Designers Giorgio Gasco and Gianmaria Della Ratta have created a range of decorative stucco moldings based on the interiors of the rented chat rooms used by camgirls in adult cam sites.
The Digital Muses collection consists of eight plaster wall pieces with elements such as angels, dolphins and vibrators, which the designers discovered in chat rooms of camgirls who hosted live sex shows via video streaming for money.
The collection, which is based on research and interviews with camgirls, was presented in the Rotterdam gallery Lecq and as part of this year’s virtual edition of the Dutch Design Week (DDW).
The designers, who both graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, spoke about the collection during a Dezeen panel discussion and examined how the coronavirus pandemic has affected intimacy.
“Physical rooms are badly affected by the coronavirus crisis, on the contrary, the virtual room has been expanded and strengthened,” said Della Ratta in the lecture.
“Digital media are part of our daily life today, and especially in this situation we cannot live or work without them. As designers, we felt the need to examine this universe, to understand it and to use it for design purposes.”
By Digital muses, Gasco and Della Ratta discovered that the set design is a key component of the work of camgirls.
“This one girl in particular told me that she was trying to dress appropriately for the room [she is in]”Said Gasco during the panel discussion. She described adapting her outfit to her setting as an” essential part of the job “as it has a noticeable impact on the viewer.
As a result, an entire industry has sprung up to help camgirls get the mood right. YouTube channels are devoted to tutorials on how to get the right lighting and scenography. So-called cam studios can also be rented, which are equipped with different backgrounds and professional streaming technology.
Gasco and Della Ratta identified a distinct visual language in these backgrounds and consolidated elements of technology like bright, electroluminescent (EL) wires and keyboards with the tactility of pillows and blankets and soft, feminine colors like baby blue, pink and purple.
“It’s very interesting how they create their own identity,” said Gasco.
“Our goal is to expand this aesthetic universe of digital content as we see great artistic value in these scenarios. We then try to extrapolate some symbols, we extrapolate the language, even the dress code they use, and try to adapt them to a design piece. ”
In a playful inversion of how our real life was conveyed through webcams during the pandemic, the duo took this design aesthetic developed for the virtual world and transplanted them into real, tangible objects.
To do this, they relied on traditional plaster reliefs, which have been used since ancient times to immortalize symbols and entire scenes within architecture.
“Stucco is very decorative, but also a narrative element, and we wanted to use that powerful aesthetic and narrative in combination with the cam-girl world that challenges the concept of intimacy and sexuality,” said Della Ratta.
“Our stucco pieces are therefore not only decorative or furnished pieces, but also pieces of narration of this digital movement that [has its own] Symbols, messages and stories. ”
Traditionally cast in plaster of paris and marble powder, the stucco is shaped in such a way that it suggests various sex toys such as a ball gag integrated into a circular mandala.
Another piece shows an abstract swirl pattern created by replicating and multiplying the sinuous shape of the Lovesense – A vibrator that is becoming increasingly popular in the camming scene because it can be controlled remotely by viewers via an app.
Still other pieces in the collection resort to cuter, girlish iconography, from cheeky angels to rainbows and dolphins, to move away from overly stereotypical, singular depictions of sex workers.
Similarly, camgirls’ use of tactile fabrics is picked up in a piece called Furry20, which mirrors the fur blankets and pillows they often rely on to soften a room and nods to the wigs they use for cosplay Use sessions.
Each of the all-white reliefs is also decorated with a wire coated with an electroluminescent fluorescent coating that, as the name suggests, emits a soft glow when connected to the power supply.
These EL cables are widely used by gaming streamers who use them to pimp their computers, but they are also popular with camgirls as well extremely online Possibility to provide your backdrops with ambient light.
The live panel discussion was part of a series of presentations streamed as part of this year’s Dezeen x DDW collaboration.
In their talk, Gasco and Ratta discussed the privacy of workplaces with Sabine Marcelis and Li Edelkoort, while other conversations focused on privacy and data, as well as our relationship with nature and the products we use every day.
The Dutch Design Week 2020 took place online from October 17th to 25th, with Dezeen as media partner. For more information on architecture and design events, see the Dezeen Events Guide.