michael j. morris



On April 29 and 30, I will be premiering a new dance work entitled TOWARD BELONGING, featuring performers Phil Brown Dupont, Justin Fitch, Eve Hermann, and Counterfeit Madison. We have been developing this week since the beginning of January, and now we are mere weeks away from sharing our work with you. This new dance moves through the mechanics and formal dimensions of sociality, the physical vocabularies of how bodies are together. It examines how bodies follow one another along paths that are straight or along trajectories that veer queerly, how they fall in line and out of step, how they carry one another along and are moved by what other people do, how they gather and separate.

Here are the details for the performances:
choreography: Michael J. Morris
performance: Phil Brown Dupont, Justin Fitch, Eve Hermann, and Counterfeit Madison

-Wednesday, April 29, the Sullivant Hall Barnett Theatre, 8pm
-Thursday, April 30, Sullivant Hall Studio 290, 8pm
Sullivant Hall is located on the OSU campus at 1813 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio.
This event is FREE and open to the public.

Please enter from the front (east) entrance facing N. High Street. Other entrances to the building may be locked after hours.
The Barnett Theatre is on the third floor, just off the rotunda.
Studio 290 is on the second floor, in the north-west corner of the building. Follow the second floor north corridor.

Sullivant Hall has an elevator to the second and third floors, located just off the rotunda.
The seating in Barnett Theatre is folding chairs on risers, with floor space for additional adjustable seating.
The seating in Studio 290 is folding chairs and floor seating.
Please contact me at morris(dot)787(at)buckeyemail(dot)osu(dot)edu if you have any questions about access or have particular access needs.

You can RSVP on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1411144869192127/


LINES OF FLIGHT: a screening of new queer porn



Bringing together the work of award-winning queer porn directors and performers, LINES OF FLIGHT will offer a glimpse of porn being made at the leading edges of culture. Each film presents a unique view of sexuality, sex, and gender, inviting viewers to consider sex—and its presentation—in new ways, to encounter desires that might be unfamiliar, to see things they have maybe never seen, and to expand their view of what is hot.

The screening will include four scenes curated by Michael J. Morris:
-“Going Here,” starring Jiz Lee and Lyric Seal, from Wet Dreams, directed by Courtney Trouble
-“Workout Voyeur,” starring James Darling and Damien Moreau, directed by James Darling for FTM Fucker, shot and edited by Isabel Dresler
-Jack Hammer and Jessie Sparkles, directed by Shine Louise Houston for Heavenly Spire
-Chelsea Poe and Courtney Trouble, from the feature length FUCKING MYSTIC, directed by Courtney Trouble and produced by Chelsea Poe

An open conversation will follow the screening, providing an opportunity for public dialogue about porn, sex, sexuality, gender, desire, pleasure, fantasy, power, bodies, or whatever else comes up.

February 28, 6-8pm at Feverhead (1199 Goodale Blvd, Columbus, OH, 43212)
FREE and open to the public
Donations invited to help rent the space
18+ event

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1395677790737026/


-Jack Hammer and Jessie Sparkles for Heavenly Spire: http://www.pinklabel.tv/on-demand/?scene=jack-hammer-and-jessie-sparkles
“Heavenly Spire focuses on masculine beauty and sexuality, and how it manifests on different bodies, in a unique cinematic style. Directed by Shine Louise Houston.”

FUCKING MYSTIC: http://courtneytrouble.com/the-fucking-mystic-trailer-debut/
Fucking Mystic is a narrative pornographic film about a small town girl who moves to the Bay Area and finds she has a profoundly erotic effect on her new surroundings. Directed by Courtney Trouble, this film is a true collaboration, with Ajapop as the Director of Photography and Chelsea Poe as Executive Producer and headlining star.”

