Speaker system built into mannequin

Discuss

332 Responses to “Speaker system built into mannequin”

  1. Bender says:

    @247 Tim- I could only pretend to be above the fray for a short time. I’m not very strong, but I’ll try harder next time.

  2. LifelongActivist says:

    Yes, an ad hominem attack really hits home.

  3. AGF says:

    @ 89 –
    more animals

  4. Takuan says:

    oh jeez, will someone please find an image of a male torso somehow adapted to utilitarian function (preferably stereotypically “female” usage related)?

  5. Tired says:

    I’m with LifelongActivist@10 on this.

  6. Ikthog says:

    I get why many would be offended by this, but I get the impression some of you are judging this as a product that is being sold, rather than a one-off piece of art in some guy’s online portfolio. Given that it is the latter, it’s hardly the most provocative or potentially offensive/sexist work of art one might find out there (it reminds me a lot of the milk-dispensing statues in A Clockwork Orange, which I’d argue are worse). Just sayin’.

    I guess I’d put it in a similar category to this Takashi Murakami sculpture (NSFW):

    http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/05/takashi_murakami_watches_from.html

    Mildly clever, sort of amusing, very creepy, sort of pointless. But not necessarily worthy of outrage. /shrug

  7. Talia says:

    I am honestly stunned this is controversial at all. ‘Tis a sculpture. Lighten up, folks.

    if you’re offended by this, I highly recommend, for the sake of your blood pressure, staying off the internets entirely and away from media in general. Really, you’ll feel better.

  8. Mike Estee says:

    Recently I’ve been meditating on the idea that the worst possible thing you can say about someone’s art is that it was boring. So, at 249 comments, this guy’s doing pretty well. Hats of Bob, job well done!

    For everyone else who got their panties in a bunch: In this day and age a mannequin with speakers for boobs and 1/8″ jack for a crotch is offensive? Seriously?

    Like many here, I’m honestly surprised anyone noticed at all.

  9. johnny_action says:

    I think it’s pretty cool actually.

    To me this is very much a reflecting mirror and polarizing work. What you say/think about this work reflects some of your own thoughts/feeling/emotions and hot button issues back to the world.

    I personally would love to see this remade with much more color and lights.

    Art isn’t always about playing it safe or respecting your boundaries.

  10. Shanghai Slim says:

    Clr m dsppntd nd dsmyd t Bng Bng. Sbjctv sss r jdgmnt clls, nd crtnly ntllgnt bsrvrs my hv dffrng nd wrthwhl pnns, bt … shsh, ths s lk smthng 7th grd by wld drm p.

  11. Clayton says:

    Lflngctvst, y’ll fnd whn y crtcz thngs lk ths n bng bng tht y’ll gt pld n by th rmy f lyl cmmntrs s thy bck-slp th stts-q. t’s n s t b cntrry rnd hr. Y’v ntrd th dn f nvl-gzng prvlg.

  12. noen says:

    pork musket
    “If you have a problem with this because it objectifies/dehumanizes women, shouldn’t you have a problem with female mannequins in general?”

    No, that would be completely different.

    talia
    “I am honestly stunned this is controversial at all. ‘Tis a sculpture. Lighten up, folks. “

    I agree with jjasper, it’s important to have this discussion because it’s an important issue. It isn’t just a sculpture. The piece makes a statement and some people don’t like what it’s saying. I happen to agree with them. But it isn’t great art, it’s kitsch.

  13. CommieNeko says:

    @ 277 Arkizzle

    “That’s pretty elitist. You are essentially dismissing anyone who doesn’t object to this as not understanding art or the language of art.”

    Which is how the game is played these days (and always has been, really.) Even simple art can be startlingly recursive and context sensitive. That’s why I mostly limit my own art to fairly straight forward representational works with as little meta commentary as possible. Which is just as well, as I have a relatively simple mind…

  14. AirPillo says:

    Ceci n’est pas une human.

