Poster prep

My application to the SU Undergrad Research Symposium was accepted!

This means that I’ll have a poster in the symposium on November 29. It’s due November 23, and I’m prepping. I’ve never designed a poster for an academic symposium before, and it’s a tiny bit overwhelming. It’s also amazing and fantastic and exciting. This will be my first poster session! The first of many? Hopefully! (Well, I prefer talks and papers to posters, I think. But, still. First of many academic presentations in symposiums and conferences.)

I had a second viewing of Fuckstyles of the Queer and Famous with my porn viewing group. That group consistently blows me away with their insightfulness and humour. Before we started the film we had a brainstorming session. I read them my abstract and we talked about potential layouts for the poster. We came up with a set of criteria to watch for in the viewing, talked about how to track them, and came up with some really exciting design ideas.

One thing I really loved was the idea of incorporating holistic/organic design elements, similar to this poster. I pictured a bubble describing the anti-porn feminist stance, and then spinning off from that bubble information about the evolution of the gaze within feminist pornography, aesthetic choices, gender roles, representations of consent, negotiation, safer sex practices and pleasure… Someday I would like to design that poster, but it won’t be this time. Challenging the format of the poster session is not something to do my first time out. Especially not when my content is also challenging. I backed away from the experimental, design-focused idea and came up with something much more restrained (with some help from my design-guru friend).

I sent my supervisor a rough mock-up yesterday. You can see it – Hot and Sweaty v01

It’s very rough. BUT! It got the wheels turning.

Tonight I’ve made a lot of structural changes, and tomorrow I’ll start building content. It looks very different now (but needs content).

I also e-mailed Courtney Trouble (link NSFW) and she emailed back and gave me permission to use any images from the promo site for Fuckstyles. She also said she’d like to see the final project (both the poster and the thesis) and that is very exciting! I have been so impressed with the generosity of the people I’ve reached out to in the feminist porn community. In addition to Courtney Trouble’s generous response, both Ned and Maggie Mayhem tweeted back to me on Sunday! (They were big hits in the viewing group. I love them.)

The biggest change I’m working on is shifting from focusing solely on Fuckstyles to doing a comparison between Fuckstyles (as a representation of feminist pornography) and unSEXpected (as a representation of mainstream pornography). I think I will extend this comparison beyond the poster into my thesis, since Stoya’s account (link NSFW) of behind-the-scenes on unSEXpected indicates that the backend of the production had good consent practices (making it comparable to the consent visible in Fuckstyles) but the frontend, the product seen on screen, is drastically different from Fuckstyles. The fact that Stoya is a feminist herself also makes this a reasonable comparison – I am not comparing an explicitly feminist production with an explicitly UNfeminist production. Rather, it is a comparison between an explicitly feminist production and a mainstream production.

I am concerned about comparing an award-winning feminist pornography film with a mainstream production that has not won any awards. However, I do think that it is a fair comparison because of the background information provided by Stoya. (Also, I own that film already because we watched it in my feminist porn viewing group and I don’t have enough time to order another DVD before the poster is due. Of the mainstream porn that I own, this seems like the most fair and reasonable comparison.)

I will post content as I generate it.

I also got my copy of Porno? Chic! in the mail yesterday. I’m pretty excited to dig into that, and will post responses as I read.

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