From 'Breakfast at Zuzu's'
fucking in public and turning the private inside out," says Hannah of
the Art Nerd Porn Collective, a four-month-old Philadelphia-based squad
bent on making pornographic films. Old-fashioned exhibitionism,
however, is not the main, uh, thrust behind eight-person group. Every
member of the Collective, ranging in age from 19 to 30, "identifies as
smart, queer, and feminist," says Hannah over the phone from
Philadelphia. "And what motivated us to start making porn was that the
stuff we were seeing wasn’t representing our fantasies and
perversions." The Collective brings its intelligent, pro-queer,
pro-feminist porn to Jamaica Plain’s Milky Way this Sunday.
work reflects the members’ particular preferences — "It’s about what we
each individually think is hot," says Hannah. For some members, "making
pop culture queer is really hot." One Art Nerd film, "BYOC," plays
dirty with The O.C., Fox’s trash-gloss heir to Beverly Hills 90210,
turning the show "deliciously on its head." Porn that’s "queer," Hannah
continues, "means a wide range of things. Queer encompasses all the
possibilities and permutations of gender and sexual expression, and
that’s part of why it’s so hot."
But the sexiest aspect of the
Collective’s porn? "It’s the irony and humor." Finally! Porn for the
people who get hard for humor and wet with the thought of po-mo porno
and self-referential skin flicks! "There’s a real sense of humor and
joy in our work, and an incredible commentary on pop culture and porn
in general." It’s not just for nerds, though, and should not be
classified as erotica for the Mensa set. Indeed, the group object to
the term erotica to describe their work. "That’s not what we’re about,"
Hannah insists. "We’re making porn."
How graphic the films are
varies from project to project. Their body of work ranges "from a
30-second movie on fisting to make-out porn with mostly groping." "On
the Make" was inspired by a film Hannah saw on the West Coast "of a
bunch of queers making out at a party." The Collective sent out
invitations and filmed hours of a make-out party. "There were all kinds
of people, and there was such a sexy energy in the room." One of the
group’s members has "an obsession with titty fucking and did a solo
titty fucking project as well as a longer piece called ‘Breakfast at
Zuzu’s’ " that’s a "meditation" on the same topic. The Collective has
also made a series of "quick and gritty" 30-second pieces in which,
it’s safe to say, the emphasis is not on plot.
One of Art Nerd’s
goals is to instigate conversation and inspire other people. Hannah
acknowledges that what whips the Collective’s cream isn’t necessarily
going to get everyone going, "so we hope they’ll pick up a camera and
make their own." Future plans remain focused on "making porn and
sparking conversation. We’ve got so many ideas — it’s like a snowball
of porn — and we feel like we’ve barely begun."
The Art Nerd
Porn Collective’s work screens this Sunday, February 22, at 8 p.m. at
the Milky Way, 403-405 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, as part of Truth
Serum Production’s Fiery February series. Cover is $8; call (617)
524-3740 or visit www.truthserum.org.