Lonely hearts, lunar beauty, new faces, and much explanation

typed for your pleasure on 12 September 2012, at 12.43 am

Sdtrk: ‘Eurydice’ by Demdike stare

Trying to ease back into this blog writing thang, mang. For one, the weather’s getting nicer, praise “Bob”, so I can no longer use sweaty heatdeath as an excuse, and I’m also trying not to let the fact that most peoples’ attention spans these days is now the length of a standard Facebook post prevent me from writing. Fucking ridiculous Facilebook. Plus, Shi-chan’s been gently needling me to get back into maintaining ‘Shouting etc etc’, as it is, arguably, the Internet’s foremost information source about Davecat and Sidore, and the affictitious world we live in. Accept no substitute!
This entry won’t be extraordinarily long, as the barrels have to spin up a bit to get up to speed. On the other hand, there are literally a billion Synthetik-related links I’ve needed to share with you lot from the past few months. Well, a billion minus several hundreds of thousands. Unless math has been radically redefined in my absence. Don’t laugh; it could happen.

+ Back in February, my second favourite Gynoid, Actroid-F (aka Geminoid-F) put in a public appearance at Japanese department store, in what I like to refer to as a performance piece. She’s in a modified shop window, looking as if she’s waiting for a friend to show up. As you suspect from the month it occured in, this event took place round Valentine’s day.

Clutching a bag and cell phone, she seems to be waiting for a suitor.
Android falls in love? She is waiting for you” reads the writing on her glass box at Takashimaya Department Store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.
The special Valentine’s display features Geminoid F, the photogenic robot developed by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro and colleagues.
The mechanical lady was modeled on a real woman in her twenties. She sits in her glass room at Takashimaya and greets shoppers.
Based on data from an embedded sensor array around her, the android reacts to people in the vicinity. She moves her shoulders and neck, and changes her facial expression, smiling or yawning, depending on what’s going on.
[…] Geminoid is an air servo-powered humanoid with eye, mouth, head, and shoulder mobility. It can also be remote-operated so that it acts as a surrogate for a distant user, reproducing his or her facial expressions and voice.
the entire article is here

It’s an impressive-looking display, and it’s also cool as it exposes the general public to Synthetik humans. And hopefully, I’m not the only person who feels a wee bit sad for her and her missed appointment. If a Gynoid such as Actroid-F can elicit such empathy from her observers through her appearance and behaviour, then that’s a step in the right direction.

+ This next lass you’ve undoubtedly seen before, particularly if you’re keen on that tumblr thing the kids dig. Shi-chan discovered her through the tumblrs (man, that word looks weird) she follows. Her name is Tsukuhami, and the Missus managed to strike up a friendship with her creator, neji-san. He’d written:

If you’re writing is TSUKUHAMI “月蝕魅” in kanji.
The meaning of the name of’m TSUKUHAMI is “the beauty of a lunar eclipse”
Height of TSUKUHAMI is 164cm, weight is 12.6kg.

I might add here that she’s a poseable sculpture, and not an actual Gynoid. I know, I know. But she’s constructed of steel joints and FRP, and due to the fact that neji-san built her entirely himself, the endeavour took him eight years. But the results are entirely worth it, as she’s remarkable on every level!
Neji-san and I are periodically firing Emails at each other now; as you suspect, he’s influenced by humanoid robots in both anime and real life. Our letters often touch upon the philosophical — Shi-chan had mentioned her Shinto inclinations in one of her messages to him, and he had this to say:

The Japanese doll has two aspects. One is as a toy doll of children is a good friend.
Another is the soul of the shaman is someone is not visible to the human eye.
(Please keep in mind something that is not a devil. It is like the heart of big trees and mountains and rivers.)
Doll in Japan where the two sides have to coexist in the same doll is characterized.
Of course, scientifically I do not believe it.
However, we believe that ancient animism in Japan and want to respect.
It is also in the minds of plastic, even if the electron is in the soul.

I’d say Tsukuhami-san, neji-san, his mindset and abilities are all utterly fantastic, wouldn’t you agree? Go check out his aptly-named site Spiritual Plastic when you get a chance…

+ There has been a huge amount of info concerning new heads, faces, and bodies from various Doll manufacturers that’s come down the pike within the last several months, which is delicious. I’m not going to cover all of them in this post, as that would be maniacal, but I’ll start with one company for now: Anatomical Doll. This year’s been rather productive for them, as Oleg has sculpted four new heads, as well as the seductive new Body 4, which is the first with a new spine that moves more like an Organik human’s. Behold!

