CAM4 sits down with John Moletress about his 20hr performance called, Trigger Warnings and Various Attempts. Here we discuss what he hopes to achieve with this art installation and why he chose CAM4 to live stream from.
Q: Why did you decide to stream your live art performance on the CAM4?
A: I chose to stream the performance on CAM4 rather than a platform, say like, Skype or Facebook Live due to nature of body/sex work and entrepreneurial-ship, an enterprise for making money. CAM4 provided a better interactive experience for viewers via their mobile devices.
Q: Why did you decide to do 20 hours?
A: The work was intended to take a full 24-hour cycle but since it is a part of a festival hosting another artist in a shared space, it had to begin at 11:00pm, following their performance.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with this piece?
A: I’m compelled by behaviour and issues of responsibility as they exist for our avatar selves, our online presence. There can be both positive and negative, but also in between, interactions online. People feel permission to behave wild and inappropriately, exploring sensations and experiences, as in the case of chat rooms, they may feel they can’t in their non-cyber lives. This can be a positive thing. But, in the case of bullying, it can be negative.
Q: How do you feel culture, especially queer culture is affected by Trump policies?
A: It’s nothing new for bodies to be policed by power and politics. As I type this, I’m watching news come in of Trump’s signing of a bill that allows states to take autonomy in defunding Planned Parenthood. This administration’s policies champion profit over people. They persecute bodies, women’s bodies, trans bodies, queer bodies, black bodies, brown bodies, aging bodies. For me, webcam sex work gives the worker back their autonomy over how they choose to represent and use their bodies.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell viewers about the performance?
A: There’s the reading of the classic American play about Salem, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, that is really about the “witch hunts” during this century by those very men running our government. I’m reading it over and over again via teleprompters set up throughout the room while also interacting with the chat room (multi-tasking!) and performing actions. I’m curious if I can render the story completely powerless through repetition, as a bill, let’s say for gun control, can get rendered completely powerless on the Senate floor.
This performance is being broadcast, as one would view the CAM4 chat room, into spaces in London and Folkestone while happening in Austin.
If you would like to learn more about John Moletress, see below:
CAM4 Profile: https://www.cam4.com/awildthing
Official Website: http://johnmoletress.com/