Our news feed, shoggoths. Our mission is culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets)
of ideology and entertainment.
WTF: "Heute" tabloid reports a third time about "Six Feet Under Club"
Sex in the coffin: "Heute" reports again!
Viennese tabloid "Heute" reports a 2nd time about the "Sex Feet Under Club". Here's the Link
We are booked out for Friday, but maybe you get lucky: we will have a coffin tombola for 3 slots.
for more info.
And here is out project page
monochrom's Six Feet Under Club in Vienna: "Heute" tabloid newspaper calls us sexperts!
Sex in a coffin! We want you to go down!
If you want to book a slot for have sex in a coffin, please visit our Facebook page
And here is the official project page
of the Six Feet Under Club
Roboexotica: Do Androids Dream of Electric Schnapps?
Great article about the history of cocktail robotics. With a shout-out for Roboexotica
The first Golden Age of the automated potationist was the 1950s: In The Stars My Destination,
the novelist Alfred Bester introduced a robot who served both cognac
and epiphanies; in France, there debuted a model that resembled a gas
pump and modulated the potency of your Martini according to its
assessment of your drinking capacity. Charting the evolution of the
robot bartender forward from the ’50s is akin to tracing the history of
software technology. In 1973, early adopters were slipping in a punch
card and then sipping Planter’s Punch. In 1984, they were knocking back
vodka tonics with the aid of laser-disc software. In 2013, Google
convention-goers downloaded to their phones a Makr Shakr app. In a
perfect reflection of the ethos of the social Web, the app
simultaneously enabled drinkers to express micro-specific personal
preferences and encouraged them to create “crowd-sourced drink
combinations” (which I’m guessing all turned out like Long Island Iced
Teas). Where do we go from here?
Vienna. December will bring the 15th installment of Roboexotica, a “festival für cocktail-robotik”
constituting a cyberpunk prelude to the ball season and a neo-Dadaist’s
idea of a tech conference. Founded in 1999, the festival encourages
semi-serious discourse on “the role of Cocktail Robotics as an index for
the integration of technological innovations into the human Lebenswelt”
and documents “the increasing occurrence of radical hedonism in
man-machine communication.” I don’t know anything about the leading
contenders for Roboexotica’s Annual Cocktail Robots Awards. But I am
sure that in 2013 we are far, far away from that era when some cantinas
wouldn’t even allow droids to enter.
GoSensual reports about Arse Elektronika
Great article about Arse Elektronika
by Anja Herberth. German only, sorry.
monochrom's "Arse Elektronika" ist ein Festival der besonderen
Art: Es geht um Sex, Pornografie und Medientechnologien. Sex und
Pornografie haben in der Vergangenheit eine wichtige Rolle in der
Entwicklung von Technologie gespielt – und werden sie auch in Zukunft
treiben. Bis dato haben Medienfestivals diesen Umstand kaum thematisiert
und elegant vermieden.
Die international ausgerichtete "Kunstneigungsgruppe" monochrom widmet
sich der engen Verbindung zwischen Sex und Technologie und organisiert
seit 2007 jährlich die “Arse Elektronika” in San Francisco.
Die Arse Elektronika ist, wie viele andere Projekte von monochrom, handfeste Kommunikationsguerilla, oder auch 'Kontext-Hacking'. "Wir
haben uns als fixen Ort für die jährliche Arse Elektronika San
Francisco ausgesehen, weil dort durch Silicon Valley die richtige
Mischung an interessierten Geeks und Nerds, aber auch das richtige Maß
an sexueller Offenheit gegeben ist", so Festivalleiter Johannes
Grenzfurthner, "Wir hatten aber auch schon einmal ein Gastspiel in
Hongkong und planen Aktionen und Ausstellungen zum Thema in London und
Berlin." San Francisco ist weiters eine 'Ausnahme' in den USA, so
Grenzfurthner, mit einer "langen Geschichte der Gegenkultur, der
Cyberbewegung. Es ist dort wesentlich einfacher, offene Leute, aber auch
Sponsoren zu finden."
MAKE blog recommends Roboexotica 2013
I'm a big fan of cocktail robots and the number one destination for barbot enthusiasts is Roboexotica, a festival held every year in Vienna.
They'll also be announcing the Annual Cocktail Robot Awards,
which celebrate cool barbots with awards in eight different categories,
including mixing and serving, as well as a 3D printed category.
The festival will take place this Dec. 5-8. If you’ll be in Vienna, don't miss it…
Laughing Squid recommends Roboexotica 2013
Roboexotica 2013, a festival for cocktail robotics, takes place December 5 to 8 at the Ragnarhof art space in Vienna, Austria. The 15th annual Roboexotica is presented by Monochrom, SHIFZ, and Bureau of Philosophy.
