SECOND SEX WAR – Sidsel Meineche Hansen GASWORKS Gallery.



Upon entering the space the first thing the viewer is pulled to is the loud pulsing music, bright flashy monitors that show vibrant video work portraying post-human virtual bodies in sexual acts. The space is clean, like many ‘white cubes’ the clinical space is pristine and portrays neatened detachment from the dirty sexual nature of the galleries work.

The glossy screens of the tv monitors and wood cut prints held beneath glass contrast from the scrappy a4 drawing we eventually notice on the parallel wall to the VIVID tech pieces.

The work is a simple blue drawing of a penis, unframed, it easily could be held on the wall by bluetac.

The relationship between the 2D images and digital animation is the disconnection from humanity. The wood cut prints are laser cut digital drawings fed into a computer which laser etches the naïve drawings into the organic material. This back and forth between the animal and the machine is featured prominently.

The structures in the space have a sexual nature to their forms, on the floor paired with the VIRTUAL REALITY headset Oculus Rift sits a LARGE LEATHER BEANBAG when at on the large object you can’t help but attribute it as a sexual material, feeling it whilst watching the explicit animation on the headset I can’t help but thing about LEATHERS role in BDSM culture.

Similarly the large wooden structure in the right wing of the gallery resembles a sex swing or BDSM apparatus, that in popular culture we may have seen on television or publication coverage of the BDSM life or even from our own consumption of pornography.

I can’t help to feel disconnected between the 2D images and the digitised work. Where the digital work is definatly coded and masked in meaning, a complex watch, the instant gratification of INSTANT SEXUAL CONTENT makes the material easy to consume.

The 2D images are naïvely stylised, almost like child drawings, they show a figure, possessing both breasts and a penis, some 2D images contain text ‘iSlave’ we sit in the gallery for 20 minutes trying to decode these images.

Relating this to Hansen’s practice she combines craft based practise with outsourced skilled digital labour firstly blurring the lines of authorship, whilst relating to commodity, labour and capital and the relationship between low craft and high digitised media.

This dualism is clear as it is almost like two artists feature in the exhibition. Similarly the large ceramic relief on the wall was further disconnected to the rest of the work, the viewers even asking ‘is this part of this show’ as its primal aesthetic seemed entirely foreign to the established aesthetic of the show.

This is repeated in the clay wall relief ‘Cite Werkflow Ltd’ a clay craft based version of a digital face scan. When viewing this work we question its relation to the work next to it the large structure and digital video. I felt this further disconnected both aesthetically and purposefully as I wonder what it is asking. It portrays the artists face. Is it raising this underlying theme of the conversion of the body into an object (in this case the artists face) for a commodity value. IDENTITY/OBJECTHOOD/VALUE/COMMODITY/PRODUCTION.



The first work encountered by the viewer is the video ‘No Right Way to Cum’ an animation created digitally using the 3D model EVA 3.0, a royalty free model created by TURBOSQUID, a modelling company who provides a wide range of downloadable content for use in gaming and in the adult industry. EVA is the central character to the show, she features in both animations and 2D reliefs and is portrayed in NRW2C, lying in her bedroom masturbating, this portrays the complex autonomy of the animated character.

This paradox of autonomy and agency is portrayed in all work in the exhibition as we see EVA masturbating engaging in an act of self pleasure, this is an act for herself, within her domain, comfortable, we even hear audible sounds from her, firstly we see from her view, down at OUR bodies as WE masturbate.

This first blurs the lines of viewer and the gaze of the protagonist, the male viewer being put in the gaze of a woman, where in pornography we are often in the POV of the heterosexual male.

The male gaze systematically exploits and benefits from the commodification of the female body especially in the porn industry even queer female pornography depicting lesbians is CLEARLY for the male gaze as the actresses depict sexual acts such as imitating blow jobs that clearly is disconnected from lesbian sex.

she ejaculates graphically onto the camera, crude lettering spells ‘NO RIGHT WAY TO CUM’ comprised of her ejaculate a jab at the recent ban on showing female ejaculation in British Pornography.

EVA’s minimicing of masturbation shows her digitised body, her rendered hands hovering over her genitalia, depite this act portrayed we do not respond as if we are consuming real pornography, it is cheoreographed, straged, we know she feels nothing, due to the fact that she is nothing but pixels.


The animation piece DICKGIRL is a complex work again portraying EVA, this time her body is purified, in NRW2C we see her body with skintone, even slight scarring portrayed a slight humanity, in DICKGIRL she is presented as PURE WHITE with GLOWING CIRCULAR EYES and a GLOWING BLUE PENIS, this is far detatched from relating our bodies with EVA, she is represented as a clearly digitised body. Her movements more static, more crutched and animatronic. The work appropriates ‘GENTALIA PROPS’ and ‘POSE SETS’ royalty free producst available for use when creating pornographic material from 3d rendered bodies.Explores the overlap between subjects in real life and objects in virtual reality, focusing on their accumulation by capital through the gender binary.

