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Sexual Simulacrum, Or Does A Hologram Have Agency?

posted Jul 27, 2015, 7:23 PM by Ellen Pearlman

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On the left subject in blue shirt sits with a VR headset and headphones on. Standing in front of him is a man, so he feels authentic human ‘presence’. What he ‘sees’ in the VR headset on the right is a Japanese woman undressing.

Fake sex, virtual sex, trick sex, its all being incorporated into the VR headset environment with Japanese robotics and human computer interaction leading the charge. It is interesting to note Japanese are having less sex than the rest of the world, a really strange simultaneous trajectory to create an environment creating sexual simulacrum.

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Man walking around subject in blue shirt - what he sees is a female walking around him half dressed.

Marvin Gaye glorified sexual healing and it seems to be a really big growth industry, pun intended. Tenga, a Japanese mastrubation aide manufacturing company is breaking into virtual reality, which they call a “Substitutional Reality System” or SRS. The idea came from video games, and the company wants to create private SRS rooms for clients where there is a virtual female and a Tenga sex toy - thereby promoting their product line.

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Marvin Gaye about to be sexually healed by his love doctor from the 1982 video with the same name

Tenga already created a bright red VR grip toy to be used with an Oculus Rift anddemo’ed it a trade fair.

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Oculus VR of mastrubation aid in red (Tenga Toy) and everything else is virtual

Since it was at a trade fair, they could only put a guy in an Oculus and use a robot to do the up and down pumping with the sex toy while he viewed an image of a blond pigtailed Japanese girl churning the virtual butter.

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Robot arm moves red Tenga sex toy up and down while hapless subject in VR headset sits totally flummoxed in front of a crowd of gaping onlookers

But that was just the beginning. For trade show demo number two, this is what hapless subject saw in his VR Rift.

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Now entering the Tunnel Of Love

Meanwhile, in front of a ton of gawking onlookers, hapless subject is getting red sex toy slammed into his privates with a rocking motion by a robot arm as everybody observes. I guess sex with an anime figure in front of a crowd while immersed in a VR headset is hot stuff for some people.

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Note red mastrubation aid slammed up against hapless subject’s crotch with robot pumping it in a rhythmic motion. Hapless subject sees in-depth Tunnel of Love girl figure. 

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Let’s pump up that  jam robot style

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Which reminds me of that great 1990 Technotronic hit, “Pump Up the Jam”, which should have been the soundtrack at the trade show demo.

Or in a best case scenario they should have played the great Salt-N-Pepa hit “Push It

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Pepa pushing it good

Its a collision of art, anime, video, haptics, VR, cognition, fantasy, sexual and gender politics - and Japan’s declining birth rate - you can’t make this stuff up. How the art world is going to tackle this one should bear some really interesting fruit.

Then there was the little dust up in Chicago on July 25th with a hologram threatened with arrest. The rap artist Chief Keef, who seems like the real gangsta deal, including the potential to incite riots (though his fans beg to differ) performed at a ‘Stop the Violence” concert in Illinois though he was physically located in California. He was banned from having his hologram beamed into the concert venue. The Hammond, Illinois police deemed he was too incendiary and pulled the plug shutting the venue down after only two minutes of virtual beaming. Actually, when you think about it its a great publicity bump because otherwise I would not know who 19 year old Chief Keef is. However Hologram USA CEO Alki David was not a happy camper about the abrupt cancellation. 

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Does this hologram of Chief Keef have agency? Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

As if virtual sex wasn’t enough to deal with, now holographic agency is upon us.

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