The Protagonist of the Erotic


The Spectral Ear by Fatoş Üstek

A hearing aid. Perhaps not the most obvious choice for an erotic item. Yet, as Fatoş Üstek finds, deep listening is essential to unlocking the full potential of our carnal selves. After all, the ears are said to be among the most sensitive of the erogenous zones. Turning her high-tech prosthetic off, Fatoş' protagonist – our sensual narrator of this auditory realm – discovers she can hear hallucinations: spectral, sonic apparitions emerging from the noiselessness. Immersed in silence, she contemplates neurology and physics – the fact that the universe, like sound waves, is composed entirely of vibrations. Electrified by this cosmic energy, we begin to sense each other differently, newly attentive to the liveliness of connective matter. Many thanks to Wellcome Collection, London, Mark Watts of for the archival material of the writer and theologian Alan Watts, and Jonie for her autonomous sensory meridian response recording. Soundscape by The God in Hackney. Editing and sound design by Tobias Withers. Introduction and outro voiced by Johnny Vivash. Produced by the Extra Extra team.

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Kiez by Defne Ayas

In the beating heart ofBerlin,Defne Ayasfinds 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 fromIstanbul, but shaped byNew YorkandShanghai, 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 inBerlin. 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,Defneuncovers a radical sensuality harbouring in enlightening and tender minds.Tremendous gratitude toAA Bronson, for his reading of Love Letter toBerlin, 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 byJohnny Vivash. Editing and sound design byTobias Withers. Soundscape by The God in Hackney. Artwork byKarel Martens. Produced by the Extra Extra team.