Art-making has been one of Lindsay Dye's longtime passions since she was a young child. Now, she's a New York-based cam girl and semi-professional cake sitter. Lindsay bakes elaborate multi-colored frosted cakes and then does “public sittings,” a.k.a. live performances where she sits on them and destroys them. “I think about baking as an art practice and most closely related to sculpting,” she told i-D. “So, when I'm making a cake, I'm thinking about making a sculpture and I think of the ingredients as my tools and supplies.”
Akin to a sculptor, Lindsay prepares detailed sketches of her cakes, ensuring they can be fully realized while documenting each baking operation on her Instagram account, and thus, letting her 15k followers in on her intimate creative process. As a “child of the Internet,” the digital world has always felt safe to Lindsay, who went from camming to cake sitting performances back in 2015. She also enjoys expressing herself and experimenting with different clothing and costumes. Naturally, her work has a lot of layers.
Lindsay says that often when people interact with her work, they expect it to be sexually charged and turn them on, however usually, the situations just end up being really emotional — something which could very well be seen as a commentary on the ways in which intimacy and eroticism are closely linked. “My greatest performances were when there were people in the audience crying,” Lindsay says. As her art has shifted over time, emotionality has always remained something the artist wants to provoke in those who interact with her work, whether that’s someone watching her casual yet intentional Instagram stories or those who see her perform in public.
From creating tie dyed Cake_Sitting_Resume T-shirts to offering custom cake portraits of her followers (she uses people’s portraits to give them their very own cake personas using colored markers), Lindsay’s artwork has gone in many different directions overtime.
i-D spoke with the creative about the lineage and evolution of her cake-sitting practice, the aim behind her artwork, and what she wishes people knew about her.
For someone who isn't aware, how would you explain cake sitting? When did you start cake sitting and what led you to do so?
Wet T-shirt contests, Nickelodeon's Slime Time, a pie to the face, and a dunk tank at a fair. This is the lineage of cake sitting. Traditionally, it is a private fetish act performed in pornography. Within sexual fetishisms, cake sitting falls into two subcategories: crushing and sploshing, which is also called wet and messy play (WAM). These fetishes mingle together in the same family. The difference can be seen in how the desires are performed: crushing as an act of domination and sploshing as an act of humiliation. A crushing fetish is split between stomping insects, smothering small animals, and sitting on inanimate objects. Sploshing, mostly food based, is a fetish where a person is drawn to covering the entire body in liquids, batters, syrups, slimes, jellies, jams, creams… cake sitting is at the intersection.
I had been camming for over a year in 2015 when a member in my chatroom asked me to sit on my cat and suffocate her. My cam girl reputation was already somewhat clownish; I’ve experimented with pool noodles, rubber donkeys, and slip ‘n slides. My version of cake-sitting was pseudo comedy and a purer option to sacrificing my pet.
How do you hope to make viewers feel during your public “sittings”?
I like it most when people cry.
You mentioned that this work is truly an art form for you. What do you like most about the medium and why do you feel it is an art form?
I consider the cakes I bake as temporary sculptures, but I do not think the act of cake sitting itself is an art form, just like I don’t consider my everyday camming as performance art.
My intent with "Public Sittings" was to bring a less common private fetish into a public space with an audience, where it would have the option to be regarded as art. I aim to incorporate the act as a symbol in tandem with other elements meant to confuse how the fetish is considered — a public venue, singing a sad love song, having a bouncer or a stripper hold my mic, a buttery smell that doesn’t penetrate the chatroom the same way it does a room full of people. You can view my two favorite and most effective sittings here and here.
When did you start making cake portraits of people and why? What do you hope the subjects get out of this?
Before I started camming, I thought of cam girls as figure models and would make 30 second to one minute gesture drawings of them. Now that I’ve been a cam girl for six years, I barely ever see the audience I’m interacting with in my chatroom. Members have an option to tip me to view their webcam, but it’s seldom. I went through a period of opening cameras and quickly drawing my regulars. I moved to painting portraits of the people who stuck with me my entire shift and fell asleep on cam. This seemed deserving and sentimental.
When I’m publicly cake sitting at a venue, my back is always facing the audience — I similarly never clearly see who I’m performing for. In both cases, I crave to see who I’m playing with, who I’m affecting, I want to know that I’m doing my job, and doing a good job. I think my cake portrait subjects receive similar fulfillment as my cam audience: for a few minutes, loneliness subsides and another human’s attention is solely on you, no strings attached.
How does this creative practice make you feel? What does the practice involve for you?
I take pride in making what was supposed to be a one time art piece into a ridiculous but real job. It’s a whole world that isn’t totally figured out yet that I get to be apart of and help shape. The sittings have evolved from grocery store cakes with me barefoot on the floor to— baking my own seven-layer mirror glazed cakes that I now only approach in a slingshot bikini wardrobe which includes knee pads, on a stage.
What can we expect from the new documentary you’re apart of?
The title of the documentary is Neighborhood. It’s a triptych of three people living in Bushwick. We all have very niche jobs that are apart of this other-worldliness that is New York City. I’m at the center flanked by two men who grew up here, and while I represent the “new” Bushwick, I offer up the possibility that it’s still the place where you can make all your cake-sitting dreams come true.
What’s the inspiration behind the shirts you recently released?
I designed and started selling Camgirl_Resume_ shirts because Camgirls don’t have a uniform to rep the sites where they work, nor do they offer customers or fans merchandise to support the sites they frequent. It was important for me to denounce the concept of an “employment gap” and validate the choice to be a sex worker, in this way the shirt can be seen as a literal resume.
There is a lack of protection offered by camming sites. Our livestreams and pre-recorded content are constantly stolen and reposted, circumventing our income. If the sites that employ us are going to be complicit in copyright infringement, I’m going to use their logos for the benefit of other Camgirls’ pride and legitimization of their career.
The Cake_Sitting_Resume shirts are in the same family. Baking brands surround a woman’s body with sludgy drips, a logo taken from one of the most popular wet and messy, sploshing sites. The colorful dying of the shirts was inspired by the frosting and batter spilled messes I make while baking and the clothes I have to put over my cake-covered body post-performance, permanently dyed with blue and red velvet, buttercream, and strawberry stains.
Is there anything you wish people knew about you that they don't already know?
I think there is a misconception that I like cake, I do not.
You can listen to all of the songs Lindsay has done “Public Sittings” to here .