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Empty Porn Sets
08:51 am



Balloons set (2004)

I was once on a porn set. It wasn’t how I had imagined it would be. I was part of a production crew making a documentary about online porn. We were in the upstairs bedroom of a small terraced house in the north of England. Outside all the houses looked the same: red-bricked back-to-backs with cobbled lanes. Quiet streets, half-net curtains hung in windows. In a small bedroom a man who looked like Benny Hill wearing a blonde Beatle wig was directing two young girls in bikinis to cover their bodies with various food products. He was filming their antics for his web channel, telling the girls to squirt more mayonnaise down their cleavage, splatter more beans on their bottoms, get that ice cream all over their chins and so forth. Downstairs Benny’s wife sat by a coal fire patiently knitting, and sipping weak sweet tea.

Behind the fantasy set of latex curtains, paddling pool, ketchup bottles and assorted props was a small dingy room—the kind seen in Britain’s black & white kitchen-sink dramas of the 1960s. The smell of congealing food was nauseating but the girls who were smeared with it were laughing and joking and egging each other on to be more outrageous. Their onscreen activities seemed very unsexual. I was seeing the whole absurd scene—the bare floorboards, the peeling wallpaper, the small tripod lights—not the close-up titillation being broadcast to an excited online audience paying by the minute.

This dissociation between the pornographic image and its creation—between location and use—form part of Jo Broughton’s photographs of empty porn sets.

Broughton was studying a foundation art course at Thurrock, Essex, when she was sent for work experience to London, as she explained in an interview with Jean Wainright.

I thought what I was being sent to was a glamorous fashion shoot when in actual fact I walked into a studio in Hoxton to a nurses set being set up and a girl walking out of a changing room wearing suspenders and stockings, the full monty kit. Quite an abrupt Yorkshireman approached me and asked if I’d ever seen a “fanny up front” and I squeaked “No” and he replied “Well today’s your lucky day”.

[Fanny is British slang for “pussy” not rear end—the difference of meaning once disconcerted English jazz singer Cleo Laine when her American doctor said he was going to give her “a jag in the fanny.”]

Jo was supposed to be doing two weeks work, but dropped out of college and stayed with the studio for two years.

For a long time I had quite a problem with what was going on there, I was quite conflicted. I was green as grass; I’d never ever walked into something like that before…

..It was very contradictory in some respects to have this space where I was safe and had a connection to people that were “family” and yet it’s perceived as very unsafe to other people: it’s a safe industry because they work very safely but it isn’t your desired environment, I wouldn’t desire it for my child to work as a pornographic model. My conflicting emotions stayed with me and I hid it very well, where I’d been and what I’d been doing, for a long time.

She worked as a studio assistant. job was to paint the set, make lots and lots of tea and to sweep up. I was just the dogsbody, to put up the lights; always give Steve a “pop”, meaning I’d have to dump the power on the light packs for him to do the light test. I had to put up the poly boards and all the normal stuff you do in a studio with the content of a sexual nature, which actually was very tame and quite tongue in cheek now.

Having left college and finding herself temporarily without a place to stay, Jo started sleeping on the studio sets at night. During the day she was working as a photographic assistant at major Sunday broadsheet the Observer. Because of how people perceived porn, Jo could tell no one what she was doing or where she was staying.

When I was working as an assistant we would get phone calls all day, somehow people had got hold of the studios number and they would scream obscenities down the phone and make threats. People were repelled and absolutely disgusted by the subject of porn; you just didn’t mention that you worked in the porn industry. So in order not to be tainted by that brush, I didn’t dare mention it when I was at The Observer because you just didn’t knew how people would take it, take what you did.

Then Broughton enrolled at Royal College of Art. She also continued visiting the studio every week and began working as a cleaner there.

I’d had these conflicting issues about these models seen as meat and I was doing all this feminist work and then I became Steve’s cleaner every two weeks. I became this… I don’t know how to describe it, this Igor character, cleaning up after someone. But also, I felt more humanistic towards the models, the industry and suddenly I started becoming more comfortable with it myself. I started to see this more human aspect because I’m seeing bodily fluids and I’m washing things and I’m in contact with almost what the untouchable is. You know, washing dildos and whatever, you’re there, at that point. And suddenly I started to laugh and see the funny side of it and going in and putting the radio on and seeing the set week after week after week, it would change. It made me laugh because you see the set, there’s so much work that goes into those sets and yet it’s still the same subject; tits and arse.

