On September 30 and October 1 2005 the first academic conference on netporn was held in Amsterdam. It was organized by the Institute of Network Cultures, Katrien Jacobs and Matteo Pasquinelli.

On the website you will find information about all of the speakers that attended, essays and interviews.


Introduction by Katrien Jacobs

The Art and Politics of Netporn was the first major international conference on netporn criticism. It presented multiple perspectives on our growing immersion in pornographic web-based media. A second aim of the conference was to discuss the potential of art and critical research in times of heightened information surveillance, filtering and censorship. The selected research presentations and art projects regard netporn as complex networks, with impact and growth, just as industries and/or indie media operations. Conference presenters addressed the ‘schizo’ climate of hype and censorship, focusing on the ethics and aesthetics of digital media environments and (female and male) activities such as blogging, webcamming, chatting, p2p porn, live journals, confession boards, mailing lists and zines.

A growing number of theoretical and historical porn studies have appeared over the last decades, yet few have focused on porn within digital media environments. Based on the many submissions we have received from scholars and artists, we came up with five conference themes. Each of the themes were represented by a mixture of scholarly research and art/media/industry presentations. Keynote speakers did include Mark Dery, Mikita Brottman, and Susanna Paasonen who analyzed cultural obsessions with the ‘sexual grotesque,’ ‘phantom pedophilia’ and the political discourses of porn spam. A larger open debate was hosted by Albert Benschop on the various facets of information filtering and censorship.

The conference speaks to the concerns of a wider public. Netporn and its critics, the pro-porn/anti-porn wars, fluctuating economic business strategies and nation-state politics, Internet governance models and filtering devices –all these aspects of netporn economy and history are affecting our everyday ways of sensing and understanding media and sexuality. We have opened the doors to views by those interested in art, scholarship, technology, industry, and debate as ‘refreshment’.

Netporn English Press Release
Netporn Nederlands Persbericht

The Art and Politics of Netporn was supported by:
Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam
special thanks to Emilie Randoe

ASCA: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis
special thanks to Eloe Kingma and Jan Simons

Cut-Up Magazine
special thanks to Bas van Heur and Theo Ploeg