Daryn Parker, vice president of CamSoda, an adult platform for live webcams, told the New York Times that in March of this year, the site experienced a 37% increase in new “webcam model” applications when compared to last year. Meanwhile, Bella French, co-founder and CEO of ManyVids, reported a 69% increase — data that corresponds to an even greater number of visitors (which have doubled according to CamSoda).
Dedicating an extensive report to the world of erotic chat rooms, the American newspaper has analyzed the humanistic and economic aspects of a profession that lacks regulation and protection.
Giorgio Gasco and Gianmaria Della Ratta, meanwhile, have attempted to look at the phenomenon of camming through the lens of a designer. Their journey began with a reading of the domestic universe of camgirls to arrive at the elaboration of Digital Muses, a family of decorative stuccos presented at Rotterdam’s Galerie Lecq during the virtual Dutch Design Week 2020.
Between the initial analyses and the final product is a sociological analysis exploring the “culture of the bedroom” — the place where young adults develop their identity and, as they grow, evolve to embrace subcultures from the real and virtual world.
In this sense, the real and yet extremely virtual bedrooms from which the camgirls perform deserve a study that goes beyond the superficial and stereotypical ideas marking this particular world. And design, it seems, plays a central role in that realm: “This one girl, in particular, told me that she tries to dress according to the room,” explained Gasco during a live panel held by Dezeen in occasion of the DDW 2020, in which the two designers discussed intimacy and space together with Li Edelkoort and Sabine Marcelis. The relationship between clothes and backgrounds is one of the most important elements of the job — that which convinces viewers to “enter” one room rather than another in a matter of seconds. These are the elements that have given life to a visual language articulated in hues of pink and violet, LED lights, pillows, veils and curtains, capitonné headboards, leathers, furs and feathers: a theatrically feminine narration, somewhere between a massage center and a teen’s bedroom.
Furniture in the camgirls’ rooms are elements that provide authenticity to a space conceived for the fixed eye of a webcam — choreographies to be inhabited with the body in favor of a fixed point of view, dividing the space in two defined zones: that inside and that outside the visual field.
Analyzing the rooms of these camgirls, interviewing them, and extrapolating symbols, languages, environments, and behaviors from them, the designers established eight decorative wall elements in plaster with elements like cherubs, dolphins and vibrators. A traditional language like that of the bas-relief, which has long been used in architecture with a strong symbolic significance, becomes the bearer of new formal, aesthetic, and visual stimuli. Pieces of the narration for a digital movement that are profoundly real, with their stories, their messages, and their symbols.