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VIRTUAL ONANISM
Beatrice Gorelli
2022
Interactive Installation

A concept by Beatrice Gorelli and coded by Kerem Türkyilmaz

The first pandemic turned our world upside down: we witnessed one of the most massive uses of the Internet in history. People of all ages had to learn to use digital devices or applications, even to go to the grocery shop. Not to mention interpersonal relationships, which had to migrate to digital devices within days. Whatsapp usage has reached a record high of almost 80% in Europe. The data shows that pornographic video platforms have also become an important part of our lives. PornHub reported more than 39 billion searches during 2019, which equates to 18,073 terabytes of data transferred per day, about a 40% increase in traffic among male and female users.

Generally speaking, autoeroticism was considered a natural act among the Greeks and Egyptians. But in the middle of the 17th century, it was condemned by the highest personalities of the time, such as the Swiss physician S. A. Tissot or the philosophers I. Kant and J.J. Rousseau, who called it a "desecration of humanity". Pseudo-scientific superstitions have persisted until recently, reducing the act of masturbation to a kind of blindness.  

The interactive work raises the issue of masturbation in virtual media. Imagine your computer or smartphone as a mirror, returning the unconditional actions, which are performed during the act of masturbation; once the user is familiar with the interface in which they identify their hands, it suddenly evolves and changes into a masturbation video - giving the viewer an unexpected feeling. The result can be seen as a collection of biological activities related to the most personal movements of pleasure that unite us in a deep, intimate and collective moment.