Broughton started photographing the sets at night. She was interested in revealing the reality behind the artificial glossy sex of porn mags.

I’m letting the audience in to see what I saw and also to take the power out of it almost. It is to say this is false, which I suppose pornography is, it’s false. I like the fact that there’s a brick holding up the poly-board that reflects the light, the ambiance coming in, the floor boards coming in. For me it’s really important to have those elements, also it shows humanistic elements of imperfections. Because in the magazines that its published in that would all be cut off and straightened and it would all be very glossy, so that was important. Also, I wanted to show the space I had this relationship with, that was important to me as well. This space doesn’t really know what’s going on, a table doesn’t know it’s a table, a porn set doesn’t know it’s a porn set and that’s almost what I was trying to do.

Each of Jo Broughton’s photographs was taken on a porn shoot. The bed sheets are crumpled and stained, stockings and shoes lie on the floor, discarded sex toys and lubricant are visible. The frame is devoid of people, only the evidence of sexual performance and the illusion of passionate intimacy remain.

More of Jo Broughton’s work can be seen here.
Christmas November Set (2003)
Nurses (2002)
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The controversial (and lampooned) bondage-themed billboard for The Rolling Stones’ ‘Black and Blue’
09:55 am



The bondage-themed print ad for The Rolling Stones record, Black and Blue, 1976
The magazine version of the controversial advertising campaign for Black and Blue from 1976

In 1976, the Rolling Stones released Black and Blue, their first record with new guitarist, Ronnie Wood. To help promote the record, a billboard was erected over the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The boundary pushing advertisement featured a racy image of model Anita Russell (who Mick Jagger originally considered “too pretty” for the part).
The billboard hanging above Sunset Strip, 1976
The billboard on the Sunset Strip, 1976

Jagger took one for the team and tied Russell up himself for the bondage-themed photo shoot. In the 14 x 48 foot billboard that hung above one of the busiest thoroughfares in Hollywood, Russell is tightly bound, her clothing ripped and the inside of her legs are bruised, as she sits spread eagled on top of the gatefold cover of Black and Blue with the caption:

I’m “Black and Blue” from The Rolling Stones—and I love it!

For some weird reason nobody in the Stones PR camp thought that the billboard would bother anyone, much less send the message that female fans of the Rolling Stones like to be physically abused. Of course the outcry to remove the billboard, especially from feminists who defaced the billboard with red paint, was immediate and it quickly disappeared.

But the news about the controversial photo and message had already garnered the band worldwide press coverage, and Black and Blue (a record infamous rock journalist Lester Bangs called “the first meaningless Rolling Stones album”—he was right) eventually went platinum in the U.S.
Mick Jagger and Anita Russell in a promo for Black and Blue from National Lampoon, 1976
The tables turn on Mick in this spoof that ran in National Lampoon’s “Compulsory Summer Sex Issue” in August of 1976

And because now I’ve got Black and Blue on the brain, here’s the band (with Billy Preston) looking like absolute plonkers in the “Hey Negrita” video.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Female lawmaker hilariously troll-proposes to limit men’s access to boner pills
10:07 am

Current Events


Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Mia McLeod, filed a bill on December 10th calling for any man seeking to obtain a prescription for Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or other such erectile dysfunction drugs, to be required to obtain a notarized affidavit from his sexual partner, undergo a cardiac stress test, and receive sexual counseling.

McLeod admits in an interview with South Carolina’s Free Times that she’s basically trolling her colleagues who have proposed restrictions on abortion:

“Those who are adamant about introducing some type of abortion bill every session, that’s really what this is about — I’m just sick of it. We’ve got much bigger fish to fry. I just decided that until they could stay out my uterus I would refuse to stay out of their bedroom.  All the things that they come up with are invasive… They’re not necessary. I just think it’s time for a little pushback on that end.”


Representative Mia McLeod
Among the “invasive” requirements in McLeod’s proposed “pushback” legislation, men would be

-required to obtain a notorized affidavit “in which at least one of the patient’s sexual partners affirms that the patient has experienced symptoms of erectile dysfunction during the 90 days preceding the affidavit’s date.”

-required to submit to a cardiac stress test.

-required to receive “extensive written notification of the dangers of such drugs, followed by a 24-hour waiting period.”

