Arse Elektronika San Francisco 2015

Talks, performances, workshops, movies

The Wrong Way Up, or How I Shattered Everyone's Expectations To Live As Myself
[Keynote address]

By Genevieve Aphrodite

From birth we are subjected to rules and systems that define our worlds. No small number of us realize there's something flawed about how we are told to be based on these expectations. Hacking has been my personal salvation from these systems, and hacking continues to help me define my gender and sexual identity.

AdVice booth
By David Fine

The adVice booth is centered around a table with two chairs facing the participants. One seat is labeled "Good Advice" and the other "Bad Advice". It will be staffed by David and one backup.
Every so often, the person in the "Bad Advice" spot will be ejected, the "Good Advice" person will take their place, and the person seeking advice will be pressed into taking their old job.

Awesome vs. Awkward: Life in Sex/Tech If You're Not A White, Cisgender Guy

Panel with Dr. Kit Stubbs and Maggie Mayhem

Ms. Maggie Mayhem facilitates a panel discussion with Dr. Kit Stubbs and three other cool folks (TBA) on their experiences as people mobilized in sex/tech: the awesome, the awkward, and the randomness in between.

Collection of five pieces of satisfaction furniture

By Gerhard Liska

My project presents a small collection of five pieces of satisfaction furniture made from wood.
1. Liquid Chair - Flüssiger Sessel
2. Butt Plug Chair - Butt Plug Sessel
3. Vibro Couch
4. Dildo Footstool - Dildo Hocker
5. Fleshlight Locker - Fleshlight Spind
The flow of sexual energy is often equated with the flow of life energy or vitality itself. If this energy gets blocked it seeks out other ways to express itself. Over-exaggerated achievement-needs and the dependence on success and power can be cited as examples.
Satisfaction furniture: The presented pieces of satisfaction furniture offer a pleasurable way to bring blocked energies back to flow again. The never-ending craving for more and more worldly power can be converted into sexual energy and pleasure without causing major harm in the environment or in other people. Such a piece of satisfaction furniture should thus be integral part of every executive floor.
Some of the furniture pieces are designed according to the German prototype of Hartz IV furniture from Van Bo Le-Mentzel (see According to this prototype the individual pieces of the satisfaction furniture are basically made of wood and designed for self-construction. Construction plans will be available on the World Wide Web. Colouring is variable and might be based on different shades of red and black.
Presentation of furniture pieces: Of course, one should be able to try out the individual pieces of the satisfaction furniture. For presentation purposes thus the exhibition space will be appointed a queer space, in which sexual activity is explicitly permitted and possible. For this purpose, the project space is designed in a homey and comfortable manner. For example, lying or sitting on the floor should be possible (carpets, foam mats, or the like). Condoms and disinfectants shall be available.

Direct Neural Stimulation to Create a Strapon You Can Feel

By Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert

Franklin and Eve have launched a new business around a remarkable new device: a prosthetic penis equipped with multiple sensors and a direct neural interface that tricks the brain into thinking it's part of the body. This device promises the most realistic experience yet invented of having a penis for folks born without one. Come watch as we explain the tech and show you how it works!

Hentai Haiku - Creating Interactive Virtual Erotic Art

By Lasse Raus

Hentai Haiku is a just-launched online exhibition of surreal interactive porn art, offering virtual sexual encounters, with a thematic focus on bondage and machine sex.
Hentai Haiku is as much an endeavor to raise the bar for physical interaction interfaces in adult video games, as it is a leap into uncharted terrain of surreal sexual dreamscapes.
Main ingredients:
- Present-day video-game technology (Unity) leveraged to achieve a non-restrictive 3D user interface for simulated real-time physical interaction.
- Experimental AI generating pleasure-driven character behaviors
- Completely physics-based 3D character animation to smoothly integrate body expressions with dynamic user-controlled limb motion restraints
- Custom crowdfunding approach offering in-artwork exposure to patrons
Hentai Haiku is accessible publicly since August 2015 at

Her Pleasure, Her Desire

By Teresa Ascencao

Teresa Ascencao, a multimedia artist from Toronto, will be offering a creative webcam presentation on the laborious, and often mysterious, aspects of sex education and the creation of sexual agency around female sexual pleasure. Her immersive media artwork 'Her Pleasure, Her Desire; Remix,' provides female-identified persons with a creative platform to reinvent sexual expression. Using a social media platform, collaborators create autoerotic video and sound recordings as source content for the artwork. Inspired by the infamous 1996 Jenny Cam, Ascencao will speak to us virtually from a sensual room - one that simulates the room atmosphere of her collaborators. Ascencao is part of a community of artists who are using art as sex education. Her talk will touch on the challenges around education of pleasuring the clitoris. The clitoris includes a long internal wish-bone system that many people are still not aware of. She will also offer insights from her art community regarding what can be a laborious struggle in finding one's own desire and pleasure. Ascencao believes that art can be a means of carving creative space for sexual exploration, sexual agency and sex education.

How to talk dirty while everyone is listening

By Aimi Watanabe

In an increasingly gentrified city we often need to live with our brethren. Of course interactions and conversations will penetrate these thin walls. Digital messages to your long distance lover will have to go through multiple servers with potential security problems. How do we know if they'll even reach the backlog of emails, let alone release the oxytocin of our star-crossed partners? If we maintain polyamorous relationships, we must keep up with everyone and stay safe.

