Category Archives: Video

Final Cut?

kksilicone

When it comes to adding video content here on the SD blog I usually go for no frills; present the information without much flair with the goal of preserving the footage on older unstable formats like 8mm and VHS and archiving it for future generations. But sometimes there are parts that need trimmed or blurred that can’t just be removed from the finished video and I’ve sort of hit my wall with what I can do in iMovie.

So while you folks are hopefully doing something more fun, I’m reading the Final Cut Pro X Cookbook by a gentleman named Cox. Cox’s Final Cut could inspire so many juvenile jokes given the focus of our site but I’m going to take the high road and refrain.

The video that’s in editing is a ‘show & tell’ with one of Dr. Brown’s more extreme silicone clients. While most of the men who came to Brown for the procedure wanted just a little enhancement, some wanted to dramatically distort their genitals to an excessive degree, which the Doctor was happy to accommodate. The silicone could only be injected into certain types of tissue, which left the glans of the penis a ‘normal’ size in comparison to the penis and scrotum mass.

Injecting silicone into the body is extremely dangerous. I’m presenting this material for the sake of documentation and am not able to recommend any practitioners willing to perform this modification.

 

Subincision Fun

JVHS

One of the fun things about updating the SD site (or our tumblr) is the chain effect; one photo leading me to think about something else and seeing where that takes me. The header photo for the ‘ModCocks‘ article, for example, featured plaster molds of my friend J’s subincision progress, which led me to see if I could find the first VHS tape he sent me somewhere between 1996-1998.

J and I met through the UNIQUE club and began corresponding through letters and eventually video tape exchanges. He was charming; a true Gent and adventurer who was in the process of subincising himself; and thankfully he was documenting his progress with photographs, video tapes and plaster molds.

I introduced him to Shannon Larratt, who featured him several times on BME 1 2 who invited him with my recommendation to speak at the inaugural ModCon event in 1999. (his speech was on tens units as pain management during genital modification. He infamously referred to penises as ‘doodlehangers’ to avoid offending our female guests)

I believe this tape was at one time available for purchase on the old BME/Video site. I look forward to seeing if my copy is salvageable.

From his BME Interview:

J: I’d say that just because some people who cut themselves are seriously emotionally disturbed does not mean that everyone who appreciates the artistry or eroticism of genital mods is crazy. Our society is heavily oriented towards machines, and machines work great when they deal with a uniform, predictable product, including us . . . to quote a bright young Harvard graduate (whom I shall identify in just a moment),

" . . . our society tends to regard as a 'sickness' any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system, and this is plausible because when an individual doesn't fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a 'cure' for a 'sickness' and therefore as good."

In a world that seems bent on packing us all into conformist crypts because a nonconformist is a thorn in the side of educators, consumerist capitalism, and the not-really-two-party political system, a strong natural drive for individuality must find an outlet or risk madness. I believe body art provides one such outlet. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a great American philosopher born nearly 200 years ago, said, “The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” Too much of a good thing. Body art is nonconformist and it gives people a relatively safe way of acting out. The Harvard grad, by the way, was Ted Kaczynski.

Dallas Suscon 2010 recut.

In April of 2010 I found myself on a Southwest Airlines flight heading back to Philadelphia, hunched over my macbook and quickly editing this video from the Dallas Suscon for my then partner’s ‘Body Art and Modification’ class at SUNY Purchase. The class, taught by Doctor William Peace, explored historical and contemporary body modification practices and their place in society and culture. We shot the film on two starter level HD video cameras (and an iphone) and I edited it quickly in iMovie. Not exactly the best job, but… it earned her an A.

Dallas Suscon 2010 Recut
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I’ve recut the film to remove the opening/closing titles which were class specific and to increase the resolution to 1080. The songs were put in to mute out some of the background dialogue.

Allen is currently working hard on what may be the last (in it’s present format) Dallas Suscon; for more information in this year’s event, which includes a performance by Fakir Musafar and CoRE, check out Suspension.org.

1533775_440428339433945_1767188378_nThis year’s SUSCON will also feature an exclusive performance by Fakir Musafar and CoRE; tickets can be purchased at the Lakewood Theater. More information can be found at the event’s Facebook page: Flight to Spirit/Puja.

 

Silicone Injection Interview

This video has been moved to the supporter’s section.  

While he was more famous for GRS procedures and the controversy that came from his medical ethics and techniques, Dr. Ronald Brown 1 was also a well-known figure in the body modification world, thanks to his connection with Jack Yount.

Having tracked him down after hearing about the procedure he performed on Fakir Musafar (ligament cutting) Jack became a patron to Brown, arranging discrete meetups throughout the United States with willing clientele interested in getting the atypical surgical modifications that the Doctor was offering.

