phantom limbs

journal by Sam Zimmerman concerning new media arts in New York City, curated events at Monkeytown (the video dinner theater in Williamsburg) and his personal projects

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

3rd Annual Porn Week

I'm about to leave the country for three weeks and I'm cramming to finish the third installment of Monkey Town's Porn Week. The challenge is to rekindle that moment before the VCR in the early 70s when going to a theater to see sexually explicit fare was a socialially acceptable and even refined experience. If you haven't tried it, this is your big chance (we supply the futons and libations).

This year, in the spirit of biting off more than you can chew, we're attempting three separate programs wherein artists from the 60s to the present exploring their ickiest, stickiest urges in unflinchingly explicit detail. Below are some of the details.


ARTSLUT VIDEOS: 1975 to 2006
The ARTSLUT program is a rare collection of vintage homemade fetish videos curated by David Burns and Bruce Yonemoto featuring 21 Los Angeles-based artists. For this screening, Monkey Town has selected complementary pieces from our favorite video artists for a bi-coastal sexplicit summit.

Featured kinks: bananas, body paint, body builders, body hair, action figures, anuses, enemas, ejaculate, polaroids, socks, feet, dogs and roaches.


Monkeytown Mashup: Margie Schnibbe + Vena Virago
Monkey Town presents a 4-screen megamix of works by two directors on the razors edge of art and commerce. Margie Schnibbe is a NYC artist and former Disco 2000 club kid transplanted to L.A., working in paint, sculpture, video, and comic illustration. Vena Virago is "in the biz", part of the new Alt Porn wave. They happen to be the same person.

This (very explicit) program turns porn films inside-out, simultaneously revealing front and back of camera, makeup on and off, the art before the action. Featuring Silverlake scenesters, porn star pets, bondage bunnies, op-art, 'zines and behind-the-scenes.

2-channel immersion curated and edited by Sam Zimmerman.

Includes new animations by Adam Kendall, Motomichi Nakamura and Sam Zimmerman based on original designs by Margie Schnibbe and Tom Bliss.

Pornstar Pets appears courtesy of Brink Film and Music Video Distributors.

Silverlake Scenesters appears courtesy of VCA/Hustler/LFP Video.

Eastside Story appears courtesy of Vivid Alt.


Bacchanale is a "lost" adult arthouse film from 1970, released towards the end of the grindhouse era and at the dawn of XXX.

The (surprisingly enlightened) sex in this film is overwhelmed by a script chock full of low-budget surrealistic pretensions. This creative tact was originally designed to provide enough of a veneer of artistic merit to keep the censorship boards at bay. With the passage of time, it now can be seen as a piece in full dialog with the cinematic trends of the day, maybe a grimy Seventh Seal, a gutter-dwelling Satiricon or outsider artist Rosemary's Baby. Too kind? You be the judge. Shot in several (but not all) colors, and concerning fashion, dreams, death, discos, calliopes, spiral staircases, water, war, hell, and, of course, sex.

For this screening, Monkey Town has taken the liberty of inviting 50 audio artists to reinterpret the film (which is currently out of commercial release). The resulting experience is an era-bending megamix of illicit thrills.

Directed by John and Lem Amero, starring Uta Erickson, inserts by Harry Reems and Tina Russell.

New audio curated by Sam Zimmerman, Nick Hallett, Christy Karakas and Montgomery Knott. Additional film edits by Sam Zimmerman.