The work explores the notion of POST HUMAN SEX, and the commodity of capitilsing on virtual bodies.

EVA has sex with a mass blob of what we relate to as CLAY, speaking to the concept of being able to shape these post-human sexualised objects into ANYTHING WE WANT this customisation of our fantasy and our fetish

Pornography has always been driven by novelty, due to the immense amount of porn available producers made more and more shocking material.

The pulsing primal soundtrack fills my ears as I rhythmically and roughly bore through the clay, I see through my head, making me aware of the flatness of these 3D renderings, certain angles cause the images to warp and flatten, but the immersion is realized by the ability to gain varying views and angles of the sexual act. For those 10 minutes I was EVA, that level of appropriation has previously been limited but the new technology allows us to fully consume and experience artist's works.

Consent and the digitised body?

Transhumanism is a movement that aims to use technology to enhance human intellectual, physical and psychological capabilities. This can be achieved through anything from brain implants and bionic eyes to stem cell technology and exoskeleton body suits.

The convergence of technologies such as virtual reality, haptic feedback and wireless connectivity raises the prospect of virtual sexual assault, two noted futurologists have warned.

These new forms of violation could arise by combining emerging devices, such as suits that provide wearers with physical sensations through haptic feedback, with existing virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.

"My big hope is you'll be able to put on a VR headset and reach out and touch and feel. I think this is going to be one of the most useful things for virtual reality in the future."


‘Initially SecondLife was exactly the escape I needed.  I was living in an unhappy (and unhealthy) situation and while I felt as though I could not physically leave or remove myself from the situation, SecondLife freed me.  At least in my mind it did.  My marriage was volatile and it was only a matter of time before it would finally explode; but for the time being, SecondLife was my own little secret.’


‘There was also something called VR Girl: Kayla, which was nothing more than a series of 3D-rendered statues of a porn actress in varying states of undress. Despite presumably being designed as a masturbatory aid, the whole thing felt airless and cold, like a museum exhibit. No matter how many times Sam enthusiastically hooted about the level of detail in the vaginal mapping, I remained profoundly unstirred by it. So far, this whole thing looked to be a dud. Virtual reality seemed about as likely to become the future of pornography as finding a Razzle in a binbag in the woods.’



Turning pornography from a passive viewing experience into an interactive one qualitatively changes the nature of the game. It is now possible to make the experience not only about sex, but about feeling close another human being, even if that person isn’t real.

These sorts of deeper interaction take on a whole new dimension when applied to VR

In fact, virtual reality experiences may eventually serve as a substitute for human contact. Something which is a legitimate concern, voiced by media commentators and academics. Technologies such as virtual reality pornography may have a profound effect on the society of the future.

Technologies change society and sex is always a fundamental part of any society. So it stands to reason that a technology that changes sex itself could have a double impact. It’s not only virtual reality, but related

technology such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics that are set to change how humans conduct their sex lives in the future. Already some ethicists are calling for a pre-emptive ban on sex robots. The same argument against sex robots would hold true for virtual entities.

What is modern sexuality as technology like tinder allows for hook-up culture, do we just want to fuck and previous cultural relationship stigmas were just masking the CORE DESIRE to have sex?

TECH ALLOWS you to fuck who you want, why have a girlfriend who moans and nags at you when you can have a AUGMENTED REALITY BODY SUIT which stimulates the full weight and touch of a woman, it stimulates a full sexual act as if she were real, as if it were real.


We have been fed this very curated very staged and specific view of how female sexuality is this may be:



We can buy our life partners, FILM: ‘HER’ falling in love with AI, falling in love with augmented humanity.




Pornography can be good therapy. Pornography provides a sexual outlet for those who -- for whatever reason -- have no sexual partner

Porn liberates women to control their own sexualities, where throughout history sex has been a tool to supress women.

Alows women to feel pleasure, to pleasure themselves and achieve orgasms independently.


Pornography benefits women politically in many ways, including the following:

  1. Historically, pornography and feminism. Both have risen and flourished during the same periods of sexual freedom. Women can be liberated, can have sex with who they want, they are free to feel pleasure to be autonomous and control their own bodies.
  2. Pornography is free speech applied to the sexual realm. Freedom of speech is the ally of those who seek change.
  3. It allows women to 'safely' experience sexual alternatives and satisfy a healthy sexual curiosity.
  4. it gives a panoramic view of the world's sexual possibilities. This is true even of basic sexual information such as masturbation
  5. Pornography strips away the emotional confusion that so often surrounds real world sex. Pornography allows women to enjoy scenes and situations that would be anathema to them in real life.
  7. PRO VR: saves the often terrible lives of female porn stars by replacing them with VR MODELS.


