“Arse Elektronika” 2007

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Sample entrant: “Moaning Lisa”

Annalee Newitz writes:

Her name is Moaning Lisa, and I fondled her at Arse Elektronika, a conference in San Francisco last week devoted to pornography and technological innovation. Her creator, Matt Ganucheau, is a local artist and musician who likes to work with what he calls “novel interfaces.” He designed Moaning Lisa specifically for Arse Elektronika, with help from conference organizer Kyle Machulis, to demonstrate the videogame-like properties of the human body. Ganucheau used neural network processing in her programming, and the result is that her responses are randomized. Each time you try to give Moaning Lisa an orgasm, your sensor stroking has to follow a slightly different pattern.

That’s what keeps me hovering around Moaning Lisa in fascination. Her interface, though attached to a strangely distorted female body, seems human. She’s a reminder that every woman has different physical sensitivities, and that sexual stimulation varies from person to person — indeed, varies from encounter to encounter with the same person. She suggests we shouldn’t mystify sex, because after all it’s just like a game you play with piezoelectric sensors and potentiometers. Our bodies are a technology. Arousal is a program triggered by specific inputs.

Via Feminist Philosophers, where a commenter astutely observes:

Shades of Barbie! Note the tiny waist, the impossibly huge breasts. Let me guess: Her feet must be permanently molded to fit high-heeled shoes. Of course, there’s not a hair to be seen on the body (other than those weird hanks on her head). Moaning Lisa has a permanent Brazillian. No blemishes either. These inventors can’t make any claims to accuracy with respect to female bodies. Moreover, what’s also missing is that there’s no hint that Moaning Lisa needs to be communicated with in any way.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to “Arse Elektronika” 2007

  1. bob coley jr says:

    I wonder if these “inventers” have real live girlfriends or wives, or just some pictures and tapes. Who funds this shit?

  2. Eric says:

    No doubt Matt Ganucheau and the other conferees fancy themselves to be “edgy” and “transgressive” (or whatever the current hipster buzzwords might be). In reality, they’re just a bunch of techno-geek frat boys.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Of course technology offers unique ways to play with sexuality… as long as the sexuality being played with is male sexuality.

  4. Ralph M. Stein says:

    Ridiculous. But “Lars and the Real Girl” is doing rather well in theaters right now.