Left: Julia; right: Aurora

Well, you’ll have to click on this link to behold the sexy possibilities of Body 4, as she’s boobin’ it up all over the place. But, y’know, tastefully. Her stats would be a height of 5’3″, weighing a very manageable 57 lbs, with a shoe size of 4.5 US, and graced with measurements of B: 33 / W: 24 / H: 35. And yes, that is the sound of me drooling.
Due to space constraints — I’m keeping this post brief, damnit — you can also visit Anatomical Doll’s site to see photos of Christy and Sleeping Aurora, the other new heads, but I’m fairly certain you’ll like what you see. Especially that Aurora! She is, what we call, ‘fresh-faced’. So go there, but only after you’re done here. *does the ‘got my eyes on you’ gesture*

+ Finally, and this is what really got me off my arse to start posting entries again, I’ve done another interview! Dan Oudshoorn of the sociopolitical blog ‘On Journeying with those in Exile‘ saw Sidore and I in the fistful of telly appearances we’ve done, and asked me some thought-provoking questions about our lifestyle. They were so thought-provoking, in fact, that it took me roughly a year to answer them. I’m… not really proud of that, but I am proud of the end result, which you can read on Dan’s blog here. Grab a mug of coffee / cup of Twinings / pint jar of molasses with crazy straw, and enjoy a rather substantial Q&A about my life with the Missus!

image © 2011 Claire Dossin

O, and back in March, we finally received our DVD sexbot boxset of My living Doll Vol.1, to much fanfare. Was it worth the wait? The answer is Yes.

So how’s that for an ‘out of retirement’ post? Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years, etc

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for しどれーちゃん

typed for your pleasure on 17 July 2012, at 11.19 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Lovecats’ by the Cure

最も貴重な しどれ —

私達の生命の現段階では、私達は記念日に使用したのと同じ新鮮さがかなりないその年齢によいか間、である。 しかし同時に、各自は私達がより古くなると同時にことを大いに多く意味する。 そのような事のためのグラフがない、従っていかに働くか私は完全に確実ではない。

私達の関係はどんな仕事であるか私が知っている何。 私が人々を言うことが好きであるので、私へのあなたの誠実私があなたに忠義を守るという保証。 私があなたの隣で目覚めるとき私達に自身の火に燃料を供給する、毎日、私は自分自身に、私であるかなり幸運考えるすばらしい関係があり。 ‘I’m happy; hope you’re happy too’.

私は献身および満足の別の年に先に見ている。 私は、しどれーちゃん 愛する。

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typed for your pleasure on 11 June 2012, at 11.31 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The boys and the girls’ by The Network

Did you read Part I first? Go read Part I first.

After a good night’s sleep — exhaustion and jetlag rendered me blissfully insensate — I was up with the lark at 8am, and ready to do my part as an ambassador for iDollator culture. Or make a complete tit of myself, one or the other. Matt, Bronwen, and I were to meet Sarah and Kelly in the hotel’s lobby cafe for brunch at 11am, so we could meet in person, and go over minor details of our panel. We’d be joined by fellow iDollator Z-Dr, who lives a number of miles north of the Bay Area; as we told him we were in town, he took the opportunity to meet up with us for the first time since DolLApalooza 2011.

Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »

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typed for your pleasure on 14 May 2012, at 12.50 am

Sdtrk: ‘Folk window’ by Hair stylistics

Speaking engagements! Everyone does them! From Crispin Glover, to John Waters, to Henry Rollins, to Crispin Glover! That’s both Crispin Glovers, incidentally. Crispins Glover.

