Group Efforts: porno for tyros 

Attention all perverts: have you been aching for the chance to lick dirty boots, whip a slave, receive an enthusiastic rim job, make out with a father figure, wield a knife in bed, urinate on a stranger, choke a partner, or get gang-banged from behind?

Porn Shot, a group of 12 Art Institute students-turned-pornographers, is holding auditions for their debut project, which they hope will be a nationally distributed video featuring the best takes. Aspiring actors will be judged on "creativity and skill," but needn't worry about being forced to do something they wouldn't be proud to show the grandkids--everyone will be asked to fill out a release form describing his or her boundaries in detail.

The Porn Shot collective met this spring in a class called Body Language, which critically analyzes pornography and its production. The course work covers topics such as Michel Foucault's ideas about sexual repression and revolution, Laura Kipnis's theory that porn and modern capitalism go hand in hand, and Linda Williams's studies of pop culture in reference to pornography. Instructor Barbara DeGenevieve--who, in 1994, lost a $25,000 NEA fellowship due to the explicit, erotic content of her work--has been a respected photographer and video maker for more than 20 years.

The course has been offered only twice. Three students from the first class, last spring, produced the shorts It's Not a Lie, Clamp, and Chingari Chumma as final projects for the semester and the films went on to win acclaim at several film festivals. Though those particular filmmakers aren't associated with Porn Shot, the group believes the success of their predecessors demonstrates that there's a demand for innovative pornography that references formal filmmaking. Two members of this semester's group have produced work that will be screened at the Flaming Film/Video Festival in Minneapolis and used as material for a class at Hampshire College. Says Porn Shot member and queer activist Stacy Goldate, "If it's not intelligent, it's not sexy."

The group formed when the members realized they shared a common goal--"to create pansexual, smart, and most importantly, HOT smut," according to their press release--and decided to start meeting outside the classroom. Some are interested in taking a feminist approach to pornography, others are concerned with making transgender sex movies because they're pretty much uncharted territory, and some want to showcase their own exhibitionist tendencies. But above all, says Goldate, the main goal of Porn Shot is to create "socially responsible and innovative work."

While Porn Shot hopes all types will show up for the audition, some members plan to participate as well as direct. If the benefit party they threw at Berlin on April 22 was any indication, it looks like the turnout will be diverse: that night dominatrices administered lashings to hippies and tanned hardbodies while other women gave lap dances and Porn Shot member Tobaron Waxman, dressed as a priest, took confessions in a private booth.

Auditions will be held this Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29. Participants must be at least 18 years old and can come alone or with a partner. Actors who make the cut will be compensated for their work. Call 312-409-5886 or see www.pornshot.net for more information.

--Liz Armstrong

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Suzy Poling.

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