Monday, September 12, 2011
get OUT: Queer Cybersex & Virtual Sexualities workshop by Marisol Salanova (UK)
**Check out the info below submitted by Marisol Salanova. This workshop sounds amazing! Sex and technologies are now merging to make things a little more interesting and I'm glad these realities (virtual or non) are being explored by the academy. -Laura Luna*
September 15th 2011, 3pm-4.30pm, Room 204, Grand Parade site, University of Brighton (Brighton, UK).
Workshop on queer cybersex and virtual sexualities
By Marisol Salanova (Independent curator, art critic and researcher in media art, specialized in gender identity, post-porn and transgender issues).
This workshop is about exploring the role of queer sexual practices in contemporary digital culture and making more visible transgendered, queer and virtual sexualities through the use of technology tools. It will be held on the BSSN 5th Annual Conference Hard Science? Sex, Science and Technology on September 15th 2011. By introducing a short history of cybersex and exploring the possibilities of virtual avatars the objective is to learn about representations of gender in the new media from the changing practices on pornography and sex relationships.
Cybersex is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more persons connected remotely via computer network send each other sexually explicit messages and images describing a sexual experience and exploring their own body. Cybersex is commonly performed in Internet chat rooms but also in online video games or other virtual environments as Second Life. Since cybersex can satisfy some sexual desires without the risk of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or pregnancy, it is a physically safe way to experiment with sexual thoughts and emotions, also an ideal way to try any kind of sexual activity by choosing avatars with ambiguous sexual characteristics.
The great potential of cybersex make it possible for non-stereotyped representations of the body. It calls on us to reflect on what a pornographic image is, what sex work is, what gender is, and what the whole point of feminism is, according to the foundations of Post Porn movement.
It is open to all kind of participants, but researchers on the construction of sexual identity will be especially encouraged to participate.
A first version of this workshop has been developed at the Remix Cinema 2011, a Conference in the University of Oxford. It comes from a study supported by an exercise on making a Machinima scene (animation with characters from a video game) to find different possibilities of sexual roles in video games as an easy virtual space.