The Protagonist of the Erotic


Kiez by Defne Ayas

In the beating heart of Berlin, Defne Ayas finds herself surrounded by a cast of endlessly invigorating neighbours. ‘Kiez’ is the Berliner word for a city neighbourhood, a relatively small community encompassed by the sprawling city. Originally heralding from Istanbul, but shaped by New York and Shanghai, Defne is more than at home in unfamiliar places. Sipping steaming mugs of ceremonial grade cacao, she sets off in search of warmth and a touch of erotica, encountering filmmakers and theorists, DJs powering peak-of-the-night climaxes, salacious journalists and inspiring artists, who have found a haven in Berlin. There are pilates instructors, kundalini breath coaches and, in the waiting room of the nearby medical practice – run by a pair of twin doctors named Minks – is Vaginal Davis, the internationally revered doyenne and performance artist. Against the backdrop of the pandemic and despair-inducing current events, Defne uncovers a radical sensuality harbouring in enlightening and tender minds.

Tremendous gratitude to AA Bronson, for his reading of Love Letter to Berlin, and Ayumi Paul for a clip of her stunning work, Eternal Love, recorded on the abandoned tennis courts in the Woga-Komplex. Part of an ensemble of buildings designed by the architect Erich Mendelssohn, the courts are a former neighbourhood hub, a popular and affordable meeting point that, since the land has been sold to a private investor, are closed to the public. And great thanks to Vaginal Davis for an excerpt of an audio work from her 2021 exhibition, The Wicked Pavilion. The excerpt appears courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Introduction and outro voiced by Johnny Vivash. Editing and sound design by Tobias Withers. Soundscape by The God in Hackney. Artwork by Karel Martens. Produced by the Extra Extra team.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Smartphone by Nadine Botha

'Are you in a serious relationship with your smartphone?' The question headlines long-form news articles warning of the dour effects of incessant usage and screen addiction. Yet, for Nadine Botha, the intimacy we share with our handheld devices may be far more peculiar than we think. After all, it serves us both the overstimulation of the 24-7 office and the delicious jolts of adrenaline from text messages sent by lovers. In such exchanges, the vibrancy of electric connection transcends planetary locations and timezones. Scrolling, searching and seducing one another, constant connectivity permeates every aspect of our daily existence, from the way we find love to navigating unfamiliar city streets. Evoking philosophers, artists and designers, Nadine delivers an intoxicating account of the smartphone as a fetish object; a techno-sexual prosthetic, extending our bodies and selves in unfathomable ways.This episode includes interviews with Chen Yu Wang, Jan Schulz and Ginevra Petrozzi, who also shared a recording of her project Digital Esotericism (2021). Great thanks to Kluster5 for contributing passages of Perceived Reality (2022) – a record exploring the construction of identity. The first half of the visual album – Elevation of Self-Validation – is about a young woman who loses herself to social media. Introduction and outro voiced by Johnny Vivash. Editing and sound design by Tobias Withers. Soundscape by The God in Hackney. Artwork by Karel Martens. Produced by the Extra Extra team.