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Arse Elektronika

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Title: Arse Elektronika  
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Arse Elektronika

Arse Elektronika
Genre Sex and technology conference
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Various
Years active Since 2007
Inaugurated 2007
Organised by monochrom

Arse Elektronika is an annual conference organized by the Austrian arts and philosophy collective monochrom, focused on sex and technology. The festival's curator is Johannes Grenzfurthner. The name Arse Electronika is a pun on Ars Electronica, the name of an arts and technology organization also based in Austria.

Speakers at past conferences have included Violet Blue, Mark Dery, Richard Kadrey, Annalee Newitz, Carol Queen, Susie Bright and Rudy Rucker, with demonstrations by Kyle Machulis of the blog Slashdong; Heather Kelley; Allen Stein of Thrillhammer; and other engineers of the pornographic website Fucking Machines.

Past conferences

The first conference was held in 2007[1] to answer questions about the impact of sex on technological innovation and adoption. 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.

The 2008 conference, subtitled "Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep: Critical Perspectives on Sex and Science Fiction,"[2] focused on sex and technology as seen through the futurist lens of science fiction, as well as depictions of science fiction in pornography.

The 2009 conference, "Of Intercourse and Intracourse"[3] dealt with bodies and the modification thereof, including wetware, gene therapy, biotechnology and body modification. Talks also speculated on the social impacts of these technologies particularly the implications on heteronormativity if biological sex becomes easily changeable.

The 2010 conference, "Space Racy", dealt with issues of space, both in an architectural and aeronautical sense. Topics included the possibility of sex in outer space, the gendered and/or sexualized nature of built spaces, interspecies romance in video games, and an interactive installation in which participants could have sex while buried in a surveillant coffin.[4]

The 2011 conference, "Screw the System," dealt with sex, technology, class politics, and culture.

The 2012 conference, "4PLAY: Gamifuckation and Its Discontents" dealt with sex, technology and games.[5]

The 2013 conference, "id/entity" dealt with sex, technology and identity.

The 2014 conference, "TRANS*.*" dealt with technology and sexuality in societal and personal transition.

Past exhibitions

In April 2010, the first Arse Elektronika exhibition "Techno(sexual) Bodies" was presented at Videotage in the city of Hong Kong; it was curated by Johannes Grenzfurthner and Isaac Leung.


An important part of the conference is presenting sex-tech-related art performances.

In 2007, the organizers presented and demoed Fuckzilla (a fucking machine).

In 2010, monochrom created the "Six Feet Under Club". Couples could volunteer to be buried together in a casket beneath the ground. In a press release it explained that the space the participants occupy is "extremely private and intimate". The coffin "is a reminder of the social norm of exclusive pair bonding 'till death do us part'." However, this intimate scene was corrupted by the presence of a night vision webcam which projected the scene on to an outside wall. The scenario kept the intimacy of a sexual moment intact while moving the private act into public space. monochrom's performance can be seen as an absurd parody of pornographic cinema or an examination of the high value placed on sexual privacy.


pr0nnovation? Pornography and Technological Innovation (Arse Elektronika Anthology #1)

  • Edited by Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry. Published by RE/Search Publications (San Francisco) in cooperation with monochrom.
  • Features essays by Michael Achenbach, Timothy Archibald, Peter Asaro, Thomas Ballhausen, Binx, Violet Blue, Jonathan Coopersmith, Mark Dery, Thomas Edlinger, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Ema Konstantinova, Tina Lorenz, Stefan Lutschinger, Kyle Machulis (Slashdong), Aaron Muszalski, Annalee Newitz, Carol Queen, Thomas Roche, Autumn Tyr-Salvia, Frank Apunkt Schneider, Katie Vann, Rose White, Amanda Williams, Katherina Zakravsky.

Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep? Critical Perspectives on Sexuality and Pornography in Science and Social Fiction (Arse Elektronika Anthology #2)

Of Intercourse and Intracourse – Sexuality, Biomodification and the Techno-Social Sphere (Arse Elektronika Anthology #3)

  • Edited by Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry. Published by RE/Search Publications (San Francisco) in cooperation with monochrom.
  • Featuring essays and short-stories by Eleanor Saitta, R.U. Sirius, Jack Sargeant, Annalee Newitz, Katrien Jacobs, Christian Heller, Bonni Rambatan, Kyle Machulis, Saul Albert, Tatiana Bazzichelli, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Violet Blue, Carol Queen, Douglas Spink, Rose White, Rainer Prohaska, Thomas Ballhausen, Uncle Abdul, Elle Mehrmand (Echolalia Azalee), Micha Cárdenas (Azdel Slade), Ani Niow, Monika Kribusz, Noah Weinstein, Randy Sarafan, Allen Stein, Kim De Vries, Pepper Mint, Robert Glashuettner, Jonathon Keats.

Screw The System – Explorations of Spaces, Games and Politics through Sexuality and Technology (Arse Elektronika Anthology #4)

  • Edited by Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry. Published by RE/Search Publications (San Francisco) in cooperation with monochrom.
  • Featuring essays and short-stories by Jaakko Stenros, Paolo Pedercini, Rosalynn Rothstein, Adam Rothstein, Jack Sargeant, Anna Anthropy, Heather Kelley, Lindsay Grace, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Maggie Mayhem, Ned Mayhem, Kristen Stubbs, Marco Maiocchi, Margherita Pillan, Marko Radeta, Pietro Righi Riva, Samuel Coniglio, Katherine Becvar, Nadja Sayej, Thomas Ballhausen, Philip Freeman, Jonathan Mann, Rich Gibson, Maymay.


  1. ^ Silverberg, David (4 October 2007). "Sex Meets Tech at Kinky Conference in San Francisco" Digital Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  2. ^ Jardin, Xeni (26 September [2008]). "Arse Elektronika Event on Sex and Tech Now Under Way in SF". BoingBoing. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Arse Elektronika 2009". monochrom.
  4. ^ "Six Feet Under Club Takes Sex to New Depths". CarnalNation
  5. ^ Interview with Arse Elektronika curator Johannes Grenzfurthner in Kill Screen Magazine: "Stories about orcs and rape: the man behind Arse Elektronika"

External links

  • Arse Elektronika website
  • Archive of Past Conferences
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