In 2069, corporations will rule the country. Porn stars will occupy top government positions (including the presidency), citizens will be under constant surveillance, and the national aerospace program will be dedicated to studying what it’s like “doing it” in zero gravity conditions.

Such is the vision of the future conjured by artists Ryder Ripps and Maggie West for their new project , a month-long interactive art installation in a former LA nightclub, sponsored by the eponymous adult website.

The New York-based Ripps founded the website Dump.fm and was once described by the as “the consummate Internet cool kid, as fluent in HTML and JavaScript as in the language of conceptual art.” West, an LA-based photographer, is known for intimate, neon-hued nude portraits and last year worked with SlutWalk, an annual protest against sexism.

Together, they have dreamed up a vision of the future that, while outrageous, they insist is to be taken at least somewhat seriously.

Actors April O'Neil and Chad Alva for Pornhub Nation. Photo: Maggie West. Courtesy Maggie West, Ryder Ripps, and Pornhub.

Actors April O’Neil and Chad Alva for Pornhub Nation. Photo: Maggie West. Courtesy Maggie West, Ryder Ripps, and Pornhub.

In an interview with artnet News, Ripps pointed to the enormous traffic numbers pulled in by adult websites and adult star Stormy Daniels’s status as a newsmaker to support s merger of porn and politics.

“Attention is a highly valued commodity,” says Ripps. “And porn gets a lot of attention. Pornhub is one of the most popular websites on the internet. In that respect, one could make the leap that the people who get the most attention are the most powerful people. If porn stars have everyone’s ear—or other organs—then they have their vote.”

“Every day the news is more ridiculous than the day before,” West said, echoing the sentiment. “Given the current state of things, this really doesn’t feel that far off.”

Riley Reid, President of Pornhub Nation. Photo: Maggie West. Courtesy Maggie West, Ryder Ripps, and Pornhub.

Riley Reid, President of Pornhub Nation. Photo: Maggie West. Courtesy Maggie West, Ryder Ripps, and Pornhub.

Don’t expect some kind of critique of the porn industry a la the Netflix documentary . Given that this art show is funded by Pornhub, the overall picture is not of corporate dystopia, but of an adult movie-themed semi-utopia, imagining a society where class, gender, and racial hierarchies have been abolished by the pursuit of sexual pleasure.

West is currently dating a former adult film actor, and says she hopes the project helps to demystify—and de-exoticize—the industry.

“I hope the stigma around sex work becomes less prominent,” she says. “I think it’s human nature—something is always going to be taboo. But the line is shifting in terms of what people have issues with anymore. We want to push it even further.”

A tour of the seven rooms begins in the section called the “National Gallery,” which will feature West’s portraits of the imaginary nation’s leaders, including the four presidents—porn stars Asa Akira, Riley Reid, Abella Danger, and Joanna Angel—as well as a cameo by popular social media star the Fat Jew.

Next, a mirror-lined room with security cameras and feeds from other sections of the installation acts as the home of the NSA—the “National Sexurity ASSociation.” Elsewhere is the DMV (the “Domination Masochistic Vroomvroom”—a “cross between a BDSM dungeon and a bureaucratic government office”), the NSR (National Silicon Reserve), and ASSA (the aforementioned space program).

Oh, and there’s even a virtual reality room where you can throw dildos at Harvey Weinstein while working on your finances (the IRS, naturally).

Visually, it looks like a sexed-up set from , replete with shiny visuals, neon lights, and intergalactic plants. Ripps and West cited Damien Hirst’s recent blockbuster Venice exhibition, , as a primary source of inspiration, both conceptually and aesthetically. “It will be like going through a museum of a future world,” West said.

In its effort to mainstream its image, Pornhub has in the past worked with rapper Coolio on a 2014 music video (), and courted press by purchasing a painting of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape for its offices made by aspiring social media artists the Kaplan Twins—but the LA show marks its first foray into sponsoring an art exhibition.

Asa Akira, President of Pornhub Nation. Photo: Maggie West. Courtesy Maggie West, Ryder Ripps, and Pornhub.

Asa Akira, President of Pornhub Nation. Photo: Maggie West. Courtesy Maggie West, Ryder Ripps, and Pornhub.

For those looking to dig further into the mythology of , both West and Ripps were interviewed last week by adult actress Asa Akira—who was also photographed for the show—on the adult site’s official podcast. The three discuss the controversy over Ripps’s 2014  project and get into the weeds of aesthetics, with Akira querying, “Is there even such a thing as objectively beautiful art?”

Maggie West and Ryder Ripps. Courtesy the artists.

 will be on view from July 14 through August 17, 2018.



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