-required to attend counselling sessions that include “resources for patients to pursue celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”

Though it’s a brilliant ploy, McLeod admits it’s not likely to fly:

“I don’t expect a whole lot to happen with this bill other than to put them on notice.”

Put ‘em on notice, Mia!

Via: Eva Moore, Free Times

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘We Should All Be Feminists’ manifesto to be distributed to every 16-year-old in Sweden
01:50 pm



Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is primarily known for three highly regarded novels: Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and, most recently, Americanah. In 2013, the same year that Americanah was published, a TED Talk by Adichie about the difficulties—and importance—of being a feminist in Nigeria became a minor internet sensation, amassing over 2.3 million views as of this writing.

Adichie has adapted the address into a tidy 64-page book called We Should All Be Feminists. As she explains, her introduction to the term feminist came when her friend Okoloma called her a feminist in “the same tone with which a person would say, ‘You’re a supporter of terrorism.’”

In Sweden, where a translation of the book was released on December 1, several organizations have joined forces to distribute Adichie’s book to every 16-year-old in the country.

The Swedish Women’s Lobby, together with publishing company Albert Bonniers Förlag, the UN Association of Sweden, and several other partner groups, announced on Tuesday that it would ensure that a free copy of the book finds its way to every second-grade high school student in Sweden. Already more than 100,000 copies of the book have been distributed; the Swedish Women’s Lobby also plans to distribute discussion guidelines to teachers in a few weeks.

According to Quartz, Clara Berglund, chair of the advocacy group, said in a statement that “this is the book that I wish all of my male classmates would have read when I was 16.” Adichie’s book, she said, will be “a gift to ourselves and future generations.”

At the group’s Tuesday press conference in Stockholm announcing the project, Adichie greeted Swedish high school students via video:

For me, feminism is about justice. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world that is more just. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where a woman is never told that she can or cannot—or should or should not—do anything because she’s a woman. I want to live in a world where men and women are happier, where they’re not constrained by gender roles. I want to live in a world where men and women are truly equal, and that’s why I’m a feminist.

Interestingly, two weeks ago I was in a hostel on the southeastern coast of South Africa, and while there I was able to sample a small taste of Adichie’s popularity in Sweden: on the hostel’s “give a book, take a book” shelf was a copy of Adichie’s Americanah—I was looking for something to read and would eagerly have snapped it up, were the copy on the shelf not in Swedish!

Here’s the TED Talk that started it all:

via Internet Magic

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Unbelievable! Holy grail footage of The Shaggs from 1972 FOUND!
09:08 am

One-hit wonders


Of all outsider music, none is further outside than The Shaggs. Three young sisters from Fremont, New Hampshire whose harrowing story is like no other pop music story in history, is known at this point far and wide. Their father took them out of school, harassed and abused them to force them to “make music,” hoping to hit it rich off that new rock and roll fad. Since they didn’t have one iota of knowledge about music, the girls invented their own music. An amazing otherworldly music like nothing anyone’s ears have ever experienced! And being that they were young girls, this music had a great innocence to it, coming through guitar bass and drums. Now I don’t just mean they wrote songs, but that they reinvented music almost in an autistic way. Not knowing their back story early on, it’s amazing that this was created under duress. Everyone that heard it thought it was just the bizarre childish ramblings of the weirdest teens on earth! And they were, but still…
To implement their father’s bizarre plan, these girls (Dot, Betty, and Helen Wiggin) were also forced to play every weekend at Fremont Town Hall where, it is said, that they were endlessly abused by rotten kids for doing the “Shaggs’ Own Thing,” yet they soldiered on weekend after weekend because they had to. Next was to record an LP and here is where their magic was set in stone. Released in 1969,The Shaggs’ Philosophy Of The World came and went and legend tells of them being thrown in a dumpster by the studio owner/co-producer (with their dad, Austin Wiggin). Either way 900 of the thousand LPs disappeared, so right off the bat it was incredibly rare. Being the most famous weirdo of his time the record made its way into the hands of none other than Frank Zappa who went on a radio interview in 1970 with the Shaggs LP under his arm and famously during the interview proclaimed “this band is better than the Beatles” and then made them play a song—the first public mindblower the band created. They kept playing until the day their father died of a massive heart attack in 1975 and then just stopped.
Ten years after its original release, at the end of the first punk wave, mega record collector Terry Adams, singer for cult rock-n-roll band NRBQ, got his record label (Rounder Records) to re-release the LP. The minds punk opened were endlessly searching for weirdness in records, movies and pop culture. People like myself scarfed up the Shaggs LP and were mesmerized by its unique weirdness. It started being used as the measuring stick for weird music. People like Kurt Cobain put it in his top five favorite records of all time. In 1999 for the 30th anniversary NRBQ celebration concert they put on a show in New York That was one of the greatest and most bizarre nights of my life. I went with Shaggs megafan and one of my best friends, the late Bill Bartell (aka Pat Fear of California punk band White Flag) and it was a true mind bender. The Shaggs, playing their first show ever outside of Fremont, NH had the middle spot between Sun Ra’s Arkestra and NRBQ! Possibly the weirdest bill ever. I secretly recorded it, and it sounds exactly like the record. They read the music off of the original handwritten charts and only did four songs because they could only find those four pieces of sheet music! I had Dot Wiggin recreate the drawing of her cat Foot Foot from the back cover of the LP—made infamous in their “biggest hit” song “My Pal Foot Foot”—on my ankle and had it tattooed on the very next day! (I already had a tattoo on my actual foot foot.)
Here’s Pat’s recounting of the show on Popshifter

