Annie Sprinkle is a feminist filmmaker with a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality. Along with Beth Stephens, she is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow.
She toured one-woman theater pieces, including Post Porn Modernist and Hardcore from the Heart, from 1989 to 2003 to 20+ countries. Before bridging into the art world, Sprinkle made X-rated films and appeared in dozens of documentaries, B movies, and arty films. The people she met along the way shaped her involvement in social justice, human rights, and freedom of expression and she remains avidly committed to these ideals. She is heavily inspired by Fluxus.
Awards include Kathy Acker Excellence in Avant-Garde, Performance Studies International Artist/Activist/Scholar Award, Tom of Finland Lifetime Achievement, and a Eureka Fellowship from Fleishhacker Foundation.
Beth Stephens Ph.D. is an artist and filmmaker who grew up in West Virginia. She became known for her sculpture, installation, and performance art about queer identity during the culture wars in the 90s. When she was offered a professorship at UC Santa Cruz, she moved from New York to California. There she eventually became life partners and collaborators with artist Annie Sprinkle. Their 2008 Green Wedding to the Earth launched the Ecosex Movement, which explores the concept of “Earth as Lover.” Stephens directed her first feature documentary, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, in 2014. This film tells the story of the devastation of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia through a queer gaze. Hooked on filmmaking, Stephens co-directed Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure, which screened at MoMa after premiering in documenta 14. Career highlights include performing the Wedding to the Sea in the Venice Biennale and being a documenta 14 artist with Annie in Kassel, Germany, and Athens, Greece.
Beth Stephens, along with Annie Sprinkle, is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. Stephens is the recipient of a Rydell Fellowship and Fleishhacker Foundation’s Eureka Fellowship. She founded the E.A.R.T.H. Lab (Environmental Art, Research, Theory, and Happenings) at UCSC.
Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens have collaborated together since 2002. They are founders of the “ecosex movement” where they aim to make the environmental movement more sexy, fun and diverse through film, art, performance and writing. They were official documenta 14 artists (2016-17) where they premiered their film, “Water Makes Us Wet”, had a visual art exhibit, and performed several Ecosex Walking Tours. Sprinkle and Stephens performed a Wedding to the Sea at the Venice Biennale. They were named 2019 Eureka Fellows. Their book, “Assuming the Ecosexual Position: Earth as Lover” is available for pre-order from the University of Minnesota Press.