We have our second-to-last scheduled Cornelia Street Observatory event coming up this Sunday with the erudite and intriguing Laura G. Duncan:
“Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend?”
An Exploration of Sexual Robotics, Teledildonics, and Carnal Technology at the Cornelia Street Cafe
An illustrated lecture with sexual health researcher, educator, and writer Laura G. Duncan
*IN MANHATTAN at The Cornelia Street Cafe as part of the HUMAN+ series*
The robotic bride. The orgasm ray. The sex machine. These classic tropes of science fiction—how fictitious are they really? Hybrids of sex and technology are flourishing in contemporary culture, from basement workshops where power tools are lovingly repurposed into bedroom aids to sexual media empires with genres devoted solely to robot-human couplings. The medical sciences have even gotten in on the act with models of sperm-powered nanobots.
Technology and sexuality have long been intimately connected, each inspiring innovation in the other and nowhere is this more striking than in the fields of teledildonics (computer-interfaced sex toys) and sexual robotics. The mechanical in service of the libidinal is rooted deeply in our cultural consciousness. So just how close are we to having a real life Data, the beloved android from Star Trek, as fawning partner to our eminently human Tasha Yar? Will we be able to disable our foes with weaponized orgasms? Can you learn to love a robot? Can a robot learn to love you?
Join researcher Laura G. Duncan for a multimedia lecture on sexual technology to find out. With examples from popular media, the medical sciences, and actual sexual robotics projects, this talk will work to explode the dichotomy between the “natural” and the “technological” and open a critical analysis of how society conceptualizes sexuality, science, and even the body itself.
Laura G. Duncan is a lecturer and researcher whose research focuses on social inequity in sexual healthcare and the influence of medicine on social understandings of sexuality and the body. She has taught sexual health education in a variety of academic, non-profit, and community venues and currently serves as a full-spectrum doula with The Doula Project. She is, disappointingly, not a robot. www.lauragduncan.com
This talk was originally produced at Observatory in Brooklyn by Morbid Anatomy.
About the series:
Cornelia Street Cafe and Observatory present a series of Observatory talks in the borough of Manhattan: HUMAN+ (You’ll Be Partly Plastic When You Die): Lectures on posthumanism, machine music, transhumanism, and machine love. These talks will introduce Observatory to a new audience and give presenters the opportunity to update their work.
Produced by the Hollow Earth Society and Ted Enik. Originally produced at Observatory. Thanks to our hosts, Cornelia Street Cafe, and our presenters: Kip Rosser, Laura G. Duncan, and Salvador Olguín.