The Artgasm performance is an extreme body manipulative affair. It presents orgasms as art, trimming down art to the original meaning of aesthetics as perception by means of the senses.
The project is both a free, artistic experiment on the materiality of art as well as a critique of an art-market and art-system ruled by social control mechanisms and commercial interests. Present biopolitics promotes pleasure and truth under a rule of self-control. Artgasm questions when excess become the danger? And would you like to experience forced pleasure?
The experience is conceived both as a performance and open to public participation.
Artgasm medically manipulates the male audience/participant to experience the maximum of corporal pleasure, ie orgasm. The orgasms are involuntarily induced through a medical device and under the medical treatment of a doctor and nurse. By neural stimulation males will erect and ejaculate within two minutes.
- recombines aesthetics with ecstatics and ascetics
- is a work of art as pure physical pleasure. It makes orgasms to art. And thereby questions our understanding of art and the artistic material.
- questions the control of pleasure – by making it uncontrollable. It physically forces pleasure on the participants
- use semen as a statement of biopolitics (identity, nationality, bio-market)
- engineers the pleasure of joy. This is literally orgasms by pushing a button. A dream turning unpleasant
Artgasm (from aisthesis: the appearance of that which, of itself, shows itself). Artgasm is a pure, measurable and visible corporal experience. It is indirectly a critique of the contemporary art-market and art-system ruled by social control mechanisms and commercial interests. Further it comments on the biopolitics of pleasure control. Foucault’s history of sexuality suggests that r. Artgasm makes pleasure a combination of the schism between sexual regulation and self-discipline versus libertine or permissive conduct. All forced onto the participants.
Form: Public performance where anonymous participants are given an orgasm incl. ejaculation by a medical team. On stage there are six people: three volunteers and a medical team of one doctor and two nurses/assistants. Number of audience is not limited. After the performance, art as orgasms will be offered to the audience.
Technology: By the use of a special medical vibrator applied to a specific nerve on penis it is possible to induce an orgasm/ejaculation to any male participant, whether he wants it or not. The device used is built to give orgasms to men with spinal cord injuries. Time from applied stimulus to erection to orgasm/ejaculation is in average 2. Induced orgasm is also partly applicable to women, but is not a part of this performance.
Atmosphere: The performance/installation is in a clean, hygienic laboratory ambience with a non-erotic atmosphere. There should be no indications or signs or hints in the direction of psychosexual stimulus. The room should be well lighted. Examples of places where it could take place
- Shopping window of shopping mall
Situation: each participant (3+) are put on a surgical table and covered in a white, medical cloth. Their penis can be exposed through a hole in the cloth. 10 minutes prior to performance the participant mus take a necessary heart medicine (betablocker) to avoid stress of the heart. Then the procedure of i: stimulus, ii: erection and iii: ejaculation is started. The betablocker is important since a physically induced corporal excitement without a mental stimulation is potentially dangerous. A team of on doctor and two nurses in the usual uniforms apply the apparatus until the erection/orgasm/ejaculation cycle is completed. Their behaviour is medical, technical and functional. They are professionals just doing their job of making men achieve ejaculation/orgasm. The sperm is collected in a medical container. This could be used for other purposes/use. The sperm is also the manifestation of “pleasure”
- close-up recording of penile massage projected behind stage
- genetical coctails of sperm-mix (slovenian/croatian/serbian…)
- recording of internal corporal reactions to penile stimulus (pulse, breath, temperature, convulsions etc) projected into the performing space as visuals and sound.
Tech Spec List. The equipment needed is:
- 3 operation tables/hospital beds in steel and on wheels
- 3 white cotton sheets that cover the participants from head to feet
- 1 videoprojector
- 1 miniature video camera
- 3 sample containers for semen collection
- 1 bigger glass jar for the mixing of all semen samples
- Medical cleaning equipment like steeljar, alcohol, cotton, scissors etc
- 1 small table on wheels for the medical equipment
Staff / participants
- 1 medical doctor
- 2 nurses. One to assist the doctor and collect sperm. The other to monitor the donors physical condition
- 3 +1 volunteers. These will remain anonymous
Space / stage
The stage of the performance should be well lighted, clean, hygienic, laboratory like ambience with a non-erotic atmosphere. Space should be approx 5 meters wide and 7 meters deep due to projection
The project has been exhibited twice: in Belgrade (2008) and Zagreb (2008)
Artgasm test # 1
Art for nothing – orgasms for free
Place: Beton Hala Theater, Kraljice Natalije 3, Beograd, Serbia
Date: 17th of April 2008 at 21:00
Participants on stage: Three Serbian men (anonymous), two Serbian doctors and Stahl Stenslie
Audience: 60 +
Duration: 35 minutes
Music: “Go Forth and Fuck” by Cumshots (N)
Situation: A non erotic atmosphere was created to test if the mental dimension could be overridden by physical stimulus. All lights were on in the theatre, loud deathmetal music was being played, the stage all in sterile white, the three men/test-candidates all draped in three layers of white cloth (inner), a national flag (middle) and white cloth (outer). The two doctors successively tested all three candidates by first cutting through the cloth to expose the penis, then by applying the orgasmotron to the frenulum of the penis. Several frequencies and amplitudes were tested at each penis.
Result: No ejaculation. Signs of erection was seen. Afterwards the candidates reported being stressed by the situation and comments heard from the audience.
Consequence: Next performance will be done in a more private atmosphere were the candidates are together with the doctors in a separate chamber. The performance will be transmitted in real time to the audience.
Reminiscence: The three flags, the medical uniform and visual documentation
Artgasm test # 2
Art for nothing – orgasms for all
Place: Extravagant Bodies Exhibit, Zagreb
Date: fall of 2008
Participants: volunteers from the visitors, a female medical doctor
Audience: 100 +
Duration: depending on each participant, average 10 minutes.
Music: no music
Situation: the volunteer was treated by a doctor in a closed, private room with an office-like and neutral atmosphere. All sessions were projected live onto a large screen inside the exhibition space.
Result: several participants experienced orgasm, some not.
Reminiscence: Containers with ejaculate.