While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
In a world where faster is commonly construed as better, the Long Now Foundation stands out in the stream of convenience-store consciousness, fostering patience with majestic undertakings such as the 10,000 Year Clock and the Rosetta Project (already the biggest collection of linguistic data on the Net). To raise money and further cultivate long-view optimism, the foundation presents regular seminars on everything from the potential of "free culture" embedded in Wikipedia's design to the thousand-year-old legacy of Balinese rice-growing cooperatives. This month's lecture by Jon Ippolito and Joline Blais attempts to redefine art in the language of the electronic frontier by placing culture jammers such as the Yes Men in the company of online artists such as Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries and JODI. According to Blais and Ippolito's book, At the Edge of Art, computer games, digital art, artificial intelligence, and hacktivism not only meet and shatter the old criteria for art, they may serve as a social antibody -- perverting code, arresting normal operations, revealing latent meaning, and executing new instruction for more than our computers.
Fri., Dec. 14, 7 p.m., 2007