and monochrom Host Arse Electronika

SAN FRANCISCO — will host Arse Electronika , a sex-tech themed conference that will take place Oct. 5-7, sponsored by Vienna-based art-technology-philosophy think tank monochrom. The conference will focus on the intersection of technology and sex and its effect on culture.

“According to a study by Simon Smith, more than 800 items were registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as sex toys between 1840 and 1997,” monochrome founder Johannes Grenzfurthner said. “Among them was a condom with a built-in computer chip that can play music. Progress?

“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 technological development,” Grenzfurthner said.

Various speakers will appear at the three-day conference including author of “Sex Machines” Timothy Archibald, philosopher Peter Asaro from Rutgers University's Center for Cultural Analysis, San Francisco Chronicle sex columnist Violet Blue, Viennese radio journalist Thomas Edlinger,’s Kyle Machulis, Center for Sex and Culture’s Dr. Carol Queen, editor Thomas Roche and Wired Magazine contributing editor Annalee Newitz, to name a few.

Topics of discussion will include “Putting It in Perspective: What Role Does Technology Play in Today’s Mainstream Porno Films,” “Pornomechanics: Sex Robots and the Mechanisms of Love” and “Getting the Message Across: Hardware and Software Interfaces for Sexual Interaction,” as well as several other seminars featuring technology-based sexual interaction trends and cultural analysis.

“The question is not whether these technologies alter humanity, but how they do so,” Grenzfurthner said.

Founded in 1993, monochrom calls itself “an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism.” The group publishes monochrom magazine and books, as well as sponsors many international events and projects that range in focus from art to politics to technology, as well as sex and pop culture and all combinations thereof.

Co-sponsored by Weinkultur and Laughing Squid tickets can be purchased through the Arse Electronika website. Admittance to all three days is $30 per person. The event will be held at’s Porn Palace, located at 415 Jessie St. in San Francisco.