-“Going Here” with Jiz Lee and Lyric Seal: http://courtneytrouble.com/lyric-seal-jiz-lee-going-here/
“What if we could turn places of trauma into places of pleasure? In Going Here, Lyric and Jiz explore the edges of danger, public sex, experimentation, and lust. This exclusive excerpt from Courtney Trouble’s upcoming film Wet Dreams is about letting our fantasies take over all else.”
Jiz Lee on “Going Here”: http://jizlee.com/wet-dreams-courtney-trouble-films-going-here-jiz-lee-and-lyric-seal/

-“Workout Voyeur” with James Darling and Damien Moreau for FTM Fucker, shot and edited by Isabel Dresler: http://ftmfucker.com/2014/06/11/damien-moreau-and-james-darling/
“Damien Moreau watches his neighbor James go on a run outside. As James runs past his window, Damien finds himself lost deep in a fantasy … FTM FUCKER is owned, operated and directed by award winning FTM porn star James Darling. FTM FUCKER seeks to create an environment where trans men’s sexualities and bodies are celebrated in a respectful & affirming way.”

-Courtney Trouble: http://courtneytrouble.com/awards-and-notables/
-Shine Louise Houston: http://shinelouisehouston.com
-James Darling: https://twitter.com/jamesdarlingxxx
-Jiz Lee: http://jizlee.com/bio/
-Lyric Seal: http://lyricsealsucks.tumblr.com
-Chelsea Poe: https://twitter.com/chelseapoe666
-Jack Hammer: https://twitter.com/jackhammerxl
-Jessie Sparkles: https://twitter.com/jessiesparklesx
-Damien Moreau: http://ohdamienmoreau.tumblr.com

-Michael J. Morris: http://michaeljmorris.weebly.com


becoming emma, becoming imperceptible

On Saturday, March 29, 2014, I had the honor to perform in the Ohio Burlypicks Regional Burlesque and Variety Performance Competition, presented by Viva Valezz! and Burlesque Bitch. It was an exceptional night with performances by some of the most talented burlesque performers in the region.
I performed my piece Becoming Emma, Becoming Imperceptible. Below are some photographs taken by Blackhawk Photos.

IMG_4786 IMG_4793 IMG_4797 IMG_4803 IMG_4809 IMG_4813 IMG_4817 IMG_4819 IMG_4821 IMG_4824 IMG_4832 IMG_4837 IMG_4838


24 June, 2013, 10:51 pm
Filed under: art, Dance | Tags: ,

These are just a few stills from a photoshoot I did recently with Ric Petry for a piece he is exhibiting later this summer. The final piece will involve a video incorporated into a blown glass sculptural object. I’ll post more info about the exhibit when it becomes available, but I was really pleased with these stills from the shoot:



warming up

warming up: a queer porn screening and conversation

warming up: a queer porn screening and conversation at FEVERHEAD
saturday, february 25, 2012
18+ age limit
suggested donation $2-5

Join us for a queer porn screening presenting work by directors Shine Louise Houston, Courtney Trouble, and Madison Young, introduced and facilitated by Michael J. Morris. If we consider pornography to be an archive of human sexual behavior, queer porn makes important social contributions by giving representation to bodies, sexualities, and sex that go otherwise unacknowledged and often disavowed within our society’s mainstream cultural productions. In a society in which bodies/people are identified by markers such as gender, sex, and sexuality; in which rights and value are mediated on the bases of these identifications; and in which media—including pornography—plays significant roles in shaping our perceptions of both ourselves and of others: the production and screening of this material takes on substantial social and political dimensions. We invite you to come enjoy a sampling of sexy scenes by award-winning filmmakers and performers, to take part in dialogue about the social and cultural relevance of this work, and to consider pornography as a productive site of knowledge in addition to its erotic functions.

We will be screening scenes from Shine Louise Houston’s HeavenlySpire.com, Courtney Trouble’s Roulette: Toronto, and Madison Young’s Fluid: Men Redefining Sexuality; with performances by James Darling, Quinn Valentine, Jiz Lee, Drew Deveaux, River Turner, Tommy Midas, Rose, and Devi Lynne.

For more information, contact Michael at morris.787@osu.edu
Michael J. Morris is a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Associate in the Department of Dance at the Ohio State University, doing research in the areas of performance, sexuality, and queer theories of the body.

This event is made possible through the support of CoCo Loupe, FEVERHEAD, and Queer Behavior; and the generous permissions of Shine Louis Houston and Pink and White Productions, Courtney Trouble, Madison Young, and Good Releasing.

