unpublished slide lecture, The Centre For Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 1996
developed from material from the in-development book project The Body Horrible
Clara Rockmore playing the theremin (c.1966); Jimmy Page playing the theremin (1973)


A total degendering and/or transgendering of the body necessitates an indiscriminate identification with the abject morphology of the body corporate and incorporate. Everything must be ready to penetrate, envelop and evaginate.

The colon and its sphincter musculature is the gateway to this bodily dimension - where body parts become body holes, and vice versa. Rather than dwell on its scatological and excremental design and effects, the colon is the epicentre of the body's collapse between that which is internal and that which is external. It fluidly shifts and shapes in a flux between positive and negative space.

The colonic figure and its moebius spawn populate our everyday culture. As analytic and investigative culture renders facile and impotent any sexuality by the promotion of objects (particularly the penile and the phallic), popular culture swells with an overload of colonic images which suggest that the fluid still reigns, that the body is still far from the solid, and that objects reveal themselves through the space they inhabit rather than through their apparent form.


1. Possibly connect this to notions of group sex based on cause & effect (the orgasmic chain reaction).

2. The Pygmalion myth - man breathing life into the clay figurine.


1. Refer to earlier notions about violence being at base the occupancy of space and the forceful displacement of negative space.

2.Negative space versus positive space.
a/ The penis as divining rod; the head as brain - as sensory controller
b/ The flexible colon
c/ Excretion (the act - not the object of excrement)
d/ Bisexual/hermaphroditic worms
e/ Colonoscopies
f/ Talking through your arse
g/ Bullet tampons
h/ Rimming
i/ The muscular link between the sphincter & the penile shaft
j/ Rendering computer graphic forms - using any dynamic movement to 'fill in' a pre-designed skeletal structure: making life forms by 'filling in' moulds

3. Discuss different trajectories of displacements in the confusion of the sex act - ie. various potential trajectories can be triggered -
(a) physical violence - force & pressure
(b) morphological harmony - form & fit
(c) dimensional exploration - movement & space.
All the above can be related to how body parts collide, mutate, blend, fuse, interact.

Space: totality

1. Clara Rockmoore & theremin

Play opening track - talk about nature of theremin and its 'music of the air' which in fact is music conducted through and by the body. Note Rockmoore's ability & extreme sensitivity to perform the instrument. Contrast this against Jimmy Page's use of it on WHOLE LOTTA LOVE. Discuss relation between the theremin's oscillator tone (grounded) & Page's feedback (overloaded)

2. Sound

Sound is the energization of space. Something moves in a space: it displaces the atmosphere by the thing's occupancy of that space. In its wake, the thing creates a negative space: a vacuum where the thing once was, but which is now filled by displaced atmosphere. Further to this, every object, thing, surface, texture of any molecular density shudders and quivers in response to all movement of all things responding to the original thing that moved. Sound is the eventfullness that reconfigures everything into jello, into vibrating masses energized by simply being in the same space where movement occurs. We as listeners also shudder and quiver, from our liver to our temples to our knee bones to our chest to our eardrums. All record the shivering change of space as a series of atmospheric/molecular waves of expansion and contraction; of outward pushes followed by inward sucks of air.

Gall Force (1989); Elvis Presley (1956)

3. GALL FORCE impregnation

When the male monster liquefies itself, floods a corridor space and envelops a woman as a monstrous method of impregnation (right down to birthing her from an unspecified hole), the woman is experiencing the a hyper-tactile sense of space. Just as sound makes all space quiver, this blob replaces all space with its quivering self. The scene is an apt visualization of how atmosphere can be rendered tactile despite its invisibility (as in air) or its transparency (as in water).

4. Men's hip swivelling & Women's hip dislocation

Elvis is barred from swivelling his hips on TV because his pelvic thrusts fuck the body of air around him. That air he pushes away from him in the TV studio is then transmitted into the ether and transmitted directly into the space of America's lougerooms, where in the whole family has to make room for his phantom dick. The TV stations who barred Elvis from the waist down were not stupid. They knew the power of the penis when it is used to occupy space in the act of thrusting. Male pelvic construction is designed like an uncanny sex machine to thrust up and inward. Female pelvic construction repels the initial shock wave 9 months later, thrusting down and out to expel the baby. The space between the sex act and the birth action are macrocosmically aligned to the smallest sound wave which pushes air forward and sucks air back.

Boxing; The Entity (1981)

5. Dildos & boxing

Vibrations - a mix of the sonic and the physical - can be used as sensual stimuli for both men and women. But whereas a woman, for example, can employ a vibrator against her body, focusing small vibrations at a high rate concentrated at a small surface area of her flesh, men grotesquely amplify this into something like boxing. In boxing, men are stimulated by massive vibrations at a much slower rate (one shock wave every 3 seconds or so) which rack their whole body. The effect is ultimately the same - a rush, a surge, a wave of energy - at the same ratio formula, but at different degrees of intensity. For women, tactility can be directed inwardly; for men, tactility has to attack them.


