Berlin based sex-positive collective Pornceptual explores the breadths of sexuality through a visual study of unusual pornography. A queer, diverse and inclusive platform that presents pornography as intimate, respectful and artistic. They ask, "can art succeed where porn fails – to actually turn us on?".
Pornceptual relies mostly on events, yet due to the virus several parties, performances and even a festival has been cancelled. Their most recent collection features original content created in response to social distancing and the impact of isolation on our sex lives. IsolationPORN.com is a digital gallery addressing the near global stay at home orders. An open call to artists and creatives asking, what is turning you on? The more sexually charged the better. We spoke to representatives Chris and Raquel about the project.
"We made this page to celebrate expressions of sex, masturbation, and kinks in times of quarantine. A creative response to these difficult and unusual times, documenting intimacy and sex during lockdown. Isolation PORN combines the work of visual artists and kinky snapshots of daily life in these unusual times."
The result? A bold and bright gallery of creativity intertwined with the mundanity of household objects. A collaborative attempt to reconnect with the ways we express ourselves sexually, through new masturbation rituals and online sex practises. By exploring self-pleasure and fetish during isolation, Pornceptual continues to question typical pornographic notions at the intersection of art, sex and technology.
Isolation Porn was born out of the necessity to engage with their community, to keep connected and creative. Raquel explains, "social distancing gave us a chance to experiment with new tools when it comes to our sexuality. This moment has potential to destigmatize certain sexual practices and even reinforce the notion of physical intimacy online, which would long-term have a good impact on how pornography is produced."
Pornceptual reject the idea that porn is something shameful or that it should stay hidden. The collective occupies as a space that challenges the (predominantly white male) mainstream porn industry, celebrating difference in all genders, identities and sexualities. Pornceptual pushes further than just alternative representation, but towards alternatives to the porn industry itself. They highlight the need for more projects that are born outside of the standardisation of the sex industry, with initiatives that can rupture the heteronormative narrative. Whilst at the same time Pornceptual rejects the use of diversity as just another hot topic to profit from, expressing that "we need independent and truly inclusive projects instead."
Isolation PORN provides us with an online exploration into the collective sexual psyches of us isolating at home. We are told the future of the project will have two more phases, exploring what many are calling the 'new normal'. This will explore how technology and creativity facilitated connectivity during these times.
"This has been an opportunity to see Pornceptual again as something that goes beyond parties. We have been focusing on the project as an art platform and as a digital community. We will take this as a lesson for the future and keep expanding our virtual presence. But it has been a moment to appreciate in an almost nostalgic way how it feels to host underground events in dark basements. I see our post-corona events as even more sweaty than before."