Cam girl setups inform cheeky Digital Muses project wall decorations
Designers Giorgio Gasco and Gianmaria Della Ratta have created a range of decorative stucco moldings inspired by the interior design of rented chat rooms used by cam girls.
The Digital Muses collection consists of eight plaster wall pieces featuring such items as cherubs, dolphins and vibrators, which the designers spotted in chat rooms used by cam girls who put on live sex shows via video streaming in exchange for money.
The collection, which is based on research and interviews with cam girls, was presented at Galerie Lecq in Rotterdam and as part of this year’s virtual edition of Dutch Design Week (DDW).
The designers, both graduates of Design Academy Eindhoven, discussed the collection during a Dezeen panel discussion exploring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on privacy.
“The physical spaces have been affected a lot by the coronavirus crisis but on the contrary, the virtual space has been amplified and strengthened,” said Della Ratta during the conference.
“So digital media are now part of our daily lives and especially in this situation, we can neither live nor work without. So, as designers, we felt the need to explore this universe, understand it and use it for design purposes. “
Through Digital muses, Gasco and Della Ratta discovered that scenography is a key part of the work of cam girls.
“This girl, in particular, told me that she tries to dress to suit the room [she is in]”Gasco said at the conference. She then described pairing her outfit with her backdrop as” an essential part of the job “as it has a noticeable effect on the viewer.
As a result, a whole industry has sprung up to help cam girls create the right mood, with YouTube channels dedicated to tutorials on how to get the right lighting and set design. There are also cam studios available for hire, which come equipped with a range of different backdrops and professional streaming technology.
Gasco and Della ratta identified a distinct visual language in these backdrops, consolidating tech elements such as bright electroluminescent (EL) wires and keyboards with the tactility of cushions and blankets and soft, feminine colors like baby blue, pink and purple.
“It’s very interesting to see how they create their own identity,” Gasco said.
“Our goal is to elevate this aesthetic universe of digital content because we see great artistic value in these scenarios. We then try to extrapolate certain symbols, we extrapolate the language, even the dress code that they use and try to ‘fit into a design piece. “
In a playful reversal of how our real lives became mediated by webcams during the pandemic, the duo took this design aesthetic that was developed for the virtual world and transplanted it into real, tangible objects.
To do this, they relied on traditional plaster reliefs, used since Antiquity to immortalize symbols and entire scenes of architecture.
“The stucco is very decorative but also a narrative element and we wanted to use this powerful aesthetic and storytelling in combination with the world of the cam girl, which challenges the concept of intimacy and sexuality,” said Della Ratta.
“So our stucco pieces are not only pieces of decoration or furnishings but also pieces of narration, of this digital movement which [has its own] symbols, messages and stories. “
Traditionally cast in plaster and marble powder, the stucco is shaped to suggest different sex toys like a ball gag, which is embedded in a circular mandala.
Another piece features an abstract swirling pattern, created by replicating and multiplying the sinuous shape of the Love – a vibrator which has become more and more popular in the camming scene because it can be controlled remotely by viewers through an app.
However, other pieces in the collection are based on a cuter and more feminine iconography, from cheeky cherubs to rainbows and dolphins, with the aim of moving away from too stereotypical and singular representations of the workers of the sex.
Likewise, cam girls’ use of tactile fabrics is echoed in a piece called Furry20, which mirrors the fur blankets and pillow they often lean on to soften a space and nod to wigs they use for cosplay sessions.
Each of the all-white reliefs is also adorned with a wire covered with a phosphor electroluminescent coating which, as the name suggests, emits a soft glow when connected to power.
These EL threads are widely used by game streamers who use them to pimp their computers, but they have also become popular among cam girls as extremely online way to add ambient lighting to their backgrounds.
The live roundtable was part of a series of streaming discussions as part of this year’s Dezeen x DDW collaboration.
In their talk, Gasco and Ratta discussed workplace privacy with Sabine Marcelis and Li Edelkoort while other talks focused on privacy and data as well as our relationship with nature and the products we use every day.
Dutch Design Week 2020 took place online from October 17-25, with Dezeen as a media partner. For details on other architecture and design events, visit the Dezeen Events Guide.