Faith Holland | Portfolio Categories GIFs
Website of multimedia artist Faith Holland.
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We touch things all day. Ordinarily, we touch a variety of things: subway poles, hands, someone else’s sweater. But after Coronavirus, touch contracted, from smooth glass screens to slightly textured keys and back, with, if we’re lucky, some fur and skin in between. These GIFs look at the particular kind of touch we were forced to practice in 2020.


The Most Beautiful Dick Pics of All Time

The Most Beautiful Dick Pics of All Time transforms oft-maligned dick pics into beautiful aesthetic experiences. These penises are divorced from the body and its human gender signifiers, and are recontextualized among bubbles, flowers, and decorative pattern designs. Stripped bare, seen both hard and soft, the Dicks are stripped of their phallic power and are instead made vulnerable–and perhaps as a cause of that, beautiful. The Dicks take inspiration from contemporary artists who have addressed the body (sometimes penises specifically) such as Dan Graham, Carol Rama, Andy Warhol, and Busby Berkeley.

The Dicks were installed on Pornhub for Hard/Soft at TRANSFER. Click here to launch the ‘online viewing room.’


Wire Bath

Wire Bath, a video and GIF triptych, is a fetishistic performance in which I enact my fantasy of being in a bathtub full of ethernet cords. The cords entwine my body and peek out of the water like tentacles from the ocean. As more and more of our technologies are ‘wireless’ and we continue to use the cloud as the dominant metaphor for understanding the internet, I re-connect with the physical cables used to transfer data. The tub becomes a miniature model of cyberspace and repositions the cloud underwater, where much of the physical infrastructure of the internet does in fact exist. I embed myself in this cybertub and the cables and I wash and relax together.


The Fetishes

The Fetishes are hybrid GIF-sculptures that use different consumer devices, such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops as their bases. Each device plays a moving-image abstraction of flesh that has been appropriated from pornography. The screen of the device is treated with a tactile substance such as pubic hair, fur, makeup, or lubricant. The Fetishes highlight the physical way we interact with our devices–caressing, prodding, and cradling them all day long. They are installed on top of a commercial counter display that contains working materials (makeup, wires, faux fur), highlighting the tension between the objects’ statuses as both commodities and life partners.

installation photos by Walter Wlodarczyk


Body Devices

Body Devices addresses both the sexualization and bodily maintenance aspects of our most personal devices. Each GIF is of a different device displaying zoomed-in, abstracted swatches of skin appropriated from pornography. The devices are then activated by disembodied hands and objects—fingers zooming, scrolling, caressing; also makeup brushes applying powder, ambiguous droplets appearing on the screen, etc. Just as the body is a site for multiple uses, so are our technologies. We share our lives with our laptop, cell phone, and/or tablet; they provide us with pleasure and in exchange we offer care.


Dirty Blingees

Dirty Blingees were originally made for Lorna Mills’ La Petite Mort du Blingee, in response to Blingee’s impending-but-thwarted shutdown. The Blingees are created from by-products of my research in pornography and from user based submissions for the Ookie Canvases series, which are composed entirely of cum shots. The found imagery is recycled and given a new aesthetic life by being adorned with Blingee’s vast collection of stamps and sparkles.


Visual Orgasms

Filmic media has put pressure on sex to be visually consumable. Actors perform for a camera and an audience, for maximum visibility rather than pleasure. As a result, pornography is often brightly lit, performed in “unnatural” poses, and, most infamously, ejaculation almost always occurs externally as if to prove that some gratification was attained.


Hollywood, too, has faced this problem of visualization but for the opposite reason: restraint and censorship. After the Hays Code was put into place in 1930, sex could only ever be implied, never depicted. Thus, a close-up of a kiss might dissolve into two characters smoking cigarettes or, on the campier end, a train going through a tunnel or fireworks being set off. Although the Hays Code was abandoned in the late 1960s, its legacy left a stylistic mark.


Visual Orgasms exaggerates this mandate to ‘make-visible’ by creating excessive moving image collages that depict metaphors for orgasm with no actual depiction of sex.


Chelsea Manning Fan Art

Chelsea Manning Fan Art was made as a response to a prompt Carla Gannis and Justin Petropoulos for their exhibition <legend></legend> at Transfer Gallery. For their exhibition, they asked two sets of visual artists and writers to pair up and collaborate like they do. I was paired with writer Sara Jane Stoner. This work was made shortly after Chelsea Manning had been sentenced and she publicly announced that she wanted to transition to a woman. The sentencing was devastating and then a public debate that ensued after her announcement—which news source would use what pronoun, what would happen to the Wikipedia article, etc. These GIFs are based on that research as well as heavily relying on the Adrian Lamo chat log, from which I quote heavily.