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An eerie, intimate glimpse inside camgirls’ empty rooms
The environments in which people perform for an online audience prove strangely captivating in and of themselves.
Brbxoxo is named for a customary, flirty sign-off and does exactly one thing: “searches online sexcam sites and only broadcasts feeds when the performers are absent.
The result, a collaboration between Addie Wagenknecht and Pablo Garcia, makes for eerily beautiful art, steeped in the heavy atmosphere of expectation. The site may not be especially erotic, but it’s arguably more intimate.
Four feeds are visible at a time, arranged in a rectangle so as to invite comparison. A viewer comes to notice the finely graded differences between camera quality and the subtle shifting of perspective, even without a subject. Now and then, you see a camera trying to bring an empty room into focus, unsure of where to settle.
Otherwise, there is a marvelous stillness to these scenes, barring some unattended candle or a fan left on. By and large, what we see are beds and bedrooms, the rumpled sheets and home decorations we might take for granted if a semi-nude person were posing in the foreground. There’s also the odd discarded bra, or lonely stripper pole, and on at least one occasion we spotted what appeared to be a grumpy teddy bear wearing a strap-on dildo.
It’s surprising, too, how unsuitable some of these makeshift stages seem: What online sexual performer plies their trade from a folding chair or a hardwood floor? Maybe it’s time for some of these people to think about hiring a location scout. In the meantime, we’ll be here, entranced by all the nothing going on.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'