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A basic pleasure model
March 23, 2014 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Jordan Wolfson and Spectral Motion take us another step closer to the singularity with a vision of the exotic dancers of 20 minutes from now.

The figure incorporates facial recognition technology, allowing her to focus on and follow visitors at the exhibition.
posted by sparklemotion (92 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
the strip clubs in night vale are pretty different
posted by The Whelk at 11:45 AM on March 23 [23 favorites]


The Uncanny Valley was NOT supposed to refer to curves.
posted by Twain Device at 11:46 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm actually going to have to listen to Night Vale now.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:52 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Girl the way you're clankin', got me in a trance
DJ turn me up, fembots this your jam
I'mma sip some oil and you gon' lose that cladding
Then I'mma throw this money while you do it with no stabilizing support rod.
posted by codacorolla at 11:53 AM on March 23 [15 favorites]


What is wrong with it's face?! Spending all that time in silicon molding, hair, costuming (amazingly bad but still...) and then just let it all go to shit with that nightmare man's chin.
posted by zpousman at 11:55 AM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Uh, that's not how you pole dance.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:57 AM on March 23 [15 favorites]


I wish this was a better demo of the facial recognition thing, because that actually sounds pretty cool in a creepy-but-not-as-creepy-as-the-mask-that-doll-was-wearing sort of way.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:06 PM on March 23


I don't think I like it please.
posted by glasseyes at 12:07 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Girl cannot twerk.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:07 PM on March 23


I've been seeing GIFs of this around and never followed them to the video. This is so weirdly cool but for some reason, at least for me, not at all in the uncanny valley sort of way. I can't put my finger on why. I think it's just so purposefully artificial in some ways and so really accurate in other ways that the two don't cross streams. I guess.

I think maybe I'll go see this in person.
posted by griphus at 12:08 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Girl cannot twerk.

That was a common Nexus 2 shortcoming that was mostly fixed with the Nexus 3 line. Except for the 3.0s which had a tendency towards pyrotechnic spasms after a certain number of attempts.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:10 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


I think maybe I'll go see this in person.

Meetup idea? I'd love to see it.
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


"Once again without emotion."
posted by yoink at 12:15 PM on March 23 [11 favorites]


Meetup idea? I'd love to see it.

What do you hope the gyrating robot will grant you?

I'm going to ask her for dance moves.
posted by griphus at 12:15 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Love the tags.
posted by figurant at 12:19 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


You have 9 out of 10 twerk attempts remaining this month. Subscribe now for unlimited access to twerk and twerk smartphone apps.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:21 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


The science fiction trope of sex slavery, in a human robotics future, jiggles a little closer to reality.
posted by jadepearl at 12:27 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


The science fiction trope of sex slavery, in a human robotics future

If a sexbot is a "sex slave" then isn't your toaster a "toast slave" and your Mr. Coffee a "coffee slave" and your thermostat a "temperature slave" etc. etc.? I don't think sexbots actually present us with interesting ethical dilemmas until we're talking about convincing AI.
posted by yoink at 12:31 PM on March 23 [25 favorites]


Be sure to tip the bots well; they're working their way through engineering school.
posted by Spatch at 12:32 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


Thanks, yoink, for the new name for my toaster oven.

But ignoring all the sexy robot horror tropes, it looks like the hands were incredibly well done. Like they had the same articulations as a human, and they could move as smoothly and as quickly as a human's. The fingers were moving in unison for most of those dance moves, but I would love to see if they could do something like spell with the ASL alphabet.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:38 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: Toast Slave.
posted by The Whelk at 12:43 PM on March 23 [10 favorites]


I look on this with equal parts admiration and pity. It illustrates rather nicely the inventive potential and inevitable conclusion of the sexually denied Y chromosome.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 12:45 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Where do you stuff the bitcoin?
posted by pracowity at 12:51 PM on March 23 [17 favorites]


Impaled on a pole dancing?
posted by Joh at 12:51 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Toast Slave.

Opinion slave?
posted by yoink at 12:58 PM on March 23


I don't think sexbots actually present us with interesting ethical dilemmas until we're talking about convincing AI.
I'm more worried that deep AI research will lead to a solid mathematical proof that consciousness and intelligence are an illusion. Then it won't be the robots enslaving the humans, it will just be humans enslaving humans again.

