College course has students inventing new porn genre? (Video)

College course has students inventing new porn genre? (Video)
Vidstill from Kendra Jane Sunderland's porno

A bizarre new course offered at prestigious Carnegie Mellon University is challenging students to “resist” the Internet by crafting viral content, hustling people for money and, of course, inventing a new genre of pornography.

The class, titled “Internet Resistance“ and first noticed at the Vice-spinoff Motherboard, is offered at the university’s art school by the predictably eccentric Paolo Pedercini. The site’s syllabus describes it as “both a schizo-seminar about critical issues in cyberculture and a trans-media studio course to develop terrible ideas for the networked society.”

One such critical issue in cyberculture, it seems, is Rule 34, the principle that if something exists, there is porn of it.

Students are told to “create an artifact that defines a new porn/fetish genre,” and will receive an A if it can be demonstrated that their pornography aroused someone. They will receive a C if it turns out that their “created” genre already exists. Mercifully, the syllabus clarifies that the assignment “can be approached conceptually if it makes you too uncomfortable.”

Strange pornography is only the tip of the iceberg of the course’s strange offerings. Students are also told to “find a creative way to make money on the Internet,” with their grade depending on how much money is made. Another assignment orders them to craft a viral meme, with A’s going to students who net at least 10,000 views and failing grades reserved for “viral catastrophes” such as bomb threats.

Pedercini told Motherboard that despite the odd syllabus, the course is entirely serious:

We are at a point right now where the critique of techno-utopianism/Silicon Valley ideology is not just the prerogative of a few paranoid hackers and internet critical theorists. [Artists] can work with the absurd, over-identify with the adversary, warn about troubling future trends. In a world of problem-solvers, artists have to play the role of problem-makers.

Pedercini’s serious outlook even extends to the pornography assignment:

The Rule 34 is relevant because it mirrors other internet-driven trends like the extreme fragmentation of fandoms and indie music, and evokes a crucial question for a creative producer: How can I come up with something new when everything has been done?

Ironically, word of this course comes simultaneously with reports that a former Oregon State University student accused of shooting a pornographic video in an on-campus library faces as much as one year in jail and a fine of $6,250 if found guilty.

As the video below notes, 19-year-old Kendra Jane Sunderland, the model and videographer, achieved virality when her porno was picked up by a popular pornography site. Does she at least get commuter credit from Carnegie Mellon?

This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation. Howard Portnoy contributed to this report.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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