The Lovelump

by Yule Heibel on August 13, 2003

British Columbia it seems is tying if not starting to beat out Ontario as a high tech centre. Most of the action is in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver region), and much of it is also focussed on biomedical research (via UBC especially). It therefore seems fitting that one of the Canadian winners of Adbusters’ memefest 2003 should come from Vancouver’s Emily Carr College of Art & Design: EroTech, a satire devoted to the brave new future of intimacy enhancement. In the manner of, “Just wait till I get through with you.”


Joel August 14, 2003 at 10:36 am

That’s just about everything you could possibly want right there, I guess.

Yule Heibel August 14, 2003 at 12:01 pm

Erotech thought it might not be enough. They have a double-appendaged version, too…. Be sure to explore their website completely — it’s uncannily good.

jr August 14, 2003 at 2:53 pm

Hmmm. Not very practical. Now if you reversed a few things you wouldn’t need a second party.

Yule Heibel August 14, 2003 at 5:29 pm

If you could afford it at US$34K, you could probably get them to build you a custom model. In the imaginary world of Erotech, of course.

And I have to add: this thing is so effectively gross-looking that I’m almost tempted to take the picture off my site. But you know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words, and as the creator of this fiction says, “I created this website as a reaction to developments within the biotech industry. I feel that we are beyond the point of no return in regards to technological developments, and feel that a dialogue must begin in order for people to fully understand and deal with the world that we are moving towards.” See, I’m not too partial to those moralistic words (even though I agree, but I don’t like the style), but I really dig the approach and style of the website because it’s done so seriously and in the language of research, science, and progress. It’s artistically effective.

Yule Heibel August 14, 2003 at 6:22 pm

Quick follow up on my last comment: What Henry Ross, who is the CEO of Erotech and presumably the mastermind behind the Love Lump, managed to do is create an object that’s truly ugly not because of the “thingies” attached to it, but because it is a lump. As a species, we respond to patterns and shapes and symmetries and all that stuff, and with the faith of little children, we believe that the universe isn’t just a lump of stuff. What we venerate as culture are constructions that celebrate our shape-making and pattern-making abilities, and we’re very much beholden to this mind-set of believing that all of our culture has to (or should) lead to “making sense.” But by making a love lump — incorporating love & erotics, basic human instincts — Ross is showing us the very ugliest side of where science-culture might end up taking us: to a place that isn’t patterned, designed, or shaped, and instead offers a lump of stuff. But beautifully engineered on the inside, of course!, and there’s the critical rub: it reminds me of those Nazi apologists (and they exist, the bastards) who say, “Oh, Hitler wasn’t all bad; after all he gave Germany the Autobahn,” as if you could have the one without the other. Ross’s creation shows us the ugly lump we might end up with if we don’t have a critical mind. “Oh, biogenetics wasn’t all bad; after all it gave us the LoveLump.” The real question we might be asking is why technology should give us a love-anything. Surely there are human beings who can give us that.

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