Is Pornography art? Students Discuss the Artistic Merits of the Perverse

Spencer Tober, junior film studies major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Spencer Tober, junior film studies major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

 “I know some people who are really into porn. And not in the kind of way that you would think. Like some people, even though it is perverse, see some kind of beauty to it, and so they’ll get passionate about it and about what’s being done. I don’t think it’s art, though. The way it degrades women and the sole purpose of what it’s for, I just don’t think so.” – Spencer Tober, junior film studies major.

Alyssa DeWolfe, junior communications major and LGBT studies minor. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Alyssa DeWolfe, junior communications major and LGBT studies minor. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“I believe that some could think that pornography is an art, but I really think it’s a business. It’s all about the money, it’s all about people paying the money to watch girls touch each other and watch people have sex.” – Alyssa DeWolfe, junior communications major and LGBT studies minor.

Megan Lim, sophomore English major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Megan Lim, sophomore English major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“I don’t know. It depends what kind you’re watching. Does it have a really heavy storyline? I guess it’s an art, but it may not be the highest form. A creative outlet is a creative outlet, I guess. I think it can be considered one. It might not be one that everyone appreciates. Art is any sort of manifest content of somebody’s creativity. So I guess I would consider porn an art.” – Megan Lim, sophomore English major.

Molly Bauman, senior women's studies and psychology major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Molly Bauman, senior women’s studies and psychology major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“I think pornography can be art sometimes when it’s a product of the people that are participating in it and their ideas about what kind of sex they want to happen, when consent is made beforehand and when everyone’s like ‘Oh these are artistic positions we want to get in, these are ideas that we want to create, the story that we want to share in pornography’ and like hopefully everyone comes… I think that can be art, but I think a lot of pornography persists at the expense of violence against women and kind of exploits women’s availability, and a lot of people do suffer from addictions in that industry, and I think that can be exploitative and, if they’re not a part of the creative process, then I wouldn’t call it art.” – Molly Bauman, senior women’s studies and psychology major.

Tyler Boyle, junior journalism and atmospheric and oceanic sciences major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Tyler Boyle, junior journalism and atmospheric and oceanic sciences major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“I feel that for some people pornography is an art, depending on how it’s done. For me, I do not feel that it’s an art. If it’s posed, if it’s done by an artist, and if it’s made not for people’s pleasure, but if it’s made for people to visually enjoy it, not in the other sense, then it’s art. But I feel like most pornography is made for a certain reason, that’s not visually pleasing like in a museum but for a magazine or a computer.” – Tyler Boyle, junior journalism and atmospheric and oceanic sciences major.

Nicholas Korzie, sophomore computer science major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Nicholas Korzie, sophomore computer science major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“Some pornography is art, I guess you could say. Some of it is a little bit too extreme. I guess it all depends on the intention of the people making the pornography. If it’s for money, because it’s an industry, you wouldn’t really consider it art, but if it’s going towards an art, like pornography on stage, it can be considered an art.” – Nicholas Korzie, sophomore computer science major.

Luke Ordille, sophomore computer engineering major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Luke Ordille, sophomore computer engineering major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“I don’t think porn’s an art at all. I think it’s just prostitution and people enjoying themselves.” – Luke Ordille, sophomore computer engineering major.

Natalie Agee, sophomore environmental science and technology major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Natalie Agee, sophomore environmental science and technology major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“It is the woman’s right to do as she wishes with her body, if she is of consenting age. I believe if it’s in pornopgraphy or if it’s in sales management, or if it’s in a tattoo industry, as long as the woman knows her rights and she approves of everything that’s going to happen, then I would say yes. Art is up to interpretation. Art can be anything from the design on a leaf to a mosaic in a chapel. So art is visual, art is sensual and art can be pornography.” – Natalie Agee, sophomore environmental science and technology major.

Summer Brown, sophomore theater, dance and performance studies major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)
Summer Brown, sophomore theater, dance and performance studies major. (Julia Keane/Bloc Photographer)

“In my opinion, I think pornography is an art. I think it’s important when thinking about whether or not taboo or controversial things like that are an art form or not. I think you have to take out your cultural biases and the stigma that comes with it just because of society or what not. You have to actually think of what the definition of art is. I think that it fits. But you have to make sure all parties are of mutual consent. I think that it can be considered art. Comparing it a regular film, you’re paying to see people feel or see some sort of emotion. It’s essentially the same thing, the same principle. When you see a film, or when you see a very sad film or a very happy film, you’re emotionally stimulated. Pornography stimulates you in a different way, but at the end of the day it’s essentially the same thing.” – Summer Brown, sophomore theater, dance and performance studies major.

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Julia Keane is a sophomore environmental science and policy major and can be reached at julia@ckweb.com.

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