Cruising Archaeology, SMUT Press, 2024, 12.5 x 17.5 cm, 200 pages, PB
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SMUT Press is proud to present Cruising Archaeology, their seventh printed matter production. 

"Ultimately, the evidence we leave behind may prove every bit as revealing as the instructional manuals and police reports. Perhaps more so. Both the texts which extol the virtues of cruising and those that declaim it as criminal must strike a self-conscious pose. The detritus in these photographs was not left by people trying to make a statement — although in the act of photographing them, the photographer undoubtedly is."

  • Marcus McCann, foreword ‘Cruising Archaeology’

Initially borne from an Instagram account bearing the same name, this project is a careful process of selection and curation that sees the anonymous artist reconstitute detritus and debris discarded in over half a dozen renowned cruising locations around London into cultural artefacts. Positioning archaeology as its point of departure, over 200 unique relics not only uncover and investigate the types of sex and pleasure that happen in cruising areas through a material culture lens, but also serve as a testimonial to the often invisible sexual practice.

Defined as the seeking of anonymous sexual encounters, cruising takes place in varying degrees of public spaces. Typically, this includes woodlands, public toilets, green parks, car parks and more. It remains a covert and often stigmatised sexual practice that largely pertains to men. Whilst both the rise of dating apps and gentrification have had an impact on the prevalence of cruising, it remains a sex practice that still exists today. 

Accompanying the series of scanned objects is a foreword by Marcus McCann, author of ‘Park Cruising: What Happens When We Wander Off Path’ (2023) as well as an interview with a volunteer litter-picking group in one of the cruising sites and a report on ‘Jurassic’ a renowned local cruising site in Medellín by academic David Edgar.

This soft cover publication is purposely pocket sized, intended to be utilised as a nu-hunter’s-guide for those who cruise. The book’s design has been thoughtfully researched and assembled by London based designer Marco Cacioni.

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