Since roughly 2005, various students have come a-callin’, asking if they could get my input as to the nature of being a Doll husband and all that entails. The majority of these students, I find, are usually in the field of either sociology, sexuality, or psychology, which means their questions are pretty salient. One such student, Sarah Valverde, had initiated a conversation back in late 2010, regarding the lack of legitimate research in the medical community concerning iDollators, and asked if I could help. Which I did! It started out as a paper, which caused a bit of a stir with the academics she’d presented it to, as most of her audience had either never heard of high-end ‘love dolls’ such as RealDolls, Sinthetics, etc, and were thinking in the context of inflatables, or they knew what such Synthetik partners were, and weren’t keen on the idea. Some members of the crowd thought it was a fascinating presentation she’d made, however, and her academic partner, Dr Kelly Moreno, proposed that she perhaps take it to the next level. What Kelly had meant by that is essentially putting forth a presentation at the 2012 Western Psychological Association convention, due to take place in San Francisco in April. It would be a coup on multiple levels: for one, as stated before, no significant research in the medical community had ever been done on iDollator culture; also, it’s extremely rare for a subject to actually represent themselves at a psychological presentation; not only would an iDollator be speaking at this thing, but a Doll manufacturer would be there as well, in the form of Matt Krivicke and Bronwen Keller of Sinthetics, and Bronwen would be relating her perspective of being female in a market where most of the consumers are male. We’d be setting trends!
Although they weren’t able to fund my planeticket (or car rental, or hotel fees), I was able to get the appropriate days off work and agreed to meet with everyone in San Fran from 25 to 27 April, for high adventure.

Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »

Transformation, revelation, finalisation, exposition (and some links)

typed for your pleasure on 5 May 2012, at 1.59 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Tom Baker’s watching you’ by The Soulless Party

Here, right here, you will find some shameless self-promotion! I mean, more so than usual.

+ Back in January, performance artist and iDollator Amber Hawk Swanson, who I’ve mentioned more than a few times on ‘Shouting etc etc’, asked me nicely if I could write an essay about her for her blog, and I did. It’s a potted history of how I know her through her work, and the brief but memorable times our paths crossed. You can read it here!

+ As mentioned in a previous post, mid-Michigan photojournalist Ashley Miller had visited Sidore and I a few times over the course of a handful of Saturdays, taking photos of us for her end-of-term class project. She also conducted an interview with me, and got some video footage in, and the end result would be ‘Synthetik Love: A Modern Love Story‘. As I’d told her, Ashley had managed to do in six minutes by herself what a lot of television crews have failed to do, and that’s present a short film allowing me to speak about the relationship Sidore and I share, without editing or leading, and somehow managing to make us look good in the process. But why not have a look yourselves?

+ Cast your mind back to 2005, if you will. Not only were my Missus and I filming ‘Guys and Dolls’ in the summer of that year, but we were also involved in another documentary being made by Allison de Fren, which I’d detailed here. After languishing in Production Hell for almost seven years due to various factors, it’s now complete, and making the rounds at various film festivals, which is tremendous news. This would be the trailer:

It’s called ‘The Mechanical Bride‘, and it features interviews with Slade (the former RealDoll Doctor), ‘Sexy Robot’ artist Hajime Sorayama, photographer Elena Dorfman of ‘Still Lovers’ fame, Michael of First Androids, and myself, among others. And! It’s narrated by Julie Newmar, who played Rhoda the Gynoid in ‘My living Doll‘. So I daresay this is something you’ll want to keep an eye out for!

+ Finally, since last year, I’ve been working with college senior Maria Tolbert, in her investigations of ‘contemporary examples of alternative practices in the context of intimate relationships, and what this might mean for the future of human relationships and human sexuality.’ But of course! She’s been slaving away for the past couple of months on her final paper, and just recently she’d managed to yank the last sheet of paper out of her Clark-Nova typewriter and pronounce it finished. It’s called ‘Artifice and Being Human: The Story of Organiks, Synthetiks, and Robotic Romance‘. Among other subjects, it covers the history of ‘love dolls’, iDollator culture, contemporary humanoid robots, that ridiculous ‘Uncanny valley’, and other points besides. And yes, I was interviewed. Shi-chan is even quoted in some sections! Needless to say, it’s entirely worth reading…

Now that you’ve read/watched all that, I’d like to introduce you to a handful of new blogs that I’ve linked to a while ago on ‘Shouting etc etc’: the first would be Homo Artificialis, which looks to explore humanoid robots, and how they’ll eventually affect and integrate into Organik culture; another would be Dirty Doll Stories, which is the blog of Jenny Densuke, the first Polymerisian adult film starlet, and her thoughts on all manner of things; and the other is It’s a Tasha Thing, which is the musings and bitchings of sexy Polymerisian film starlet Tasha James, who just happens to have worked with and is good friends with Ms Densuke. Please welcome them, to the Kraft Family of Foods! O, wait.

