Since the 19th century, technology has been used as a way to experience sexual pleasure. Mechanical, hydraulics, steam, and electricity have all powered the “personal massagers” that appeared in the appliance section of department stores and catalogues. Changes in technology create changes in vibrator materials, power-sources and design; vibrators reflect an era’s technology as well as its pop-culture. This is as true today as the past; current vibrators reflect the digital age. Although the appliances photographed are now antiques, they were once an example of that era’s technology.
This project would not have been possible without the generous cooperation of the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Lindsey Beal is a photo-based artist in Providence, Rhode Island where she teaches at AS220 and Rhode Island College. She has an M.F.A. in Photography from the University of Iowa and completed a Certificate in Book Arts at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book.
Her work focuses on historical and contemporary women’s lives and feminism. She combines traditional photography (analogue, digital and historical processes) with installation and sculpture to create non-traditional photographic work, trying to find a balance between concept and craft. This work often includes papermaking, printmaking and artist books.
Her work has been shown at national universities and galleries and is included in various public and private collections. She recently received an Honorable Mention for emerging American photographers by the Magenta Foundation.
She is represented by Boston's Panopticon Gallery.