Sj7g09's Blog

Archive for October 2010

Posted on: October 14, 2010






Posted on: October 4, 2010

Today was my first day back at university. I’d forgotten what the induction lectures are like, despite the fact that most tutorials say exactly the same thing. The first day left me a bit disheartened and alienated, but I think with education it’s always important to remember that however stressful something seems at the time, in however long in the future it isnt going to matter at all. In the same vein as this theory, I’ve been wondering, why are people polite? I think that I seem like I have a bad attitude, which isnt how I particularly want to come across, but if being honest and trying my best not to bow to the pressures of authority for no good reason make me impolite, then I think it’s worth it. I’ve been thinking that I should try saying no more. If I dont want to do something, I should say so. Not in a rude or aggressive way, but an assertive way. This kind of started today, seeing as the studios that are having building work done still aren’t ready, so for the next week I’m meant to go on a coach at 10am every morning to some middle-of-nowhere place to work on location with a group of people that I dont know, on a project that has no relevance on my own practice. I had a look at the website of the place that we’re meant to be going, and it looks like just about the most boring place I could think of, so the only project I can think that we’d be set is “make it look interesting”, and seeing as it’s an organisation that’s owned by the university, I’m going to guess that the exhibition we’ve been told about will just be free advertising for the university. Ok, so I have no idea whether it will really be this or not, but it never hurts to be cynical.

So I’m not going. I dont like to travel, it makes me nervous. I certainly can’t travel without someone there that I trust. So I emailed one of the lecturers as articulately as I could, explaining the situation, but not really going into details about why I’m not going, more why I’m telling them that I’m not going, and why it shouldnt be an issue. And it got me to thinking, why are these teachers expecting me to go on a mandatory trip, or telling me that I must attend lectures, or that I have to meet certain expectations? I’m paying £3,000 for this privilege  – this is not compulsory education, I dont have to be here. I’m paying a lot of money for this, and, while it’s sad if I’m not making the most out of the opportunity, it’s not really their business whether I’m going to lectures or not. They have no responsibility to make me make the ‘right’ choices, and if I want to squander my chances, let me. The point is that people at university should be treated like adults, capable of making their own decisions and behaving autonomously.

I go to lectures that I’m interested in, and I hand satisfactory work in on time. It shouldnt be their job to guilt me or scare me into being a good little student and going to everything timetabled – if they want students to go to lectures, make sure the lectures are actually worth going to. I can only imagine that lecturers behave in such a ridiculous way, treating adults like primary school children, because they’ve lost sight of why they’re enforcing policies and it becomes more about asserting your authority rather than remembering why that policy is there. Universities should be about encouraging people to do well – if someone is doing fine without going to every lecture, that should be fine. If someone is not doing well, surely it’s enough to tell them, adult-to-adult, the changes that they’d need to make if they want to pass, rather than acting like a disappointed parent and it being about telling them where they’re going wrong. If someone fails, the only problem there for lecturers is that it makes their university’s statistics look bad, hence all the one-size-fits-all policies to make students behave and attend everything in the hope that if they spend 9-5 at the school then they can’t fail and make the numbers look bad.

Posted on: October 2, 2010

I think that in discussing my work next year, it will be important to give context. It’s not that I have any desire to go around to random strangers at my school and bleet on at them about what I’ve done and why, but more that for my course it is expected that I will be able to talk about my work. Honestly, this course is graded more on how well you can talk about your work than any of the work that you actually do. So it’s important to be able to discuss what you’re doing and why, and a big part of that for me is the research and experiences involved in creating my art. I wouldn’t have any of my new work without my research, both into theory and by experiencing part of the sex industry, so I feel that my work is a product of that and it’s important to talk about that research to ground the work in some context. However, it’s hard to talk to real people about things that make you vulnerable, particularly when those people are within an institution that has a record for being dismissive or negative, and denying you your right to create things that they dont feel are appropriate. Last year, I didn’t really talk about my experiences within the sex industry because every talk with anyone in authority was essentially the same – a conflict, but the sort of underhanded conflict that  tries to assert that they are the righteous party who are saving you from yourself. It’s for your own good. This was the same when I breached sex industry topics – I didnt feel I could really talk about it in my assessment, but wrote on my forms the research that I’d done, and was shyly told to think about the risks, that they had a duty of care towards me and I had a duty of care towards myself. Does that mean that I always have a duty to take the most healthy course of action for myself? What sort of control or authority do they have over the actions I take off the school premises? I’d genuinely love to know their policies.

