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  • Date
    10 JULY 2023
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    Monday Spotlight

    Exploring the Interplay of Digital and Natural Pleasure in conversation with Jesu Moratiel

    Welcome to this week Monday Spotlight with digital artist Jesu Moratiel, where we delve into the intriguing intersection of human desires and concerns in the contemporary world, and how we relate and consume ourselves in the realm of art, technology and pleasure.

    In our digital age, where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, our desires and concerns have taken on new dimensions. Jesu Moratiel's work dives into the complexities of these themes, exploring the boundaries of pleasure, both natural and digital.

    One of Moratiel's captivating projects, the Pornhub Interface artwork, raises thought-provoking questions about the impact of AI on our experiences of pleasure and orgasm. By intertwining technology with the realm of intimacy, the artist prompts us to question how our digital interactions shape our desires and impact our physical world.

    The inspiration behind the Pornhub Interface artwork project is as intriguing as the questions it raises. Moratiel's exploration stemmed from a deep fascination with the evolving relationship between humans and technology. By exploring the realm of pleasure and orgasm, the artist sought to challenge societal norms and provoke discussions around the impact of technology on our intimate experiences.

    Through the Pornhub Interface project, Jesu Moratiel invites us to contemplate the multifaceted nature of pleasure and ecstasy. By examining the intersection of digital and natural experiences, the artist challenges us to confront our evolving desires and reflect upon how they are shaped by our interactions with technology.

    Enjoy below a conversation with Jesu Moratiel, as we delve deeper by exploring the artist's visions, demands, likes, and needs that emerge from digital experiences, while uncovering the intricacies of our contemporary desires and the evolving landscapes of pleasure in the digital age.

    Hello Jesu Moratiel! Your passion for nature and science is inspiring. Let's dive into the intersection of digital and Natural pleasure.  What motivated you to explore the intersection of art, nature, technology, and adult content platforms?

    Probably what motivated me to explore all those things (that apparently have no relation whatsoever) are the heightened experiences they awaken within me, and I want people to experience it if they are open to it. Adult content platforms appeal to our most animalistic, instinctive, and intimate desires. It's the digital influencing biology. In my view, excitement and curiosity have a lot in common, in that both are ways of seeking stimuli and require frequent fulfillment. That satisfaction translates into an experience that flirts with pleasure.


    Your artwork, particularly the Pornhub interface drop, has generated significant interest. Can you share the inspiration behind this specific artwork and the creative process you went through to bring it to life?

    In the series of works featuring interfaces from Pornhub, I superficially explore the relationship between ourselves, our sexuality, and the digital realm. And when I say SUPERFICIAL, I mean it quite literally because our way of relating is superficial, sterile, and consumed quickly. That's why these interfaces scroll over the surface of bodies, as if reflecting upon them. I have a special fondness for these works because, for me, they directly touch upon our desires, secrets, and hidden pleasures. They appeal to our intimate and private selves. I like to think of them as a digital aphrodisiac. They engage the viewer, as anyone can feel identified with them. They point at you and say, "If you recognize this interface, it's because you've seen yourself consuming its content, and you probably enjoy it." Many people are impacted by them; they are drawn to them, feeling that magnetism and touching upon memories of pleasurable moments. Ironically, they make others uncomfortable, ashamed even. They touch upon very human emotions. When I started this series, it was serendipitous, during the COVID pandemic. I began experimenting by overlaying textures from streaming companies onto these 3D models. Suddenly, I saw that they deliver what they promise: they represent, in a simple, fast, and unfiltered way, how we relate in the digital world: quick consumption.

    How do you perceive the relationship between natural pleasure and digital pleasure when they are intersected with AI?

    As long as there is an exciting and pleasurable experience, I don't care if it comes from natural or digital sources. The important thing is to be able to feel it. I also don't see the need to compare them. It's positive to have the possibility to draw from both sources; they coexist and feed off each other. We are sensitive beings, made to experience, and we constantly invent tools to enhance our experiences. AI is and will continue to be a very useful tool in most aspects of human life, including the pursuit of pleasure. I don't think it will change the way we experience pleasure. We will continue to release serotonin through narratives developed with AI, just as we do with the use of Photoshop or as they did in ancient Egypt with drawings on papyrus. If the question is related to Pornhub, honestly, I don't think most people give a damn about masturbating while looking at a face that doesn't exist. Many of those seen in the content today could very well be AI-generated, and they will never know if they are real or not.

