Luciano Foglia and Geometric Porn

December 17, 2014
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Luciano Foglia and Geometric Porn

It’s kind of hard to believe just how simplistic Apple’s zero tolerance-policy is. I mean, the very phrase “Thinking outside the box” could be interpreted as alluding to something to do with sex that’s, umm, not vagina. And by ’not vagina,’ I may mean something to do with masturbation, possibly something to with ‘anal,’ which could be interpreted as a nod in the direction of ‘sodomy,’ which may mean I’m gay and probably on a mission to turn you gay, too, or failing that, help you discover your latent bisexuality. Thus, those wise movers and shakers at Apple know what to do about sex: Hang it back up inside the closet or brush it back under the carpet.

Am I ranting? Maybe it was the exhibit on Geometrics I saw recently at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. If it’s good enough for the MCA, it’s good enough for me. This connected me to a video of Luciano Foglia’s awesomely imaginative and humorous work and found out that an app of his work was banned from Apple for being too explicit.

Unfortunately, Luciano Foglia has become more famous over this issue than for his work, which is tragic. Foglia, who has studios in both London and Bologna, Italy, makes a living doing both video and neon art as well as sculpture. Foglia loves to fill his work in various media formats chock full of circles, triangles, hexagons, rhombi, rectangles and other geometric shapes and had his work rejected by Apple because of what they informed his agent was ”excessively objectionable or crude content.” In this case they were referring to an app filled with a particular kind of geometry.

Geometric Porn App Preview from Luciano Foglia on Vimeo.

Foglia describes his art this way: Geometric Porn is something abstract existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. Visual geometry containing the non-explicit description of sexual organs or activity. Arising in the mind it intends to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.”

Now I’m not going to get into some absurd editorial concerning what is pornography and what it is not. Surely it’s a reach to say Foglia is a dirty-minded individual, what with all those strategically arranged shapes and wonderfully imaginative thoughtful color choices featuring subtleties in pink you might never have thought possible. Both Foglia and I consider ‘Geometric Porn’ to clearly be abstract art which uses geometric shapes. There’s no way it should be compared or treated in the way other apps that are straight-up porn are. This art is in no way meant to pander to any kind of crude assignation. It’s clever, not sleazy, and definitely not even slightly explicit.

‘Obscenity’ under U.S. law still plagues our court systems. In our society, trumpeting rhetoric about free speech is de rigeur. But there are many restrictions on speech, including restrictions on adult or sexual images and words – or “obscene” materials. In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined ‘hard-core’ pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced… but I know it when I see it…”

Geometric Porn is something abstract existing in thought or as an idea without having a physical or concrete existence. Visual geometry containing the non-explicit description of sexual organs or activity. Arising in the mind, does it intend to stimulate something erotic?

As a private business, Apple don’t need to explain their App Store review guidelines and won’t. Yet, seriously, does an app this abstract deserve to suffer the same scrutiny as ‘real’ pornography and/or nudity that’s in-your-face explicit? Why not just give it a big ‘M for Mature’ rating.

GALLERY

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