I find it interesting that it’s demanded that I take care of my physical and psychological health when it comes to the sex industry and the use of those experiences in my work, but the most miserable, soul-destroying experiences in my life have all been to do with education. If anything is going to harm me, it will be my experiences at their university, probably a lot because of them trying to protect me from myself, my ideas, and the big scary world outside of university that ultimately seems a lot more free and friendly because of how tyrranous educational institutitons are, what with them trying to prepare you for the world of work.

I dont have all that much experience with proper society – you know, the bit with proper jobs with set working hours and superiors and all that, but I get the feeling that all education is there to prepare you for how incredibly dick-ish everyone you meet in your everyday adult life will be. So I dont have much hope or esteem for education, work, society, anything. It’s all pretty depressing really. The only thing that makes me able to deal with it is to isolate myself from it. This is part of why I love the idea of the possibility that if I did work really hard within the sex industry, I could actually make enough money to live from it, without having to have a proper job where I’m told what to do by people that I have to pretend to respect, where I have to be blank, emotionless, personality-less, and opinionless, for the majority of the day. I’m not quite sure why people see sex work as such a negative job, or why they see it as being something that exploits people more than any other job. As an example, I was pretty pissed off that the company I work for can debit money from the account that I set up so that they could pay me, without my knowledge or consent. This means that if I misbehave, or someone charges back a show, the money comes directly out of my account, rather than the money that I’ve already earned being safe and them taking it out of my future earnings. I dont feel that this is particularly good or fair, but at the same time, what about anything to do with work or money or business is particularly good or fair? Personally I think that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that the sex industry is dodgy with paying its employees, seeing as they arent entitled to the same rights as other workers because they’re sex workers, and to try to force people not to work in the sex industry and promote the right message, sex workers are denied their rights. For example, at the moment, all the money that I earned from camming is effectively lost. I had all that money in an Epassporte account because that’s the only free payment method that the company could pay me through, seeing as Paypal won’t allow people to gain money from selling anything to do with sex. So sex workers are denied the safer option for their money, and then it’s somehow the sex industry’s fault that workers arent treated fairly, when actually it’s the big banks and companies that wont have anything to do with the sex industry that are causing the issue. Like at the moment, Epassporte suspended all of their ATM cards with no notice to their customers, so no one could withdraw any of their money, leaving everyone’s money stuck in their account. This money has been frozen for over a month now, just being given the occasional message that our money is safe, don’t worry, it’ll be sorted out some time. Then the money stopped showing up in our accounts. Then we stopped getting messages from Epassporte altogether. The bank who has all our money said that there’d be a resolution by the 30th September. Nothing. Now apparently we’ll be able to get our money next week. I’m still hopeful about getting it back, but mainly because I dont want to have to face that I put in hours and hours of work that I in no way found degrading, but that I wouldn’t have done for free, mainly because I see it as business rather than personal. The only people really losing here are individuals – I worked for that money which has now disappeared, customers paid money to see a show, or even tipped me because they liked me and thought that I’d receive that money instead of a company. If I think about it, I find it a bit disheartening that I’m the person providing the service that the customer is paying for, but I only get 40% of the money that I’m earning, with the majority going to a big company that just advertises me and provides the platform for me to be able to do this job. Then again, without them, I dont think I could make any money from it, and 40% allows me to continue making some money doing a job that I really quite like, rather than doing a job that I hate, probably for less money. I think it’s just a more direct, noticeable injustice, seeing as I know that a customer is paying a lot of money for a service that I personally am providing, and I only get a small amount of that, even though the company didnt really do anything. With other jobs, you dont really know how much you’re entitled to be payed, as people generally arent buying a service, they’re buying an object (ha, that’s probably what a lot of people see my job as anyway.) I dont think that a company could have treated any other group of people like this – Epassporte has a reputation for only being used by the sex and gambling industries, meaning that it’s not really seen as a big issue by anyone. We’re shady and immoral, so we deserve not to be treated with respect or given money for our work. I think if this had happened to people who were seen as more reputable, the problem would have been sorted out in days rather than months. It almost certainly would have been covered by the media. It feels like we’re not really left with any rights or means of claiming back our money – it’s a big cycle, seeing as we can’t use reputable companies because they wont serve us because we’re sex workers, so have to use smaller dodgier companies where our legal rights are sketchy because the account is virtual and our money is stuck in St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank  (where?!), and then because we’re treated badly and exploited by these companies it’s seen as a problem with the sex industry, so companies arent able to be associated with it because the assumption is that it’s the sex industry that’s inherently exploitative, not that the working conditions and rights are bad because people and companies and governments discriminate against sex workers, trying to force them out of the industry rather than making it better within it.

