currently_off_sight (2022) is an art-based project that explores the politics and poetics of visibility on sex webcam platforms. Rather than exceptions, Currently Off Sight considers sex webcam platforms paradigmatic for the entanglements of work and daily life in a discriminatory environment. As such, sexcam platforms become a magnifying lens to investigate what it means to be visible and invisible online, querying the different strategies and tactics that modulate this visibility. In a context of constant deplatforming, banning, and discrimination of sex and sex workers, Currently Off Sight interrogates visibility as a governance tool.
Despite the asymmetry of power between the sexcam platform and its performers, currently_off_sight resists a binary understanding of what is visible and invisible in that context. Instead of just making visible what is hidden, this project questions the purpose of rendering things (hyper)visible at the expense of others while exploring the many shades between visible and invisible. Foregrounding webcammers’ voices, this project examines the ways in which visibility manifests on the platform, and the various degrees of agency the different actors have there.
currently_off_sight interrogates the poetics of visibility on the platform by engaging with the forms that this visibility acquires. The project is divided into chapters, concerning the topics addressed by the webcammers’ testimonies. Citing the aesthetics used by the sexcam platform and webcammers’ profiles, these elements are placed on a simulated desktop that works as a stage and place of observation. The desktop serves also as a way to acknowledge the presence of the user in this sexcam entanglement. It is the user, the audience, who must decide what they want to know about the functioning of the platform, what they do want to see.
currently_off_sight is both a web-project(in progress) as well as a desktop narrative video.
currently_off_sight is a collaboration with researcher and artist Antonia Hernández.
Thanks to all the amazing people who participated in this project.
A special thanks to Huibert van Wijk for collaborating with me.