CFP Arse Elektronika 2008: sex & technology

Muito legal esse Call For Papers do evento Arse Elektronika 2008“Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?” Critical Perspectives on Sexuality and Pornography in Science and Social Fiction que acontecerá no Ft. Mason Center, em São Francisco de 25 a 28 de Setembro de 2008. O evento é um projeto organizado pelo grupo vienense Monochrom, que mistura arte, tecnologia e filosofia e, possui um formato de painels e lectures com performances de grupos artísticos. O ano passado um monte de gente legal participou do evento como Mark Dery, entre outros.

Essa temática focada em sexualidade e pornografia na Sci-Fi pode render um monte, ainda mais fazendo o link com o Do androids dream of electric sheep? (1968) no qual Philip K. Dick explora bastante a tensão sexual entre os personagens humanos e os andróides, que também percorre o filme (Blade Runner). Aliás, PKD foi um dos primeiros autores do “gueto” da Sci-Fi estrangeiro a tratar do tema – além de falar sobre os problemas de relacionamento homem-mulher – em seus contos, livros, etc. Isso dá a obra dele um “status” mais “adulto”, contrastando com cenas quase pueris que apareciam no gênero até então. A questão da sexualidade dentro da visão de mundo FC só veio mesmo à tona com a geração New Wave of Science Fiction a partir dos anos 60. Aqui no Brasil, André Carneiro e outros autores também tratam do tema (bem, mas não vou me aprofundar em detalhes pois tem gente que pode falar bem melhor sobre os casos brasileiros ).

Como leitura para penetrar (ô piadinha de duplo sentido mais cafona rs) no vasto assunto sexo e tecnologia, recomendo C´Lick me: a netporncom studies reader, uma antologia de artigos editada por Katrien Jacobs, Marije Janssen e Matteo Pasquinelli, que engloba dois anos de debates nas conferências (The Art and politics of Netporn de 2005 e o C´Lick Me Festival em 2007, ambos acontecidos em Amsterdam). No e-book (para visualizar o pdf basta clicar ali no título do livro) é incluída uma versão ampliada do ótimo artigo “Playblog. Pornography, performance and cyberspacede Nishant Shah (2005).

Abaixo o CFP completo.

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 arse2008@monochrom.at 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.

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