Re: [-empyre-] a-life intimacy / transpecies relations..
> im particularly interested in human intimacy with a-life
> creations/creatures.. as i have experienced a-life (and other life-like
> soft/hard/ware constructs such as avatars, robotic animals, etc)
> a feeling of intimacy and relationship with our humanity..
> and i definitely want to intimately relate to Maria's cute and sexy tickle
> robots at the tickle salon :) they should be on internet mail order!
> Maria is the only one of you who seems to be playing with a.life in a skin
> to skin context , and i'm wondering how audiences react to that ?
We made these robots first of all for ourselves. Erwin and I always had
these little discussions going on who's turn it was to be stroked. Another
point with stroking eachother was that sooner or later tiredness,
repetition and slackening appeared. We found it interesting to see if it
is possible to generate sensitive touch sensations in an artificial way,
to create an autonomous robot for that purpose. A device that is able to
stroke you with an indefatigable attention.
But when we built the first prototype and put an image of it on our
website, it seemed that many people had the same desires and same
discussions going on. So instead of keeping them in our personal bedroom,
we started to show these robots at exhibitions, festivals, artfairs etc.
The problem is that you want to use these machines in private and not in
public. People who want to try it have to take off their clothes, at least
their t-shirt. Otherwise you can't feel anything, it is a very subtle
massage on the upper skin. People who don't care to be watched while they
are having a session, do enjoy it. They find it very relaxing and some
experience an increased body awareness.
Besides the pleasurable feelings on the skin, they experience
something that someone who is whatching "Tickle Salon" can hardly see: By
touching the skin surface the robot is getting to know you and it becomes
more intelligent, gentle and smooth after a while.
In the beginning the feeler makes more collisions with the body, and by
doing so it learns. Later on it can hover above the skin surface, only the
ends of the little fringe touch the skin. The robot knows exactly where
you are and it follows the contours of your body (of course you should not
be moving too much).
The machine does not try to simulate human movements, it has a behaviour of
its own. It makes very complex and unpredictable curves, and it can move
from head to feet in one long swinging stroke. When you are undergoing a
session you are able to feel this specific behaviour and after a little
while some people start to think about the feelings and the mind on the
side of the machine. They want to know and understand how it works, because
they become aware that this is a different kind of machine, not only a slave
for humans but also a machine with a life of its own.
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