CYBERSEX


My aim with photography is two-fold. I want to push the boundaries of photography, question what it means to be a photographer in the digital age while simultaneously playing the role of observer and commentator on critical contemporary social issues.

Through Cybersex, I intend to shed light on the act of photographing in the realms of the Internet while documenting a current trend. The global sex industry has seen a gradual shift to the virtual world, with cybersex becoming a predominant industry in recent years. This is a look into virtual worlds. Hidden worlds that are paradoxically accessible to all as well.

The whole experience of sex is undergoing radical shifts. The unprecedented amount of pornographic material available on the Internet has been cited as one of the reasons behind the meteoric rise in sex-related violence all across the world. There is also a rising amount of fear that the access children have to pornographic content nowadays could lead to an entire generation of asexual beings, interested as they are, only in the cyber manifestations of the opposite sex.

Virtual prostitution is one of the more recent developments of the digital age. Clients have access to a wide list of options to choose from, transgressing hitherto existing limitations of geography and gender, all from the comforts of home. Prostitution and sex are evolving from a purely physical encounter to virtual, and subsequently dehumanizing realms. The democratization that the Internet has brought with it has also helped in subverting the ideals previously eschewed in pornography. Beautiful women and muscular hulks are no more the norm. There is an increasing appreciation and market for those with lesser 'mannequinn'ed and chiseled bodies.

In Cybersex, I document women and men engaged in the virtual prostitution industry. Moving beyond the traditional use of a physical camera for social documentary work, I have used screenshots using a virtual camera to document moments in between paid sexual performances when they are on public view, searching for new clients.

The process of searching for clients is often a long-drawn activity for some. It is during the time when they are waiting, that I try and document them. The wait, the sense of boredom and detachment from their chosen profession is an underlying thematic in the work. I intend to capture 'moments of truth', moments when they let down their guard, revealing hitherto hidden emotions...scenes of daily life, fatigue, distress, weariness, disgust, playfulness in couples as well as the pure bizarre.

This work intends to be an exercise delving into the meaning and mechanisms of modern-day photography and attempts at a possible definition of a virtual photographer.


Here is the gallery of images: http://www.arkodatto.com/cybersex