Until what seems almost recently, no attempts had been
made to publicly discuss the role of Cocktail Robotics as an index for
the integration of technological innovations into the human Lebenswelt,
or to document the increasing occurrence of radical hedonism in
man-machine communication. Roboexotica is an attempt to fill this
vacuum. It is the first and, inevitably, the leading festival concerned
with cocktail robotics world-wide.
Poster by James Brothwell
Roboexotica 2013: The poster is here!
15 years of Roboexotica... and a really great poster design by James Brothwell. Fuck yeah.
Jane McGonigal's TED talk about monochrom's "Massively multi-player thumb-wrestling"
How did we miss that?
Jane McGonigal gave a TED talk about our game concept for "Massively multi-player thumb-wrestling".
The idea is already almost 9 years old, and still people play it all over the world. Proud.
What happens when you get an entire audience to stand up and connect with one another? Chaos, that's what. At least, that's what happened when Jane McGonigal tried to teach TED to play her favorite game. Then again, when the game is "massively multiplayer thumb-wrestling," what else would you expect?
monochrom wants you to go down: SIX FEET UNDER CLUB -- in Vienna
6fuc in Vienna, Austria @ Schwelle7
November 29, 2013
In the age of data mining, a person's sex life may contain less embarrassing details than their web search history. Does it make sense that the former is a tightly guarded secret while the latter is shared with anonymous corporations daily? Even though a sexual nature is one of the few things most humans share in common, our social convention is to push all trace of it out of the public sphere. The Six Feet Under Club offers attendees a unique opportunity to experience the warping of public and private intimate space.
Couples can volunteer to be buried together in a casket beneath the ground. The space they occupy will be extremely private and intimate. The coffin is a reminder of the social norm of exclusive pair bonding "till death do us part". However, this intimate scene will be corrupted by the presence of a night vision webcam which projects the scene on to an outside wall. The audience will be privy to the scene inside, but the volunteers in the coffin will be completely isolated from them. The scenario keeps the intimacy of a sexual moment intact while moving the private act into public space. It can be seen as an absurd parody of pornographic cinema or an examination of the high value placed on sexual privacy. Either way, won't you become a member of the Six Feet Under Club?
Neural Magazine reviews monochrom's "Context Hacking"
Neural Magazine reviewed our "Context Hacking"
In 1993 Johannes Grenzfurthner posted on Fidonet about his intention to
start a fanzine on politics, network and pop culture, and Franz Ablinger
answered almost immediately. That was how the Viennese “monochrom”
collective started. This thick hardcover publication seems to be the
perfect container for twenty years of activity, restating their history
in a different form. But although the publications have been constant
over time, they have confronted and engaged with a large number of
different cultural and artistic contexts. This reflects the
heterogeneity of the founding members, who share what used to be called a "communication guerrilla" background, but who embody different
attitudes towards communication in unexpected, sometimes quite extreme
fields. They have been and are dystopic but maintain an ironic and
cyberpunk attitude, talking about the future through performances,
festivals, installations, sitcoms, theatre, video games, among other
media. The text makes clears their roots in their home country and their
awareness of the academic discourse in which they are situated. But the
book also includes a catalogue of very symbolic exhibitions, which
represents their main projects in a very playful and unifying way. They
effectively generate aesthetic consistency over diverse projects,
preserving and reinforcing with striking representational contrast the
pure subversiveness of their work.
monochrom's Arse Elektronika presents Maggie Mayhem: "Activism/Tech/Sex Work"
monochrom's artist-in-residence Maggie Mayhem
will talk about activism, technology and sex work!
Where? Raum D (Museumsquartier), Vienna. On November 14, 2013; 7 PM.
Link (FB event)
monochrom @ Blue Bird Panel: "Crowdfunding: The better way of financing music?"
With Amanda Palmer, Johannes Grenzfurthner (monochrom), Ingrid Brodnig (Falter), Markus Keuschnigg (Slash Filmfestival) and Heinz Wolf (departure, M185).
Kickstarter and other crowd funding platforms have opened new avenues for artists and entrepreneurs to realize their visions. Even though a story of success for many, does crowd funding really work for everyone? What are the problems and challenges that arise when the sole responsibility for a project's success or failure rests on the artists' shoulders? And do campaigns of well established performers divert attention from smaller projects thus making it harder for them to find funding?
November 13, 2013; 7 PM.
