NYC sex worker artist collective Veil Machine will be hosting a self-destructing online art show on August 21.
Dubbed E-Viction, the "virtual arthouse/whore gallery for sex workers, clients, artists, and allies" will feature chat rooms, an interactive peepshow combining art and sex with the help of 16 sex workers and artists, as well as an online store selling original pieces and sex icons. However, if you're interested in checking E-Viction out, act fast because the site will only be live for 12 hours before self-destructing at midnight — a move that is reflective of the censorship sex workers face online.
A "direct response to our urgent need for a digital public sphere and the challenges of sex worker survival in COVID-19," the show aims to create an online platform for civil disobedience while spotlighting the current conundrum faced by many sex workers who've been forced online due to COVID-19, especially since they still have to grapple with the difficulties presented by targeted legislation such as SESTA/FOSTA.
Not only that, but further highlighting the appalling online treatment of sex workers is the fact that E-Viction's Instagram has already been threatened with deletion, despite the only "nudity" being pixelated graphics and a PG photo of one performer — though organizers say "it's not a coincidence" that the performer in question was Black.
Needless to say as situations like this illustrate, these platforms that advocate for and amplify the voices of sex workers who are trying to create a safe space for themselves in a post-SESTA/FOSTA world are more important than ever now.
"In challenging the world as it is, E-Viction imagines the world as it could be. E-Viction will allow both sex workers and allies to experience what the internet could be once SESTA/FOSTA is overturned," as Sybil Fury explained. "When E-Viction self-destructs at midnight we want you to feel the sadness of its loss. We want you to feel a taste of how we feel when our creative work, our income, and our community gathering spaces are taken from us without warning, due to the arbitrary intervention of sexist, racist, homophobic algorithms. And hopefully that loss will inspire action."