Pat Fear: When I went to New York in 1999 to see the Shaggs when they played with NRBQ at their 30th Anniversary concert, I ended up getting to know them. They didn’t understand that they were going to be mobbed and I ended up being their handler. They had never experienced anything like being mobbed for autographs, so I set them up with a table for merch and stuff and ended up being their manager for a day. So I got to know them pretty well over the course of the two days.

They were really nice. It was only two of them; Helen wasn’t well enough to play [The Shaggs were comprised of three sisters: Dot, Betty, and Helen Wiggin; Helen died in 2006] so it was just Betty and Dot. That was the first time they had played since they broke up in 1975. I went to the soundcheck because I was not going to miss one second of Shaggs performances!

I met them and they were just standing around, these two, nice, older women—normal people who looked like middle-aged housewives—but they had guitars with them. And I barely recognized them. I said, “Look I don’t want to bother you but I came from California to see you. This is a big thrill and I’ve always liked your music.”

And they were like (adopts Shaggs-like accent), “Oh, that’s so nice!” They talk just like they do on the records. I was like, “Wow, this is actually happening.”

Dorothy [Dot] had a PeeChee folder in her hands and she opened it up right before they were about to do the sound check and she said (in Shaggs voice), “Oh, we’re only gonna do four numbers because we didn’t have time to study them.” And she opened this PeeChee folder and there was handwritten sheet music to “My Pal Foot Foot.”

Popshifter: Oh my goodness.

Pat Fear: Those songs were written out and scored on sheet music, by hand! And when she said “study” she meant, study the sheet music.

Popshifter: How is that even possible? (laughs)

Pat Fear: Jaw on the floor! I was with Howie Pyro [D Generation] and we were both like, “Oh. My. God. You don’t know how much I want that piece of paper.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Feminist performance art VS Black Flag, Sabbath, and other culturally masculine institutions
08:50 am

A girl's best friend is her guitar


Jen Ray’s paintings of “sparring Amazonian women who inhabit decaying, semi-surrealist and strangely beautiful wastelands” evoke the late ‘70s avant-post-psychedelic science fiction worlds one would associate with Heavy Metal (the magazine, not the music), but with a decidedly feminist bent—both in subject matter, and, some might argue, in form as well. Angry, jagged, “masculine” lines are filled in with soft, “feminine” washes of color—that is if colors and lines can even be described as “masculine” or “feminine” in the 21st century.

Untitled. 2007. (Detail)—Click on image for larger version.
Ray seems to delight in playing with gender stereotypes, and it’s all the more obvious in the exceptional performance pieces she constructs to augment her magnificent large-scale works of fine art.

North Carolina born, Ray was based out of Berlin for nearly a decade before recently returning to her home state. Her exhibitions of painting and performance have been presented in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Wolfsburg, Paris, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Amersfoort (Netherlands), and most recently, at New York’s Albertz Benda gallery

Ray’s newest exhibition, Deep Cuts, runs at Albertz Benda until November 7th. The presentation which accompanied the opening, directed by Ray, featured a performance by Honeychild Coleman and Amor Schumacher along with a chorus of women backing up détourned renditions of Public Enemy’s “Countdown to Armageddon” and The Guess Who’s “American Woman.”

