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Friday, November 7, 2014

Hook-Up Truck 2.0: The Sex-and-Art Truck Looks to the Future

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 12:59 PM

click to enlarge GREG EARL
  • Greg Earl
When the Hook-Up Truck coasted into the Bay Area last spring, its creator, conceptual artist Spy Emerson, felt most of the press coverage was missing the point.

"No one really talked about the concept. It was more about having a truck to have sex in...Only a few people actually spoke to me," she says. "No one wanted to hear about my personal investment in the truck."

To be fair, the truck lends itself to sensational headlines. A street-roaming, art-focused, condom-providing flatbed-truck offering a mobile place for San Franciscans to have sex? With a concept so jarring, it can be hard to think of the truck as an art piece, capable of conveying any kind of mature, artistic message.

The truck's website calls it "an artistic statement regarding the commodification of, attitudes toward, and media representation of sex... progressively repackaging safe sex and encouraging freedom of expression." 

According to Emerson, "it's really about personal freedom, freedom of speech, sexual freedom, and toting that, brightly." 

Despite an energetic start, the truck never reached its 2014 goals beyond its debut. Plans to attend this year's Folsom Street Fair and the Electric Daisy Carnival were never realized, as the truck experienced several mechanical breakdowns and a huge pile of negative press.

"I was called a sign of the apocalypse, which, I have to say, kind of made me a little proud," she says.

But with these 2014 milestones not met, Emerson launched an indiegogo campaign back in September to get the truck in tip-top shape and on the road again; Emerson notes she started this campaign after turning down two reality TV offers. "I find they lack integrity... as artists, and as people who support the arts, we need to support integrity."

But the Indiegogo campaign failed to reach anywhere near the goal amount, raising only $2,008 of the $19,500 she was hoping for. Despite the campaign's failure, Emerson has managed to acquire a new truck, donated by a fan of the original concept, and plans on creating Hook-Up Truck 2.0. She adds, "as an artist without a lot of money, I'm getting this support in other ways. We're continuing."

In the meantime, Emerson is planning for two future events, one at Kinky Salon, one of San Francisco's more organized sex parties, and another at the Carport Gallery in Guerneville. Emerson hopes to feature the Hook-Up Truck at these events, but no concrete dates of when Hook-Up Truck 2.0 will hit the streets has been announced as of yet.

Regardless of when the truck rolls out of the garage, Emerson hopes that her work creates more interest in art, and its role in the daily lives of San Franciscans. "[Art] is essential to a positive life. A beautiful, prosperous, soul-fulfilling life."
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David L. Garcia

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