Ad-Free Love

Justin Gotzis

Ad-Free Love is an exploration of ritual, manifestation, and media. I created this work in order to symbolically exorcise my sexual identity from virtual space. The desire to do such an act is rooted in the lack of control I feel over said identity, specifically since I have begun cam modelling. I experience looming anxiety when I think of how this character I share a face with can grow and warp completely independently of me. In order to manifest this personality, I worked within the internet’s preexisting language of media to construct a chain of signifiers that, in practice, produce a symbolic exorcism. I chose to reenact the television scene from Poltergeist due to its ability to mirror interaction with my laptop, where I was broadcasting my performance on the cam sex site, Chaturbate. Furthermore, Poltergeist holds personal meaning for me, as it terrified me upon first viewing it at the ripe age of eight to the point of obsession. I feared what my mind would conjure when I went to bed for the next few weeks. This seemingly self imposed dread parallels that which is produced in attempting to reconcile with my digital-erotic identity. 

Poltergeist functioned as a bridge between the real and the virtual, which were represented by the website Chaturbate and the grounds I performed upon, known colloquially as “The Fruit Loop”. The Fruit Loop is a cul-de-sac in Schenley Park known for its prominent gay cruising culture. My sexual development was hinged upon cruising, however in my experiences it was mediated through applications like Grindr, which force you to create another identity in order to participate. Thus, I used the physical space to reground the spirit I exorcised, and further re engage my sexual identity with the real. 

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