Beyond The Helms Of The Sensors

Andy Fabo and Michael Balser

1992, 30:00 minutes, colour, English


Beyond The Helms Of The Sensors is constructed around several appropriated source images (from public and gay archives that showed men in traditional masculininst environments such as fishing boats, lumber camps, the armed forces, etc.) which involved highly charged sexual situations. Performers, cultural critics and artists are interviewed, reflecting on the nature, politics and aesthetic of pornography. They also respond to the fact that they are participating in a video of this experimental / physical / psychological nature. Scene development (involving sexual content while avoiding exploitative situations) happens simultaneously to the performances and interviews.

Made up of a suite of "pornographic" vignettes, each focusses on a specific aspect of the physical senses. The vignettes are poetic and elliptical (although highly erotically charged), presenting expository narratives that illuminate the ways each particular sense contributes to the theatre of eroticism and sexuality in our minds. The video was constructed in an experimental process without the constraints of a narrative shooting script; creating images and sounds as they were required to tell the story of post modern gay male life and to represent the sense and nonsense of male stereotyping.

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Critical Writing

After AIDS: Michael Balser and Andy Fabo's "Stamina"
by Darien Taylor. Fuse, Apr. 1999, v. 23, no. 1.
Pornutopian Premises, Positive Practices: Michael Balser's Video...
by David McIntosh. Fuse, 1995, v. 18, no. 5.
Video Art without fear
by Carolyn Bennett. EYE WEEKLY, Jan. 13, 1994.
Technique Serves Content in Trinity video Collection
by Cameron Bailey. Now, Jan. 13, 1994, v. 13, no. 20.