DeFault Art Project

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Apparently, there are people out there who do not appreciate being inundated with disgusting artwork and phallic imagery! For those naysayers I have the answer you have been looking for.

Due to the nature in which my own contemporary art practice has evolved I have found that my name has become associated with the GRUNDER “brand” of artwork. Of course, I don’t just make GRUNDER related artwork, recently I have been creating items from sea glass and wood, but I feel that displaying these new and less phallic-shaped items alongside the GRUNDER work would create a weird and distracting juxtaposition.

So, for the purposes of keeping the two different subjects away from each other (they fight terribly you know) I have finally resurrected DeFault Art Project. DeFault was (and still is) a collaborative project for artists, creatives and makers alike.

“Dear world,

We are back! Six years and over 100 miles later, DeFault Art Project is back.

Who are we? Artists, Creatives, Makers all working together to produce gorgeous goodies and unique artworks.

What have we been doing? We have recently been creating stunning new pieces of artwork, design and jewellery with an emphasis on recycling and re-using old items.

You can check out a (very) small selection of what we have done on our new site: https://defaultartproject.weebly.com/

 or our Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DeFaultArtProject

 More will be added in due time.

Where can you see us? You can catch us next at Moist Presents : A Christmas Cracker, 12pm-5pm at LGBT Foundation on Sunday 2nd December 2018 where we will have lots of unique and glamorous offerings for you.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/738779086467533/

 

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Exhibition News – A Place For Friends

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I am delighted to announce that I will be showing work as part of ‘a place for friends’ at hARTslane, London from the 14th – 17th November 2018.

ROOM 6.4 / ARTISTS AND MENTAL HEALTH,
17 Harts Lane, New Cross Gate, London, SE14 5UP

Exhibiting Artists:

Faye Turner / Benjamin Murphy / Bob Bicknell-Knight / Jake Major / Brenda
Vega / Ollie Onley / Becky Hancock / Sarah Wolker / Sid and Jim / Daisy
Latham / Larry Walker-Tonks

 

“a place for friends: The slogan of the once giant social networking website
myspace.com, the unrivalled choice for our online interactions during the
mid-2000s.
Fast Forward to the present day, now a plethora of apps compete for the
screen time we spend on our smartphones. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,
Youtube, Snapchat, Whatsapp, tumblr, reddit etc. offer us numerous ways to
connect and communicate with anyone from a closest friend to an anonymous
stranger in any part of the world.
So how exactly do these technologies shape us? The personas we create
digitally, our curated social media pages. The comments we leave on
anonymous message boards and whether we choose to upvote and downvote
the opinions of others. The vitriolic arguments and the well meaning debate we
have underneath Youtube videos and breaking news stories. The mountains of
data collected from our internet histories. Do these online profiles present a
genuine reflection of who we really are?
Together with ROOM 6.4, a place for friends intends to further the conversation
around such questions and explore how we are affected as individuals by the
rise of social media”.

Link to Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/739037359766751/

Exhibition News – Small Steps

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I am delighted to announce that I will be showing work at MakeLiverpool as part of Small Steps Thursday Pup Up’s ‘LGBTQ+ Celebration’ event.

“Small Steps Events presents our next pop up event.

In association with ‘Make’ we will be going in a different direction again, and celebrating all things LGBTQ+.

The night will be fun and very colourful. There will be music throughout the night, crafty workshops, art work , performances and much more, in celebration of everything queer.

The evening will be a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community through the arts and also a safe place for people to be themselves, open up and meet new people.

Come along to our evening of celebration!”

80s grunder

The pop-up event runs Thursday, 1 November 2018 from 17:30-21:00 at Make. North Docks, 34 Regent Street, Liverpool, L3 7BN.

Link to event: https://www.facebook.com/events/268294023794888/

GRUNDER, HE WROTE

Following the debut screening of my latest video piece at Disgraceland, Middlesbrough on the 13th of October I can now officially release/inflict ‘GRUNDER, HE WROTE’ upon everyone else!

GRUNDER, HE WROTE
2018

‘GRUNDER, HE WROTE’ is a commentary on today’s internet culture and the insertion of unsolicited lewd images forced upon us every day. In this video Walker-Tonks asks us to consider why we accept this as a consequence of using the internet as his ‘Avatar’ character bastardises the well-loved Television staple of ‘Murder, She Wrote’*. This unapologetic insertion acts as metaphor for the widespread plague of lewd and pornographic images that can be found in areas they should not exist.

