Future Pleasure Objects

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Future Pleasure Objects

As part of an ongoing exploration into technology, identity, and gender, this project brings together researchers, industry, hackers, and artists. Below, the abstract for a paper is presented with a link to the full paper, and the work is ongoing, and can be found at http://www.futurepleasureobjects.com/

Carpenter, V., Homewood, S., Overgaard, M., & Wuschitz, S., (2018). From Sex Toys to Pleasure Objects.

The full paper can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/ewic/EVAC18.45

Abstract: In recent works, the topic of techno-sexuality, re-defined roles of gender and sexuality, and pleasure have begun to be explored. In this paper, we present a study done during two workshops in Vienna and Copenhagen on the topic of Future Pleasure Objects. The workshops have been conducted with artists, designers, technologists, academics, and industry experts and have resulted in a series of concepts which we introduce in this work.

Design anthropology was chosen as a research methodology as it combines observations, iterative actions in the development process and reflections. Using this method, we are able to both study and produce a theoretical framework by conducting workshops and observing the participants and other groups working within this topic. Furthermore, we have followed the dynamic situations in the development of new techno-sexual concepts and social relations throughout the project and iterated the overall framework for the continued search for future pleasure objects model.

Influential to the workshops was Judith Butler’s call to undo gender and her theory of performativity. We recognize the need to resist colonial and normative behaviour patterns, which mainstream sex toys replicate and enhance. To foster the development of ‘Future Pleasure Objects’ and oppose this normalization, the participants were invited to engage with, and facilitate creative self expression about how we experience sexuality and bodily pleasure. The ambition is to advance the vision of Future Pleasure Objects, and help mediate autonomous and non-binary articulations of desire and the machine. In this way, the introduced concepts initiate an artistic, playful and constructive critique on existing technologies of pleasure.

This looks to related artistic works and technologies, and speculates on the future of how communities, artists, technologists, and politics will create and relate to pleasure objects in a post-porn reality. As a contribution, we present a series of concepts derived from our findings in the two workshops which are in development and are intended to invite and engage future researchers and artists in discussion and development of Future Pleasure Objects.

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