Arse Elektronika Blog Archive

Fucking Machines: Arse Elektronika in 'The Gap'

An article in 'The Gap' deals with sex tech and Arse Elektronika. It's based on an interview with Johannes Grenzfurthner (German only).

Das österreichische Kollektiv Monochrom beschäftigt sich seit Jahren mit dem Zusammenspiel zwischen der Sexindustrie und der Tech-Welt. Bereits 2007 veranstalteten sie im Startup-Mekka San Francisco die erste Arse Elektronika, eine Konferenz für Sex & Tech, bei der jedes Jahr zahlreiche Speaker zu Wort kommen und neue Technologien vorgestellt werden. Während die Veranstaltung zunächst als einmaliges Event geplant war, wurde sie dank dem starken Zuspruch jährlich wiederholt und feiert nun ihr 10-jähriges Jubiläum. „Sex-Technologie ist ein sehr großer Bereich, der von Pornos auf Blu-ray bis zu einer technisch kontrollierbaren Fucking Machine reicht.“, erklärt Johannes Grenzfurthner, Initiator der Arse Elektronika. Unterschieden werden kann dabei zwischen Nischenprodukten, wie eigens angefertigten Fucking Machines, die nur ein kleines ausgewähltes Publikum ansprechen und dem Mainstream-Markt, der vor allem Pornos und Sex Toys konsumiert. Ein großes Thema in den letzten Jahren sei vor allem der Bereich der Teledildonik. Darunter fallen aus der Ferne steuerbare Sex Toys, die Remote-Control-Sex ermöglichen. Ebenfalls interessant seien reacting Sex Toys, wie beispielsweise Ambrosia Vibes, ein Dildo mit sogenanntem „Sucking Sensor“. Saugt jemand an dem Strap-On, gibt dieser Vibrationen an den Träger weiter.


posted by johannes, 2016-12-14 ( General )

The big TEN! A decade of Arse Elektronika!

Humans! Replicants!
Arse Elektronika 2017 will take place in autumn 2017.
It will be our tenth festival -- and a good excuse for our plans of a reboot and restructuring!
We will keep you updated!

posted by johannes, 2016-03-28 ( General )

Costumes! AE2015 opening night!

Arse Elektronika opening night on Friday October 2:

Costume style (voluntary dress code): "Work Uniforms Of The Sex Tech Future"

So gussy up!

posted by johannes, 2015-09-28 ( General )

Arse Elektronika 2015: TICKETS!

And here we go... get your tickets!


posted by johannes, 2015-09-28 ( General )

Arse Elektronika 2015: SHOOT YOUR WORKLOAD / Schedule is online


Finally, the schedule for Arse Elektronika 2015 is online!



posted by johannes, 2015-09-23 ( General )

Arse Elektronika 2015: SHOOT YOUR WORKLOAD / Sex, work and tech / Call for submissions

Arse Elektronika San Francisco 2015
October 2-4, 2015 in San Francisco, USA.

* How can we change work structures in the sex tech field. Is DIY really so revolutionary, or are we just tinkering around with our misery?
* Work and labor struggle and exploitation in sex tech. What to do about dildo sweatshops?
* What are the correlations of technology and sex work?
* Some research suggests that different sexual dynamics prevail in traditional breadwinner households. What sexual dynamics might proliferate in an economy of widespread automation and basic income, in a society where "having a job" becomes increasingly antiquated?
* What is emotional labor to a chatbot?
* What about the connection between 'work' and active/passive dichotomies in sex? What is the invisible work of bottoms and subs, and how might it be better recognized?
* What do you do with your sex when it stops working?
* How is silicone working out for the environment? We know silicone is inert, versatile, non-toxic, and body safe as an object but what is our collective exit strategy for the e-waste & non-biodegradable leftovers of sex toy boom? How are silicone lubricants (and other health & beauty uses) interacting with the water supply once they're washed down the drain?
* What work goes into the extraction of raw resources, such as the rubber tree plantations of South America that make our condoms and catsuits? How do you go from a rubber tree to a rubber dildo?
* How can we work out irreconcilable political differences to protect common interests for our sexual and reproductive health?
* How much sex does it take to power a light bulb? Can fucking charge a battery? Could we power electronics with our sex lives?
* What happens when your recreational sex life gets you fired? (Definitely blowing your work load!) How do you get back to work after a sexual scandal?
* How does activism focused around sexual orientation work with or against activism focused around gender identity? (e.g., In what ways has the fight for marriage equality worked for and/or against the fight for transgender rights?)
* How do we create toys that improve how sex works for folks with disabilities?
* How does your sexuality-related activism add to your emotional workload?
* What happens when your recreational sex life starts to feel like work?
* Is making sex toys a good thing in a world already full of plastic junk? Is there another way? Biodegradable sex toys?
* Can someone please do something about this FUCKING PATENT TROLL?!?!
* Is patenting sex toys a special kind of evil?
* Is any of this smart sex toy stuff leading to Rise of the Machines?
* Would Comrade Lenin approve of all of this?

