Adding to a recent wave of developments in the sex-robot field (yes, this is now a field), earlier this month two pole dancing automatons performed at a strip club in order to attract crowds from a nearby consumer electronics conference.
The yearly event, called CES, attracts more than 170,000 attendees and features nearly 4,000 exhibitions from international companies that develop and supply nearly every type of hardware, software, or gadget you can think of. Unsurprisingly, the conference is held in Las Vegas, possibly the only city in the world that could handle its sprawling size and frenetic energy.
And to get some of that tech nerd money in their wallets, the Sapphire Las Vegas strip club turned to the creations of British artist Giles Walker. Because what gets tech nerds going better than gyrating androids with security cameras as heads?
We're really sorry that you will never be able to unsee these robots gyrating...
Originally created for a 2007 art installation exploring the theme of mass surveillance, entitled Peepshow, the androids have since hustled for Walker by appearing at various museums and events. The first models were made from mannequin parts, small motors and CCTV cameras, yet like many human adult entertainers, the current versions have enhancements from their original forms.
For their headlining stint at Sapphire from January 9-13, robots Lexy and Tess grinded (literally ground their gears) the nights away under the stage names #R2DoubleD and #TripleCPU. The gentleman’s club promoted the special appearance on their website with the statement: “’Their motherboards bring all the boys to the yard!’ Come watch sparks fly as the robo-twins gyrate on the pole, shake their hardware and leave everyone wondering if those double D’s are real or made in ‘Silicone’ Valley."
Whether or not the gentleman's club recouped their investment of having Lexi and Tess shipped from England remains unknown, but the event certainly generated a lot of attention for the conference, the club, and the artist himself.
“I didn’t build these to get involved in the sex industry," Walker told Recode. “I’ve been dragged into this side of things unintentionally, but I’m not complaining. It does pay the bills. I am a robot pimp in that way.”
And despite his willingness to lend the robots to venues that market sexuality, Walker has stated that he is personally against developing realistic sex surrogates.
“[Just] because it’s legal, does that mean it’s a healthy thing?" he said. "The dark side of the sex industry will create some really fuckin’ nasty, nasty stuff, and I think, ‘Is it worth it?’”
Moral issues aside, no one has asked him yet how he feels about the irony of the situation: Artwork meant to provoke commentary on our societal relationship with voyeurism and privacy has just helped promote a conference that showcases drones and security technology.