Document (#40843)

Author
Keilty, P.
Title
Carnal Indexing
Source
Knowledge organization. 44(2017) no.4, S.265-272
Year
2017
Abstract
While online pornography's unusual indexes may look disorderly, in fact, they evidence the process by which viewers and algorithms interact to arrange digital materials stored in databases of amateur pornography. These arrangements take shape according to patterns of browsing that serve as algorithmic data for the continuous process of organizing sexual representations. Porn sites and search engines offer a false impression of electronic metadata's accessibility and expanse. Indexing requires discernible metadata in order to make database retrieval effective. Images are available to viewers through the negotiation of an elaborate schema in which categories of sexual desire are produced through the sequencing of fixed subject positions always defined in relation to each other. This essay will consider both sides of that organizational process. First, I will examine how the carnal aspects of browsing pornography online create a conjoined relation between subject and object in our embodied engagements with intermediating technology. Second, I will explain how this carnal activity informs this arrangement, through algorithms, of online pornographic images. Doing so reveals that pornographic video hosting services are not merely repositories for content. Instead, their visual and technical design highlights and privileges the conjoined and dynamic relations between body, machine, and representation.

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