Sunday 24th March
35 Marylebone Road
How do we visual depict men who pay for sex, and why is there a scholarly silence on the visual aspects of clients of sex workers despite men buying sexual services online since the mid-1990s. Why do we, as academics and visual artists rarely consider the photographic representations of men who pay for sex online? Why do men get to remain relatively unlooked at and unseen in the transaction of sex? In a digitally networked world where players in the sex industry construct visual narratives about themselves through the creation/construction of a self-image, I seek to decontextualise these images by reaching into the circulation of these images on WhatsApp and grabbing visual fragments of the lives of men who pay for sex. This talk explores the connection between the photographic identity that sex buyers construct through their WhatsApp profile photographs, visibility, connectivity and men who seek sex online – the interconnectivity of the photograph used to construct on identity on social media in their everyday life that is also used to arrange illicit sex in exchange for payment. Working with photographs collected through cyberethnographic methodologies my word addresses ways of re-imagining visual user-generated content of sex buyers.