Posted on: October 2, 2010

I’d had a blissful summer to forget what my university is actually like, but had to come back to reality today seeing as it’s the weekend before term starts and I wanted to find all the new rooms that I’ll be working in during my second year. I’m still not perfect with new places, so wanted to find where they were beforehand, so I had some idea of where I was going on my first day back and what they were like. I’m obviously just too organised though – on reaching the building to look around, I was stopped by some guy asking whether I was a student, whether I had my student card, and, upon producing my student card, being told that I couldn’t enter the building anyway because it’s a Saturday. Apparently most of the staff are not back yet, so I cant be trusted to go up a flight of stairs on my own to find a lecture theatre, then leave. Perhaps I’d find some non-rounded scissors and give myself an ouchie, then sue the school. I knew that there was building work going on, seeing as before getting a start date of my term or anything I’d been sent an email with a map of the school telling me all the places I’m not allowed to go because of building work. So obviously this building work is still going to be going on by Monday, or else we wouldn’t have needed a map with lots of red no entry signs on it. Besides, as far as the map says, the building work isnt even on the same floor that I wanted to get to. So I asked whether it was ok to look in the other buildings, or whether they were all undergoing building work too, which he didnt understand, so just reiterated that there were no grown-ups here on a Saturday afternoon, so I’ll just have to find the rooms on Monday.

Ok, so not that much of a big thing – I’ll admit it made me angry, as it does each and every time I’m treated like a child. This is just the ethos of my school. It’s very much a one-size-fits-all approach to ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’, which would be more suited to a primary school setting than a university. I think that part of this is how contradictory art courses are, seeing as they’re very much taught as a vocational course. I’d imagine that you learn how to work in the art industry in much the same way that you’d learn how to do a manual job – it’s all how to do things, rather than why. My course does tend to give lip-service to academia, but it’s shallow, and most of the discussions are taken up by lecturers explaining that some theorist’s work is good precisely because us mere mortals can’t understand it. No, that is not good writing, that is bad writing – it’s not that their point is so complex and profound that they can’t express it, it’s that they are not expressing themselves in a way that most people can understand. And then of course, inevitably, in the next breath, the lecturer will, after praising some inaccessible piece of text, denounce how elitist art is, without any hint of irony or self-awareness.

My university is very much like an overbearing parent. I’m not sure whether this is just me, seeing as I’ve experienced every educational institution in a negative way, but I wouldn’t say that any of my other schools were as babying as my university. I understand that it’s an art school, it has tools there that people may not know how to use (I dont know how to use them, I’ve never learned, I hope never to learn, or to ever use them) – it’s sensible to teach people how to use specialist equipment because that’s a practical and potentially real risk. However, it is not sensible to try to step in to protect students from unreal risks, or risks that are only being created by the university. In all of my projects so far, it’s been suggested that I don’t use/do certain work for my own safety. Don’t use those pictures, because someone from the university might have to call the police. We censored that work for your own safety because someone higher up in the university might have seen them. Don’t do that research, it might not be safe. We have a duty of care towards you, and you have a duty of care towards yourself.

I try to empathise with the institution in the sense that I realise they have responsibility to stop me from trying to file my nails with a sanding machine, or drink yummy tasy darkroom chemicals, but where does this responsibility end? None of my work has real, imminent or physical risks, and none of my work is even undertaken at the university premises. So what time or space actually belongs to me? Where do I have any autonomy to do work that they feel is inappropriate? What can possibly be inappropriate in a creative university setting?

I feel that my university breeds a very bad environment for creativity. Art is a subject that encourages you to share personal things that make you vulnerable, seeing as you are often expected to share your ideas, feelings or responses towards work on cue, infront of either a group of your peers, or a panel of your elders and betters. It seems slightly unreasonable to me to have the expectation that people will continue to share freely and honestly their reasons for creating, or their responses to others’ work, when lecturers seem to try to beat you down at every opportunity. In my first year assessments, I took in all my work that I’d completed during the term, but felt unable to show much of the work for fear or embarrassment, and that is not a good professional or learning environment. Most of the course involves being treated like a child and expected to put up with it because authority rightly doesn’t anticipate that people will argue or even complain.

  • fred whitacre jr: they don,t have any sex invaled why are we so againce children being nude in pictures because of alll the sick fucking rapetist out there children
  • fred whitacre jr: she only 12 but it is not porn at all it is nude only only a sick person would want to fuck her not me but i will tell you the true she is a very hot
  • fred whitacre jr: i see noghting wrong just a nude girl no porn that would be wrong with a child but not worng with a grown up only nude pics of children is ok if no se