Scene where main rape occurs. The invisible man marks his presence through pressure - not mere tactility. Her body renders his force through a landscape of bruises and pressured points.

Space: territory

Baseball; British Airways (1983)

1. Sport

A man stands holding a ball. He wants to throw the ball in the air to some other point. He plots the balls trajectory in his mind, then uses brain-muscle-bone interfacing to execute the action. The ball follows his imagined flight; its trajectory draws an energy line that records the propulsion and expulsion of the ball. The ball is never separate from the man - it is always the tail end of the recoding process of the energy line. Its invisibility is of no consequence; but its territorialization of the space with its invisible energy line is of prime importance. The ball in flight is part ejaculation, part birthing of a son: see that ball soaring high in the sky? that's me; that's my seed; that's my son. Go, boy, go! People who dislike sport cannot see what sports lovers see: a mass of phantom energy lines which record the projectile journeys of men. For sports lovers specifically and men generally, all space carries the potential for marking - the potential for being traversed, entered, penetrated, ruptured.

2. Beams of energy in anime

In much Japanese animation, energy lines are visualized as streams of light, beams of energy and concentric circles and bubbles of explosive power.

3. The internet

The internet as a chart of ejaculation, like the British airway image & the Overfiend image of white lines covering the globe. Another instance of territory governed by urinary dispersion under the guise of phantom power wielded by sperm ejaculation (seeding & reaping the crop, etc.).

4. Urine

There is a thin line between sperm/ejaculation and urine/urination. In the COLDIE beer ad, an ominous factory comes to life to make beer and shower mankind. The factory is a body-machine, forged and maintained, building pressure until all energy erupts uncontrollably to produce the liquid life force. The history of consumptives directed at men is based on a confusion between urination & ejaculation - between a steaming release of residual liquefied energy and a chilled intake of liquid energy. The COLDIE ad is almost indistinguishable from the NUTRA GRAIN cereal ad and its fetishization of the iron man. Both feature energy build-ups (the sensory erection) which explode (the cum shot). In reality, ejaculation can never be controlled. In pornography, the cum shot is mere evidence that someone came, but usually the event is haphazard, awkward and remarkably undynamic. Men can 'cum' better with any other part of their body than their penis, hence the encyclopedia of sexual sublimation which drives men. At the base of men is a sublime confusion between urinating and ejaculating.

Erection: the act

US Air Guitar Championships (2017); Nemesis (1992)

1. Public indecent exposure

Seeing guy wanking off at passing car in public - literally fucking the whole world. The space, the air, into which he fucks is the abstract carrier of his action, with the penis being the agent of the action. It follows that if the action is an urge or a compulsion, than it becomes possibly irrelevant into what the penis is inserted.

2. Air-guitars & air-penis

3. The urban landscape of skyscrapers

4. Horripilation

Reference the original HORRALITY article & the notion of 'erect hair' being related to adrenalin rushes.


An erect eyeball!

Erection: the form

Bodybuilding; Universal Soldier (1992)

1. Swelling of body parts

Erection - think of the various body parts whose general structural shape becomes erect, eg. hair, nipples, lips, labials, anus. Mostly, they change shape & morph due to an engorging of blood - a swelling of intensity as blood is pumped to the body zone being triggered at that point in time. The rush of blood is the primary fluid flow which precedes secretion. The general yet vague notion of 'erection' is itself phallocentric: it severs the penile in an attempt to prove its central power to manifestations of sexuality and the maintenance of sex. Anything can become erect.

2. Muscular tensing

Body builders achieve total body erection by the rendering of the penile across their skin - stretching their form so that veins are brought to the surface, ready to have the internal fluid lines of lifeblood erupt and spurt in an ejaculative orgy. The body builder is an inverse vampire: he/she makes their body ripe, full, voluminous, vital.

3. Vampires

Vampires could be posited as devourers of the internal: they are erotically invoked by internal proceedings. To them, the body of a victim is visually the encasing of the internal fluids whose rush is transformed to a gush directly into their mouths. This is the precise sexuality of the vampire - a being who connects to and thrives on internal life.


Final battle scene.

The Womb: disclosed

Soccer; Henry Moore Reclining Figure (1938)

1. Soccer

Men kick the ball across a territorialized terrain. Each man is a sperm cell, wanting to thrust his sperm head into the surface of the egg, to penetrate the skin of the egg. That surface is the net - a membranous tissue which captures a holds (via lodged scores) the successful sperm head. This success is displaced into the uterine shell which is the stadium - covered with humans who - thus triggered - now function as tactile surface tissue, highly sensitive to the contraction and expansion of the egg's membranous net.