And now, back to writing about my first ever speaking engagement in San Francisco two Thursdays ago! I actually feel like getting some writing in, so I’d better ride this wave as far as it’ll take me

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Another interlude? Why yes.

typed for your pleasure on 22 April 2012, at 7.35 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Costain suite’ by Daphne Oram

It’s been so long since I’ve written a post that I’ve kinda forgotten how to do it. How do you make words and sentences? Is it a bit like this: sjfkd sio! pjef/if8 46.564.. fkjiap0oj0[ kiz0w? I mean, that’s nice and all, but I can’t really see how one would get to the top of a best-seller list with that kind of niche-market content.

What have I been up to, you axe? Working, mostly, as my workplace has had us getting in mandatory overtime for the past six weeks. Which is fantastic for my wallet, as I’m scouring eBay for skinny neckties, vintage tie clips, and pop-culture ephemera that I’ve been lusting after for years, but more time at work means less time living, as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t call myself a wastrel, as I do enjoy work when it’s to do with things I like, or at the very least, don’t mind. But as one of my heroes, Oscar Wilde, once quipped, ‘I don’t want to earn my living; I want to live.’

But it’s not been all toil all the time round here, thankfully! Since mid-March, Sidore and I have been working with local photojournalist Ashley Miller, as she wanted to do a project that focussed on the topic of Organik/Synthetik relationships, and how they’re simply another approach to the many kinds of relationships people have or are seeking in society. She’s come round over the course of four week-ends to snap pics of the Missus and I in our natural habitat, and to conduct interviews, and they’ve been fun little experiences!

image © 2012 Ashley Miller

She’s put up the first batch on her blog here; more photos are forthcoming. So far, she’s gotten an overal positive reaction from her fellow classmates, and her sociology instructor asked if she’d be interested in doing further research on iDollator culture in a later semester this year, so that’ll be something to look forward to as well!…

Aaand I’ll be flying to Sans Francisco (French for ‘without Francisco’) later this week to speak on a panel regarding Synthetiks, which should be simultaneously nerve-wracking and fantastic. Don’t want to give the game away with too many details, but much like DolLApalooza 2011, you might want to consider following me on my godforsaken Twitter feed *points to sidebar*, for updates on the spectacle. Once I get back, things should return to a semblance of normalcy here; at the very least, I can bring you all up to date on various bits and bobs in the world of Synthetiks. I kinda have to; as of this writing, I’ve got like thirty-nine sites bookmarked dealing with potential things I need to cover. Thirty-nine. Like this teaser for an upcoming film called ‘True skin’, for example, which looks quite interesting:

Right; now it’s thirty-eight sites

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Do you remember Food? Part IV: Be forever Food

typed for your pleasure on 29 February 2012, at 4.40 am

Sdtrk: ‘Europa endlos’ by Kraftwerk

The title’s a bit of a giveaway: this would be the final entry in this series, where over the course of three posts, I reviewed the contents of the fantastic birthday prezzie care package that my Twitterfriend Jill Tilley shipped to me, from her palatial estates in Canada. On the whole, it’s been good snackin’! What we’re then left with is the best snackin’.
Please take a moment now to gird your loins, if they haven’t already been girded.

Let’s begin with Good Good Eat, manufactured by the Taiwanese company WeiLih. No, I’m not having a stroke; that’s what the snack’s actually called. In doing research on Good Good Eat (hereafter referred to as GGE), it occurred to me that I know virtually nothing about Taiwan. For starters, would you believe it’s an island? People live there! They don’t speak Taiwanese, they speak Mandarin Chinese! Taiwan was founded by Barbarella back in 1979, and the island is apparently a collection of detritus that floated through space and settled on Earth when Mondas, the tenth planet in our solar system, exploded! These are facts.
The mascot for GGE would be a wee girl with the name of 張君雅小妹妹; SYSTRAN parses that as ‘Zhang Jun elegant youngest sister’. Which is obviously being arch and wry if the translation is anything close to the truth, as she’s a little girl with a big head and a mop of unruly hair. She’s all over the snack’s website; you can’t miss her. Apparently she’s popular enough to warrant models of her, but then they’ll make a model of anything in Asia if there’s a market for it, really.

