is a game about reconsidering the authority of rules, finding intimacy in a playful space, and rethinking the idea of sex-toys from a non-penetrative perspective.

J0Y5T1CK5 is still a work in progress.

J0Y5T1CK5 is a game in the sense of a participative performance conceptualized for an institutional white cube gallery context.
The work contains three elements: the installation, the sculptures, and the performance, while the performative part is the most prominent.

The performance itself divides into three stages: finding fellow players, finding consent on which body parts and which objects are allowed to participate while playing, and the actual play.

The sculptures are dildos, sex-toys made of porcelain. I frame these as dildos to emphasize that J0Y5T1CK5 is a game about bodies, about using your own and listening to those of others. This involvement of the body makes the playing way more sensual and intimate and, at the same time, vulnerably, wherefore the stage of finding consent is so important.
With the framing of these sculptures as dildos, I as well want to connect to the idea of dildos not necessarily needing to be phallic as Paul B. Preciado opened up in his "Kontrasexuelles Manifest". After multiple readings, I am not sure anymore if I got the same idea as him, but more research on the word dildo' etymology has strengthened my view. Even though the debate on this is still controversial, I go with the Italian diletto, which translates as beloved.

The dildos are made of porcelain, formed by hand or by slip-casting, and glazed with self-made glazes. This underlining of uniqueness felt necessary because the ecological value and economic value weren't transparent enough in previous playtests.

The performative part is about rules. Why do we have them and how much of use are they versus them limiting the expression and needs of those guided by them.

As the author, since I define the game rules, it feels inappropriate to do so for a game that circuits around the idea of sexual play and embracing the players' awareness of each other. Therefore it feels right to give the authority on the rules to those playing, which most likely, if done poorly, would end up in no play at all.
The score attempts to frame the view on rules as a helping option but with no need to follow if not wanted to.
This changing of authority creates an interesting tension to the established white cube gallery ruleset, which has to be overridden for this work. Not only to embrace the idea of emancipating from the hierarchy of rules but also to allow the visitors to touch and use and eventually break the sculptures.

If the players decide to follow the score of J0Y5T1CK5, it will turn out like a puzzle with bodies. Each dildo will be randomly assigned to one of the body parts consensually added to the play. Now the players have to connect all chosen dildos between each other, translating the sculptures to controllers and making gravity your challenger. Communication and awareness of the other bodies will be necessary to not make those fragile dildos fall and break.

In case all exhibited dildos are broken, the game is no longer accessible.

The work is financially supported by “Freunde und Förderer der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes e.V.”

📸 by Mario Strahl