    Do you think we are already experiencing digital pleasure through our social media expressions of likes and dislikes? And if so or not why?

    Social media, especially Instagram and Twitter, have gamified our reality. Literally there are gamers, there are streamers, and there are those who watch. Likes and dislikes become stats, points, and power-ups. A good number of likes make us feel great, while dislikes affect us negatively. If you add to this the excitement caused by consuming content in all its forms, you have a perfect drug that generates addiction because it provides a constant source of stimuli and sensations. The problem is that this makes it increasingly difficult to get excited or be aroused because the bar has been set very high or we become oversaturated.

    How do you envision AI impacting the porn industry, and what potential changes can we expect in terms of content creation, user experience, and personalization?

    I have no idea how the porn industry works, as it is not my field, but I believe that AI will bring speed, abundance, personalization, and, above all, a change in our current perception of what is important in terms of what is real and what is not. Fairy tales and fantasies will be blended with real-world content more than ever. And in my opinion, that is a good thing. After all, let's admit it, who would want to limit their dreams from coming true?

    Can AI truly assist in exploring and understanding human sexual desires, preferences, and needs? How can it enhance our ability to cater to individual tastes and create more fulfilling pleasure?

    Just as AI can be a useful tool for understanding aspects related to sexual desires, it can also bias and limit the type of content we consume. It's similar to cookies: they bias the content we see by selecting and limiting it to our existing interests, sometimes preventing us from discovering new content that we would never consume if not for serendipity.

    What safeguards or ethical considerations should be in place when utilising AI in the realm of organic pleasure? How can we ensure responsible use of AI technologies in this context?

    AI is like Pandora's box, as it brings forth both great possibilities and significant dangers. While I am not an expert in the field, I find the ethical and moral barriers, as well as the associated risks, quite apparent. One peril lies in the improper use of real people's images without their prior consent, such as through face morphing technology. It is unlikely that anyone would appreciate seeing their face in a pornographic film without consent or compensation. Another concern is the potential for generating content that encourages criminal and abhorrent behaviors like pedophilia or abuse. Thankfully, efforts are already underway to restrict the creation of AI-generated content that compromises human dignity or targets specific individuals. Platforms like Midjourney or Mov2mov, for instance, prohibit the generation of images or videos that may offend any social group. Although these limitations may sometimes be seen as encroaching on freedom of expression, given the inherent dangers, I believe it is better to err on the side of caution rather than risk going too far.

    When seeking pleasure in the online world, are we genuinely experiencing authentic pleasure or merely seeking validation through attention and validation metrics? How can AI influence and shape our perception and pursuit of pleasure in the digital landscape?

    I believe AI can influence and shape our perception and pursuit of pleasure in the digital landscape in several ways:

    1. Personalization: AI algorithms can analyze user data and preferences to provide personalized recommendations and content tailored to individual tastes. This personalization can enhance the pleasure-seeking experience by presenting users with content that aligns with their specific interests and desires.

    2. Validation and Feedback Loops: AI-driven platforms often employ metrics such as likes, views, or follower counts, which can serve as indicators of popularity and validation. These metrics can influence users' perception of their own worth or desirability, potentially shaping their pursuit of pleasure in the digital space.

    3. Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers: AI algorithms can contribute to the creation of filter bubbles and echo chambers, where users are predominantly exposed to content that aligns with their existing beliefs and preferences. This can limit the diversity of experiences and perspectives, potentially impacting the range of pleasure-seeking opportunities.

    4. Hyper-Stimulation and Desensitization: The abundance and accessibility of online content, coupled with AI-driven personalization, can lead to hyper-stimulation and desensitization. Users may constantly seek new and more extreme stimuli to maintain the same level of pleasure, potentially impacting their overall well-being and satisfaction.

    It is important to be aware of the potential influences and effects of AI in the pursuit of pleasure in the digital landscape. Balancing personal preferences, genuine experiences, and self-awareness can help individuals navigate the digital space in a way that aligns with their values and well-being.

    Interview by Metafari

    Image courtesy Jesu Moratiel