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Poetic Thinking 2016 | February 25, 2020

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  • On January 25, 2016

I have been thinking about works of at that address similar material as Harris’ approach in I Love Your Work, but operate differently than Harris. The recent film Tangerine does not deal with pornography, rather with sex work, and is fictional rather than documentary. However, it does attempt to do what I think Harris wants to do with the women in I Love Your Work: give the viewer a look into the lives, concerns, victories, and perspectives of women who work in the sex industry. By casting transgender actresses in the main roles, Tangerine creates opportunity and visibility for trans-identities, and in that way, does some positive work in the real world even as a fictional film. This artwork also deals uniquely in new media: it was shot on an iPhone 5 and much of the cast was recruited from social media. Read more on that here:

This might not be an apt comparison to Harris as it is a narrative film rather than an internet art installation, but thought it was worth sharing anyway, especially vis-a-vis our conversations about identity, technology, and art.



  1. Thanks for this insightful comparison, Yinshi. I also left this class (long ago, I know) thinking about work similar to “I Love Your Work” that doesn’t feel so… exploitative (if that’s the right word?). I came up with the A.O Movement Collective’s ETLE Universe, which they call a “maximalist investigation into collective authorship, queer narrative structure, and sustainable artmaking,” and which brings together over 50 artists to create an original body of work. Their mission statement continues:

    “The ETLE Universe is a network of original science fiction(s) – an entire universe of intersecting narratives and characters revolving around a time-traveling rebel cyborg known as ETLE. Over the project’s three-year lifespan, the ETLE Universe will premiere ten distinct works, each in a different media: an evening-length performance, a fashion show, a graphic novel, pornography, a photography installation, a collection of 3D-printed jewelry, fiction, academic essays, an immersive multiplayer gaming experience, and a concept soundtrack. In doing so, the ETLE Universe attempts to create a dynamic network of art that is culturally impactful, maximalist, and antiephemeral.”

    I bring them up specifically because of their work in porn: A brief look at their trailer suggests (to me) that they are representing sex work with a much different politic than Jonathan Harris, and has made me rethink my own thoughts about what pornography can and cannot do.

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