The Aphrodite Project: Platforms is an integrated system of shoes and online services that combines the rich mythology of Aphrodite with the safety and advertising concerns of contemporary sex workers on the street. On view in Eyebeam's gallery May 2-13 will be a prototype of a silver-leather platform sandal with integrated LCD screen, speakers, internet connection and GPS tracking system. On May 13 visitors to the gallery will be able to track a model in real-time as she traverses the city wearing the platform prototype and join in a panel discussion between artists, technologists and sex work advocates. This event will conclude with a reading by Tracy Quan, performance by Ana Voog, Echo Transgression, and Melissa Gira, and live music by Natural Sphere. This event is open to the public free of charge with a suggested donation and will take place at Eyebeam, 540 W. 21st Street between 10th & 11th Aves.
Platforms is designed to question moral attitudes and value judgments, especially with this marginalized section of the population: Who gets new technology and when? What is the true value of sexual services? Using an archetypal model, is it possible to reclaim the profession for modern women? What are the ethics of surveillance and tracking? Is it possible to ensure that this information will empower and not endanger sex workers? Is it ever possible to guarantee that knowledge will stay within the hands of those who it is intended for?
The shoes address creativity and art making as well as practical issues of design and marketability. It is my hope that in addition to creating beautifully crafted objects; the project will contribute to the current international debate over the regulation, decriminalization, and legalization of prostitution.
Ooh! I want these... I can watch America's Next Top Model while doing my catwalk. --SZ