Arse Elektronika 2009 Festival Highlights

Arse Elektronika 2007

We’re absolutely sure that with the aid of super-futuristic technology that we know is being invented right now, sex in the future will be more amazing than our Cylon-Cylon (plus Replicant, plus Cameron/T9) fantasies could imagine. I mean, I just get stuck thinking of two Summer Glau’s kissing. But until then, and barring Chinese manufacturing of a cheap entry-level priced Peep Show Holodeck (patent pending), we have the annual international sex and technology festival Arse Elektronika.

This year’s theme “Of Intercourse and Intracourse” promises to be a buffet of futuristic and fantastic sexual innovations, artistic explorations, and virtual hallucinations of the sci-fi-meets-pr0n kind. The thing is, it’s in just two weeks and with people flying in from all over the world to participate, there are a lot of talks and happenings to choose from. Starting October 1 to the 4th, events will be at various San Francisco locations including Roxie Theater, Center for Sex and Culture, Noisebridge, Femina Potens Gallery, and PariSoMa.

Tickets to each of the three-day events are here at Brown Paper Tickets. The main site with the full schedule is here.

Annalee Newitz

Don’t have time to sift the schedule to find out where to see the hot robot sex action? Here are recommended highlights:

* Thursday, October 1 is the opening night, and we’re excited to see that Annalee Newitz will be speaking at the opening gala. It officially starts at 6pm with an explicit film festival at the Roxie Theater in the Mission, and is followed by in-theater opening presentations that, if you’ve seen the Arse opening (and award ceremony) before, you’ll know they’re anything but dry. Also, not on the schedule is a hardware-hacked Atari Joydick showdown: male vs. female gaming parts. We’re sure this will be pretty outrageous.

* Friday, October 2 talks start at the Center for Sex and Culture at 8pm, but the one we won’t be missing is Johannes Grenzfurthner‘s “Dating Yog-Sothoth and Fucking a Zombie.” If you’ve seen his presentations, you know he’s — rather unpredictable. The talk’s description is only, “Bizarre Sci-Fi and Fantasy in Graphic Novels. No spoilers.” Enough said.

* Saturday, October 3 is the Big Fat Future Sex Day, with talks going from 11:30am to 9pm at ParisSoMa, then a not-to-be-missed (though limited capacity) evening gala at frisky erotic art gallery Femina Potens, starting at 10pm. Daytime talk highlights include “Sex Without Meat: How Singularitarians View Sex” by R.U. Sirius, “Will You Still Love Me Like This In The Year 2300?” by Annalee Newitz, and “Biometrics in the Bedroom” by Kyle Machulis (AKA qDot).

* Sunday October 4 is the hackfest: at hacker space Noisebridge, sex hackers will demo how to create a Joydick (and other sex/gaming hybrids), you can learn how to make your own ‘steampunk’ vibrator from the expert, the Thrillhammer‘s Allen Stein will show you genital-based haptic devices and much more.

We’ll see you there. Just don’t get your dangly bits too close to the moving parts. Unless that’s your fetish.

photos by Scott Beale