application)

QUOTE: ( ) seeks to explore the incredible potency of queer hedonism, specifically how the authentic performativity of kink and queer porn can evolve trauma into orgasm, and grief into politically radical, body-based joy. This project investigates the complexity of pleasure, exploring the so-called obscenity of bodies in their most tremendous capacity—their glorious, illicit humanity.

QUOTE: Cutting through experimental performance’s insularity and entrenchment within systems of white supremacy, pornography can be immediate, incendiary: undeniably legible. Queer porn capitalizes on this immediacy to kick hairline fractures into oppressive systems, explicitly centering the humanity of individuals traditionally devalued by capitalism, ableism, racism, and transmisogyny. There is no wrong way to have a body, or an orgasm. Queer porn can take viewers by their hearts, minds, and genitals to incite change; it is a way to say I see you, I will fight for your joy, I will celebrate how fiercely you exist.  

VI.

Last month’s practice:

I go through the city with the intention of desiring everything I see—hot for everything minus the people. I begin to notice texture, and cultivate the craving to understand things by feeling them inside me.

I become obsessed with constantly mentally putting my mouth on buildings and cars, scaled down for a better bite ratio, exploring the bricky crevices with my tongue and sucking on the smooth metal.  The city is in my mouth. My mentor likes this exercise. She tells me that this is how babies first learn about their world.

She tells me, “EVERYTHING is sex.”

VII.

Current Practice:

I consider every stranger, and try to imagine what their body does, the sounds they make, that secret thing their face does as they come. I do not involve my own desire, but try like a scientist to use what clues I can to create a gentle hypothesis.

I look at Lower East Side models and construction workers and grandmas and fat teenage boys and sad fathers and gentlequeer dreamboats and businessmen who enrage me with their surfeit of space and I try to see them at their most vulnerable, their most powerful. Their proud momentous lust, their embarrassed confused arousal, their perfect chance encounters, their solo nightly cummy boredom.

I try to imagine it, and then, inevitably, I love them. I can’t not love them after seeing how human they are, exploding with this secret only occasionally shared or seen.

VIII.

When I tell friends about this practice they give me a weird look that makes me question whether I should admit that this is what I’ve been doing. But…
All I have is desire.
All I have is my body and too much desire.
All I have is my too much body and too much desire for too many people.
All I have is too many people
who didn’t make it
who couldn’t
who I miss without having gotten to know
And amidst all this anger and rage
and grief
there is still the too much desire. Somehow still here.  

Use it.

IX. 

Porn Theory 3
(or, I am asking you to survive this with me)

I think you’re the hottest fucking thing I’ve ever seen. I want you to wake up feeling like you can’t wait for what’s ahead because you can’t even comprehend how much pleasure and joy exists in the world. I want you to fuck so hard that survival has to run to keep up with you. I want to hear your orgasms through the walls of the city on floors I forgot existed, and I want the obscenity of your humanity to burn so bright it stings pinholes in the retinas of those your existence offends.

I want to fall in love with your strangeness,
I want the dissent of your pleasure as my soundtrack.
I want you to see how you big you smile after you’ve 

X.

 come.  

Porn/Performance Manifesto 1

I am a queer performance maker and pornographer.

I am a maximalist, and describe my work as anti-ephemeral and pomo-humanist; I am obsessed with exploring lush humanity in an experimental post-postmodern context, and I operate with the belief that this process can create many outputs, not all of them confined to live, time-based experiences. My work expresses itself interstitially, across forms including performance, pornography, object-making, ideology, community building, and the creation of experimental economic systems.

My current artistic goal is to further explore how (queer) pornography might be integrated and infiltrated with/by a performance practice to create content that explodes with destabilizing joy. 

Performance and pornography have analogous power: they use human bodies to trigger instantaneous responses in the viewer that are visceral and uncontrollably authentic. These responses precede language, social constructs, and projected identity. Our bodies react before we have time to respond the way we 'should', sending us scrambling to contain the dissonance between our reaction and who we thought we were. This dissonance is productive: it is a glitch in our understanding of self and reality—a moment of unraveling before sense and meaning gets remade. In this queerly feminist moment of un-knowing, literally anything is possible. There is no certainty or single truth—we experience something intersectional and new. It is the promise of these moments that make both pornography and performance powerful, dangerous, glorious tools. My practice as an artist is a continued attempt to use these tools for pleasure, for knowledge, for resistance and survival, and to forge radical intimacy in solidarity with my fellow humans.