Exhbitions dates: 4 March-11 April 2013
The feminist philosopher Susan Bordo has stated, “When bodies get together in sex, a whole history, cultural as well as personal, comes along with them.” Though intimate human relations—sex—can feel private and personal, close study shows that it is always mediated by language, visual imagery, social scripts, and cultural expectations. There is not and can never be such a thing as “natural” sex—it is always a social and historical phenomenon.
In light of this, how should we view the transformation of intimate relations enabled by digital devices? As celebrities, Congressmen, and amorous teenagers have discovered, often to their shock and embarrassment, the meaning of dating, relationships, romance, and even sex itself is currently being renegotiated in light of the fluorescent glow of digital devices. iPhones, Blackberries, and Androids are transforming what it means to be sexually intimate in the 21st century, inaugurating new languages (“dicpic”), behaviors (sexting), desires, expressions, communities, identities, and legal and regulatory frameworks.
The identification and interaction with others on the basis of a shared sexual identity, orientation, inclination, or “kink” has never been easier, nor have sexual performances or masquerades—scripted or spontaneous—ever been as ephemeral or transient. The intersection of microcomputer and global telecommunications technologies threatens to collapse longtime distinctions between public/private, personal/political, strange/familiar, distant/immediate, fleeting/eternal, and connection/alienation. Familiar boundaries of self, relationship, community, and nation are easily bridged as desires and technologies combine to put an adult bookstore, singles bar, brothel, and gay bathhouse in your purse or pocket. We are witnessing a revolution in human intimacy and this one will be televised…via the XTube mobile app on your iPhone 4GS!