Porn or Abstract Animation? (NSFW?)

All Luciano Foglia wanted to do was create an animation app exploring the “visual geometry containing the non-explicit description of sexual organs or activity.” Apple rejected it from their App Store on these grounds:

Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected. We found that many audiences would find your app concept objectionable, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

Foglia’s piece suggests the power of abstraction in art. When placed in a certain sequence, even the simplest marriage of form and color can be considered “objectionable” and “crude.” Mason Gentry on Vimeo suggested a way for Foglia to extend his experiment:

“I think you should make it slightly more abstract, then resubmit the app. And if it gets rejected again, make it even more abstract. Continue the process until we have a definitive example of what Apple thinks is and isn’t porn.”


  • Joe

    I don’t get the point of this. Of course it’s crude, it’s cartoon porn. Who cares if it’s really simplified, it’s still 100% obvious what it’s supposed to be; I don’t know any serious artist that would even call this “abstract.”

    • http://www.cartoonbrew.com/author/amid amid

      What is it supposed to be? All I see are some abstract geometric shapes moving around. Any crudeness you perceive is your mind’s interpretation of those shapes in motion, because there’s nothing inherently dirty about the images themselves.

      • Nate

        This hardly seems abstract. It’s cubism and simplified shapes. Clearly meant to represent genitals, breasts and sexual interaction.

        I wouldn’t call it offensive or pornographic, but it is definitely crude and sexual.

      • Recent Grad

        Sexual does not mean crude. I find it a fascinating sexual art piece, but as an app, would not spend money on it because it seems like it wouldn’t be very “fun”. I appreciate the art though, and the idea behind it is wonderful.

        How is cubism not a form of abstraction by the way?

        I think the brilliance of this piece is that it simplifies the act of sex so much, and yet still gets pretty strong reactions out of people.

      • Carl Russo

        “I think the brilliance of this piece is that it simplifies the act of sex so much, and yet still gets pretty strong reactions out of people.”

        Bingo!

      • TheBandSnapsBack

        “I don’t know much about psych’analysis, but I’d say dis is a dirty pitcha.”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiYjwRZK_NM

      • Azz

        this highlights the ridiculous nature of how sexuality is treated in our current era – the fact that all forms of sexuality are crude, please people grow up and embrace your sexual self, it’s not unnatural

  • Svend Göran

    Mason Gentry’s suggestion reminds me a bit of Sorites paradox. Quite interesting project…

  • Mapache

    I wouldn’t call that abstraction. Synthesis would describe this better. There’s a difference.

    Tho this may be made out of geometric shapes, is still a figurative kind of image. Nothing is suggested, no matter how simplified those images are.

  • GeneRasputinHole

    doesn’t abstract by definition generally mean that it is non-representational? As long as the simple shapes are intended to represent something specific, and the intended image is conveyed successfully to the viewer, it’s not truly abstract, is it?

    • http://www.cartoonbrew.com/author/amid amid

      There is no absolute in abstract art; it exists on a continuum. The video above is more abstract than, say, this piece of artwork, but the latter is also abstract compared to filmed acts of sexual activity, which is itself an abstraction of real life.

      Also, what is representational to one viewer may appear abstract to another, which further complicates the discussion. To use the most obvious example, if you showed Foglia’s video to a three-year-old, he would not have the proper contextual frame to interpret the images in the same way you did, thus it would appear to be abstract art to him whereas you might see it as representational.

      • GeneRasputinHole

        oh, I know abstract art comes in varying degrees. but saying something is abstract and saying it is an abstraction is not the same thing. and yes, a 3-year old probably would get this video, but then that’s probably not his target audience, is it?
        there are 2 points that are relevant that he (and apparently you) are not addressing.