Hypotheses on the Sex-Tech Relation in the Anthropocene

By Ishan Raval

If we are in the Anthropocene, i.e., if human affairs have destabilized ecology to such an extent that the state of affairs merits a geological epoch unto itself, that has large implications on how we are to think the nature-society relation and dichotomy, and the fundamental principles and roles of human economy - implications that alsso merit speculating into how the sex-tech relation should be thought about in this age - what lines get blurred, what counts as economy in thiis realm and what counts as ecology, whether and how one could or should be privileged over the other, etc. The purpose of this talk is to take a shot at making these conjectures.

Objects Behaving Badly

By Randy Sarafan

With the body of work, Objects Behaving Badly, Randy created a series of domestic consumer objects modified to participate in his personal life. You'll be amazed. (Clickbait without click.)

Reclaim the Vulva, one pixel at a time

Performance by Patrick Jarnfelt and Andrea Hasselager

La Petite Mort is an art app with a connected happening.
It works to demystify the female sexual organ, by honouring it and breaking down the social and cultural taboo of the female orgasm and it can also work to arouse. You can experience it if you are curious, to learn, to discover, as a meditative activity or simply to get aroused by yourself or with a partner. Explore the fields of sex and eroticism in a fun and professional setting - without consequences. Have your vulva immortalised by being filmed and part of our digital art piece, La Petite Mort, that will be launched at Arse Elektronika. We will have a dedicated, comfortable and safe space where our female photographer will film your vagina up close. The footage will be processed and will only appear as pixels, so it's a very anonymous and safe way of being part of an erotic work of art. - The footage will only be used by us and for the work of art. 'La Petite Mort' features 4 abstract audio-visual landscapes that respond to your touch. These highly pixelated but sensual landscapes are based on the recorded vulvas and will respond to your every touch, making you reach different climaxes, depending on how you touch. 4 different composers have interpreted their understanding of reaching different climaxes by composing musical interactive pieces, different ones for each vulva. As you move closer to climax, the music will dynamically change ending in a musical cacophony.

Sam Scott's "The Big Turn On"

Movie presentation

Sex sells, or does it? While countless brands have leveraged the power of lust, what of the burgeoning sex-tech industry? Are hook-up apps stripping the taboo from our sex lives, and how do they fit into the digital media mix? New fusions of tech and sex are shaking up relationships and presenting new opportunities for business. Porn dominates as ever, but a more consumer friendly vision of sex is on the horizon. Apps like Tinder carry all the hallmarks of mainstream social networks, and as the '50 Shades effect' sweeps across the West, transparency around sex has perhaps never been greater. The Big Turn On takes a look at everything realworldsex platform MakeLoveNotPorn and adultery platform Ashley Madison, Tinder to teledildonics.

Sex Leads Tech: The value of Open Source physical-digital platforms for Broader IoT

By Comingle

Innovations in public consumer technology are often led the by sex. From polaroid cameras to the internet, consumers are able to push selective designs that provide new personal and private ways to unlock their sexual fantasies. As we near the approach of the "Internet of Things," where everyday household objects hold new connected and programmable capabilities, sex, once again, holds the power to push innovations in this market. In this somewhat technical talk, Comingle, will discuss how easily customizable, hybrid physical-digital frameworks for Sex Toys can lead in interactions that will have repercussions in the rest of the electronics industry. In particular they will describe how their open-source platform of OSSex (software library), interacts with the Dilduino (custom Arduino board), and is readily programmable straight from the internet browser.

The New Normal: a perspective on unpaid emotional labor for queer acceptanceThe New Normal: a perspective on unpaid emotional labor for queer acceptance

By Mattie Brice

One interpretation of America getting to the point where same-sex marriage is now legal is greater acceptance of and identification with subaltern sexualities. Over time, people have been getting a little more queer while queer people have been getting a little more normal. But policy on its own isn't changing people's minds about their sexuality, rather there are hidden groups of emotional laborers that allow straight-passing people to safely dabble while retaining benefits that come from being known as just heterosexual.
But who are these people and why are they subsidizing the emotional labor of a privileged class of people? Speaking to one perspective of many, this talk will pose questions about change and the exploitation of, especially non-white, transwomen who are excluded from both straight and queer spaces to the internet despite the increase of support for the LGBT, made to tend in-between worlds of liminal sexuality. We will look at obscured acts of queerness that complicate current notions of activism and allyship.

The State of Open-Source Sex

Panel hosted by Comingle (participants TBA)

When sex is brought into any domain it drastically changes many aspects about it, and this even applies to the Open-Source movement. We invite an open panel to discuss the current state and future goals for Open-Source ideas within the world of Sexual Technology.


Game presentation by Kristin Stransky

3D printed and CNC milled electronic boardgame with audio.
titscape is a interactive installation that explores the virtualized body that has been brought into physical space through digital means. Geometrically perfect 3D modeled breasts are printed through imperfect digital means and appear fake and manufactured as a result. Breasts are physical interfaces for feeding infants and also for intimate interaction. The latter mode of physical interaction is often mediated by technology through internet pornography and online sex. I am looking to explore what virtual modes have entered societal physicality and how the game of social interaction becomes interchangeable and uniform despite the plethora of material and vehicles, creating a monotonous landscape.