Submit a talk, a performance, a game, a workshop, a machine, a system!

Deadline: August 31, 2015.
Our selection will be announced early September, 2015. (Yes, yes, we can do that fast!)

For questions, please email: office AT

posted by johannes, 2015-08-05 ( General )

Arse Elektronika 2015: Dates!

Finally we have dates!

October 2-4, 2015 at the the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco!


posted by johannes, 2015-05-21 ( General )

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

A little lecture performance by Johannes Grenzfurthner / monochrom, as part of Paolo Pedercini's class at CMU.
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?
February 24, 2015, 6:30 PM on CMU main campus in Pittsburgh/USA, College of Fine Arts building, 3rd floor, room 307.

posted by johannes, 2015-02-24 ( General )

TimeOut Israel interviews Johannes Grenzfurthner about sex, tech and Arse Elektronika


posted by johannes, 2015-02-16 ( General )

"Venus of Strapondorf": monochrom's Johannes Grenzfurthner and Jenny Marx team up to empower our all-time favorite paleolithic goddess

Venus of Willendorf — our all-time favorite paleolithic goddess — is turning the fertility game on its lubed head. This is gonna be fun!

Hi-resolution reproduction of original drawing from 2015.

Created by Johannes Grenzfurthner (of monochrom) and Jenny Marx

Link to products (posters, mugs, shirts, pillows, whatever)

posted by johannes, 2015-01-10 ( General )

Arse Elektronika: MP3 archive (2007-2014) online

Hey brainpervs!

We took some time and edited and uploaded all the available recordings of Arse Elektronika talks and presentions.
They can be found on the "Schedule" pages (on the front page for 2014, and in the archive section for all AEs 2007-2013). Just click on MP3!


posted by johannes, 2014-12-17 ( General )

Johannes Grenzfurthner about sex and tech in "Business Punk"

Issue #4 (2014) of German magazine "Business Punk" features statements by Arse Elektronika curator Johannes Grenzfurthner.

(Click to enlarge)

posted by johannes, 2014-11-05 ( General )

Dispatch from Arse Elektronika -- Some Things Games Can Learn from Sex & Tech

Mattie Brice wrote a great piece about Arse Elektronika 2014.
This past weekend, I went to the annual sex and tech conference in San Francisco, Arse Elektronika. This was actually the first conference I spoke at back in 2012 when it was specifically about play and games, and I got to come again this year to see what new projects people thinking and crafting about sex were up to. This conference tends to attract a cross-section of toy makers and academics interested in sex topics, but also nets in software people and artists.

What’s interesting for me about this group of people who convene over sex and tech is how similar and different the mood is to my experience in video games. The demographics are about the same, with maybe the ratio of women you’d see at an indie games event, so higher than the industry but not as much as men. But there is an unspoken understanding  of non-judgment that I see in the kink community in SF that makes it easier for people to bend outside of gender norms for the most part. If anything, a lot of baggage around heteronormativity and monogamy is left behind, but technocentrism and the centering of hegemonic masculinity’s relationship with sex still exists. An interesting site of reference if you want to see the dynamics where fluid sexuality is a thing and how men, and sometimes others, relate to each other in a context they don’t really get to outside of these situations. So I wanted to share with you all my thoughts on some of the presentations and how they relate to our realm of play.

posted by johannes, 2014-10-08 ( General )

Arse Elektronika 2014 on Boing Boing

Cory Doctorow featured Arse Elektronika 2014!
The theme this year is "trans*.*" and the event features "Talks, machines, games, workshops and performances;" runs from Oct 2-5 at San Francisco's Chez Poulet (3359 Cesar Chavez St).

Trans is a Latin noun or prefix, meaning "across", "beyond" or "on the opposite side". What does that mean for sex and technology?

Transitions, translations, transgressions, transistors & transducers, transactions, transmission (specifically sexually transmitted infections), transdermal?

Brief comment: opening night is at Chez Poulet, the other events are at the Center for Sex and Culture and Noisebridge (see schedule).


posted by johannes, 2014-10-02 ( General )

Arse Elektronika 2014 / Final Schedule: TRANS*.*

It! Is! Ready!
Schedule for Arse Elektronika 2014!

posted by johannes, 2014-09-23 ( General )

Arse Elektronika‘s Terabyte Gloryholes:

main group, event 2009, event 2010, event 2011, event 2012, event 2013, event 2014, event 2015
video album
2009, 2010 (Hong Kong), 2010 (SF), 2011 (SF), 2012 (SF), 2013 (SF), 2014 (SF), 2015 (SF)
Flickr pools:
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (Hong Kong) 2010 (San Francisco)
discuss mailing list

Arse Elektronika is being supported by:

Arse Elektronika 2015. October 2-4, 2015 in San Francisco, USA.

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