One of the more aesthetically shocking modifications that Brown was known for was silicone enhancement; usually of the penis and scrotum. While some patients wanted a ‘slightly bigger than average’ increase, others chose to go further, radically reshaping their genitals to the extreme- hyperbole made flesh.

The client in this video briefly explains what it’s like to have silicone in his penis.

There have been a lot of articles written on Doctor Brown; even a documentary filmed calling him the world’s worst surgeon. It’s not my intention to defend or vilify him or his technique; just to present examples of the surgeries he performed in the context of preserving that period of body modification history. There are severe health risks associated with the procedure and in 1992 The Food and Drug Administration banned direct injections of silicone.


 




 

The day of three operations: Introduction (NSFW)

Preservation is why this site exists.
Taking aging media- photographs, negatives, slides, documents and videos- and making sure that they’re preserved for posterity has been more than just rewarding- it’s been fun. Seeing old faces, hearing the voices of people long since gone from my life and being able to share them with people who care about them has been worth all of the time spent on SD over the course of the last month. With the recent addition of increased storage space I’ve been able to start actively capturing new content for archival/sharing.

tumblr_n0d52wfY7Q1town8so1_500It’s been disheartening to see the condition that some of this stuff is in. Magnetic VHS tapes have a life expectancy of 8-12 years in optimum conditions and some of these have been passed around from owner to owner for years, being played in machines that aren’t running at 100% and generally being considered as a transitory item not a piece of Bodymod history.  This update’s video comes from a 23yo VHS tape. Next week’s video update is from a 30 year old tape. I’m  torn between editing the videos to remove the damaged segments and leaving them intact with the understanding there will be parts of the video that are going to not play very well. In the case of today’s update there was no way to remove the damage without editing out Jack’s introduction; this will sort of set the tone for future updates. It’s better to have poor quality material than lose out on what makes these videos special.

This video was from one of Jack Yount’s 1991 visits to the Mexico clinic of Dr. John Ronald Brown. Dr. Brown was known in some circles as The Modification Doctor, and in others as The World’s Worst Sex Change Surgeon. Despite a horrible reputation, Brown had a large and devoted clientele from the US and Europe who would make the trip to his clinic for GRS and modification work, which often came with complications but still found clients returning for more work or to fix existing projects. While the quality of his surgical was questionable, Brown believed in what he was doing and truly felt that it was a divine mission to help affirm physically how his clients felt inside.

drbrownJack would often bring small groups of surgical devotees with him on his trips to Mexico as well as arranging with the Doctor to make house calls in his Zephyrhills, Florida home. This trip saw a eunuch having his scrotum removed, a castration, a 1lb stainless steel ball being inserted into Jack’s scrotum and finishes up with Jack having the top of his glans surgically split. The stainless steel ball implant- the third in Jack’s scrotum- ultimately caused serious complications that resulted in the amputation of his scrotum. While nothing was ever confirmed the theory was the teflon coating covering the balls cracked, causing abrasions inside of his scrotum which led to infection and ultimately gangrene.  I’ve captured the entire tape for archival but I’m not sure what level of graphic content is appropriate for this blog nor the level of interest readers have in that sort of thing. Use the comments section and let me know what you think.


Meet Merv C.


Tuesday is generally the day that I do new release videos on Sacred Debris, but I’m feeling kinda stuck on this one. I had planned to write a lot more about today’s video,  featuring a brief chat with Sailor Sid Diller and tattoo/piercing enthusiast Merv Chapman conducted by Jack Yount, but I think I’ll just let the video speak for itself.  Merv had extensively pierced nipples and genitals and was, as this clip shows, very concerned about the ‘bitches’ at airport security harassing him about his piercings; so much so that he painstakingly removes each and every piece of jewelry before flying. A pretty big undertaking considering how much jewelry he wears.

I had first seen Merv in Stefan Richter’s 1986 book TATTOO and later in prints in Jack Yount’s house. He later appeared in HIDDEN EXPOSURES 1 , most likely photographed during the visit he mentions with Stefan in this video. Hidden Exposures is long since out of print, but it’s a true gem for body modification book collectors, featuring Jack Yount, Mr. Sebastian, Merv, Isobel Varley, Genesis P-Orridge and many, many more wonderfully tattooed and pierced personalities.

Jack made these videos to be sent all over the world, connecting the body modification community no matter how remote or isolated; I’m pleased to be able to carry on Jack’s mission to keep these memories alive. In the oral tradition, I’ll share a story that Jack shared with me about Merv undergoing heart surgery. Apparently he was made aware by the surgeon that he’d have to have an incision in his chest, and he demanded that the surgeons perfectly line his tattoo back up during the suturing process or they might as well not cut him. He reckoned that he had gone through the pain of the tattoo and didn’t want to see the artist’s work disfigured!

