PrEP and the culture of Gay Men's health
presented by Ian Jarvis—Practicing Artist, Queer Activist and Web Developer


Presentation Outline:

PrEP is a radically new pharmaceutical recently approved by Health Canada and recommended by the World Health Organization -- a one a day pill that prevents gay men who are HIV negative from contracting the virus. It's equally effective as condoms and is equated as being as revolutionary to gay men today as the birth control pill was to women in the 1960's. The fact is gay men no longer need to use condoms or be afraid of contracting HIV. How does this play out in gay male culture and what is the backlash towards the men who are embracing their sexuality without the constant fear of death and disease looming in the background? This talk will examine the important role that cultural projects like the online Hamilton based Polari Project plays in shaping of gay men's psycho-social relationships to healthcare, drugs and the body. We'll look at both current and historically roles that artists and cultural producers have played in shaping harm reduction models. We'll delve deep into the present day often hidden technological, hybrid memes and pharmacological realities of gay men's sex lives. Exploring everything from chemsex to hook-up apps and barebacking, we'll be presented with revolutionary methodologies of how gay men can switch rebellious fantasies into empowering realities.

*Must be 18 years or older to attend. This presentation contains sexually explicit material.


About the Speaker Ian Jarvis:

Ian Jarvis is a graduate of the Ontario Collage of Art's New Media program and holds a Software Engineering diploma from Mohawk College.  He is currently employed as the Senior Web Content Developer and Graphic Designer for tripcentral.ca, where he manages and designs things like; national marketing campaigns, online media content and in-store advertising.

He has also worked as the Technical Coordinator for Centre3 for Print and Media Arts, a local non-profit artist run centre and Hamilton Artists Inc., as the Community Programming Director (during which time he played a major role in securing the funding needed for the completion of the centre's James St. North building project).  Previous to this he worked for over 8 years at Trinity Square Video in Toronto, as the media arts centre's Technical Director.  He has also taught workshops in many different aspects of media arts and computer skills to at risk groups and marginalized populations and continues to work on the side doing freelance web work and consulting.

Ian is also an award winning media artists having received numerous grants, he's produced and directed over 30 different films that have shown on television and played at festivals around the world.  He is winner of the Hamilton Arts Award and his work has been presented multiple times in the Directors Guild of America, The Art Institute of Boston and The British Film Institute to name a few. His video work is focused primarily around sexuality, HIV/AIDS and issues affecting the LGBTQ community. In 2012 he started the Function Keys Conference a bi-annual 3-day lecture style event that happens in partnership with Centre3 for Print and Media Arts, the goal of which is to explore contemporary ideas and issues in technology and digital culture. Topics include everything from hacktivism and 3D-Printers to Qaudrocoptors and BioArt.

He was a founding board member of both The Factory: Hamilton Media Arts Centre and Big Susie's (Hamilton's Sex Worker rights advocacy organization) currently he serves on the board of directors for the Hammer Theatre Company and the Hamilton AIDS Network. 



Function Keys 3  .  mediaarts@centre3.com  .  (905) 524-5084