Author Archives: Brentley

Reading at Brisbane Writers Festival 05 September

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BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Brisbane Poetry Map

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Duration: 60mins – Lecture Theatre, QAG 05 September 10:00am – 11:00am Event #: 49 Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)

– Live readings by some of this city’s finest writers at the launch of Queensland Poetry Festival’s Brisbane Poetry Map, a digital showcase featuring five curated poetic trails and over twenty site specific recordings of Brisbane voices. The launch will mark the starting point for one of the walks, so bring your headphones and let the Brisbane Poetry Map unfurl before you.

‘Writing has nothing to do with signifying. It has to do with surveying, mapping, even realms that are yet to come.’ Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus 4-5

Brisbane Poetry Map is a digital poetic map of our city, showcases five specially curated poetic trails, each one containing site-specific recordings of some of Brisbane finest established and emerging voices.

The launch of the project at Brisbane Writers Festival will see 4 of the 5 walks released as public GPS tracked audio walks in South Bank, Brisbane City, Kangaroo Point, and Fortitude Valley. The Kurilpa Walk – curated by black&write! – will be launched separately later this year.

The launch will also see Michelle Law, Matt Hetherington, Krissy Kneen, Bronwyn Lea, Adam Hadley, Gina Ramsey, Brentley Frazer and Pascalle Burton read their commissioned poetic responses on the day.

Come along to the launch of the Brisbane Poetry Map, and hear this city with new ears.

Brisbane Writers Festival
Lecture Theatre, Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
Sat 05 September
10:00am – 11:00am
Free event

The Brisbane Poetry Map is funded by Copyright Agency and Brisbane City Council. Brisbane Poetry Map is also supported by black&write! and Music Industry College.

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Porlock In The Night Garden

Posthuman Pornography

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Posthuman Pornography : What is happening to the reality/fiction boundary when viewing pornography?

The camera changed the world when first imagined and is still changing the world today. The first porn film was made in 1896 almost immediately after the invention of the motion picture camera, and today…well, you have probably heard that the pornography business is responsible for a lot of internet technology innovations. I read somewhere that 70% of the internet is porn, but this Forbes article debunks that mythology. I also have heard the pornography industry is fiscally larger than both the mainstream film and music industries put together…but that’s also a questionable statistic according to the same Forbes article.

Have a look at these stastics though:

  • Size of the Industry $57.0 billion world-wide — $12.0 billion US

-Adult Videos $20.0 billion
-Escort Services $11.0 billion
-Magazines $ 7.5 billion
-Sex Clubs $ 5.0 billion
-Phone Sex $ 4.5 billion
-Cable & Pay Per View $ 2.5 billion
-Internet $ 2.5 billion
-CD-Rom $ 1.5 billion
-Novelties $ 1.0 billion
-Other $ 1.5 billion

  • Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.
  • US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (6.2 billion)
  • Child pornography generates $3 billion annually

from http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html

The one fact I cannot dispute is the proliferation of pornography. When I was a teenager, before we attained the internet and therefore a prototype global consciousness, you had to hope that your old man had a stash of Playboy in the ceiling, or you went to the woods…there’s always porn in the woods. Today I can look at a thousand different vaginas in five minutes, every possible fetish is represented as nothing more than a category and it’s all free, uncensored and in high-definition.

I’m not examining the effect this is having on our semiotic environment, or our ‘society’ in the traditional humanist ‘woo woo’ sense, I’m looking at it from a posthuman perspective. I am interested in what is happening to the reality/fiction boundary when viewing pornography? Sure, you might get an adrenaline rush when watching a violent action film, but what about when viewing porn? You willingly participate in tricking your brain into believing a sexual act is occurring. If you are watching a horror film, or something disturbingly violent, you find yourself abandoning the act of suspending your disbelief…but when watching porn, you go all the way, never once finding it desirable to remind yourself that it’s only images of sex that has you aroused.

The traditional argument you can find in any survey of people who use pornography is that they disagree that porn on tap ‘warps’ their attitude toward the opposite sex…they claim they know it’s just fiction. I have personally heard many male humans say that ‘women aren’t like that in real life’ (some bemoan this statement). Consider this quote from The Posthuman Marxist website, in an article titled Why porn critics got it all wrong:

So we watch a porn video of this young girl being degraded, humiliated, violated, and so on. And, to a certain extent, even female-respecting guys enjoy it — why? Precisely because we know perfectly that it is just an act, because the porn stars are getting paid well, and so on. If that fact is obvious, to whom, then, is the drama staged? To none other than he who the porn stars are looking at when they stare straight at the camera — not you or I miserable, individual guys, but the abstraction of our collective being, the Imaginary Other.

Also consider this quote from an essay titled Pornography and the Post-humanin Michel Houellebecq’s Novels by Nurit Bucjweitz:

The pornographic, as an artificial and fantastic representation of human relations, planted within a fundamentally realistic narrative, calls to mind that the foremost and major realistic theme, that of the stable and concrete individual consciousness, has collapsed and is being mediated by convention.

Is it fiction? Are the actors ‘acting’? If you watch Bruce Willis jump from a helicopter onto the wing of a fighter-jet under a freeway while shooting bad guys in the face, you know it’s staged, right? If you click on a video that shows a person pretending to have sex, you’ll go looking for a ‘real’ video.

Has CCTV given us the first tangible ‘objective viewpoint’ in history?

Surprising to me I discovered that CCTV or Security Cam porn videos you can find on any porntube style website have very limited interest. The only director in these videos was the technician who aimed the camera at the alley. Has CCTV given us the first tangible ‘objective viewpoint’ in history? And yet we refuse to even call it realCompared to the hundreds of thousands of videos in the unlimited fetish categories on these websites only a relatively small number of video with actual people having un-staged sex, oblivious of an observer, exist. Inversely, the ‘reality’ category is not real at all, but populated by amateur gonzo videos made by guys who won the lotto and always wanted to be porn stars.

Is this the convention mentioned in the quote above? Is the proliferation of pornography a side-effect of the advent of the internet and the beginnings of global consciousness, or vice-versa?

Perhaps the quote above is correct, the stable and concrete individual consciousness, has collapsed. Has the human mind, so addicted to it’s own dopamine, so willing to fall head-long into fantasy to obtain the rush, bought about it’s own demise and the end of it’s ability to discern between reality and fiction?

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