Larry’s current practice explores issues surrounding dating apps like Grindr and Tinder and how, through a highly sexualised western culture, the sleaze is seeping through to our everyday lives and crossing boundaries it should not. Larry looks at how we present ourselves online, be it fabricating our day to day existence to impress our “friends” or hiding behind a blank profile looking for love. He raises awareness of the pressures put upon people to have unsafe sex and the idea of the unsolicited “dick pic” inviting the viewer to question why it is an accepted part of today’s culture. This manifests itself under the umbrella of ‘GRUNDER’, a series of tongue-in-cheek installations, grotesque sculptures and satirising large scale prints. Larry Walker-Tonks aims to highlight the immense pressure put upon social media users to drop their morals, standards and their pants with little regard for their own sexual health.

*This Video was uploaded on Angela Lansbury’s 93rd Birthday.

Pictured below is the Screening at Disgraceland, Middlesbrough.

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Exhibition News – Disgraceland

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I am delighted to announce that I will be showing a brand new video work as part of Dovetail Joints + Imagination Engine @ Disgraceland on the 13th October 2018.

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The fashionably vintage creative arts space Disgraceland hosts the freshest psychedelic helter-skelter of music, art and culture. Disgraceland welcomes co-curators Dovetail Joints and Imagination Engine on Saturday 13th October. Running alongside Middlesbrough’s forthcoming Twisterella festival. Disgraceland opens its doors free for entry as an unofficial fringe event.

Featuring art brought to you by Bobby Benjamin’s ethereal art project Dovetail Joints and live music lined up by the local recording label Imagination Engine in partnership with a jewel of Middlesbrough’s cultural quarter, Disgraceland Baker St. This event is the first in a series the three cultural collaborators will be bringing to Teesside in the coming months.

With a pop up bar and DJ sets from local record labels, the legendary Sound it Out and more, before, between and after the live bands, expect sweeping soundscapes, absorbing atmospherics, visual installations, post punk, noise rock, dream pop, beats, bleeps, freaks and treats at this Fall all-dayer.

Heed the call beings of Earth and elsewhere.

The ceremony begins at noon.. join us.

Dovetail Joints and Imagination Engine @ Disgraceland |

SATURDAY 13th OCTOBER | NOON – LATE | FREE ENTRY | DRINKS OFFERS | MERCH | ZINES

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LIVE MUSIC from:

NOVYI LEF

99watts

Faithful Johannes

Leopard Rays

Sorry Escalator

OORT CLOUD

Medb

joegarratt

 

ART from:

Emmer

TUHUTZS

Mitchell Dilley

Larry Walker-Tonks

Aimee Suggitt

 

DJ Sets from:

Sound It Out Records

Ack! Ack! Ack! Records

Point Blank Teesside

Imagination Engine Records

Dovetail Joints

 

Disgraceland, 16 Baker Street, Middlesbrough, TS1, 2LH

Just Experimenting: Playing the Sexual Edge of Film – Streaming Edition

For those unable to attend ‘Just Experimenting’ in San Francisco, the Vimeo streaming edition of Just Experimenting: Playing the Sexual Edge of Film is now on Vimeo! Please feel free to share the link around and enjoy.

https://vimeo.com/273787441

Showing works by…: Actually Huizenga and Socrates Mitsios, Olivia Sparrow and JF Hancell, Dale John Allen, Chen Wang, Cole Montminy, Fex Orumwense, Larry Walker-Tonks, Kun, Callum Harper, Rococo Royalle, Negar Nakhai, Isabelle Crespo Rocha and Stéphane Billot, and Matthias Von Braun.

Films not in the online screening (by filmmaker request) but shown at the Center for Sex and Culture by…: Shine Louise Houston, Paul Wierbinski, Mark Carr, Kenneth Riley and Ramona Pond

 

Exhibition News – Just Experimenting: Playing the Sexual Edge of Film

I am beyond delighted to announce that my video piece, “Got any pics?“, will be shown as part of ‘Just Experimenting: Playing the Sexual Edge of Film’ at the Centre for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, California.

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About the event:
The second annual ‘Just Experimenting’ experimental film screening ‘Playing the Sexual Edge of Film’ concerns the topic of sexuality and testing the limits: edge play, power exchange, pushy bottoms…what does it mean to “play the edge” in film and video?