As you can see in the above photo, GGE bear a passing resemblance to kibble. But holy crap they’re delicious. Despite the fact that they’re touted as ‘wheat crackers’ on the bag, what they actually are are little hockey pucks of dried ramen — personally, I think they’re closer to soba, but I’m probably wrong — with extra nori (seaweed) flavouring. They’re surprisingly spicier than I thought they’d be, especially when you reach the bottom of the bag, but they’re entirely yummy. Once I tried the bag that Jill gave me, I was rationing the contents, as I figured it’d be my first and last bag. To my surprise, however, I discovered there’s an Asian grocery half a mile away from our flat that carries them, so they’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the near-future. I’d even go on record as saying they’re better than the okonomiyaki chips I’d consumed in Part II, and the fact that they’re wheat-based presents the illusion of eating something negligibly healthier than potato chips. Full points for a savoury placebo effect!

Despite my being conditioned by media association, Fry’s, although a British institution, does not actually have anything to do with champion of linguistics and international globetrotter Stephen Fry. You gotta admit, it’d certainly be convenient if it did! Much like Wilson’s, the makers of Kendal Mint Cake from Part II, Fry’s is an English confectionery company, having created one of the first chocolate bars ever back in 1866. Decades of changeovers occurred, as they do, and now Fry’s is part of the Cadbury multinational sweets conglomerate, and from what I’d recently read, as of last year, Cadbury is now part of Kraft Foods. Incidentally, Kraft Foods does not actually have anything to do with Kraftwerk, thereby neatly referencing this post’s soundtrack.
As much as I love chocolate, and as much of an Anglophile as I am, I haven’t really had the opportunity to sample all the famous brands of sweets that the UK has on offer. I’ve had Wispa, and that only cos they sold it in the States for a very brief period back in the late Eighties, but that’s about it. ‘A man truly discovers the width and breadth of a country’s populace through their chocolates’, as Sir Francis Drake famously commented to Twiggy. Once again: facts.

I will share this, though: Fry’s Peppermint Cream manages to delectably combine three of my favourite sweets, which would be dark chocolate, mint, and fondant. It’s like if someone were to crossbreed a York Peppermint Patty with a Cadbury creme egg. The chocolate taste lies somewhere between milk chocolate and dark, and it possesses that crisp rigidity that you get when you keep chocolate in the refrigerator. What, no-one else does that? How do you keep your chocolate from melting?? But take a chocolate bar that isn’t too sweet and isn’t too bitter, hollow it out, and fill it with fondant, which is the hoity-toity name for the ‘creme’ you find in the aforementioned creme eggs. Or as I like to call ’em, concentrated sugar bombs. With Fry’s, however, the fondant is more semi-solid, so it’s not as if you bite into it and you’ve got fondant streaming all over your chin and shirt front. Again, that might be cos I’d kept it in the fridge.
Although it could be argued that it’s simply a Three Musketeers Mint bar, only with a fondant filling, I might have to award Fry’s Peppermint Cream as probably the best chocolate bar I’ve ever tasted, surpassing the KitKat Chunky, the previously-mentioned Three Musketeers Mint, and the Mint Aero, as it combines so many things I like in a chocolate bar. Were Fry’s/Cadbury/Kraft to send me a number of boxes of their mouthwatering product, I’d be more than willing to publically endorse them! Hint hint!

Overall: the grab-’em-by-the-handful nature of Good Good Eat is practically an excuse to buy several bags, dump them into a bowl, and go completely mental, and as for Fry’s Peppermint Cream… where have you been all my life?? Probably in the candy aisles of markets across the UK; that’d only make sense.

And that’s the lot! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this voyage through comestibles as much as I have consuming the comestibles. Again, many thanks to the amazing Jill Tilley, for sending me everything in the first place, and to Sidore-chan, for being my always-lovely food model. If there’s a lesson to be learned from this series, it’s this: food is meant to be eaten, so try putting some food in your mouth today™!
Also, store your chocolate in the fridge. Try it, it’ll last longer. Fact

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Do you remember Food? Part I on February 8th, 2012

Do you remember Food? Part III on February 22nd, 2012

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