The Architecture of Eroticism

  • Alice Harrison
This visual report explores the effects on the perceptions and consumption of erotica as we have progressed into a Digital Age and analyses the impact of the shift from the physical to the hyper-real in regards to spaces we have constructed for the enjoyment and experience of erotica.

Brief / Context

As a self devised project, I was responsible for each element from concept to execution stage. The brief involved unearthing a problem in contemporary society and proposing and executing a creative solution. After extensive primary and secondary research into the contemporary perception of erotica, I decided established four primary topics for analysis:
  • The Erotic within the Everyday
  • Architecture
  • Pornography
  • Visual First Culture
Below:
Due to my admiration of architecture I used original photography to adorn the pages.
Below: Moodboards of Competitor Analysis
An analysis of potential competitors in regards to concept rather than medium.
To analyse potential competitors in regards to my proposed concept I highlighted certain words of my Big Idea and accumulated inspiration accordingly. This helped me to analyse the competitor landscape while also highlighting trends in film, design, colour and composition.

Creative Concept:

I aim to depict the personal element of erotica’s DNA, communicating the fact and embedding the realisation within the audience that the judgement of whether something defines as ‘erotic’ is predominantly determined by the individual’s psychographic variables, not via the productions of the pornographic sphere. The everyday eroticism will be exemplified through my own personal portrayal, channelling my fascination for architecture through the coinciding of contours of the body with architectural silhouettes, cementing a relationship between the conventional and unconventional erotica to signify the absence of a hierarchy in erotic experience. I aim to inform that eroticism is not limited to the pornographic and prompt consumer motivations by inspiring the audience to experience the external world as an erogenous zone.

Film Poster:

To represent my creative concept I collaged contours of architecture with those of the female form. In regards to the folded and worn detail I was inspired by 1970's porn posters.

Consumer Profiling:

In relation to the emphasis on our visual first culture and the dominant theme of the Digital Age informing my research, I believe those who will benefit most as a consumer of my execution fall into the demographic of the ‘digital natives’, defining further as Millennials, in particular those aged 18-24. The 2017 consumer perception study on the topic of eroticism unearthed an issue regarding this particular demographic due to their personal depictions of erotica, of which majority associated negative connotations, a far cry from the definitions of erotica experts in comparison.
The fact that this cohort of consumers define as ‘digital natives’ suggests their singular subjection to a culture where the appreciation of eroticism is predominantly invested in the commodification of the female form. The traditional, sensory and aesthetic forms of erotica are being arguably and perhaps, subconsciously, flouted by this particular demographic as they have been subjected only to the arguably most visual form of eroticism, pornography, in turn conforming to the constructs of today.
The primary consumer falls harmoniously into the category of those who do not feel alone if they protest on their own; independent and open-minded individuals who embody a genuine compassion for societal and cultural causes but do not forcefully preach their protest. This psychographic variable will encourage the provoking of consumer motivations in allowing their own experience of the erotic. Prior to the potential immersion of their individual eroticism, their passionate personality trait will prompt them to share their experiences with friends, while the aesthetic values of the film will be responsible for the reaching of a larger audience.

Below: Consumer Touchpoints

Analsysis of consumer touchpoints in order to create an efficient and integrated marketing strategy.

Route to Consumer

I explored how brands communicate their key messages across promotional platforms such as branding, advertising, print, digital and social media, visual merchandising, retail environments, events and experimental marketing.Aim To create an integrated marketing campaign which will:
  • Encourage audiences to become active in their interaction with The Architecture of Eroticism, prompting the use of their System 2 brains in an attempt to challenge the Gen Viz short attention span and encourage the reading into erotica to understand its full potential.
  • Promote understanding regarding erotica’s multitude of meanings and the fact that it is not limited to the dominant form of representation, which saturates contemporary culture.
  • To target each audience effectively, in turn cementing my own personal brand within the landscape for future creative endeavors.
Message
  • Erotica is anything, regardless of sexual connotation, which provokes an arousal- like type of reaction within one, it is predominantly personal and dependent on the individual.
They will learn
  • Eroticism is not limited to the singular representation of pornography.
  • Eroticism is not intrinsically the physical act of sex but can be experienced through the sensory spectrum with no sexual associations present.
Proposed response
  • In regards to the primary audience of The Life Luster, I aim for the IMC to achieve substantial sharing by this archetype, channeling their Gen Viz tendencies via the sharing of the film’s aesthetic values on platforms such as Instagram. I aim for Facebook to be used as a commentary of the film, channeling this consumer’s leadership qualities and opinionated nature regarding their promotion of the underlying message of the core concept.
  • I aim to witness the sparking of conversation regarding the film for its ASMR infusion, which will prompt the audience to read deeper into the narrative and ignite a whole new conversation on an issue unrecognised by the mass.
  • I aim to influence a change in attitudes in regards to the consumer perception of what defines as erotic, which will be measured regarding attitudes of response to the film at the time of release and in the future as I continue to depict eroticism unconventionally.
  • I aim for both consumer cohorts to feel inspired, influenced and empowered by an unconventional portrayal of eroticism, while the feeling of relief in regards to experiencing the erotic that does not inflict negative emotions such as shame and self doubt will also become apparent.