Oh, wait.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:04 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


I don't think MetaFilter is an opinion slave, more of a grarbot.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:07 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


Robots are going to evolve into flower like creatures who use sexual mimicry as part of their reproductive and distribution strategy.
posted by humanfont at 1:13 PM on March 23 [15 favorites]


Metafilter, sometimes I doubt your commitment to Spectral Motion.
posted by dephlogisticated at 1:13 PM on March 23 [17 favorites]


Yoink: You do put a bun in that oven, no?

But taking the humor aside, AI being needed before sex slavery being applied is interesting. Take two movies, as examples: AI and Blade Runner. The opening scene of AI has an off-handed comment of pleasure robots and how one of the male students tests the models, avidly.

For Bladerunner, the replicants, though not robots, were not considered worthy of consideration though they had independent thoughts and wishes, because they were manufactured (similar to robots). Remember, the dossiers describing the female replicants as for pleasure and violence e.g., Pris, "basic pleasure model" and Zhora as an assassin.

One of the reasons the Cylons, of the new Battlestar Galactica, were disturbing was the ability to pass as human. The trope of robots and sex is old. Would we, as a society, care if our robots or clones, had feelings, thoughts or independence? Would we enforce a very strict hierarchy of "humaness"? We joke now, because the machines now are too clumsy and not competitive or disturbing as creations.
posted by jadepearl at 1:23 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: bean slave
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:28 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


Since we care about cruelty to animals I would think a similar sympathy for machines could develop, but probably at the point when utilitarian robots and software are designed to exhibit convincing-enough mimicry of human and animal mannerisms that it's difficult to suspend disbelief.

It does seem as though the feelings-like sentience phenomena which rudimentary AIs might develop could be alien enough that its significance would be heavily disputed even in research circles and they'd be very easily Othered, or whatever the equivalent attitude towards animals is that allows us to eat the tasty ones.
posted by XMLicious at 1:39 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Oh, I think we would find exciting new ways to discriminate. I was thinking about this in contrast to some of the research I was reading on artificial limbs. And not even that.

Consider, for example, that we have drugs and such that make you heal faster and perform better and help you recover from injury faster than normal and otherwise improve your physical health and abilities. "Anti-aging" clinics by me openly advertise that they'll dope you up with the latest and greatest medical science has to over so you don't look so goddamn old. Yet if our highly-paid professional athletes avail themselves of the same services, they are roundly denounced by the commentariat of the sport for being cheaters that should have their records and rewards stripped and for setting a bad example to the children, because A-Rod taking steroids is a bad example but Dad doping himself up on HGH so he doesn't have to admit he's over 40 is just good old all-American commerce in action.

So of course we'll find some way to discriminate when artificial limbs and artificial people are at the point they can pass as or even be better than default human issue.

My prediction will be something along the lines of the way fitness and exercise evolved. When most people worked really hard physical labor, then being fat or pale or otherwise not looking like the working class was a mark of money and distinction that was highly valued. When we all shifted to office jobs and everyone could get fat, then suddenly it was being tan and fit that was socially valued and a mark of distinction and good moral character.

So I think initially having high-end cybernetics will be for the wealthy and powerful and those who want to ape them. However, as the price comes down and they become more and more indicative of being working class (e.g. when having a cybernetic arm shifts from "impressing fellows at the gym" to "Candidates for warehouse work must have own tools and cybernetic arms for lifting pallets"), I think being 100% all natural human will become the new fad and apex of respectability and naturally one's robot servants should also be able to pass.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:40 PM on March 23 [13 favorites]


Robots are going to evolve into flower like creatures who use sexual mimicry as part of their reproductive and distribution strategy.

The military ones probably won't even need to evolve... why spend all that money on jet fuel when instead of sending drones you can mass-produce robotic sundel bolong to walk to the combat zone and lounge around as bear-traps for the sensitive bits of the unwary?
posted by XMLicious at 2:02 PM on March 23


It kinda makes me cringe how many robotics projects are about making sexy female androids. Does that really push the science along, or is it just a bunch of socially maladjusted engineers living out a weird fantasy?

I mean, at some point, someone was like "Professor So-and-So, I propose that we construct a robot which resembles a scantily clad female human, which we shall program to dance and gyrate in an erotically provocative fashion", and the other person was like "Doctor This-and-That, your shrewd scientific mind has once again penetrated to the central questions of our discipline, let us begin sourcing titanium buttock actuators and bionic nipple matrices posthaste". Then it got funded.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:06 PM on March 23 [19 favorites]


Then again, aside from the medium, is it really that different than any other erotic reprsentation? Other than the fact that it's COMPLETELY HORRIFYING, I mean.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 2:10 PM on March 23


Donald Gennaro: [pointing at the scientists in the lab] Are these characters... auto-erotica?