    Ceci n’est pas une woman.

  15. Teller says:

    #16: Probably isn’t a guy in the world who doesn’t kick those whenever he walks by.

    Still, that torso’s rude. And I had a tweeter gag all lined up.

  16. Eater says:

    This reminds me of the awesome art-instrument the Torso Theremin, installed in a purple mannequin’s torso. Guess where the touch sensors are!

    http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2009-01/handmade-electronic-music

  17. Sean Blueart says:

    Woman as a faceless functional object. That’s not such a new idea.

  18. imajication says:

    I think people on this thread decrying this sculpture are feeding into the wretched stereotype that feminists have no sense of humor. Please, feminists are people like every one else. People who can take a good joke and not be distracted from serious threats to women’s equality.

    If I had photoshop skills, I would so make a male version of this. Impressive gonads would be the speakers. Debating between two place to plug the zune into.

  19. arkizzle says:

    Ceci n’est pas une mannequin

  20. Takuan says:

    if the human form is “sacred”, than all human forms as “sacred”.

    It’s about intent and perception.

  21. CommieNeko says:

    I have to admit that my reaction to the image initially was “…enh…” Then I noticed the comment count.

    Upon reflection, I have to admit a certain drollery and ironic smugness to the concept. It’s okay…

    To those who are “offended” I’m a little concerned about your sensitive nature. You really should get out more. Art isn’t doing its job unless it is shifting around your comfort zone. Doesn’t mean you have to like it or agree with it. Until I saw all the commentary the work had inspired I wasn’t really impressed at all.

    For a superior (IMO) work with similar themes, check out the Japanese manga series _Chobits_ by the all woman mangaka superstar team CLAMP.

  22. Johnny Coelacanth says:

    “This art work reduces women to objects of fetishistic desire, nothing more. ”

    And I say it doesn’t. And since I’m a man, I’m right.

  23. arkizzle says:

    Ceci n’est pas une commentaire

  24. Evil Jim says:

    Wow. Aren’t people done hating on/arguing about this yet? There are a whole bunch of new posts on BoingBoing to freak about about.

  25. Roy Trumbull says:

    Let’s just call it an IBOD.

  26. holtt says:

    Speaking of no repititious posts… Takuan and repetative URL posting…

  27. chgoliz says:

    Reminds me of the post about the supposed maggots in women’s nipples (actually a photoshopped lotus flower), seen here at BB a year or two after it had made the rounds via email. Same squick factor of concave holes where breasts should be, same what-is-the-point-of-this.

    Not state of the art, not unique, not worth writing about.

  28. rose bush says:

    i must say, we’re MORE than tits and a vag

  29. btb says:

    That sure is an odd protest coming from someone whose book cover is obviously supposed to resemble a giant snatch.

  30. Takuan says:

    ain’t repetitious if they are all different. Or did ya mean the “http:” part

  31. Johnny One Spur says:

    Noen, @259:

    I appreciate your being the only person to answer the question thepixelpundit@192 and 13strong@225 asked before I got to, namely: “Would the reaction/interpretation be different if the artist had been a woman?”

    But I’m unclear about your answer: “Art is speech. This piece is speaking. There are people who do not like what is being said.” Since it’s an image, the “speaking” you’re talking about is really “interpretation,” which you must admit is done by the viewer. In all the posts above, there have been many interpretations of the piece, from “objectivization of women” to “commentary on consumer culture” to “repurposing of commercial item” to “juvenile humor”, and a hundred other ones besides. For you to say that “others here have not been taught to speak the language of art” is patronizing–like there’s only one “language of art” and you know how to speak it and others don’t, therefore any other interpretation is incorrect. Isn’t the point of art that there isn’t just one “language”? That art can be interpreted on a multitude of levels (including, as is discussed here, the narrow view of seeing it solely as an object sans context, or the wider view of seeing it in the context of its creator)?