Thanks to a donation to the Sacred Debris project of a 2tb backup drive, we’ve got quite a bit more room to capture new video and  I can start pulling over tapes now instead of relying on footage already captured. Seeing you folks get behind the project and support it really makes the worth worthwhile!

 

Notes:

  1. DE VAAR BV 1994. ISBN 90-75201-01-X

Tattooing at Sids

Short video, short update.
Sailor Sid Diller tattooing a client at his Fort Lauderdale shop.
The machine Sid is using is called a rotary-

Rotary machines use an electric motor that moves the needle up and down versus the two coil machines which uses magnetism to move the needle bar.

Rotaries have no springs contact posts or armature bars to vibrate and operate much more silently than a standard tattoo machine. Some clients feel that the stroke from a rotary is less hard than a coil machine making getting tattooed with one considerably less painful. Others, like myself, feel that tattooing hurts no matter what and that’s part of it’s charm.


377714_4397120693666_450451457_nShawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his Italian Greyhound, Bailey, and his pre’ance Julia.


Silver Anchor Video: Big Ed Fenster

Before piercing was an industry or even a community it was a scene. With ties to leather, BD/SM, swinging and kink it’s practitioners were often hobbyists-fetishists who were as likely to be getting pierced as they were to be doing it. Get togethers like Doug Malloy’s T&P parties as well as innumerable get togethers in hotels, play spaces and backrooms found piercing devotees having fun regardless of what side of the needle they were on.

Jim Ward’s GAUNTLET would change the concept of a piercer from a fetish player to a specialized career; showing someone a few tricks became an apprenticeships between mentors and students. Then came classes and intensives, seminars and instructional videos and even a yearly conference where the best and brightest in the Industry gather to share what they know to other piercers hoping to further hone their techniques.

While I think progress is always a good thing, I miss the scene days; the sexually adventurous meeting up to have a little fun, pierce each other and make videos to share with those not lucky enough to live close to other piercing and modification devotees. Sailor Sid Diller’s shop in Fort Lauderdale was a beacon to men interested in body piercing, and Sid himself was a tireless documentarian. This clip features some amateur piercing at Sid’s with Big Ed Fenster of Silver Anchor Body Jewelry.

As with most of the history videos presented here on Sacred Debris- this should not be considered a how-to, nor should the lax standards of sterility and cross contamination be encouraged.

Jack Yount- Piercing World & PFIQ

When the modification world was much smaller and technology not yet a common tool for instantaneous global  communication, trading video tapes through the mail was one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with your modified friends. For the price of a camcorder (which in the 1980s could be as much as $900) you retained a higher level of anonymity and safety; there are some of us who still get chills up our spines thinking about taking a roll of film containing a bloody subincision or castration procedure into the local drug store, having to find a connection to develop the film for fear of exposure or worse.

They brought to life- with color and sound- the modified wonders that had appeared in magazines like PFIQ, Piercing World and Body Art and allowed a community that felt alone, spread all over the world, to feel connected.

Jack Yount and Sailor Sid Diller were both passionate about corresponding with other body modification devotees, keeping their friends the world over up to date with what was going on in the scene. These tapes were snapshots of a very specific part of the early piercing community.

This one features Jack- in a rare PG rated appearance, talking about Pauline Clarke’s newly launched Piercing World Magazine, the current issue of PFIQ and a funny conversation with some South Florida auto-mechanics.


Night of 1000 Scars and the birth of Spinning Beam Suspension

[youtube=http://youtu.be/e1UtueT5qDI]

In 1998, Keith Alexander 1 organized an after party for the release of Dee Snider’s Strangeland 2 at NYC’s Webster Hall. Called Night of 1000 Scars, Keith arranged for a variety of performances including a 3 person ‘human mobile’ style suspension by Dallas  collective TSD (Traumatic Stress Discipline) 3 to tie in with the film’s theme of ritual body art.

Due to a technical error, the beams were rigged too low allowing the suspendees (Allen Falkner, Xeon and Pat Tidwell) to be able to make contact with the floor while spinning, unintentionally creating the spinning beam suspension. Other performers that night included Essie and Spidergod5, who went on to become The Lizardman who had this to say about the event:

In alot of ways, this event was a pivotal point in the current era of my life – it was after this event that I cemented my decision to leave my doctoral program and devote myself entirely to performing as both my career and way of life. This was also where I first met and became friends with TSD. – Erik Sprague

While the film ultimately had very little long term impact (Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 6%)  Night of 1000 Scars remains a turning point in the visibility of suspension in the traditional media as well as creating one of it’s most loved styles.

Video footage courtesy of Allen Falkner.