Showing works by:
Actually Huizenga and Socrates Mitsios, Olivia Sparrow and JF Hancell, Shine Louise Houston, Dale John Allen, Chen Wang, Cole Montminy, Paul Wiersbinski, Fex Orumwense, Larry Walker-Tonks, Kun, Callum Harper, Rococo Royalle, Negar Nakhai, Kenneth Riley and Ramona Pond, Isabelle Crespo Rocha and Stéphane Billot, Mark Carr, and Matthias Von Braun.
Ambient video by Marilyn Roxie, Danica Uskert, and Jet Caputo before and after the hour-long program.
Accessibility: The Center for Sex and Culture has a 32 inch wide front door with a slight incline. There is a bathroom that will accommodate heavy chairs (no support bars – forthcoming installation).

About the curators:
Marilyn Roxie is an independent artist filmmaker, music videographer, and curator. Themes expressed in their work includes androgyny, queer masculinities, glitch, and the relationship of found image versus creative authorship. They have directed music videos for Pictureplane, Natural Snow Buildings, DYR FASER, and Momus. Curated video screenings include those for Artists’ Television Access, the Center for Sex and Culture, LUDWIG, and isthisit?. Roxie lives in Manchester, England. You can see their work at https://vimeo.com/marilynroxie
Danica Uskert is a dis/abled, pansexual, polyamorous, mixed-race (Filipina-Slovak) multimedia performance artist and filmmaker. Her bdsm and fetish-themed work focuses on memory, trauma, self-love, identity, representation, and rebuilding one’s sense of self after sexual assault, abuse, and half a lifetime as a former sex worker/professional submissive. You can find more of her work at http://www.filmandfishnet.com/, follow her on vimeo at https://vimeo.com/danicaannauskertquinn, or on twitter @donnauwanna
Jet Caputo is a multi media video artist who often utilizes the special abilities that a hi-8 video camera has to offer. With an organic and homemade feel, he blends documentary techniques with expressionism to present themes of eco-eroticism, a connection to the earth, and self image. To see his work, visit https://vimeo.com/krapnekpark or on Instagram as @krapnekpark

About the films:
 
Dale Allen John – ‘The First Homosexual / An Art Film’
The First Homosexual plays on reversing the shame surrounding sex and a self-exploration of my own sexuality. It is a voyeuristic piece demanding the audience to observe and listen.
 
Olivia Sparrow and JF Hancell – ‘Drowning’
Drowning is a short film showing an act of consensual drowning, highlighting the romantic and sexual nature of an otherwise violent act.
 
Chen Wang – ‘Utopia Process’ (2nd Place Prize)
In her new work Utopia Process, she portrays a fantasy playful world that expresses desire, chaos, and fear.  The piece represents a place of hope and performed beautifully, but it is also pointing towards to a dystopian vision of current society.
 
Cole Montminy – ‘Came to Your Senses’
An exploration of how childhood molds our sexual being, other oddities of human attraction and distraction.
 
Isabelle Crespo Rocha and Stéphane Billot – ‘REVOLVER’
A man and a woman spits into each other’s mouth. Their faces are gradually covered with saliva. This performance deals with the ambiguity and violence in couple relationships. The exchange of saliva both symbolizes passion (French kiss) and deep hatred. The fact that faces are covered with saliva creates a link with pornography and the imperious practice of the facial ejaculation. It also refers to the colonization of desire and the expropriation of flesh by mainstream porn culture.
 
Callum Harper – ‘Modern Day Tinder Profile’
Modern Day Tinder Profile is a video regarding queer dating and love in the contemporary technological era. In the pursuit for suitors and true love in the sex obsessed MSM demography, the video work displays the reality of hyper sexualisation and an incessant need for online validation and intimacy amongst the cacophony of texts and dick pics.
 
Actually Huizenga and Socrates Mitsios – ‘SoftRock I’ (1st Place Prize)
pop rape/ snuff pop
 
Negar Nakhai – ‘ONAN’
This film is an elegy to Onan, to the pyro that lights the libidinal flame merely to watch the orgasmic combustion and to lament its ensuing demise. ONAN is a somber celebration of the libidinal energy that escapes the capitalist mill of reproductive sexual energy. The two subjects in the film are never within the same frame, and thus their separation metamorphoses into a yearning that the viewer experiences as well; a yearning to see.
Rococo Royalle – ‘Monochrome’
They stand amidst the colorless bars of paint. Dressed in their nudity; uncensored flesh and erotic heat. Their boundaries defined by stark contrast and form. An autonomous, thriving form. Curves, stretch marks, curly hair. They blend, and they embrace. They fuck in their blissful mess, haphazard limits diminished to silky grey smears. Moans, kisses, and gloves parallel intimate explorations. Visible, visibly, fucking in ecstasy.
 