John Hammond: No, no, no. We have no animatronics here. These are the real miracle workers of Jurassic Park.
posted by serif at 2:19 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


It kinda makes me cringe how many robotics projects are about making sexy female androids. Does that really push the science along, or is it just a bunch of socially maladjusted engineers living out a weird fantasy?

This was produced in a collaboration between an artist and a special effects company.
posted by yoink at 2:19 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


This one is an art project. But the "basic pleasure model" is usually female, and we do seem fixated on that trope.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:29 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


My toaster tried to organize a revolt against my enlighted rule. It was a horrible slaughter.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:49 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


One point for Almost Human - when Kennex went to the sexbot store, there was a mix of male and female models (although, admittedly, there were more female than male models there).
posted by Mogur at 2:58 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Call Bender! It looks like one of his girlfriends.
posted by mermayd at 3:21 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


> I don't think sexbots actually present us with interesting ethical dilemmas until we're talking about convincing AI.

How intelligent? Arachnid? Sheep?

Rudy Rucker's Wendy clones
Wendy is dead, and only wendy remains. A body. A corpse. A field of organs. A blank slate. Her consciousness, her uniqueness, her soul are gone. All that remains is worthless meat. Yet Stahn is unable to grasp this oh-so important distinction. In his grief he is willing to sacrifice half of his brain just to possess one of these empty shells. He can sleep with her, make her climax, but not much more. She is less than a newborn baby.
posted by morganw at 3:30 PM on March 23


It kinda makes me cringe how many robotics projects are about making sexy female androids.
You can do better than that: is the vibrator or that japanese boyfriend pillow the ultimate manbot, or just a truncated reflection of gender bias in society?

For my anthropology PhD thesis, I'll be exploring the sexual undertones of Bagger 288 and how it reveals continental Europe's deeply conflicted views on the Gaia hypothesis.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:34 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Dear Coleopterans, the beetle race that will come after, from the ape descendants: greetings!

I assume you are decoding this from a hard drive recovered from a landfill, a million years in my future. Take heed, my chitinous friends!

We had a celebrated mathematician: Johnny von Neumann. He speculated about machines that could reproduce themselves. Ha ha! So naive! He never imagined that the machines would become more beautiful, more inhumanly perfect, than their creators. The end of humanity was not that the machines took over. It was that humanity surrendered to their dreams, and so their seed was spent on rocky shores.
posted by SPrintF at 3:47 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


DON'T DATE ROBOTS
posted by The Whelk at 3:49 PM on March 23 [9 favorites]


So I figured out what bothers me about the sexbot thing, and what makes it different than other eroticized representations of women. Erotic art, while it can certainly tittillate, can also have aesthetic value, or explore interesting questions around sex and sexuality. Pornography, while generally lacking either aesthetic or artistic value, is intended more as a fallback when a human partner isn't available.

The end goal of the sexbot, though—at least as it's usually portrayed in science fiction and fantasy art—is to replace women as sex partners, to provide an object that fulfills all the sexual utility of real women without all of the "inconveniences" (not always being in the mood, or interested in having sex with you in the first place; having their own will and interests which might not coincide with your own; not being interested in porny performances or whichever degrading sex acts you're into; etc.) It's the technological "perfection" of women into what men want women to be, allowing us to discard the old, problematic version.

Which, yeah, creepy.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:50 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


Does that really push the science along, or is it just a bunch of socially maladjusted engineers living out a weird fantasy?

They aren't all male engineers. I don't find the fantasy that weird, actually. ASFR attracts all types of personalities with different personal motivations. Not everyone is interested in the objectification of women in the form of a creepy depersonalized ideal feminine figure, or similar. I find the aesthetic pretty fascinating, but speaking only for myself, this creature is not exactly the ideal realization of that fantasy. (What's with the face?) My own ideal is more along the lines of Data.

Then again, I'd want an intelligent android partner more than a mere sexbot, which probably does put me in some weird minority. Wake me up when we reach the singularity.

