Arse Elektronika: Sex, Tech, and the Future of Screw-It-Yourself

Presented at The Next HOPE (2010), July 16, 2010, 3 p.m. (60 minutes)

We may not forget that mankind is a sexual and tool-using species. From the depiction of a vulva in a cave painting to the newest Internet porno, technology and sexuality have always been closely linked. New technologies are quick to appeal to pornography consumers, and thus these customers represent a profitable market segment for the suppliers of new products and services. Currently, all factors show that high-tech developments owe a great deal of their success to the need for further sexual stimulation. One could cite the example provided by the science fiction concept of a full-body interface designed to produce sexual stimulation. But it isn’t science fiction anymore. It’s DIY. As bio-hacking, sexually enhanced bodies, genetic utopias, and plethora of gender have long been the focus of literature, science fiction and, increasingly, pornography, this year will see us explore the possibilities that fictional and authentic bodies have to offer. Our world is already way more bizarre than our ancestors could have ever imagined. But it may not be bizarre enough. “Bizarre enough for what?” you might ask. Bizarre enough to subvert the heterosexist matrix that is underlying our world and that we should hack and overcome for some quite pressing reasons within the next century. Don’t you think, replicants?

Presenters:

  • Johannes Grenzfurthner
    Johannes Grenzfurthner is an artist, writer, curator, and director. He is the founder of monochrom, an internationally acting art and theory group. He holds a professorship for art theory and art practice at the University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria. He is head of the "Arse Elektronika" festival in San Francisco, host of "Roboexotica" (Festival for Cocktail-Robotics, Vienna and San Francisco), and curates the Paraflows Conference inVienna. Recurring topics in Johannes' artistic and textual work are contemporary art, activism, performance, humor, philosophy, postmodernism, media theory, cultural studies, sex tech, popular culture studies, science fiction, and the debate about copyright.

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