RSVP on the facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/210505295702709/

Trailers/More Info:
HeavenlySpire.com with James Darling and Quinn Valentine: http://www.heavenlyspire.com/wordpress/james-darling-and-quinn-valentine/
Courtney Trouble’s Roulette: Toronto: http://courtneytrouble.com/dvds/roulette-toronto/
Fluid: Men Redefining Sexualityhttp://goodreleasing.com/fluid-men-redefining-sexuality/


We Were When They Started, and We Were After They Had Gone

This morning, Westboro Baptist Church picketed on the campus of the Ohio State University. I have chosen not to offer any hyperlinks to WBC’s sites, or to offer any photos of their protests or transcriptions of their rhetoric; I have chosen to not reproduce or proliferate what I categorize as hate speech/rhetoric. I think it is enough for the purposes of this post to summarize that WBC considers homosexuality to be “soul-damning” and asserts that the “sanction” of homosexuality in the United States (and around the world) has exposed our country to wrath of god. The Ohio State University is apparently also complicit in this “sanction,” making it a target for these radical protests.

Last week, a colleague of mine named Owen David told me that WBC would be on our campus again. He suggested that we stage some sort of performance response to their presence at OSU. I agreed; while I rarely engage overtly in public protests, it felt important to me to oppose the presence and sanction of these voices in the place I call home. Over the past week, the idea for the performance evolved and developed, settling into its final form this morning. We decided to engage in a walking meditation on intersecting pathways, converging nearby where WBC would be protesting. WBC was set up on the corner of High Street and 12th Avenue. Owen started approximately 100 feet west of the intersection on 12th, and I started approximately 100 feet south on High. Our plan was to take twenty-five minutes to walk from our starting positions to our convergence point only a few feet from where WBC were positioned, hopefully finishing our walks around the time that the protest dissipated. Instead, our walks took over an hour. We started when they started, and long after they had gone, we were still progressing. This transformed the situation of the performance, and in doing so provided me with unforeseen significance for what it was we were doing.
This performance/performative protest was intended as a quiet assertion of the visibility and mobility of bodies that would be prohibited under the politics of WBC. It was important that we were not responding in the same social registers as those deployed by WBC (signs, loud music, etc.). Our response was articulated through silence, sustained mobility, concentration, and contemplation. By the end of our walks, several other themes had emerged for me: endurance was significant, not only in the sense of the bodily endurance necessary to take over an hour to walk close to 100 feet, but also in the sense that our presence/action endured/persisted far beyond the presence/action of those to whom we were responding. I was also deeply aware of how my understanding of visibility had shifted by the end of the performance.

It is worth taking a moment to reflect on the overall context in which we enacted this performance/practice. WBC protesters were not the only bodies present on the corner of 12th and High. In fact, the crowd of counter-protesters dramatically outnumbered the small but vocal WBC crowd. There was also a large police presence on the scene, some officers spread around the periphery of what felt like a rally, but most establishing a line of protection around the protesters from WBC. The crowd that had gathered in opposition was exemplary of the productive force of power, and the unforeseeable/uncontrollable effects of political action. The hate rhetoric of WBC became a foundation for unlikely alliances: those who showed up to oppose the homophobic rhetoric occupied space alongside thus who showed up out of a sense of school spirit, opposing the anti-OSU rhetoric deployed by WBC, as well as those who showed up out of a sense of national patriotism, to defend the country and the military against the attacks issued by WBC. This church opposes the nation and the university, claiming that both institutions enable homosexuality, and that this enabling marks this nation for destruction. However, these attacks produced unlikely results, namely, provoking a response that allied bodies/individuals alongside homosexuals who might not otherwise occupy such a position. Witnessing this was a great reward.

