Shawn Porter

Shawn Porter is a long-time archivist and historian best known for his comprehensive documentation and preservation of body modification history and culture. With a deep-seated passion for the intersection of art and the human body, Porter has dedicated the last thirty years to chronicling the evolution of body modification practices and the stories of those who have pioneered them.

Mentored by the legendary Jack Yount, a key figure in the modern body modification movement, Shawn developed a profound understanding of the cultural and personal significance of body art. Yount’s influence was instrumental in shaping Porter’s commitment to the archival work that would later define his career.

Partnering with BME’s Shannon Larratt, Shawn co-founded BME/extreme, a subset of the Body Modification Ezine (BME), which focused on the more avant-garde and extreme aspects of body modification which Shannon Larratt said, “arguably gave the site its compass and direction and still sets it apart from the plethora of tattoo and piercing sites on the Internet.”
This venture provided a space for those on the fringes of the community to share their
experiences and innovations, further enriching the collective knowledge and pushing the
culture forward.

Shawn and Shannon co-founded Modcon, a convention that brought together enthusiasts and practitioners to celebrate and explore the boundaries of body modification. Modcon facilitated an exchange of ideas and techniques, fostering a sense of community and pushing the limits of what was considered possible in body art.

Shawn is the founder of the Scar Wars events, a series of conventions that ran from 2005-2007 specifically dedicated to scarification. These events have been pivotal in elevating the art form, bringing together artists and enthusiasts to celebrate and advance the practice.

Beyond his organizational achievements, Shawn is the driving force behind Sacred Debris and Occult Vibrations, two archival projects that document the history and evolution of body modification. Sacred Debris focuses on the extensive archives related to body modification pioneers, preserving their stories, photographs, and ephemera for future generations. Occult Vibrations, on the other hand, delves into the tattoo community, particularly it’s intersection with the LGBTQ+ community, exploring its deeper meanings and connections.

Through his obsessive archival work and community-building efforts, Shawn Porter has established himself as a key figure in the body modification world. His dedication ensures that the history and culture of body modification are preserved and appreciated, providing invaluable resources for both current practitioners and future generations.

Shawn currently lives in Philadelphia with his infinitely patient wife Julia and their son Ron, a solid coat black Sphynx cat with boundary issues.

Classes 2024