Introducing ( )

It's always to hard to know how to introduce a new project. Or, forget how even--when?! So much of our process of making films is the way we coax them into being out of nothingness into somethingness, but it means that we can work on something for years, and still be at a point where we're not quite yet able to say what it is yet. It feels like we're usually trying to figure out what the work wants to be, rather than building a thing we already have the full blueprint of.

So, while we still might not be able to tell you what this increasingly large thing is exactly, we can report that it's hurtling towards it's full being with a startling speed and clarity. We've been working on ( ) since 2016 with the performers of the AOMC and through our F*CKLAB workshops, and it's well on its way to becoming the fullest, realest version of itself. In just a few days, our team of 15 will head to Philly for a nine-day residency and shoot, and we'll continue forward in this process of bringing this film to life.

 The Iron Factory Loft, in Philly PA, where we'll be shooting starting June 6th

The Iron Factory Loft, in Philly PA, where we'll be shooting starting June 6th

To give some metrics: as it stands now, ( ) will have 21 different scenes or sections, and features all ten of our amazing performers in their full human virtuosic glory. The film blends expirimental performance and queer/indie/feminist p()rn genres, so you can expect a film where both explicitness and abstract avant garde fantasy is found intertwined throughout. We'll be premiering the film live and in-person January 4th, 5th, and 6th at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, NY (more on that soon!) and then distributing the film through AORTA films in shorter segments over the next year. We'll be shooting with the support of a grant from the amazing Effing Foundation for Sex Positivity - we feel proud to have their support and the Invisible Dog's, not to mention the incredible individual supporters who have gotten us this far, and are so excited to create something that can live up to the amount of love and support that's been put towards ( ). 

We wanted to take a moment to officially introduce the incredible creative team that we'll be working with on this shoot. We couldn't be more excited or grateful to have the work and vision of these incredible humans on board with this project! I know we sound like a broken record, but what's there to say other than "get ready...get ready...get ready..."?! This project is going to be big, and important, and hot as hell. We can't wait to share it with you. <3

So without further ado, here they are -

Meet the Performers + Creatives of ( )!

GINNY WOOLF  is full of a powerful, self-obliterating fury. AORTA films' the OH files is her first feature. As a performer, Ginny is exploring her many-faceted answer to the question, "But do you have to be in front of the camera?" She is interested in power in film, on and off screen. She also loves bodies and nakedness and performing pleasure. Ginny wants to talk about sex. She wants to make the private public. She wants to participate in models of distribution that encourage fair pay and safe, supportive work environments. She wants the world to know that making (and watching) porn can be transcendent. Come to think of it, you probably already do.
Pronouns: she/her
Instagram: @ginnywoolfx

EVIE SNAX is a queer mixed freak with piercingly sensual scorpio energy known for creating strikingly colorful and uncompromising portraits. Their work casts spells of homoerotic cultural nourishment, liberation and self-love while expanding possibilities for gender/sexual self-determination in the form of performance, photography, experimental video and digital art. They also co-curate Hot Bits Film Festival, a touring queer porn film festival. Evie is also a recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award.
Pronouns: she/her or they/them
Instagram: @snaxho_

TROUBLE CLEF comes from a long line of jazz musicians and at age seven started her first band Sweet ‘n Sour. Critics called Clef’s voice one that’s “soaked in bourbon, lit on fire, and dragged in the dirt.” Her early success skyrocketed her into a life of ragtime and blues. Her raucous shows were so hot, she burned down the houses where she performed (aided by the cigarette she flicked into the stands at the end of each set) earning her the Trouble to her Clef.
Pronouns: she/her

SHAY KNOX is a dirty newcomer and an unashamed hedonist. They have one goal: to bring every moment to maximum pleasure for all people involved. A bubbly femme sadist, a doe-eyed switch, a hungry, tender slut-- Knox always has something to give. They are a fat, trans, Afrolatinx size queen who eats well, fucks loud, and takes no shit. 
Pronouns: they/them
Instagram: @Total.Knox.Out

