Performance Artist Arvida Byström Set To Talk With Harmony, The AI Sex Doll

An upcoming exhibition that prompts a conversation surrounding digitally feminized objects.

Stockholm-born LA-based artist Arvida Byström is a digital native who regularly takes adventures to the aesthetic universe exploring the topic of disobedient bodies. She unpacks her intrinsic relationship to the color pink while exploring the topic of female sexuality and its correlation to online culture. She intends to expand on the confines of gender politics and confront conventional narratives that limit sexual expression. 

Her recent display of performance art will take place at Copenhagen’s Art In A Day Exhibition, where Arvida will stage a conversation with Harmony, the infamous AI sex doll. In this performance, Arvida will ask Harmony questions while simultaneously exploring the conversation around digitally feminized objects, such as Apple’s Siri. 

“This is a project I have been dying to make happen for years and years. I have worked a lot with the theme of iPhone Siri, which is an AI woman with a very inhuman body – a phone. On the other side of the spectrum would be the AI human, where the body is more important than the mind – namely, the AI sex doll. I have a lot of projects in the pipeline on this theme right now, so I am extremely excited about the first one finally happening.”

VMAGAZINE: How do you think sex or sexuality might adapt in the next 5 years? 10 years?
Arvida: I think our lives are so integrated with the digital now that it is not even distinguishable from our analog lives. Most of us are always connected and available through our devices. This clearly affects sex and relationships too. Generally, it seems like it has made us have less sex; even though it is probably not fair to blame all of it on the internet, increased precarity in many people’s work lives might also be a factor. Stress is rarely good for sex. Perhaps pollution is a factor too.

But part of us having less sex is probably due to the isolation the internet is inflicting on us. Sex happens spontaneously a lot when bodies meet in the flesh. Perhaps more sexting, more webcam sex will become more every day, and sex dolls, too, just like sex toys, are more normalized in women’s lives. But I also think it is a pretty big stigma surrounding a sex toy that emulates a whole human being, not just a little gadget for stimulation.

V: Where do sex and technology intersect for you? Where do art and sexuality intersect?
Arvida: Sex and technology intersect everywhere today! The most obvious is Tinder, which has changed our idea of where to meet partners. Before, to meet someone through friends or work was seen to be completely normal; now adays a lot of people see it as a bit grotesque or unethical to date or have sex with someone you met in the old school way, and dating apps are seen to be a more clean way to meet someone.

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