Beth Stephens is an interdisciplinary artist, activist and a professor at UC Santa Cruz. Her visual and performance work has explored themes of the body, queerness, and feminism for over 25 years. She has exhibited and performed in many museums, galleries and theaters across the US and Europe, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Vortex in Austin, PS1 in New York City, the Museo Reina Sophia in Madrid, Spain and the Muesum Kunstpalast in Dusseldorf, Germany.
SexEcology is the current focus of Stephens’ research. Stephens and her partner Annie Sprinkle coined the term and have been developing this new field of research over the course of their twelve-year collaboration. They shift the metaphor of Earth as mother, to Earth as lover, to inspire others to engage in a more mutual relationship with nature and with each other. By injecting sensual pleasure, humor, and absurdity into otherwise seemingly impossibly situations, Stephens and Sprinkle engage the unexpected to encourage us to slow down the alarming speed of our lives. By extension Stephens hopes that this “slowing down” will increase awareness around the current rate of ecological devastation and enable humans to engage the complexity of changing habits in order to create a more viable means of human and non-human survival in the future.
During the summer 2013, Stephens completed a documentary feature film, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, currently showing at film festivals nationally and internationally. This film will be the Practice as Research component for her degree. It juxtaposes mountain top removal coal mining in Appalachia with ecosexuality as a means of calling for an end to the destruction of the mountains. It is currently being distributed by Kino Lorber and bookings are being made by Alive Mind Cinema. GauleyMountain.com
Other recent collaborative projects with Annie Sprinkle, include their theater piece, Earthy; An Ecosex Boot Camp, with support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, UCSC and the National Queer Cultural Festival. Beth and Annie’s newest project, Here Come the EcoSexuals! will be happening this summer. Sprinkle and Stephens will head up the first ecosexual contingent in the San Francsico Pride Parade on June 28th, and promote the idea of adding an E to the GLBTQI moniker. All Earth lovers are welcome to join.
Here Come the Ecosexuals! A Walking Tour Performance
With Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle and their scouts
Directed by Joy Brooke Fairfield
1 ½ to 2 hours–Rain or shine!
Meet us at our sparkly blue ‘Pollination Pod’ and we’ll guide you on a wondrous journey around the IONS grounds. The adventure begins with Ecosex Orientation, then we’ll locate our E-spots (ecosexy spots) and explore ways to make love to the Earth through our senses. Local environmental issues will be brought into the open and drama will ensue. The show will culminate with a special water toast. By the end of the walking tour you’ll have the ‘ecosexual gaze’ and you might discover that you are an ecosexual too! For details see www.theEcosexuals.org.