At Haus der Musik, Seilerstätte 30, Vienna, Austria.
monochrom @ FSCONS Gothenburg: "Subverting Subversion: Or How We Can Fight Ourselves"
The ultimate horror is not the end of civilization, but its endless decline. But how can we get the message out if nobody wants to listen? We at monochrom call our working method »Context Hacking,« thus referencing the hacker culture, which propagates a creative and emancipatory approach to the technologies of the digital age, and in this way turns against the continuation into the digital age of a centuries-old technological enslavement perpetrated through knowledge and hierarchies of experts. Context hacking transfers the hackers’ objectives and methods to the network of social relationships in which artistic production occurs, and upon which it is dependent. In a metaphoric sense, these relationships also have a source code. Programs run in them, and our interaction with them is structured by a user interface. When we know how a space, a niche, a scene, a subculture or a media or political practice functions, we can change it and »recode« it, deconstructing its power relationships and emancipating ourselves from its compulsions and packaging guidelines.
Johannes Grenzfurthner will present some projects by monochrom, a worldwide operating collective from Vienna dealing with technology, art, and philosophy that was founded in 1993.
On November 9, 2013 (4:15pm) at FSCONS (the Humanisten-Building; Renströmsgatan 6) in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Maggie Mayhem: monochrom's new Arist-in-Residence in Vienna
Our new Artist-in-Residence, Maggie Mayhem
, just arrived from Santa Cruz, California!
Maggie Mayhem is an international social justice activist who applies her background as an HIV/STI prevention specialist into multimedia art, criticism, and performance. Her focus is on gender and sexuality.
(Bio, Q21 page)
monochrom's Buried Alive on "ORF: Im Schauplatz"
monochrom was part of an Austrian documentary about burials.
Of course we buried people alive. (Minute: 28:45; German only.)
Slixa: "Arse Elektronika: Like an Orgasm for Your Brain"
Slixa berichtet über Arse Elektronika 2013.
When Tizzy mentioned an event called "Arse Elektronika" (Sex, Tech Conference Arse Elektronika Kicks Off in S.F.) a
few weeks ago, I knew I had to attend some of the events taking a place
over four days just across the bridge in San Francisco. I had a feeling
it was going to be a big ole brain-gasm, and I was right!
In its 7th year, Arse Elektronika is a lot of things packed into a long weekend all around the city that embodies sexuality and technology. According to Mission Local, "With
more than 20 presentations over four days earlier this month, Arse
Elektronika 2013 attracted some 125 hackers, makers, artists, porn stars
and activists of all backgrounds and gender identities."
"From the depiction of a vulva in a cave painting to the newest
internet porno, technology and sexuality have always been closely
linked. No one can predict what the future will bring, but history
indicates that sex will continue to play an essential role in
This is the lead in to a video of the techiest porn you will ever see: a fucking (literally) robot giving it all to a woman behind a curtain. This is the physical embodiment of the weekends events.
I'm reminded of a some of the sex toys I've come across (specifically, the Sqweel 2 and the Fun Factory Stronic),
but this is obviously something much more than the sum of its parts.
This is another level. The robot holds all the toys and patiently fucks
her brains out. The intersection between advances of
technology, creativity of the mind, and our animalistic sex drives is
the embodiment of the weekends events, which are made up of many
distinct and nuanced talks, parties, and demonstrations, like the one
shown at the link above.
It was a busy weekend for the conference attendees, here's the schedule for an idea of the smorgasbord of talks and parties.
monochrom hosted Opening Gala of Elevate Festival 2013
Johannes Grenzfurthner (monochrom) wanted to know why he should stay in Graz for Elevate Festival 2013. He feared it would be one of a myriad of lame "we have to change the world" events... aka: a privilege wankfest. If the guest speakers couldn't convince him of the opposite, he said, he would take the next train to Kazakhstan, into a Soyuz rocket and flee to space.
He stayed. Hmm.
Nothing To Hide: monochrom is working on a documentary film about the end of privacy
A film by Johannes Grenzfurthner
Written by Christian Heller, Johannes Grenzfurthner and Roland Gratzer
Is privacy dying? More and more of our data is recorded, analyzed and distributed. Avoiding surveillance networks, our oversharing friends and invasive services becomes ever more costly, while the algorithms to mine this data for deeper knowledge on us keep improving.
Can privacy or "data protection" laws curb the trend? The governments tasked with enforcing them are themselves the biggest surveillance actors, unwilling to hurt their own intelligence abilities. The internet users whom these laws are supposed to protect thrust them aside every day, in exchange for greater social connection, and the integration of useful computer intelligence into their lives.
