Stephen Milner : Goat Trails

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Stephen Milner is an artist working in sculpture, photography, video and installation. He received his BFA in photography in 2013 from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He recently graduated with his MFA in studio art from the University of Oregon where he was a Graduate Teaching Fellowship from 2015 to 2018. His work has been published online and in print by magazines like Collective Quarterly, Oxford American, PDN, Time, iGnant, Juxtapoz, Boooooom!, Humble Arts Foundation among many others. In 2016, he was awarded the Innovation in Imaging Grant by the Society of Photographic Education and was a United States award winner for Magenta Foundation Flash Forward.

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Title:
Goat Trails

Details :
7″ x 9″, 96 pages,
Perfect Bound
Edition Size 200
ISBN : 978-1-944005-25-2
Published by : Aint–Bad

About :

Goat Trails examines the gay nude cruising beaches that are isolated and hidden up and down the coast of California. Famous for their hard to access and unstable “goat trails”, the hikes hold mythical and sacred qualities, far from the real world and society. Because of this, the beaches have made it popular for men cruising for anonymous gay sex. On the edges of the beach near the canyon walls, “desire paths” can be found snaking through the landscape.

Over the years, unclothed men have developed rituals in walking these paths, wandering in and out of areas covered by dense brush, into open canyons marked by a single, almost mythical looking, untamed palm tree. Within these beaches, the human-altered landscape has been interpreted and created from the natural environment to increase positive sexual performances during the pursuit of anonymous sex. The seemingly simple landscape is incredibly complex, the natural monument is no longer what it seems once you are introduced to the history and the use of the sites at play.

The act of photographing these locations where men have sex is more of a documentation of a landmark, all of its history may be stripped but the nuances of sexual tension can still exist without human presence in the photographs. Each cruising location is unique to its geography and the natural materials found nearby. When the summer season ends, the sex condos will most likely not survive the winter storms and the shifting of the tides and beach. The intricate and well-tended condos will never last forever.