A sex worker art collective exploring:
Intimacy through lies.
Authenticity through commodification.
The digital as the real.


Trick Mirror
Low Art/High Standards
Personas zine


About Us


One Year After E-viction
Statement on Censorship: E-viction




Veil Machine Statement on OnlyFans and the One Year Anniversary of E-viction

Dearest friends, lovers, clients, and voyeurs,

One year ago today, in the middle of an apocalyptic summer of pandemic and unrest, you attended E-viction, a virtual art show by Veil Machine, funded by Eyebeam, and sponsored by Kink Out. You participated in an immersive, online arthouse wh0re gallery that emerged in a flash and disappeared at midnight after a spectacular self-destruction. E-viction conjured quite the storm.

The opening page of E-viction. Taken August 21, 2020

Almost exactly a year later, on Thursday, August 19th 2021, OnlyFans announced it will ban sexually explicit material on its platform starting this October. Like so many platforms before them, they are doing so to comply with banks and payment processors. While FOSTA/SESTA may have wreaked havoc on sex workers’ access to social media platforms and payment apps, our censorship comes primarily at the hands of a few, private, financial institutions whose sense of decorum has become the defining boundary for eroticism online.

Happy one year anniversary to our self-annihilation.

We could claim to have been prophetic, but it’s hardly prophesying when you face a constant and never ending stream of deletions, bans, and evictions from the very same places that we pioneered. OnlyFans is just the most recent notch in our bedpost ⁠— in no time it will dissipate into the collected memories of all the failed promises of lovers past. Perhaps we would be more outraged if we weren’t so jaded.

Screenshot of tweet by @Luxliv3s from Twitter, taken August 22, 2020.

E-Viction was a call to arms. It was an exercise in collective mourning and fury. It was a reckoning. We re-enacted the drama of our own erasure, but we made it explicit instead of silent.

Since then, we have partnered with Kink Out to support the development of a new social media platform for sex workers, Body of Workers -- a more tangible and lasting response to the censorship of sex workers online.

Apocalyptica performing during E-viction. Photo by Abe. Taken August 21, 2020

This movement we are a part of is so much bigger than us. We are joined by a chorus of sex working artists and researchers; canaries in the coal mine singing our warning tune so that you may finally hear us. The organization Hacking//Hustling is on the forefront of research on state surveillance and technological violence against sex workers. Tina Horn’s comic book, SFSX, uses the fantasy of a techno-dystopian future as a mirror, reflecting back the anti-sex, pro-surveilance world we are at risk of creating. Veil Machine artist Lena Chen has created OnlyBans, an “interactive game that critically examines the policing of marginalized bodies and sexual labor to empathetically teach people about digital surveillance and discrimination faced by sex workers.” Chen’s collaboration, Play4UsNow was a multiplayer online game in which sex workers leveraged, “data as a mode of domination and submission.” Fittingly, the video documentary of her performance was later censored.

Screenshot from E-viction’s self-destruction. Photo by Abe. Taken August 21, 2020

This is not an ending. This is just the beginning. If there is a way out, sex working artists will be the ones to carve it. We are building, we are imagining. We are seducing, we are destroying.

We will keep going until the internet is free from corporate control and digital gentrification.

We will keep going until FOSTA/SESTA has been repealed.

We will keep going until sex work has been decriminalized.

We will keep going until sex workers are recognized as some of the leading voices in the movement for free speech and artistic creation online.

To join the fight, support sex working artists. Read our stories. Sponsor our work. And look out for the art, the resistance, the magic we’ll be making as we continue fighting this fight.

Until the next time you lay eyes on us,

Veil Machine


Statement on Censorship: E-viction

Instagram’s censorship of Veil Machine’s account is a blatant example of the overbroad harm caused by the privatization of our online spaces, and the censorship that accompanies it. Our account is a digital performance art piece and political action about censorship of sex workers in online spaces. Despite featuring nothing more salacious than a pixelated drawing of a lingerie-clad person, @veilmachine has been subject to consistent, quick, and arbitrary censorship by Instagram.

Within two hours of putting up our first posts, one was taken down for “nudity or sexual activity.” That image was a graphic of a blue computer screen in the aesthetic of Microsoft Windows in the early 90’s. Our suspicion is that one of the “folders” on the graphic labeled with the words “live nude hotties” was considered unseemly. When we posted a pixelated version of this image, along with further censored text, the image was taken down yet again.

The first image was removed by Instagram.

Then, a performer profile of the Pro-Dominant Amazon Maddox was taken down for supposedly containing graphic imagery, despite the fact that they were fully clothed in the photo. Since then, several new performer photos have been removed by Instagram. None of them showcase any nudity. We suspect our graphics have been flagged by their algorithm, and that this will continue indefinitely, regardless of the fact that we never knowingly violated Instagram’s arbitrary and arcane community standards.

The first is the image of Maddox that was removed. The second and third are two other performer profile posts (of Messy Darla, and (m)Other respectively) that were later taken down.

We began this project as a way to shed light on the impossible conditions that sex workers are living under in the wake of SESTA/FOSTA, a piece of legislation from 2018. It was pushed through using the rhetoric of stopping sex trafficking, but its actual purpose is push sex workers off the internet. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve woken up to find yet another member of our community removed from this, that, or the other digital platform, with no recourse. Despite the rhetoric of SESTA/FOSTA “saving” victims, it has effectively muzzled an entire population. This harm is multiplied in the age of COVID-19, since the only safe public spaces are online.

SESTA/FOSTA is only one part of a larger throughline of the privatization and gentrification of the internet. Another part is the EARN-IT Act, which is being pushed through now, in the midst of the pandemic. EARN-IT effectively seeks to end encryption as we know it today, once again under the guise of protecting victims of sex trafficking. These bills have devastating consequences for internet freedom, privacy, and free speech, turning the utopian possibility of cyberspace into a dystopian nightmare.

To avoid censorship, sex workers deploy a host of creative tactics, sharing strategies and doing research. Everyday, we navigate online spaces that are actively hostile to our presence. We are forced to work, commune, and resist online despite being targets of pervasive surveillance and deplatforming. Because we are in the crosshairs of this attack on public digital space, we’ve also been on the front lines of the fight for a better digital future. Our project is an expression of that wisdom and creativity.