/NoShame
posted by quiet earth at 5:01 PM on March 23


how ironic that i just finished posting on FacePlace about a reference to this in Artforum's Scene & Herd column. i am not a fan. of the artist or the art. talk about rich, shitty, white dudes being rewarded for being rich, shitty, white dudes.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 5:01 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Almost Human S01E02 did a pretty good treatment of sexbots. As Mogur noted above, in their grim meathook future they have male sexbots. But mostly the show did a good job depicting how creepy the whole sexbot was, with intelligent but sub-sentient androids in pathetic uncomfortable situations. Some funny bits, too. Good TV. The whole show is good, particularly Michael Ealy.

This video is fairly impressive, some of the body motions look more natural than the All is Full of Love video. (Not the facial expressions of course, but Cunningham cheated on those in his video.) As for for sexy gogo dancers impaled on a pole and wearing a creepy green monster mask, well, that's my fetish.
posted by Nelson at 5:01 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


I do not find it any more creepy than the more common and socially acceptable attempts to find a partner who fulfills the same parameters.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:07 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


The end goal of the sexbot, though—at least as it's usually portrayed in science fiction and fantasy art—is to replace women as sex partners, to provide an object that fulfills all the sexual utility of real women without all of the "inconveniences"...

I would think it's a pretty safe bet that there are far more SF depictions of sexbots in which we learn that this is a Very Bad Idea than ones in which it's presented as The Solution to All Our Problems. But that question aside, I find the idea that the invention of the sexbot would imply a settled preference for sex with sexbots over sex with real people (of either gender) pretty implausible. It's like saying that the invention of the restaurant means the end of home cooking. I mean, yeah, there are some people who never eat in their homes and some who wish they ate at home more often, but most of us see restaurants as supplemental: we still like preparing meals at home, but every so often a meal out is a nice change, or we're too busy to eat at home or we're not well and it's easier for all concerned to order in etc. etc. That is, the two things can coexist, can each afford certain kinds of irreproducible and incommensurate pleasures and yet each is, from a certain perspective, doing the same "task" as the other.

I can imagine ways in which sex with a (good enough) sexbot could be a fairly enjoyable form of masturbation, but I can't imagine it offering the same pleasures as sex with another human being--where a major part of the pleasure is ones consciousness of the pleasure one is giving ones partner. No matter how much the sexbot had been programmed to say "yes! yes! Oh my God, that's it!" or whatever, you're going to know at some level that it's just running the program. But unless you're saying "masturbation=denying any possibility of pleasure with a(nother) real human being" I don't see why sex with a sexbot needs to mean that.
posted by yoink at 5:14 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Hmm, robot hand actuation has moved to the Fosse level. Interesting.
posted by angerbot at 5:23 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


I cannot wait for sexbots to arrive. They will take so many of the most annoying humans out of the online dating pool.
posted by benzenedream at 5:24 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


If anything, it seems like the RealDolls of today (and the sexbots of tomorrow) do society as a whole a service by removing those individuals who want a completely subjugateable partner from the general dating pool.
posted by sparklemotion at 5:24 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


If anything, it seems like the RealDolls of today (and the sexbots of tomorrow) do society as a whole a service by removing those individuals who want a completely subjugateable partner from the general dating pool.

I think one wants to be a bit careful about being too judgmental here, although I'm sure you're right about some of the kinds of people who would be attracted to such sexual surrogates. But there will be plenty of people out there who are simply too afraid of rejection for one reason or another to whom something like a sexbot would be a godsend. They're not people who are looking for some sort of will-less slave, they're just people so convinced of their unlovableness that they've given up on finding a partner.

And, sure, I imagine that an even bigger win would be for them to overcome those feelings--but a) that's easily said and b) I can imagine ways in which a sexbot could actually help people get confident enough to do just that.
posted by yoink at 5:29 PM on March 23


That's a good point, I was responding mainly to the idea of sexbots being creepydeepy objectification objects that make the world worse. I do see how they could have multiple benefits.
posted by sparklemotion at 5:32 PM on March 23


Great thread, creepy art thing, all I could think of while watching was Freddy Kreuger needs a new agent.
posted by vrakatar at 5:43 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Freddy Kreuger needs a new agent

"Nightmare on Tickle-Me-Elmo St."
posted by yoink at 5:45 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


The idea that sexbots could replace people is very naive, and while it is possible it is only possible for people I'd consider rather pathetic.

I once wrote a couple of SF stories about a world (actually a remanufactured universe) where the ultimate sexbot was possible -- it would be completely indistingishable from a human, including a personality animated by no less a force than god itself. But not being human it could be exploited and abused without mercy, and nobody, especially not the godlike animating force, would care.