In a world where the mere mention of the phrase “performance art” sends eyes rolling with assumptions of self-indulgent, pretentious, mess-making (and add the word “feminist” to that phrase and you’ll likely lose even more dudebro interest) it’s remarkable how entertaining, as well as conceptual and thought-provoking, Jen Ray’s productions are. It’s very nearly as populist as it is powerful in its approach.

Give it a couple of minutes to ramp up and stick with it till the end… this is killer:

The first of Jen Ray’s performance works that I viewed (and still my favorite) was Hits which takes Black Flag’s tongue-in-cheek 1987 macho party-anthem “Annihilate This Week” and turns it on its ass. My remark upon first viewing this piece was “this is more interesting than any (punk band’s) show I’ve been to in the past five years.” The sterile atmosphere of the gallery space and its attendees being invaded by singer “Mad Kate” out-Rollins-ing Rollins somehow makes the proceedings even more “punk.”

This may not be safe for some work environments:

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
There’s a giant pink vagina couch for sale on Craigslist
02:56 pm



If you’re in the market for a giant pink vagina couch, boy do I have the perfect one for you! For sale in Portland for a measly $600 you can now have one of your very own.

From the listing:

Beautiful pink “vagina couch” that I made in art school and no longer have space for. The couch is large: measures 5’ 3” long, 3’ 3” wide at the middle, and stands 2’ 3” tall (and is heavy like a couch). The pics are from my portfolio and are several years old; as a result, the couch has some scuffmarks and stains, but otherwise is in excellent shape. A professional upholsterer helped me build the couch, so it is also functional and durable as a piece of furniture.

If you want to buy it, you’re responsible for hauling it.


Via Sarah Mirk on Twitter


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Trading cards: Professions for women of the future imagined in 1902
12:03 pm




French artist Albert Bergeret’s collection of trading cards from 1902 titled “Women of the Future” tries to imagines women’s jobs and professions of the modern era. I’d imagine back then these were quite inspirational to young girls and women. However, I do find some of the wardrobe choices quite suspect. Especially the scantily clad military-themed ones. They seem to be more for the boys.

A member of a light-infantry corps in the French army

Military-fencing Master


A doctor

A member of the Assemblée
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Woman tries to deter cat-callers by wearing a garbage bag on the streets of NYC
09:03 am



Cat-calling is not without gradient, and not all uninvited attention from a strange man is threatening or really even obnoxious. For example, the besuited senior citizen who once shouted “God Bless America” at me from his milk crate throne was perfectly charming—namely because he wasn’t vulgar, didn’t expect a response, and made no move to follow me. On the other end of the spectrum you have guys who trail behind you as you walk, pester you for acknowledgement, become enraged at your evasion, or just plain disgust you with graphic harassment. Yesterday I had some rando yell at me, “What that mouth for?” and while I always hope I would be quick enough to yell “for biting off dicks!” in such a situation, I was thrown by the sudden shock of being screamed at by a stranger, and I didn’t gain my composure quickly enough for a decent riposte.

So how is one to avoid cat-calling? Comedian Jessica Delfino tried wearing a garbage bag, and it kind of worked! I have to say though, I see a few fatal flaws to her experiment’s conditions. One, this does not look like a trash bag. I mean kudos on the draping and everything, but that is a very fashion-forward interpretation of the medium—even without the figure-flattering benefit of the patented cinch sack! Two, she’s obviously traveling with a cameraman, and despite her attempts to be discreet, you’re way less likely to get cat-called when you’re with a friend, especially a male friend with a camera. Finally, I feel like there has got to be a dude out there with a trash bag fetish for whom this would only be a serious turn-on.

Still, her initial results are compelling, and further trials are encouraged. Personally I’d like to explore the repellent properties of a pregnancy prosthetic—again, you’d get some fetishists, but you can’t avoid every perv.

Via Dazed

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Blood, Sweat, and High Heels: Vintage photos of women boxing in high heels
12:17 pm



Occasionally, while searching for photos and images for Dangerous Minds, I will sometimes—often—inadvertently stumble across remarkable images that have absolutely nothing to do with my original search. Like women boxing in high heels! Apparently women boxers can throw blows in the ring like men, except we can ALSO do it in pumps!

Eat their stiletto dust, Floyd Mayweather!


From the 1939-1940 records of the New York Public Library’s digital archives

Clara Bow, 1927

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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