An online collaborative research residency supported by Live Art Development Agency.
In the past ten years of working online as a webcam Dominatrix, I have made over 130 short ‘pay per view’ porn clips. Most featuring me talking to camera about the fetishes of ‘homo conversion’: forcing my clients to be gay, or ‘Sissyfication’: enforced cross dressing. The irony being I’m genderqueer Dyke who’s often read as straight in the mainstream world.
One of my most visibly queer spaces has been online with my clients, visitors who often address me as ‘Sir’.
My collaboration is with a client I’ve known for many years and formed a friendship with. Still, despite friendship the collaboration raises issues about work, paid or unpaid, of economies, class, and visibility. Normally we see each other in person for a few paid hours a month. Now we will spend time together virtually making the film.
Influences I’ve attended the Queer BDSM Berlin/European communities online workshops, both as participant and teacher. LADA’s Summer Program, most noted being the livestream lecture by Ron Athey, and the study room guide ‘Tantalising Glimpses’ written by Fat Activist and Live Artist Charlotte Cooper. A number of workshops organised for and by Alumni artists of Future’s Venture, focused on artists who are working in radical ways with communities. The article ‘Jeriko: On Sexuality and Liberation in Ableism’ had a huge impact on me. Written by Christine Bylund Swedish academic, crip and kinkster, it named succinctly and explored many ideas around agency and forced intimacy. I Also value conversations I’ve had with the artist film maker Yoshi Khwaja, founder of Digital Desperados.
Now that it’s all over, I kept meaning to write a bitter mouthed entry: ‘Now it’s all over’ because even before lockdown ‘eased’ I could hear helicopters overhead, police sirens and the roar of crowds. I live in a party neighborhood, people come here to have a good time. While I’m indoors feeling like a curtain twitching weirdo. Fuming because a simple walk around the block means dodging hoards of drunk people carrying plastic pints glasses full of beer. A zombie apocalypse. There are divisions apparent in how peoples lockdowns look: between crips and ableds, young or old, people who have to go out to work and people who can work from home, those with jobs and without, in grey economies or legal, with recourse to public funds or not. None of those categories is absolute, as I listen to different communities I am part of there are different stories. In ‘The Bunker’ an online support group for people who are sheilding or choosing an extra careful lockdown for health reasons; at first people are exchanging tips, discussing concerns about online shopping or getting PPE. As lockdown eased there was increasing distress at being forgotten about.