Liberalism praises privacy as a core value and safeguard to personal freedom. But this value evolved only in recent centuries, as part of the ideology of bourgeois society and its core unit: the patriarchal nuclear family. The value of privacy atomized and individualized many social issues as "private matters," taboo to public discussion and politicking. It sequestered women and children into privacy zones protected and isolated from the public; zones of safety, but also powerlessness. The 20th century's emancipatory movements reasonably attacked (though rarely fully abolished) these kinds of privacy, often with slogans like "the personal is political," and with public happenings and coming-outs.
To these earlier challenges to the value of privacy, the internet age adds ideas such as "data love", "the quantified self" and "lifelogging". These promise the enhancement of our memory, cognition and communication through the generation and sharing of abundant data on anything, including the personal. But can such gains by themselves make up for the problems caused by the privacy losses that they demand?
What are those problems, anyway? Many of them may derive from social pressures that were once deemed sufferable, if barely, because privacy promised a refuge from them. Will we now need solutions more radical than privacy to confine these pressures? How might such emancipatory post-privacy tactics look like? How can we: Force transparency on the power accumulations protected by secrecy? Adapt coming-out strategies developed in LGBT environments? Learn to use increasing communication and visibility between all of us to find social support and organize resistance against repression, be it repression of long-running forms, or forms that come with losing privacy?
Could we stop worrying and embrace the end of privacy?
"Nothing To Hide" is currently in production.
monochrom's Grenzfurthner in eSeL's card set
What a nice surprise. Johannes Grenzfurthner made it into eSeL
's playing card set.
As a 6! Roooooaaaaaar!
monochrom's CONTEXT HACKING @ hoergeREDE 13 - Festival for Text, Sound and Discourse
We present our reader "Context Hacking"
at the hoergeREDE-Festival.
October 26, 2013 at 6:30pm in Großer Minoritensaal in Graz, Austria.
monochrom @ Elevate: "Open Everything?"
Under which circumstances would Open Everything be able to unfold its emancipatory potential, and would an open society become a free and egalitarian society as well? Politics and the economy would need to get democratized while private data would need to be protected, and equal access to information and resources would need to be granted to all. How would this affect societal power relations, and what obstacles would need to be overcome? How could open media be organised without infringing personal rights? What would free access to knowledge mean for the economy, and would people be able to deal with such an abundance of information? How would artists and inventors make a living? It is probably impossible to predict in which way Open Everything will transform society, but all of us can certainly affect the direction of change.
With Anne Roth, Johannes Grenzfurthner (monochrom), Thomas Lohninger, Sonja Bettel. Moderation: Brigitte Kratzwald (Elevate) + Daniel Erlacher (Elevate).
October 24, 2013, 6:30pm at Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria.
monochrom hosts Elevate 2013 festival opening night
The opening show provides an overview of the contents of this year's festival. Numerous discursive and artistic contributions focus on the "Elevate Open Everything?" theme. The opening speech is held by the well-known Internet activist and computer security expert Jacob Appelbaum, one of the few hackers who combine intelligence, socio-political commitment and extensive knowledge. Tom Scott, a young comedian from England, addresses the ambivalence of modern technologies in two separate skits. Several contributors to this year's program, including the Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir and the German media and Internet activist Anne Roth, present a preview of the discourse contents of the coming days. Ann Cotten makes a literary contribution with a short essay on the festival theme. This year's music programme is introduced as well.
The evening is presented by Johannes Grenzfurthner of the art collective monochrom.
October 23, 2013, 8 PM @ Grazer Schloßberg, Graz/Austria.
Elevate 2013 / Link
Mission Local: "What is Arse Elektronika?"
Mission Local's Chris Schodt
published a great piece on Arse Elektronika (2013) and monochrom.
Welcome to the world of Grenzfurthner, the founder of Monochrom,
a leftist techno-art collective, who managed to turn such musings on
sex and technology into a small conference in the basement of kink.com.
That was 2007 and seven conferences later – the meetings are always
held in San Francisco – Arse Elektronika
has grown into a gathering, funded by donations, ticket, book sales,
and a small grant from the Austrian government. Grenzfurthner, now
a lecturer on art theory and practice at the University of Applied
Sciences in Graz, Austria, presides.
With more than 20 presentations over four days earlier this month,
Arse Elektronika 2013 attracted some 125 hackers, makers, artists, porn
stars and activists of all backgrounds and gender identities.
"Sex is very nearly universal, but it just isn’t discussed frankly by
most people," said Eric Sheur, an animator from Portland, who created
the sex storytelling show Mystery Box Show with his partner Reba Sparrow.
monochrom: What is Context Hacking? Our essay is online!