When we started, I immediately felt as if I had conjured myself as invisible. My quiet, slow progression down the sidewalk seemed to vanish alongside the noise and commotion of the protesters on the corner. This was a difficult place to begin: I had come to this place this morning to assert my visibility, my mobility, and at the start it seemed as if my action had effectively erased my presence from the situation. However, the longer I walked, the more those who passed by me in either direction took notice of my presence. Several people spoke to me. One person asked my permission to photograph my walk for his photography course. Others simply stared or observed from a distance or became aware of me as an unexpected obstacle in their path. In this sense, what I had conceived of as an assertion of visibility became something more akin to a journey from invisibility into the very visibility I had intended to assert.

However, this experience of visibility became most important—and significantly reoriented—towards the end of the walk. The crowd had dissipated. WBC had left the corner, and it was once again a seemingly neutral thoroughfare. That was when I became aware of my awareness of Owen. He had been at the periphery of my vision throughout the walk, and although he was far off and through the crowd, I recognized him. As we approached one another in the last few minutes of our walk, I realized that this sustained recognition may have in fact been the vital practice of this performance. I kept thinking of this passage from a lecture by Judith Butler:
“So what I accept is the following: Freedom does not come from me or from you; it can and does happen as a relation between us or, indeed, among us. So this is not a matter of finding the human dignity within each person, but rather of understanding the human as a relational and social being, one whose action depends upon equality and articulates the principle of equality … No human can be human alone. And no human can be human without acting in concert with others and on conditions of equality … The claim of equality is not only spoken or written, but is made precisely when bodies appear together or, rather, when, through their action, they bring the space of appearance into being.”
I had shown up to assert my visibility; what I came to realize over the hour of our walk was that it was actually through this performance/practice that I truly “showed up,” came to appear, came to be visible, to recognize and be recognized. It was through our performance together that we conferred visibility and recognition on one another, and it was in part through the walk itself that we created the conditions for that mutual recognition. As we got closer, I noticed that our steps fell into unison. Neither was fully leading or following; rather, we were moving together. We acted “in concert” with one another, and in doing so, established our own experience and possibility for recognition. Afterwards, Owen commented that as we approached one another, he actually smelled by scent before he saw me directly. As we met, we turned towards one another, made eye contact, and then embraced. Seeing and touch became further iterations of recognizing and being recognized. It seems now that the true significance of this performance lies in this conference of recognition, specifically in the presence and aftermath of those who would erase our existences.

It seems important to me after the fact that so much of this mutual recognition was practiced at the periphery of our vision. We did not look at one another directly until we converged at the finish. This seems to me a very queer experience indeed, to not only see someone, but to recognize him, not straight-on, but obliquely, from the side, at the edge. This indirectness that might be read as a form of queerness seems to also have been implicit in our spatial pathways. We didn’t come from opposing points (a rigid binary), but neither did we presume to come from the same place (alongside one another). These variable experiences of seeing, recognizing, and approaching seem essential (if I may hazard that word choice) to what it means to move through the world queerly, and it seems important that these elements made up the primary materials of this performance.

It also seems important to recognize the inherent connection between recognition and desire, between desire and discourses of sexuality, between recognition/visibility and the political projects of civil rights, specifically those that mobilize around issues of sex, sexuality, and gender identity. I’m afraid I don’t have the time or space to fully address those connections, but my hope is that by suggesting them, I might also suggest possible extensions for today’s performance/practice.

I do not know if we were recognized as other-than-heterosexual, as queers or homosexuals moving, but what I do know is that we presented ourselves as moving through the world differently, as moving out of step with those around us. The very thing that differentiated us from those moving around us—being out of step, our slow and sustained progress, etc.—was also what established our commonality, our visibility to one another, visibility that eventually led to a synchronization of our steps.
How significant that what makes us recognized as different is not necessarily something that we are, but rather a way that we do, and that this doing is simultaneously what set us apart and brought us together . . .