Pornography damages women in the following ways:

  1. ANDREA DWORKIN argues that the overriding element of pornography is male dominance, PORN IS FOR MEN, the gaze of porn is to objectify the female body,to treat women as sexual objects. And since the viewer will mentally internalize pornography's misogynistic portrayal of women this has a deep effect on the youth of today.
  2. GAIL DINESDines argues that boys and men are exposed online to pornography that is increasingly cruel and violent toward women. The exposure of teenage girls to the images affects their sense of sexual identity.
  3. The idealised pornified woman creates a culture of self hate in women, when boys are consuming the mass produced image of the female body does this create a culture of eating disorders and serlf hatred in young women??
  4. Dines writes, is that women are "held captive by images by ultimately tell lies about women" and that "contemporary idealized femininity" has been reduced to the "hypersexualized, young, thin, toned, hairless, and, in many cases, surgically enhanced woman with a come-hither look on her face.
  5. Pornography is in line with its portrayals of women being "bound, raped, tortured, killed or degraded for sexual stimulation or pleasure".
  6. (BDSM) has been criticized by anti porn feminists for eroticizing power and violence and for reinforcing misogyny.


Dehumanization is a broad conceptualization in which a human is treated as less than fully human.


In mechanistic dehumanization, also called objectification, targets are perceived similarly to objects, with diminished agency, vitality, or warmthIn mechanistic dehumanization, also called objectification, targets are perceived similarly to objects, with diminished agency, vitality, or warmth.

Previous studies have shown that virtual representations of women and femininity can trigger sexist reactions

PORTRAYS OF VIRTUAL FEMALES BODIES PROJECT MISOGYNISTIC REACTIONS relating to sex, violence is more prominent when pornography is exercised using virtual bodies.

A quick google search of ‘3D PORN’ or ‘ANIMATED PORN’ provides videos portaying animated women being beaten, abused, forcebly penetrated by large objects, by animals and even by fantastical CREATURES. MONSTER PORN, blurs the lines of fantasy and consent. POST HUMANISM.

Anthropomorphism increases perceptions of social potential, and more anthropomorphic images are generally perceived to be more realistic.

THE WORLD OF VR PORN IS A BUBBLE, when im inside the oculus rift I can do anything to anyone and it has no external effect VR is a cage where I can execute my wildest fantasies with hurting anyone.

Pro: desires such as peadophilia or beastility can be exercised within the alternative reality bubble.

Con: by enabling individuals to execute these desires this is enabling and encouraging abuse: what happens when virtual reality isn’t enough?


Pro: this is liberating, we can fantasise about anyone anytime, and we have full control over our desires.

Con: what is the consent of the virtual bodies, when an actor scans his body for a 3D model does he consent to abusive scenarios? To be portrayed with dubious sexual acts? What is the commodity status of the 3D model as a representation of our identity?

When we scanned our bodies they became objects, to pan around to inspect, our identities were not considered IMAGE BASED.

The convergence of technologies such as virtual reality, haptic feedback and wireless connectivity raises the prospect of virtual sexual assault, two noted futurologists have warned.


"My big hope is you'll be able to put on a VR headset and reach out and touch and feel. I think this is going to be one of the most useful things for virtual reality in the future."

If such

technology was integrated into virtual reality systems capable of mapping experiences through sensors, it would conceivably pave the way for people to interact physically within a virtual environment.

At present there are no legal protections against such incidents as the technology does not yet exist, however Istvan believes that society should already begin to consider the implications of its development.


Life inside the bubble

“One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people,” wrote Zuckerberg in March 2014, when he announced the acquisition. Facebook sees VR as the next big computing platform, but that will depend on it becoming a truly mainstream device.’ -

Analyst firm SuperData has predicted that we’ll spend $5.1bn on VR hardware and software in 2016, but that most of this will be on “cheap mobile VR devices” like Google Cardboard, the sub-$30 headset that smartphones slot in to.

Luckey isn’t a fan, having recently described Google Cardboard as “muddy water” compared with the “fancy wine” of Oculus Rift, but that muddy water may be the current that takes VR to hundreds of millions of people in the coming years.

YouTube introduced 360-degree videos in March, and followed up in November with a format called VR video, for clips designed to be watched using a Google Cardboard headset, providing a sense of depth rather than just the ability to pan around. Facebook, too, is already showing 360-degree videos in the news feed within its smartphone app.

PRO: VR films – whether fiction or documentary – is another fascinating area for experimentation already, particularly on the journalism side.

VR ART – the SECOND SEX WAR is the first time I have ever felt like a character portrayed in an exhibition, I WAS EVA for the moments that I consumed OCULUS RIFT,

Can our bodies and minds really cope with VR?

© Georgina Rowlands, all rights reserved