Stahl Stenslie (NO) Artgasm / World Ripple

performance / a sensual, virtual, mobile world sculpture

Artgasm: Art for nothing - orgasms for free

Artgasmis a public performance where anonymous (male) participants are given an orgasm (including ejaculation) by a medical team. By using a special medical vibrator, applied to a specific nerve on the 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. Induced orgasm is also partly applicable to women, but is not part of this performance.

The project Artgasm recombines aesthetics with ecstatics and ascetics. It:

  • questions our understanding of art by reducing the artistic experience to pure physical pleasure. It makes orgasms to art. The performance will medically manipulate the male audience/participant to experience the maximum of corporal pleasure - orgasm. The orgasms are involuntarily induced through a medical device and under the medical treatment of a doctor and nurse.
  • questions the control of pleasure - by making it uncontrollable. It physically forces pleasure on the participants
  • uses 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 reduces art to aesthetics in its original meaning: perception by means of the senses. Artgasm is a pure, measurable and visible corporal experience. It is indirectly a critique of the contemporary art-market and art-system ruled by invisible social control mechanisms and commercial interests. Further it comments on the biopolitics of pleasure control. Foucault'sHistory of Sexuality suggests that pleasure and truth are found under the rule of self-control. In a society where the individual's life is dominated by the care for the self, excess becomes the danger. Artgasm makes pleasure a combination of the schism between sexual regulation and self-discipline versus libertine or permissive conduct. All forced onto the participants.

WorldRipple is an artistic experiment in technology, touch and communication that explores two fundamentally important questions:

  • How can touch build better personal communication and understanding between people?
  • What does it mean to be physically near and close to someone in a globalized, networked world?

World Ripple is a sensual, haptic, invisible and immaterial sculpture made sensorially sense-able by a tactile, wireless and mobile bodysuit. The sculptures are triggered by GPS coordinates. They are expressed as physical stimulations and sound-based compositions. The sculptures of World Ripple are experiential and sensed – in the open, outdoor landscape. As computer constructed structures they can be endlessly large and dynamic experiences that can cross, be sensed around and encompass the world. The users wear a transparent, body-based and visually hidden system. The bodysuit is underneath their ordinary clothing and the mobile, sensor- and GPS-based system carried in a shoulder bag. Walking through the world they will sense and interfere with the sculptures. In the zones of collision between different structures and users new patterns of interference will arise, forming new, interpersonal and social ripples. Over time the sculptures will be changed by the user’s personal tracks – becoming a social zone of construction for shared feelings.

The project aims at transforming the urban and public space into a sensual, changing and invisible structure. World Ripple represents a moveable structure that is influenced by the users and the patterns of interference between them. It lets the user sense an empty space filled with human sensations. Through GPS coordinates and satellite-based navigation immaterial sculptures are placed in the open outdoor landscape. The sculptures are either location-based events, a kind of haptic theatre, or dynamic structures moving, changing, developing their dimensions and properties over time. The movements of the users draw new paths in real space. The coordinates of these paths build ‘walls’ that channel, amplify and direct sensory data. When a user meets another user’s ‘wall’ or profile, there will be another sensory ‘wall’ arising - sensed as changes in sound and corporal stimulation. It’s a ripple, a changing event in the shape of wave patterns.

World Ripple codes the users to behave differently from others. They are given new movements in the way they have to walk around, search for structures, stop, sense and possibly by physical reactions (exclamations, voice, utterances etc).

In this manner World Ripple represents a Different Reality that aims at expanding our understanding of the world by overlapping (virtual) data with (physical) reality in order to make experiential fiction. The social space of experience can be constituted in several ways. One is to feel how others have impacted the structures via interference. Another is the hunt for others feelings. Where has person X gone? Which sensory tracks has he left? These structures of emotions can both be a) predefined data that are played as the user passes through specific zones, and b) events that are made in real-time based on the users sensations. In this way the project takes on the character of an adventurous, personal and intimate game.

World Ripple is a collaboration with Per Anders Kvam

Stahl Stenslie (NO)

Stahl Stenslie works as an artist, curator and researcher specializing in experimental media art and interactive installations. The technological focus in his works is on the art of the recently possible - such as i) panhaptic communication on Smartphone, ii) somatic and immersive soundspaces, and iii) functional and lethal artguns 3D printed in low-cost plastic material. His aesthetic focus is here on art and artistic expressions that challenge ordinary ways of perceiving the world. Through his practice he asks the questions we tend to avoid or the answers to which lie in the shadows of existence. He has been exhibiting and lecturing at major international events (ISEA, DEAF, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH). He represented Norway at the 5th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey, co-organized 6cyberconf and won the Grand Prize of the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs. He has moderated various symposiums like Ars Electronica (Next Sex), ArcArt and Oslo Lux (2013). His PhD is on touch and technologies ( Currently he is teaching and researching as a full professor in Art and Technology at Aalborg University, Denmark.