Pinky the Elephant in The Forest of the Future
I was invited to perform as part of an event called The Forest of the Future, a party/environment/happening that brought together a group of queer, kinky people in a fantastical environment of trees glitter rope and light. I talked about the ways in which certain artists have made possibilites happen in the minds of others by creating pieces of fetish equipment or spaces for fantasy. The example I used was Pinky The Elephant, a fursuit that a friend had lent me to explore plushification. Pinky is a bondage suit, that effectively turned me into a large mute blindfolded stuffed animal once I was secured inside of them. After telling the story of Pinky’s making and how my friend came to own them, I set up a portable record player, opened a box of my 45 records and with the assistance of a friend, disappeared into Pinky. For the next hour I sat still on stage, serving as an object to be cuddled, petted or ignored by the party goers while they played records or chatted. At the end of that time, the friend helped me out of Pinky and I returned to being one partier among the rest. It’s always a relief to have a role at parties – a place to put the social anxiety. Inside of Pinky it was hot, dark and impossible to tell who was interacting with me at any point. I didn’t have to worry about “performing”. Everyone has a favorite stuffed toy growing up. What if you could be that toy? What do you think about the maker of that toy? And what if the things you made were of service to other people’s desires? And who will write the histories, the catalogs raisonne of all the sex toy makers, the whip crafters, the maskers, the artists whose work has never been displayed in galleries but has lived in the hands of kinky people everywhere. I was another notch in Pinky’s bedpost that night, and the teller of their story.
The Forest of the Future has its own story, not mine to tell, but it was an event that I hold close to my heart. Thanks to everyone who worked to make it happen.