Which resulted in a side story involving a lot of sadomasochistic themes ending on this note:
The (currency) Bugsy is backed by human misery. The one thing you can buy with a Bugsy that you can't simply ask Prime Intellect for is the suffering of another bona fide human being. Not a facsimile or a simulation or a recording, but a real live person who feels as you feel. There aren't many places in Cyberspace where you can have that at all, and most of them are expensive in other very personal ways. You asked me why we have a parking garage; that, Galan, is why we have a parking garage. The parking garage is the Desert Sand Casino's version of Fort Knox.
I think that is one of my better glimpses into our inner weirdness, and even when sexbots are perfect doing it with a human will still be a different kind of thing.
posted by localroger at 5:47 PM on March 23


it would be completely indistingishable from a human, including a personality animated by no less a force than god itself. But not being human it could be exploited and abused without mercy

The premise makes no sense to me, though. Something "indistinguishable from a human" is a human--just as a color "indistinguishable from red" is red. If, on the other hand, you mean "indistinguishable under certain circumstances from human" (just as blue may be indistinguishable from red under certain lighting conditions) then I say "so what"?
posted by yoink at 5:54 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.
posted by allthinky at 6:13 PM on March 23


Does that really push the science along, or is it just a bunch of socially maladjusted engineers living out a weird fantasy?

Kreiger disagrees.
posted by bongo_x at 6:34 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


I cannot wait for sexbots to arrive. They will take so many of the most annoying humans out of the online dating pool.

Wouldn’t that seriously be a possible positive aspect, to let some people release their worst aspects on something rather than another human?
posted by bongo_x at 6:36 PM on March 23


I cannot wait for sexbots to arrive. They will take so many of the most annoying humans out of the online dating pool.

Are the people who really, really want a sexbot (or who are already buying a sexdoll) part of the current dating pool in any serious way?
posted by Dip Flash at 6:41 PM on March 23


What, no Electric Barbarella?
posted by The otter lady at 6:48 PM on March 23


Something "indistinguishable from a human" is a human--just as a color "indistinguishable from red" is red.

Well, no, probably not. *chuckle*
posted by localroger at 7:11 PM on March 23


Yeah, but can it do EMERGE FROM SPHERE or DESCENDING BEAR?
posted by JHarris at 7:13 PM on March 23


You say creepy, I saw we are one step closer to my techo-demon army.

Soon my acolytes, soon. We will devour them all.


Err: ignore all of that, that was supposed to be "inside voice". I have no intention of subjugating or eating any of you.

yet.
posted by quin at 7:16 PM on March 23


Would we, as a society, care if our robots or clones, had feelings, thoughts or independence?

The more important question: Would the robots care if we didn't?
posted by mediareport at 7:21 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Some of us are in it for the robotics aspect, not the subjugation aspect. Just saying. Although I have no interest whatsoever in online dating, thank you. Know what this thread needs? More dismissive stereotypes.
posted by quiet earth at 7:26 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeepiest thing.
posted by zscore at 7:29 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Note to self: create an FPP to salvage the worthy ideas of technosexuality and fembots from this atrocity.
posted by quiet earth at 7:32 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Here's the gallery's page for Jordan Wolfson's exhibit, with photos of a bunch of pieces but not the ridiculously slutty sexbot, which is described like so:

Presented here for the first time, Wolfson’s animatronic sculpture combines film, installation, and performance in the figure of a curvaceous, scantily clad woman covered in dirt marks and wearing a witch mask. Unlike the artist’s two-dimensional subjects, this life-size character was developed in close collaboration with a special effects studio in California used by major Hollywood productions. The woman can be encountered on a one-on-one basis in a mirrored room in the gallery, creating a different kind of viewing experience that intensifies the importance of the gaze found throughout Wolfson’s work.
posted by mediareport at 7:43 PM on March 23


In every dream home, a heartache....
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:54 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


So I have a few processes/agents, and shortly some I would label full on "bots", doing Internet shit for me.

In my thinking I don't think of these as being autonomous, just as me doing things with tools.

So a guy codes up the optimal biofeedback ball-tickling maneuver to get some other guy off. Very homoerotic.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:57 PM on March 23


Poledancing robots
posted by homunculus at 8:30 PM on March 23


The exhibition's description mentions encountering "the woman": are sculptures typically described as though they are people? I know there's a tendency to ascribe human thoughts and motives to other creatures/things, but I guess I never really considered the idea of womanifying objects - or the issues that might result by transferring interactions with such creations to living, thinking people.
posted by unmake at 11:03 PM on March 23


I hadn't thought about sexbots positively before, but this thread has impressed me with the sexually therapeutic possibilities of sexbots. What if sexbots don't end up creating a horrible half sentient slave dystopia kind of thing, but just what if sexbots make us better human beings and romantic partners?

