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Sex and technology meet the future — this weekend

from – Sex has always led technology. Early photography evolved on the back of dirty photos. Home video recording and VHS tapes gained traction first in the world of porn. And the Internet would never have grown into the insatiable beast we know today without the profitable, technology-driving porn industry.

But what of genetic engineering? Sex toys? Future robot sex?

They’re all the territory of Arse Elektronika, an alternative sex-meets-technology conference held in San Francisco (of course). Now in its third year, it kicks off Thursday night at the Roxie Theater, with film screenings, an opening celebration and the Prixxx Arse Elektronika Awards Gala.
Discussions, a hands-on session and presentations will include “Atomic Porn: What is the smallest particle of erotica?”, “Sexual Etiquette and Law in the Age of the Panopticon” (hello, Foucault!), “Of Hypercrotch and Nanobot” and “Steampunk Vibrator: DIY?”

Explore that last one at your own risk.

The classic vision of a laboratory is clean and cold, but this group of futurists, artists and engineers is thinking of science in new, unclean ways. Analee Neuwtiz, the editor of i09, calls it “naughty geeky weirdness.” She should know; she’s speaking on Saturday.


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