ALICE THE WOLFE is a Sadistic Trans Femme Grandma interested in queering up the rope and porn scene. She is a rope bondage educator, kink and sex enthusiast, and body fluid artists.
Pronouns: she/her, it
Instagram: @alice_the_wolfe

SPECIAL GUEST is a performer and arts administrator living and working in NYC. 
Pronouns: she/her
Instagram: @the_SpecialGuest

THE SHAPE is a reluctant Sagittarius and a queer white person committed to body-based knowledge. She is a dancer and dance-maker based in Brooklyn, NY.
Pronouns: she/her

PAPI FEMME is a trans, Latinx, fat, Femme Daddy, hedonist, interdisciplinary artist, and performer. He is thrilled to be making his porn performance debut in 2018 with AORTA Films after 7 years in east coast kink communities. Papi Femme's perversity is deeply driven by femme aesthetics, indulgence, and femme4femmedaddy lust.
Pronouns: he/him
Instagram: @Papi_femme

PARTS AUTHORITY has always been a performer but is a newcomer to the world of porn. They claim credit for implementing the NSFWVDAY annual nude Valentine's Day photo shoot with Ginny Woolf and Mahx Capacity in 2012. 
Pronouns: they/them
Instagram: @call_me_PartsAuthority

ERYKAH OHMS makes custom leather pieces and has toured the world. 
Pronouns: she/her
Instagram: @electrix_ohms

MAHX CAPACITY (Creator/Director) is one of the founders of AORTA films, and directs, performs in, and produces expirimental queer/feminist explicit films through the collective. They come from an experimental performance background, and identify as a queer, cis, white, able-bodied, fat, femme maker and performer. They are a maximalist through and through, and feel gleeful about getting to make explicit art with and for so many smart babes.
Pronouns: they/them
Instagram: @MahxCapacityIRL

HOLYRAD STUDIO (Filmmakers) is an interdisciplinary production agency and studio space located in Brooklyn, NY. They provide professional content creation with a direct plug to the network of underground emerging creativity with prove success across multiple verticals and industries. They pride themselves on being one of the only femme minority owned and operated studios in NYC and celebrate diversity in all aspects of their creation process.
Instagram: @Holyrad_studio

SHANE SCREAMS (service boy) identifies as a queer jock. New to AORTA, eager to use their strength and attention to detail to provide high quality satisfaction in all the ways you might dream of needing service and beyond. 
Pronouns: they/them
Instagram: @shanescreams

AORTA films at TLVfest

Earlier this year, AORTA films was approached by the Berlin Porn Film Festival about having our film "FULL" which they had previously screened included in a program of their creation for TLVfest, the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival. After learning that the festival is under pressure from BDS, we decided to decline to have our film included in the Berlin Porn Film Festival's program. Our statement, which will be read at the festival, is here:

AORTA films stands in solidarity with the Palestinian-led, nonviolent movement to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the State of Israel as a means to demand it stops violating Palestinian human rights.

In support of the BDS movement, we declined to include our film Full in the Berlin Porn Film Festival’s program to be shown in Tel Aviv, because TLVFest is sanctioned and supported by entities complicit in an apartheid regime, including Israel’s Ministry of Culture. We recognize and support the festival’s active opposition to the Israeli government’s censorship of bodies. However, our solidarity is with Palestinian people, and with the nonviolent tactics they see fit to meet their three very basic demands: to end the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, to give Palestinians with Israeli citizenship equal rights, and to respect Palestinian refugees right of return to their homeland.

In love and solidarity,
AORTA films
Mahx Capacity, Parts Authority + Ginny Woolf

For more information, see Richard Falk's article in the Foreign Policy Journal which discusses the March, 2017 UN report, and read artist Ita Segev's writing on the intersections of BDS and queerness. 

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.