Screen Shots

Sex and filth on the Internet? Show us more!

THE AUTHOR'S NAME—or rather, her cyber–pen name—gives you an idea as to the subject of her photo book, webAffairs (Eighteen Publications, $40). Artist "Show-n-tell" collects the mostly anonymous webcam photos and chat-room transcripts she gathered by contacting various (mostly male) lonely souls. The pixilated images and poor typing are surprisingly revealing, sometimes shocking, with a can't-look-away quality. Accordingly, we decided a chat-room encounter was best for reviewing the book, a dialogue between writers Heather Logue (HugBug) and Rachel Shimp (Luv2Lurk). Luv2Lurk: hey, want 2 private? HugBug: uh huh, good 2 c u! L2L: good to c u 2. OMG I need to talk to u about Show-n-tell's new book, webAffairs (what a crappy name). have u seen it? HB: yeah, kinda interesting, but the cover's ugly—looks like a textbook!!! L2L: not for any class I ever took!! So she spent FOUR YEARS spying on people in chat rooms, taking pictures and recording conversations. Is that legal? HB: yup, there's a clause when u download the chat software that allows it, and it's also reprinted in her book. L2L: and she never reveals her name either—it's interesting that it allows her to do so much. do u think some readers will recognize themselves? I don't know if they'll appreciate what she's done. I get the feeling the general public will find us chat roomers creepy. HB: i know—i can't tell if she's showcasing our "perviness" or just giving a glimpse into our lives and into this culture. she never really clarifies in the book. L2L: she says her intention is to glimpse our secret lives, but the conversations she reprints aren't always particularly deep—or sexy, like people might expect. HB: yeah, she's mostly a voyeur . . . as she says, "This was a big party, with a lot of nudity, and I wanted to watch." L2L: don't we all, haha! I get where she's coming from though. why else would I be here talking to you? ;) but did u see that pseudo-intellectual essay in the middle called "dreaming bodies," by a professor in Austin? "hasten to the masks, O precarious gods! the net wakes, and the game is on." HB: i couldn't even tell you . . . i got bored cuz some of the writing is so drawn out!!! and i was distracted by the cum-shots, erections, and pixelated vaginas! lol J. L2L: yeah, it's a lot of cut-and-pasted conversations about work and boredom, mostly. lots of people just chillin' and smoking!! but as time goes on and she shows more of herself, she gets to see more of others. HB: at least the convos with her hubby were entertaining—though strange. L2L: yeah, that was weird that her husband didn't mind her having cybersex with people at all hours of the day and night, that he even wanted them to perform as a couple although he wasn't into watching. HB: look at the shit that people showed Show-n-tell in her book!!! guns, dolls, their cross-dressing fetishes . . .  L2L: and she asked to see panoramic shots of their rooms, too. usually people want to be anonymous HB: not here. some of the images she captured . . .  L2L: yeah, like one penis per page isn't enough—try 14 on a 2-pg spread!!! And some of those large images that were pixilated . . . it's a good thing they are! she's an amateur designer, so that explains why the pics and text are so weird and scattered. I did like the spread of butts though—every one is unique! It made me LMAO, so to speak J. HB: she says it's interesting to "exist where females are a rare commodity," which accurately reps the straight male chat room crowd!!! they love women visitors J. L2L: one time she touches her thigh, and watches as wave after wave of men come into the room, jerk off, and leave. HB: at least there were a couple people in the book who made the chat rooms look less creepy—like Philth and Lucious who seem fully in love (from a distance) . . . and fully clothed J. L2L: so do u think Show-n-tell succeeded? will anyone but us read this, or is it just not juicy enough to be outright porno? HB: people will be interested because they can learn vicariously through Show-n-tell. and it's not all sex. i think a few real friendships can develop in the cyberworld. L2L: yeah, like her friend mr clean—he was my favorite. when he stayed up all night singing songs to her that her dad sang when she was a child . . . it seemed very sweet. HB: but did they talk again after that? L2L: i don't know. i guess people just want that connection sometimes, however brief or intangible.

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