Our essay on "Context Hacking" can now be found online. (And in our monochrom theory reader
with the same name.)
Since the advent of modernism, artists have repeatedly attempted to
counteract the conflation of work and subject, because they have seen
themselves forced into an undesired role: that of a freedom and
independence whose flip side is isolation and powerlessness. While the
workers of the Fordist factory developed forms of collective struggle,
the particular form of artists’ existence – productive eccentricity and
manic-depressive individualism – hindered any attempt to organize and
push through demands that would improve the precarious conditions of
their life and work. As individuals who had been condemned to autonomy,
they faced great difficulties in escaping from the prison of their
Context hacking transfers the hackers’ objectives and methods to the
network of social relationships in which artistic production occurs, and
upon which it is dependent. In a metaphoric sense, these relationships
also have a source code. Programs run in them, and our interaction with
them is structured by a user interface. When we know how a space, a
niche, a scene, a subculture or a media or political practice functions,
we can change it and »recode« it, deconstructing its power
relationships and emancipating ourselves from its compulsions and
Arse Elektronika 2013: DONE! But what about Arse Elektronika 2014?
Arse Elektronika 2013 was truly awesome!
Need proof? Here is Dr. Xtreme
, sucking algorithmically.
But what about Arse Elektronika 2014? We are looking for a theme! Got an idea?
Please help us decide and make suggestions here
Arse Elektronika Opening Night: A Blast!
(Johannes and Vale, presenting the new Arse Elektronika anthology
More images here
AVN: "7th Annual Arse Elektronika to Tackle 'Id/entity'"
The 7th annual Arse Elektronika sex-tech conference, taking place
Thursday through Sunday at various locations in San Francisco, explores
the theme of "id/entity" through an array of seminars, performances and
Presented by monocrom, the confrerence gets
underway with a book launch party Thursday evening at Chez Poulet for
new Arse Elektronika anthology Screw the System: Explorations of Spaces, Games and Politics Through Sexuality and Technology.
On Friday and Saturday, at the Center for Sex and Culture,
scheduled programs will include keynote speech "19 Years in the Porn
Mines" by Christophe Pettus, "Advertising for Sex Outlaws" by Maggie
Mayhem, "Future of Fornication: Open Love in the Open Generation" by Lex
Pelger, "Digital Dildo Crafting in the Jungle" by Rex Johnson, and a
screening of the 1987 film Cherry 2000.
The event wraps
up Sunday at Noisebridge, with offerings that incude "David Fine's
Penis Idea," "Making a Vibrator That Listens to Your Body" by Micah
Elizabeth Scott, and "Sex, Lies and Porn on USB" with Arse Elektronika
organizer Johannes Grenzfurthner and comedian/podcast host Yoshi
For more information on Arse Elektronika, visit monocrom.at/arse-elektronika.
xfanz.com: "Sex, Tech Conference Arse Elektronika Kicks Off in S.F."
Kicking off tomorrow, the 7th annual edition of the Arse Elektronika conference
will tackle the "big-ass sweeping themes" of sex, technology and
identity to answer life’s most pressing questions … like "What does
sexual desire mean to a dolphin?"
Ok, and slightly more relevant queries: "Will apps like Bang With
Friends and gadgets like Google Glass provide us with the ultimate gonzo
pornoverse? What has been the effect of location-based hookup apps on
the architecture of cruising? What are the economics of niche dating
sites, and how are they policed? What are the ethical obligations
surrounding the ability to algorithmically identify those who are in the
According to the organizer, Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom, the
list goes on and on and ranges from the extremely esoteric to issues
that affect our everyday lives. This year's conference centers on the
interdependent evolution of the self and sexuality and technology.
The four-day event will begin with a gala hosted by Grenzfurthner for
the purpose of inauguration and celebration of the latest Arse
Elektronika Anthology, "Screw the System: Explorations of Spaces, Games
and Politics through Sexuality and Technology," published by RE/Search
The following three days will include eclectic presentations,
including a keynote address "19 Years in the Porn Mines" by erotic
filmmaker Christophe Pettus, "Digital Dildo Crafting in the Jungle" by
Rex Johnson, "Practical Privacy for Online Expression of Identity" by
Rich and Christie Dudley, as well as a Saturday night film screening at
the Center for Sex and Culture.
To purchase tickets to one or more of the events, click here.
Boing Boing recommends Arse Elektronika 2013
Hard to believe, but Arse Elektronika is in its 7th year! The annual festival about sex and technology will start Thursday in San Francisco - with talks, machines, games, workshops and performances!