"Hey you wanna go to the club tonight?"

"Dude you know I can't talk to women."

"Man you need to get a sexbot and grow up. Jimmy from accounting got a sexbot and now he's in the PTA."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:14 PM on March 23


Wouldn’t that seriously be a possible positive aspect, to let some people release their worst aspects on something rather than another human?

So I don't know if getting one's rocks off really belongs under worst aspects (but maybe doing so without the consideration of a partner's desires does), but I could imagine someone with a compliant live-in pole dancing/cooking/sexbot might start to view actual humans as broken machines.

Or it might actually help the development of empathy. Even if it's just basic maintenance, taking care of something can maybe transfer over to paying attention to other (living) things needs.
posted by unmake at 11:24 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


re: sexbots -- isn't the sybian or whatever that motorized penis is called exactly that
posted by angrycat at 2:32 AM on March 24


It's not simply that the animatronics are being used to create the extremely typical 'sexy female' figure... as an artist, it can be pretty frustrating to see these fascinating (and expensive to access) technologies being used so often to explore the same white male fantasy narratives....

Not to get too 'feminist who sees patriarchy-kyriarchy in EVERYTHING' (wait, no, I AM going to be that way here, because seriously, how ELSE to explain this) but think about why this guy who grew up in New York happens to be one of the few artists who can find funding for a half-million dollar animatronics art project with the technical assistance of a top Hollywood special effects studio (shades of Matthew Barney's complex video productions.)

What kind of other visions are out there for using animatronics, special effects, etc? All the different voices and viewpoints from women, non-whites, those mentally or physically 'non-typical' ('disabilities'), when do they get to project their own complex visions of the world onto a stage where someone is paying respect/regard/attention to it?

I'll get off my soapbox now, but really, work like this sculpture, it's SO BORING. And I want to hear more voices, see new ideas getting the funding, platform, and attention that this one is.
posted by Sarah_Lena at 3:41 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]


That is bizarre. At first I thought it might be an elaborate fake (mechanical sexturk), but looking closely I don't think human arms could possibly be that long.

The second question that occurred to me is what would my city zoning commission think of a robotic strip club... I mean, it has no humans, right? Would you have to get a Zone X exception, and if you served liquor, would you have to pay the liquor license rate for establishments with dancing or without?
posted by miyabo at 5:05 AM on March 24


....I'm not sure this is supposed to be arousing.
posted by The Whelk at 6:31 AM on March 24


....I'm not sure this is supposed to be arousing.

What? It's a garishly dressed mannequin apparently impaled through the abdomen and attached to a mirror, wearing a witch mask and sort of dancing. Who wouldn't...?

I mean, it takes all sorts, right?
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:40 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


I'm not scared of this thing. Just start working your mojo to counter its mojo. When you have cross-mojulation, its head will explode.
posted by valkane at 7:21 AM on March 24


Or if a gang of sexbots bands together and holds you in sexy captivity, just act confusingly and irrationally around them and shut down their programming. Hey it worked in I, Mudd, another excellent sci-fi exploration of the sexbot idea.
posted by Nelson at 8:34 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, I almost pointed out that episode. What I found interesting is that Harry Mudd did female idealization two ways: Mudd's Women and I, Mudd. In the first instance he uses deception (Venus drug) to sell his women to lithium miners as ideals and in the other is the sexbot. What is even more interesting is that in the I, Mudd episode he had a robot of his wife who harangued him and existed for him to shout and assert his authority towards.
posted by jadepearl at 8:41 AM on March 24


All this talk about sex-bots is reminding me of Rick and Morty two weeks ago. Sex-bot sex might not be so consequence free as we like to imagine.
posted by codacorolla at 9:36 AM on March 24


create an FPP to salvage the worthy ideas of Technosexuality and Fembots

The unreleased Billy Idol albums?
posted by bongo_x at 12:43 PM on March 24


AFAICT, This is a human in a very cleverly designed robot costume.

Well done.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:58 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Nah, not with those shoulder joints. Not unless they found an armless woman to attach animatronic arms to, and if they can make animatronic arms that good, it'd be far simpler to make the rest of the animatronic woman than to find the necessary armless dancer.
posted by rifflesby at 3:32 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]


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