        1.) this art is intended to represent specific things
        2.) most viewer who see this will understand what that intended thing is

        So, while it may not be so explicit as to show every wrinkle, pore and follicle, it is still just as much a representational drawing as any school kid’s drawing of penises, boobs or butts on the chalkboard- just as abstract and just as inappropriate *under apple’s rules*. I’m not calling for banning or censorship or anything like that. He has a right to freedom of expression/speech/press just like anyone. But if Apple doesn’t want to sell the app, that’s their prerogative too.

      • GeneRasputinHole

        meant to say, *yes, a 3-year old would *NOT* get this video.

    • The Gee

      “… it’s not truly abstract, is it?”

      Not entirely abstract.

      I see what you mean and I tend to agree.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, folks, I need to set up a blog to complain about how Random House rejected my manuscript for my novel.

      Sure, the manuscript is written in chickenscratch on the back of lottery tickets and was sent in a shoebox. It is a fine looking shoebox though.

      But, man, the nerve of them rejecting the possibility of publishing my hilarious, kind of vague, novel. I can’t let go of the dismay of being shut down by The Man!

      So:

      To the public, I will take my complaint and publicize my plight (and my wicked, sly sense of humor).I’ve been censored by a business, not a government, a business. Never fear, you all will know more about the despair when the link to the blog is passed about. That’ll show that big, bad publisher not to send ME a rejection letter!

      Jumpin’ Jiminiy, the ignominy!

  • uncle wayne

    Hmmmmmmmm. 8 billions things that ARE “offensive” …that ARE allowed!? Don’t get it!

  • Old Man Father Time

    I suppose the hundreds upon hundreds of bad adult-content apps I found available for the iPhone don’t count.

  • Skip

    Amid, the program is called “Geometric Porn App. Because of the name of the application, I associated the video with pornography before I even watched it. If it were called something like “Fun with abstract geometric shapes”, I would have had to have at least waited till I watched the video to make that association. I suppose you could say that in a way the name of the application used anticipation to enforce my association of what I’m seeing.

    • Carl Russo

      To be honest, I’d gloss right over “Fun with Abstract Geometric Shapes” and stop at “Geometric Porn App.”

  • akira

    when will pencil sharpeners be rated “M”?

    • GeneRasputinHole

      maybe they should put an nc-17 warning on electrical plugs and cables; and esp. those nasty male-female adaptors…

  • TheDirtyVicar

    As a diabetic, I object to the implication of lollipops.

  • Ursaring93

    He should rename to something more agreeable like Geometric Erotica or Suggestive Geometry (or anything that doesn’t have the word “porn” in it) and re-submit. I don’t if that will work for sure, but it worth a shot.

  • http://soundcloud.com/3ax3yth 3ax3yth

    Obviously sexually suggestive. Tight apple ass.

  • http://twitter.com/zorkinian Zork

    Eh, I guess it’s better than the He-Man porn that’s been posted here.

  • Briker Ed

    I love how people are all like “oh it’s completely abstract and if it’s porn you see it’s your own mind’s fault” when the app itself is called Geometric Porn. After a title like that I sure as hell am going to think about, oh I don’t know, chairs maybe?

    It’s rather a stylisation of porn, than an abstraction. The stylisation and animation, although a good one, is very direct in making it clear what the shapes and motions are about. ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 had pornographic programs that were even less graphically suggestive, yet it was clear what they were about.

    On the other hand, whenever someone mentions suggestive imagery of pornography, I tend to think about Bjork’s video for Pagan Poetry for that “omg did she or did she not put porn in her vid” feeling that makes you replay it once more to make sure what you’ve seen.

  • http://909pop.com Mike Scott

    I think intention here is pretty clear. Still, its great. How little is needed to convey the message. I’d be interested to see how far he can deconstruct it. 2 balls bumping against each other – alright? A finger being put into a ring the other hand makes, over and over – still ok? MTV had something similar once, a short ad, but with a jackhammer, pistons, mechanical stuff – was pretty clear what the intention was, and unsettling too, but it straddled the line a little more with less direct imagery.

  • Kevin

    The app is fake, the it’s a nice little short film.