Social Media - Keeping it integrated Content

  • Starting a dialogue through the sparking of debates on topics associated with contemporary erotica.
  • Appealing to the activist nature of The Life Luster consumer.
  • Considered aesthetic will compliment consumer curated Instagram feeds.
Community
  • Cost-effective method of tapping into established online communities via the submission to influential Instagram accounts.
Context • In response to consumer analysis, the targeting of consumers will be predominantly via social media and during the evening. Cohesion • Maintaining cohesion regarding aesthetic, attitudes towards associated topics and tone of voice to cement loyal bonds between my brand and the audience. Continuity
  • Coordinating messages on each promotional platform.
  • Monitoring response to assure continuity in interaction with the audience of each channel.

Launch

Mock Ups:I use original photography used for mock ups to envision the finalised executions and campaign imagery in authentic environments.

Digital Promotion - Inspiration from the Fashion Landscape

Maintaining cohesion regarding the erotic undertone and taking inspiration from the success of promoting Diesel’s SS16 campaign on Pornhub, I would launch The Architecture of Eroticism on Pornhub, the world’s most popular pornography website and the 64th most visited website on the Internet. Ironic in approach, the promotion through a platform I have argued as significant in the flouting of traditional eroticism will protest the singular representation while promoting change in ideologies regarding what is defined as ‘erotic’. By promoting on pornography websites, I will be tapping into an immense audience of 64 million daily visitors who are already active in their search for the erotic.

Post-Launch

Film Festivals:Following from the launch I will be entering film festivals I feel appropriate in the portrayal of an unconventional eroticism, these include the festivals which are searching for emerging filmmakers to depict eroticism through a new discourse of cinematography, straying from the explicit to focus on the ‘teasing, intriguing, stylized, unique and imaginative’ elements instead

Permanent Promotion

NownessThe Architecture of Eroticism will be permanently promoted on Nowness, the ‘movement for creative excellence in storytelling, celebrating the extraordinary of the every day.’The platform’s curatorial expertise and status as a go-to source of influence across art, design, fashion, music, food and travel foreshadows the reaching of The Life Luster consumer on a mass scale, efficiently targeting the intended primary audience while they are either active in their search for inspiration or passive while using their free time to browse the latest offerings. The decision to use Nowness as the platform for permanent promotion ensures the maintaining of the integrated marketing campaign, targeting the consumer touchpoints, showcasing the same content as promoted via following channels, providing the audience with the context through links to my online profile and social media links, and keeping it cohesive in terms of aesthetic value, tone of voice and attitude towards topics related to the erotic concept. The essence of community is ever-enhanced via the audience ability to follow, favourite and queue their chosen channels and favoured films, offering playlists for others to enjoy and providing further reach for no cost. The abilities of the Nowness audience are reminiscent of social media actions, further attracting The Life Luster consumer in regards to their dependence on such platforms.

Conclusion

Erotica is the euphoric sensation of neck hairs arising when in the presence of your passion. Erotica is cliché scripts and fantasies constructed in a pre-packaged fashion. Erotica is the observing of visual codes as evolved through nature. Erotica is subjecting yourself to the allure of a stranger. Erotica is experiencing the everyday with intensified enthusiasm. Erotica is blondes in nylon and fake orgasms. Within contemporary culture, the pornographic depiction of the erotic has been positioned with an intensified significance due to the regarding of profit as a mechanism for pleasure, thus championing the ideologies surrounding pornography as the singular representation of the erotic. The Architecture of Eroticism has sought to explore the erotic as a universal theme, encouraging consumers to avert their fixated gaze from productions of the visual culture, where the technique of Sex Sells is ever-intensifying in response to the cultural norms of modernity. The project has not been established as a replacement for the pornographic but instead ignites a dialogue around the topic to enlighten consumers on the body’s ability to achieve arousal in succumbing to the euphoric experiences of the everyday, in turn straying from the infliction of guilt and shame which pornography reportedly embeds.In regards to the future of The Architecture of Eroticism, the film will be extended into a series of cinematic shorts, inspired by the method of Erika Lust’s XConfessions by encouraging consumer submissions. Maintaining continuity in regards to audience interaction post-launch of the film, I will open a call for submissions regarding individual experiences of the erotic within the everyday, which I will then transform through my cinematic vision. The Architecture of Eroticism presents a solution to the consumer’s singular subjection to the media constructs of erotica. I aim for the project to enlighten consumers on the body’s capability as a sensory landscape and prompt the experiencing of the external world as an erogenous zone. I hope for The Architecture of Eroticism to ignite the beginning of my future endeavours in contributing to the conversation by communicating an aesthetic and unconventional eroticism.