As a form of Primary research, I decided to interview an artist and educator and above all a dear friend, Alex Carr. Her creative oeuvre impartially responds to the homogenisation of pornography, the female figure and human sexuality – a fitting context for a conversation between the future and love.
When asked the reasoning behind her choice of media, Carr responded by telling me she was concerned with the issue that like most things that become capitalised, pornography was homogenised – it was predominately all white, heterosexual and young. Her artistic expression becomes an armature by which the standard of what is desirable, that polarises and ostracises people, can be abolished.
To begin, and to coalesce these ideas of love, sex, imagery, ethics and the future, I asked Carr what her relationship between pornography and love was:
“People use pornography as a tool within their intimate, sexual lives. Porn, in a sense, removes ideas of love from sex.
Pornography is a vehicle of sensory release.
I still think there is a lot of pressure on people to have sacrificial, committed love. People put pressure on sex to be that perfect moment. Saturation of sacrificial sex and moreover love, has lost its validity – it is so perpetuated, the heteronormative doesn’t cut it anymore.
I don’t believe that porn, or sex for that matter must be performed through love.
Theres something exceedingly powerful about sex – this exchange of energy and tension.”
This idea of pornography as a vehicle of sensory release which removes ideas of love from sex is progressively evocative, projecting a future parallel to that suggested by Berlin-Based homoerotic photographer Matt Lambert within his zine ‘Vitium’. Vitium unapologetically revolts from the heteronormative overhaul of society, depicting men in moments of lust and love, which is viewed not as pornography but rather, like the work of Carr, as an armature by which the standard of what is conventionally desirable in terms of intimacy can be abolished.
It is this future free from heteronormative prejudice that both artists propose within their work that Carr believes to be probable and possible. When asked where she sees herself and her work in 50 years, her response was – “It is with great confidence and very slight optimism that I say the ideals I work within will be completely invalid. Race/gender/sexuality the hierarchy is already collapsing. This heteronormative, predominately white and young based spectacle will be totally within the past. We will all be having sex with each other and everyone’s equal.”
When asked: “What are your opinions of the future of love, pornography and sexual exploration? There is this pressing notion that humans will sexually interact with artificial intelligence.”
Carr’s response was:
“Seems so strange, because it is so far away. Though that being said, people have been having sex with dildos and vibrators for so long, and realistically, that was the beginning of sex and AI. I don’t know if its positive or negative, but its a probable thing.
Think about the instant gratification that comes with the interaction of humans and technology – and therefore wouldn’t be surprised it if happens.
Its potentially slightly sad.”
For Carr, this concept of human sexual interaction with artificial intelligence is partly preposterous, however, as proven by her statement above, it has already been occurring, and thus seems probable.
Casting aside the probable, possible and preposterous, love and the exploration of sexuality is and will continue to be intrinsically human, and as put so eloquently by Carr – “Its hard to talk about love as it’s a thing thats become a Hallmark card, people become cynical about it. However, I truly believe that it is important, in terms of people being good people, that its good to love.”
Lambert, M & Birsner, J. 2016, Vitium, 1st edn, Bruno Gmunder GmbH, Berlin.
Firth, L. 2016, ‘Matt Lamberts Hardcore, Sex-infused “fuck you” to the establishment’, i-D, 16th March, viewed 26/10/2016 < https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/matt-lamberts-hardcore-sex-infused-fuck-you-to-the-establishment>
Carr, A. 2016, ‘Study for the female figure’, private collection, Sydney, Australia.
Carr, A. 2016 ‘Falling for you Print’, own collection, Sydney, Australia.
Carr, A. 2015, ‘Fan Girls’, private collection, Sydney, Australia.