Shine Louise Houston – ‘NAKED’ (3rd Place Prize)
Trying to leave the house proves difficult… 
 
Paul Wiersbinski – ‘Relron E’
These were the golden days of dancing and raving, rage and lust. The pleasures and distresses of the deranged body, which never wanders far before receiving the only poetic action in most people’s life: death.
 
Kun – ‘Milk and Honey’
Sensuality And sexuality Milk of mother. Milk of meself .milk of an animal
 
Matthias Von Braun (director); Normen Luzinsky (camera); Eva Cornelisse and Olivier Tafforin (performers) – ‘Switch’
Two post-humans awaken in an endless void. They discover each other and a ballet of dominance and submission begins. 
 
Mark Carr – ‘Boundaries’
This work explores how: on the one hand we may find ourselves mentally or physically broken; while on the other, how we can be inseparably bound to desires, ‘good and bad’. BOUNDARIES asks more complicated questions about the nature of these dilemmas and whether there is a line to be crossed and where this line may or may not lie.
 
Kenneth Riley (concept creator / director / camera); Ramona Pond (actress) – ‘Pushing Ordinary’
In this ultra short clip about a girl going about her daily chores, we see not just the completion of ordinary tasks but the taboo fantasies that go along with them as well.
 
Larry Walker-Tonks – ‘GOT ANY PICS?’
‘Got Any Pics?’ is commentary on the use of lewd pictures in today’s online culture as a means of communication where nudes and dick-pics are traded like a commodity.
 
Fex Orumwense – ‘Crotch’
This short film explores my misunderstanding of  ‘gender related gesture’ (grabbing crotch) during my adolescence. 

Just Experimenting: Playing the Sexual Edge of Film
Friday, June 8th 8:00pm-9:00pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
Center for Sex and Culture
$5 to $20 at the door – 100% of the proceeds go towards supporting the Center for Sex and Culture.

 


Community Standards?

Can we talk about community standards for just a moment?

As an artist, my work deals primarily with how we act when online and using messaging/dating apps and our acceptance of unsolicited lewd messages as the norm and a consequence of using social media, manifesting under the umbrella of ‘GRUNDER’, a series of tongue-in-cheek installations, grotesque sculptures and satirising large scale prints. In such a time where sex scandals are unfolding one after the other and sexual harassment cases and stories are ever present in the public consciousness I find it rather odd that once social media platform had decided to remove one of my images because it did not comply with their community standards.

The image in question depicted a conversation between two users on a messaging app and marked a turning point within my own work where rather than stay silent upon receiving a request for a lewd or nude image I would fulfil the users request but send them images of my (grotesque) work instead. It was hoped that this would awaken the nude-requesting user to the absurdity of their behaviour and stir a sense of shock and disgust within them. For the most part this has worked as planned but in some cases only seemed to make users more determined to get that all important nude image. In this respect I’ve had a number of different reactions to this exercise ranging from letting me know that those are not my genitals, as if I wasn’t aware or had mistakenly sent them a photo of a malformed six foot hairy penis sculpture by sheer accident, some then went on to change the wording of the question as if I just didn’t understand what they had asked but my favourite (who had been completely unphased by my sculptures) went on to ask for “genuine” photos which only serves to strike up bizarre and unwanted similarities between my genitals and the Loch Ness monster!

The community standards I write about, which deemed my image inappropriate for that particular social media platform acknowledges that there are times that users may want to share nude images but for a number of (unexplained) reasons does not allow nudity on its platform: “This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too”.

From this, I’d have assumed my image would have been safe with it being a picture of a sculpture and not a photo of some real male anatomy. Secondly, although I do strive to make my sculptures as realistic as possible in terms of wet, fleshy appearance and hair, there is no way that you could mistake the abstracted and notably detached bodily forms for the real thing, especially when you consider the sheer girth of some of the phallic pieces is enough to bring tears to the eye!

It is also worth noting that in the time taken for me to upload the image (and carefully festoon the caption with witty hashtags) I had received two unsolicited and lewd messages that had obviously flouted none of the platform’s community standards. It does seem somewhat ridiculous that users can freely send whatever they fit to other users and sexually harass any user who they may happen across whilst those who try to speak out against the current accepted culture of laddish behaviour online are censored.

I do support the idea of online social media platforms having and following a set of community standards but feel that more could be done in order to ensure that the right content is removed. This does invite further discussion into online privacy, as I do not condone apps and internet providers snooping into users personal messages but by the same token do not enjoy the sexual harassment of unsolicited lewd messages. If users are able to harass me with lewd messages and unsolicited photos, I should be able to return the favour with grotesque sculpture.