Arse Elektronika 2010 / September 30 thru October 3!

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Arse Elektronika 2008: Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?

Call for Papers


Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?
Critical Perspectives on Sexuality and Pornography in Science and Social Fiction


Taking up where the successful conference in autumn 2007 left off, this year's Arse Elektronika stands under the motto "future" -- and the ways in which the present sees itself reflected in it. Maintaining a broadened perspective on technical development and technology while also putting special emphasis on its social implementation, this year's conference focuses on Science and Social Fiction.

The genre of the "fantastic" is especially well suited to the investigation of the touchy area of sexuality and pornography: actual and assumed developments are frequently depicted positively and approvingly, but just as often with dystopian admonishment. Here the classic, and continuingly valid, themes of modernism represent a clear link between the two aspects: questions of science, research and technologization are of interest, as is the complex surrounding urbanism, artificiality and control (or the loss of control). Depictions of the future, irregardless of the form they take, always address the present as well. Imaginations of the fantastic and the nightmarish give rise to a thematic overlapping of the exotic, the alienating and, of course, the pornographic/sexual as well.

In order to intelligently contextualize the abundance of queries that are involved here, this year's conference will be structured around three day-long discussion panels, each devoted to a specific theme. The impossibility of fitting many of these issues and relationships into such neat categorizations is not only accepted, but also encouraged.

Panel 1: Narration
Narrative positions and narrative media are closely linked in the treatment of the sexual and the pornographic. In the area of fantasization and its great variety of media differentiations (film, literature, computer games, etc.) this fundamental phenomenon is also expanded through the facet of a highly influential fan fiction. Submissions for this panel should deal e.g. with specific aspects of individual media, media complexes, distribution or reception.

Panel 2: Technology
Sexuality and pornography are manifestations of a social reality and are directly linked to questions of technological innovation, whereby fantasizing can also function as a motor of innovation. Submissions for this panel should deal e.g. with the present and future of technological developments, with social-technological aspects (e.g. space travel, plastic surgery, etc.) or with conditions of technologically driven development.

Panel 3: Politics
Science (and social) fiction, sexuality and pornography are often infused with colonialization strategies, conceptions of social norms and political strategies. Here the utopian, the dystopian and the xenophobic are mixed into a dangerous and interpretationally potent concoction. Submissions to this panel should deal with e.g. the juridification of the body, biopolitical standardization processes, political systems of domination and taboos surrounding interracial sex.

Submission requirements:

The 1-2 page submission, written in English, should be thematically oriented toward one of the three discussion panels. It should contain clear information regarding the methodology and up-to-dateness of the thesis it puts forth and detail the technical equipment required for the lecture's delivery. Submissions should be mailed to the arse team no later than 2 May 2008. Organizational considerations make it impossible to take into account submissions received after this date.

Each participant's written lecture notes should reach the organizers no later than 15 September 2008, the version for publication in the proceedings of the symposium by 15 November 2008.

Arse Elektronika 2007: MP3s online!

Finally we managed to get all audio recordings of all Arse Elektronika 2007 talks and panels online.



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Arse Elektronika's Terabyte Gloryholes:

main group, events 2009
2009, 2010 (Hong Kong), 2010 (SF)
Flickr pools:
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (Hong Kong)
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Arse Elektronika 2009 was supported by:

Arse Elektronika 2010. September 30 thru October 3, 2010 in San Francisco, USA.

We may not forget that mankind is a sexual and tool-using species. And that's why our annual conference Arse Elektronika deals with sex, technology and the future. As bio-hacking, sexually enhanced bodies, genetic utopias and plethora of gender have long been the focus of literature, science fiction and, increasingly, pornography, this year will see us explore the possibilities that fictional and authentic bodies have to offer. Our world is already way more bizarre than our ancestors could have ever imagined. But it may not be bizarre enough. "Bizarre enough for what?" -- you might ask. Bizarre enough to subvert the heterosexist matrix that is underlying our world and that we should hack and overcome for some quite pressing reasons within the next century.
Don't you think, replicants?