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Veil Machine in collaboration with Kink Out
Error 404 page from Veil Machines self-destructing sex worker artist event.
Current location
New York, NY
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2020, Rapid Response Fellow
Thea Luce, Cléo Ouyang, Empress Wu

Veil Machine is a sex worker art collective exploring: intimacy through lies, authenticity through commodification, and the digital as the real.

Rapid Response Project: Phase I

Veil Machine consists of Thea Luce, Cléo Ouyang, and Empress Wu, who have created a new form of digital riot to challenge SESTA/FOSTA and EARN IT, laws in 2020 that have threatened the safety of sex workers and free speech online. In Phase I, Veil Machine engineered a self-destructing protest platform, E-Viction, which was a virtual hub for sex workers, artists, clients, and allies partaking in a virtual arthouse/whore gallery.

Visit the E-Viction archive here

Rapid Response Project: Phase II

Veil Machine & Kink Out in collaboration to produce Body of Workers. Body of Workers is a private gallery created by and for sex worker artists. BoW intends to serve as an art sanctuary for sex workers, an act of resilience against the gentrification of the internet, and a peepshow to the art patron.

Read more about the Veil Machine & Kink Out’s collaboration here.

About Collaborators

Thea Luce (Veil Machine), she/her

Cléo Ouyang (Veil Machine), she/her

Cléo Ouyang (formerly Niko Flux) is a persona born through sex work, destined to make art. She explores intergenerational lineages, queer surreality, and subterranean other selves. She is the co-founder of Veil Machine, an ongoing collaboration that relational and intimate art practice to explore problems of power, erotics, and identity in sex/art work. Her work has appeared at Leslie Lohman Museum (2019), Chinatown Soup (2018), and Wild Embeddings (2018). She performs with the sex worker art collective Stigma Unbound. Her curatorial debut was Blood Money (2018).

Empress Wu (Veil Machine), she/her

Empress Wu is the chaos-for-pay alter ego of MJ Tom, an NYC-based artist and creative producer interested in investigating alternative modes of kinship available via sex work, queer s/m, and digital landscapes. In addition to Veil Machine, she organizes events and exhibitions for Kink Out and Red Canary Song. She and her work have been featured at the Leslie Lohman Museum, MoMA PS1, and the Performa Biennial. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

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