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Research Stipend - Berlin Senat 2023

Use My Name Only
(Eggplants WIP)

/ research : sculpture /

/ Berlin : 2023 /

/ latex : metal : pla : assorted lubricants /

"Eggplants Work in Progress (WIP)" is an ongoing research project that captures my experiences during the process of transitioning, particularly as I navigate spaces predominantly reserved for gay cis-men. The research is presented by a series of short excerpts, touching upon different aspects. Each chapter is translated into a collection of sculptures, serving as tangible expressions.

Ceremonial Matter

 

The essence that sustains the Grindr ritual is fluid - warm, soft, semi-transparent substances that amplifiy our performances. Whether sweat, spit, sperm, the water we use to douche, the lube, or substances like G, poppers, testogel and steroids, these fluids are in constant circulation, undergoing transformations in our bodies and facilitating intimate exchanges. 

A collection of designed fountains spilling various lubricants visualizes the distinctive qualities of these fluids. The interplay of movement, reflections and different viscosities evokes associations. By placing the fountain object, charged with symbolic meanings such as purity, in a different context and replacing water with liquids used in sexual practices, the meaning is redefined.

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Eggplants

Typically dick pics on Grindr are sent in form of close-ups and as a sequence. Their aesthetics are poor and the pictures are characterized by embracing their own mediocrity. They consume our data bandwidth as they circulate in this digital network. It is uncertain if the object depicted in the scenes is actually from the sender or if it is been diverted from elsewhere. It’s as if these dicks have a life of their own, existing purely as objects, moving through the digital space in search of a fleeting moment of attention on someone’s screen, hopeful of a positive reaction before moving on. The dick gradually detaches itself from its source. It progressively materializes its own alienation until it ultimately transforms into the shape of an eggplant emoji.

Over time, I have created a private database of unsolicited explicit images. These images are transformed using a script and converted into individual 3D shapes. Carefully selected pieces are then materialized through 3D printing and cast in latex - a material often associated with safer sex or BDSM practices. Each sculpture created in this way has its own characteristics and yet cannot be traced back to its original source. The sheer quantity of these sculptures ensures their collective anonymity and challenges the original sense of individuality associated with sharing explicit images.

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