2. Henry Moore

Moore's depiction of women is in perfect line with most modernist male artists and their closest brethren, serial sex murderers. Moore's sculpture depict women's core life zones as vacant space: his walrus-like figures spill themselves onto podia like frozen insides of a larva lamp. The fluid shape is rendered hard, tough, fixed. The vacant spaces are body holes where wombs should be. He excavates their internals, the end-result of his pursuit of form. Many sex murderers gut their victims in similar playful ways, creatively reshaping, reforming, re-inventing the external and internal body. Either Moore & his ilk are guilty of this impulse, or sex murderers are artistic for acting on this impulse. (Further reading THE BLOOD OF JACKSON POLLOCK & THE CORPSE OF MODERNISM.)

3. Women throwing clay

What is the attraction clay holds for women? Is it an invented domestic lifestyle cliche or is there something else at stake? Picture the spinning wheel; picture the blob of wet earth centred as the circular planar lines rotate and ground the lump in place through centrifugal force. Now picture the slow shaping of the form upward in a waving, spiralling, circling motion. The shape changes its dynamics, the result of pressure placed against it by hands, and held together by the concentric dynamo of the spinning disc. Now turn the whole thing upside down. We are not in Hades, where all that is unholy is reversed: we have warped from the dimension of women - thousands of them with mud on their faces, scarves tying back their hair, and hot cups of Maxwell house coffee nearby - into the dimension of men.

4. Men throwing stones in water

In this diminuendo of men - thousands of them with sweat on their brow, vague warrior affectations connoted by their hair cuts, and cold tins of Fosters Light nearby - they all stand by a big pond. And into the pond they throw stones. Again and again and again. They are drawn to the still water not to see their reflection (they're all ugly, and besides, they all think they're gods despite their looks) but because the water is undisturbed. Still. Virgin. They want to fuck it. They want to stick their dick in it because it's there. They impregnate the water's stillness by throwing stones in. The stones sink to the bottom, pushing the water mass out of the stones' descending trajectory in a waving, spiralling, circling motion. This is the negative spatialization of the woman's erective form. Her shape is positive and internally energized by the spinning disc; his shape is negative and externally energizes the water in a series of expanding & contracting rings.

The Womb: disembodied

Fight! Iczer One (1985); obesity


A young woman from a female-only planet is engaged as a fighter to control a robotic giant exo-skeleton which requires her to operate it using the psychic energy of a school girl. The school girl is held in a proto-embyonic state, floating in a fluid womb which telepathically control's the external robot's mechanisms, which in turn are maintained and navigated by the extraterrestrial woman. Such scenes serve to visualize consciousness as a centralized organ floating in liquid - like the brain in saline, the embryo in amniotic fluid, the human in water. Centring, grounding, floating are all ways in which one can become one with oneself. When one dislocates oneself from all external stimuli, one then attains equilibrium. The impulse to immerse oneself is only laterally a 'return to the womb'. More directly, it is the freeing of oneself from gravity, air, sound; the negation of the surface of one's skin as the connecting tissue to the external world, for if you can decrease your sense of external touch - such as what happens when you are immersed in water - then your sense of tactility is spread evenly between your outer and inner states. Under such a controlled environment, you do not return to a womb: you become one.

2. Hi-tech modern car ads

Cars in such ads are governed by key consistent principles: (a) the driver is not visible; (b) the production/design/creation of the car is not evident (ie. the car just 'happens'; and (c) the motion and space of the travelling vehicle is displaced from its reality (ie. it cruises as if there is neither ground nor gravity). This is because cars are wombic modules: they create a sense of motion while staying still; (b) they displace all audio-visual experience into secondary and filtered perceptual domains (things flash by in silence, etc.); and (c) a low frequency rumble replicates the uterine sensurround of body noise in which we acoustically bathe for numerous months prior to becoming ariated and oxidized by the outside world. For these reasons of solitary comfort, cars will continue until the planet is destroyed.

3. Obesity

The body as it own dimension of self-serving tactility - ie. one's very density becomes the sole and exclusive means by which one measures contact with all other space and dimensionality. The role of fat in the body - the layering and lining between organs, muscles and so on - is replicated as an outer social soft-shell. The internal body becomes a womb by being enclosed within a fat lining.


Teen girls' bodies encased in hysterical exo-skeletons designed to increase their power. Their womanhood is encased within man-made power forms, remaking them as transsexual machines. They are re-wombed by man-made machinic apparel.