Ecosex Symposium II

Today I am flying to San Francisco for an exciting week of events that relate intimately to my research. The primary purpose for the trip is the Ecosex Symposium II and Ecosexual Manifesto Art Exhibit (see flyer and press release below):


For all the information about the Symposium go to SexEcology.org

Contact: Center for Sex & Culture—415-902-2071

Love Art Lab 415-847-1323

Femina Potens Press: Malia Schaefer  HYPERLINK “mailto:feminapotenspress@gmail.com” feminapotenspress@gmail.com

Annie Sprinkle  HYPERLINK “mailto:annie@anniesprinkle.org” annie@anniesprinkle.org

Elizabeth Stephens: bethstephens@me.com

San Francisco, CA


The Ecosex Symposium II– a public forum where art meets theory meets practice meets activism—will take place June 17-19 at the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco, CA. What’s an ecosexual? Why are skinny-dipping, tree-hugging and mysophila so pleasurable? Where is the e-spot? Can the budding ecosexual movement help save the world? What is this new sexual identity and environmental activist strategy all about? These are some of the questions that will be explored. Femina Potens Gallery is producing the event in collaboration with Center for Sex & Culture.

Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., a feminist-porn-star and artist turned “SexEcologist,” and Elizabeth Stephens, a UCSC art professor and environmental activist are organizing this event. The two women explain, “as a strategy to create a more mutual and sustainable relationship with our abused and exploited planet, we are changing the metaphor from the Earth as mother, to Earth as lover.”

Sprinkle and Stephens kick off the weekend with their “Ecosex Manifesto,” an art exhibit with new collages, wedding ephemera (they married the snow in Ottawa, the moon in Los Angeles and the mountains in West Virginia), and a manifesto. They have also invited a dozen other artists to display their related works.

Ecosexual author of the seminal text, Gaia and the New Politics of Love, Serena Anderlini, Ph.D., from the University of Puerto Rico will present the keynote address. What is Ecosexual Love?:A Guide to the Arts and Joys of Amorous Inclusiveness. Good Vibration’s sexologist, Carol Queen, Ph.D., will explore The Sexology of Ecosexuality. Dr. Robert Lawrence, Ph.D. will cover ecosex fetishes. Also presenting is Madison Young, the award winning queer porn movie director and the Femina Potens Gallery director. She will cover the Greening of the Sex Industry. Artist Tania Hammidi will perform a dance piece about conflict, genocide and olive trees in the Middle East. Other presenters are artists Dylan Bolles & Sasha Hom, Amy Champ, and the legendary porn actress, Sharon Mitchell, Ph.D., who will talk about The Sensual Pleasures of Gardening. The author of the book Ecosex; Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable, Stephanie Iris Weiss will be Skyping in from New York. Erospirit Institute director, Joseph Kramer, Ph.D. will guide the group in some somatic ecosex practices. Michael J. Morris will discuss theories of ecosexuality. Amy Marsh shares how toxins ate her sex life, and performance artist Tessa Wills offers an Anal Ecology performance piece. There are twenty five scheduled presenters, and there will also be an open mic forum for attendees to share their work and ideas. Becka Shertzer’s Brazennectar and Mister Cream team up to create and serve a gourmet, “ecosexi-love-a-licious” vegan lunch.

Expected to attend the conference are artists, activists, theoreticians, nature fetishists, environmentalists, ecosex community movers and shakers and people from many other walks of life. These events are sponsored by Femina Potens Gallery in collaboration with the Center for Sex & Culture. Stephens and Sprinkle received a cultural equity grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to help make it all possible.

All the details and advanced tickets are available at SexEcology.org  The producers of these events say that their aim is to “make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse.” They’d also like to see an “E” added to GLBTQI.

Friday, June 17


ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM RECEPTION  (Everyone is invited. Free.)

All three days of events will be held at the new Center For Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission Street.  (Between 9th and 10th)

Saturday, June 18. 

ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM 11 ($35. for the whole symposium.)

10:30 AM to 10:45 PM

Sunday, June 19



The Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit will be open for public viewing for a month through July 24th. Check SexEcology.org for gallery hours.

HIGH QUALITY PRESS PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE FREE AT:  HYPERLINK “http://loveartlab.org/press-gallery.php” http://loveartlab.org/press-gallery.php


June 16, 8:00 Femina Poten’s ECOSEXUAL QUEER PORN NIGHT—Tall Tree Tambo, 776 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA

June 19 5:00-7:00  DIRTSTAR PERFORMANCES at the Tenderloin National Forest/Luggage Store, 1000 Market St., San Francisco, CA.