PORNCEPTUAL – A Visual Study of Unusual Pornography

“Pornceptual presents pornography as queer, diverse and inclusive. We aim to prove that pornography can be respectful, intimate and artistic while questioning usual pornographic labels. “Can art succeed where porn fails – to actually turn us on?”

Tokyo Diaries | Photographers: Lin Zhengqi and Solène Ballesta | @pornceptual SERIES

Pornceptual was launched in 2011 by Chris Phillips while still living in Brasilia, the capital of Brasil. At first, it was an online platform intent on exploring the more artistic side of porn. Raquel Fedato, also Brazilan but from Sao Paulo, met Chris in Berlin and started working together. They organized the first Pornceptual event in the German capital at Basement, a bar at Spreewald Platz.
Their legendary parties combine techno music, art installations and fetish sex, where you might end up being part of an art piece or starring in a porn film. The parties are held in Alte Münze a stately former coin factory in Berlin. Pornceptual does not only restricts itself to a party. They are a multi-tasks community that organizes events and have an online gallery, a magazine, and a shop. The main focus is set on pornography and creating an alternative to the commercial porn industry.
Each Pornceptual party is set around a theme. Past themes include Pagan PORN, Vintage PORN, Animalistic PORN, Surrealist PORN, etc.
They have launched 3 issues of Pornceptual magazine so far. The first issue was Pornifesto, they decided to go back to the basics and invite different artists to reinterpret the meaning of pornography through art. For Fetish, the second issue, the idea was to let artists come up with their representations of unconventional fetishes. The third issue, PORN Guerrilla, was a response to times of political and social uproar.
Their online gallery includes 3 sections: Series, Get Naked and Isolation Porn where all artists can submit their erotic art.
Pornceptual has become a real phenomenon in which everyone is welcome to explore their sexuality and fantasies in the wildest forms.

Porn by Pornceptual | 3rd-year Anniversary Party | Photo by Chris Phillips

Gay45: How did the pandemic affect you; how did you continue your activity during this period?

Pornceptual: Having had all our events cancelled due to COVID, we had to come up with different ways to engage with our community if not in real life. We have always been very active on social media and this motivated us to focus more on the digital part of the project as well as its artistic aspect.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we created a project called Isolation PORN, a digital gallery created from an open brief documenting intimacy and sex during the lockdown. Later in the year, we experimented with different event formats both online and in real life. And most recently, we have been working on the 4th edition of our printed magazine. So I would say we managed to keep ourselves quite busy.

G45: I understand that a new issue of Pornceptual magazine will be released. What can you tell us about this number?

P: After having been harshly affected by the pandemic we decided to launch the fourth edition of our magazine. The title is FUCK 2020; it is a documentation of those turbulent times, using porn in response to some of the events that marked the year. It features the work of over 100 visual artists (from over 30 countries) as well as an exclusive interview with the french ballroom legend Kiddy Smile.

G45: Do you have plans for the next Pornceptual party, for when you will be allowed to organize it?

P: We hope to be able to organize smaller events during the summer but we are aware that it might take some time until we can host indoor events. Once the time comes, we have planned several changes to our concept. But this we will keep as a surprise.

G45: What other future plans do you have for Pornceptual?

P: Since events are still so uncertain, we are focusing on digital projects and investing time in the artistic side of the Pornceptual. But we also hope that we will be able to go back to hosting events soon, either performance events/exhibitions or open-airs.

G45: Describe a Pornceptual party for those who have not yet managed to get to your party.

P: Instead of describing it, we prefer when people explore it by themselves. But it’s important to point out that Pornceptual is not only about sex, it’s about sexual freedom. To get inside, you are required to have an open mind and to understand the rules about respect and consent. Once inside, you are free to experience different elements, from dancefloors to darkrooms, including installation rooms and pop-up kinos.

Aljosa Gets Naked! | Photographer: Andrea Galad | Model: Aljosha Forlinovitsch @pornceptual GET NAKED

Instagram: @pornceptual
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