Watch Me Work

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Watch Me Work

Kate Ehrhardt Created by Kate Ehrhardt

Watch Me Work

'Watch Me Work' addresses the not-easily-accessible subject of client-worker interactions within the sphere of cyber-generated sex work, and the positionality of the worker and the client within it.

Liad works at an Israeli erotic chat website, where clients pay money by the minute to see her conduct live intimate performances and one-on-one erotic conversations with them. The piece is composed of real-time erotic conversations and performance to real live clients which is viewed through projections. The setup of computers, projectors, cameras, the internet and a live translator


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Watch Me Work

'Watch Me Work' addresses the not-easily-accessible subject of client-worker interactions within the sphere of cyber-generated sex work, and the positionality of the worker and the client within it.

Liad works at an Israeli erotic chat website, where clients pay money by the minute to see her conduct live intimate performances and one-on-one erotic conversations with them. The piece is composed of real-time erotic conversations and performance to real live clients which is viewed through projections. The setup of computers, projectors, cameras, the internet and a live translator enables the audience to have an inside perspective of the inner workings of the sex industry and position themselves in the shoes of the sex worker, the client, or perhaps both. The different cameras and their projections further display the discrepancies between what the client sees and the off-camera reactions or behind-the-scenes perspective of the erotic labor.

Conceptually, 'Watch Me Work' is an attempt to move beyond well-known-to-the-point-of-overused key phrases associated with sex work in the social sphere, such as 'exploitative', 'misogynist', 'empowering women's sexuality', 'immoral', 'exciting', 'dehumanizing', 'valid/invalid form of work' and present it at a more complex level by addressing the central element of sex work that cannot be reduced to stereotypes – the interaction between the sex worker and client. The emphasis on the sex worker-client interaction comes as a reaction to the discourse about sex work, which evades addressing this central element, simply because it is inaccessible to the public eye and therefore – to public discourse. Through the use of technology, This performance brings the audience into the heart of the interaction between the sex worker and the client, revealing the singularities of the experiences it holds and a much more complex system than is conventionally addressed, presented as 'sex work realism'. The sex worker may be worshiped, objectified, entertained, sexualized, loved or degraded by the eyes of the client and her disposition, while she herself may objectify, sexualize, manipulate, empathize with, engage, laugh at or ignore the client - or her disposition - while performing in front of him. Generally, it is a multiplicity of these choices which happen simultaneously, rather than a single one.

The element of internet-based communication give an several added elements to the the client-worker sexual relations, namely mis-communication, added distance, and alienation of the two actors from each other. Through the ability to peer in on the written chat and compare it with the sex worker's actions, the audience can examine the places in which the technological communion creates a dissension and a divide from a cohesive, shared experience.

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