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ur cardboard pet

2015-2017

Keywords:
  • virtual reality
  • femmebots
  • AI companionship
Users play with haptic headsets at HeK.

ur cardboard pet is a satire of femininization of user interfaces. As products of a heteronormative, male-dominated industry, devices are often personified as subservient females (Siri, Alexa, etc.) in no small part because this renders them non-threatening.

Users decorate personal viewers at the Internet Yami-ichi.
Users decorate personal viewers at the Internet Yami-ichi.

ur cardboard pet supposes an alternative, a non-normative male entity designed to perform emotional labor rather than administrative tasks. Your personal pet is a comfort object, offering unconditional nonsexual love and endless compliments. Later versions of the project include a personality test to assign your perfect boyfriend from an array of archetypes and an interactive headset that blushes, warms to your touch, and has a heartbeat that accelerates based on the intensity of your grip.

One of the available boyfriends.
One of the available boyfriends.

The project makes use of the Google VR SDK, Three.js, and hand-painted illustrations. The interactive headsets are custom hardware that I designed, assembled, and programmed.

Interactive headset designed for Powrplnt.
Interactive headset designed for display at Powrplnt.

It has been exhibited at Powrplnt, Haus der Elektronischen Künst, The Museum of Human Achievement, the NYC Internet Yami-ichi, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Art&&Code conference.