5. STARGATE preparations for probe

Just like the stone the goes into the pond - or the body of Ed Harris descending to oceanic depths in THE ABYSS, or the body of any number of cinematic astronauts becoming lost in space as their life-line is severed - all dissective/trajectorial lines of entry are based on probing that which does not reveal its depths. What's inside a girl? Call up your probe. What's on the ocean floor? Call up your probe. What's behind a vertical liquid wall? Call up your probe. All these probes of course are remote sensory mechanisms. If only a man's dick had eyes he could tell what's inside a girl. For now, soundings and scopic needles will have to do. The trick is to keep the body whole and together while you do the probe - otherwise you're conducting mere forensic analysis. All dimensional exploration is dick-oriented. Less attention should be spent on the what and who of the dick, and more focus given to the where. Not who has a dick, but where does the dick go.

The Colon: positive

1. STARGATE opening

The liquid colon - the fluid membrane between any two spaces; the dimensional barrier between any two dimensions. The swaying of physical and architectural laws. (Note architecture as the metaphorical language of stasis and solidity - hence its fixation on the skeletal and its covering. Note the broad social distinction between the male architect and the female interior designer.)

2. CORNFLAKES bungee jump

Guy drops his colon on death trip through the giant colon of life. By eating cornflakes, he becomes excrement - a regurgitation of himself. He is both whole and part; both an external form and an internal body; both outside of himself & inside himself.

3. Steam locomotion trains

The Colon: negative

Stargate (1994)

1. STARGATE dimensional journey

2. Plastic extrusion

Morphology: internal

Jean Arp - Sculpture Surréalisme (1933); Ghost (1990)

1. Hans Arp

Inside out sculptures - the external form is actually the covering to an invisible form, internally held in place by the outer form.

2. GHOST clay scene

Scene where Swayzee humps Moore while she makes a clay jug. The soon-to-be invisible man transmits tactility to the physical woman. He gets her to shape his penile shaft so that she externally experiences the internal sensation. In doing so, her hands shape a form that is both internal & external: it is a rendering of the penile as well as a casting of the colon. She is effectively evaginating the penis, hollowing it out. In the sex act, internal & external fuse as space becomes form and form becomes space.

3. Fist-fucking

There are 2 ways to view fist-fucking. One is as an act of invisibility, a sleight of hand (ie. where did it go?). The other is as an act of transmogrification, wherein the hand/arm becomes an engorged penile shaft & head which in turn becomes a physical materialization of the colonic path. This becoming - this occupancy of internal space - is neither hetero, bi or homo-sexual: it is polysexual, ambisexual and transsexual. It - like most penetrative sex acts - is driven be an impulse to be encased, enclosed, embodied.


Final fight scene

3. Sex change operations

In male-to-female operations - blithely referred to as 'cut & tucks' - the penile shaft is split in two, then the two sides are wedged apart, trimmed, then shaped into split vaginal lips. The testicles are removed. This design literally turns the phallic inside-out, right down to attempting to have the nerves within the penis be redistributed within the new pseudo-labial lips so that tactility can be reinterpreted as pseudo-orogenous sensation.

Morphology: external

Plastic surgery; Koyaanisqatsi (1983)

1. Plastic surgery

The free-form (literally) transmogrification of body parts, wherein any body part can be part of or the whole of itself and/or another body part in whole or part. Stretches of buttock skin can become forehead flesh, replacing scarred tissue with fresh surface. Slices of low-usage back muscle can be excerpted and placed wherever muscular action is required. Bits of bone and cartilage - held in place by mere genetic patterning - can be realigned to suggest a new internal structure. The body's internal structure and external covering can be viewed as the potential for the becoming of any other body. One's shape therefore becomes megamorphic: a shaped container of possible variations of the container's shape.

2. Sex parts and sexes

Gender difference - be it angels, cabbage patch pumpkins, drugs or chromosomes, it doesn't matter - is the execution of a particular option of sexual engendering. A girl? The biomorph contains a thin tunnelling path which leads to two embedded ovaries. A boy? The biomorph emits a thin protruding rod with leads to two testicles. You want a girl instead? turn the rod and testicles inside out. You want a boy instead of a girl? turn the path and ovaries inside out. One is the reverse image of he other; each is the positive of the other's negative; each is the cast of the other's mold, which is the mold of the other's cast, ad infinitum. Sexual difference is meaningless in the face of this morphological flux, wherein there is no lack, no surplus, and only the shaping of and by one's opposite.

3 . BIG CLIT magazine & SM testicle video

4 . KOYAANISQATSI time lapse traffic

Time lapse photography which reveals the city to be an urban heart, with traffic as the corpuscles of blood flowing along the highway veins, linking the city centre via arterials.

5 . Boys squashing bugs

Text © Philip Brophy. Images © respective copyright holders.