    I would be curious to hear the answers of some of the other posters who dislike the piece (including LifelongActivist) if their interpretation of it would have been different if it had been a woman who created it. Would the meaning of the sculpture change from “objectivization of woman” to “female commentary on the body/music/objectivization” (or something else)? Or would the answer be just that female artists can objectify women as much as male artists can? (Or “a female artist never would have created this sculpture”?)

    Follow-up question: To those who say it would be creepy to see the piece in someone’s home: what if that “someone” was a woman herself? Would it still be creepy? Or would the fact that she has embraced the piece mean that it’s acceptable?

  32. Caroline says:

    While the “grow up” comments were uncalled for, I also have to agree with Lifelong Activist. No, I’m not a prude who “blushes at the sight of a guitar.” Sean Blueart pretty much nails it — it’s about women as faceless objects.

    Truck Nuts aren’t the same thing, because they’re meant to be used by men, for men (to prove how manly your truck is). Men’s bodies just don’t get used this way.

    I really encourage y’all to read the series on Shakesville, despite the fact that it was introduced by someone who came in swinging. It’s interesting, thought-provoking and worth your time.

  33. zio_donnie says:

    i still don’t see what’s so controversial about this thing. unless any hint of female nudity is controversial per se, even said nudity is in the form of a headless, plastic manequin. to sum it:

    1)this is nothing new. torturing manequins or dolls or barbies as female symbols in order to provoke is as old as pop art itself. it was interesting the first time it’s kinda boring 20years after

    2)this is really bad made. it’s looks like something i put out of my ass and since i know important people it will be cool all the same featured in cool blogs and all. the artist’s idea sums up in “find stereotype-use easiest thing available-shoot a couple of mails-done”. it’s not innovative,it’s not offensive, it’s not even well made.

    3)it’s sad in more than one way. sad because new artists prefer to replicate than to invent new stuff. actually when i glimpsed this thing before reading the article i thought it was a commentary on technology and how modern men prefer their ascetic gadgets to actual flesh and bone women or something like that,only to find out it was some stale 60′s femminist rhetoric.

    it’s sad because people still fall for the same bait and sadder because some people don’t seam to have advanced at all in these last 40 years even if society as a whole has made huge advances. newsflash: men are exploited and objectified by the media as much as women nowadays.

    it’s sad because political correctness has made this kind of stuff controversial where no controversy should exist. it’s the same self imposed rightiousness that prevented the media from exposing sarah palin for being an ignorant redneck. everyone was afraid of being accused of misogyny and instead of exposing her they prefered treating her as an authentic alternative. the inverse racism of the thing is ironic. all you need to succeed in life is a vagina. if you have one you can do no bad. can i actually say “vagina” or should i say female reproductive organ? i don’t want to be labeled a sexist pig

    4) even if this is offensive to someone i don’t see why it is of poor taste for BB to post it. it is not a mass production item, it could be art and even if it weren’t BB wasn’t promoting it just reporting it and you should know better than shoot the messenger. personally i find more offensive the mamma’s home made white teeth adds than this but hey whatever rocks your boat.

  34. CommieNeko says:

    Additional comment: For what it’s worth, I would say that the theme of this piece (!) is not about the objectification of women, but about the sexualization of objects.

    Anyone who has ever known a serious audiophile will know what I’m talking about…

  35. Rathia says:

    On a post like this one, where a comment $**tstorm is certain to ensue, the poster could clarify things immensely by offering some personal commentary in the original post.

    There are two debates going on here and they’re getting mixed and muddied: A) what’s the value of this object (as art, social commentary, or musical device), and B) why was it presented, specifically, on BoingBoing. The short phrase from the artist’s site which constitutes the original post just isn’t sufficient to tell us why it’s here; we have no idea whether the poster thought it was awesome, awful, or simply an interesting conversation-starter. This is irrelevant to debate A, but it’s central to debate B. And it’s critical in terms of helping the readers figure out whether the blog is their cup of tea or not.

    If the posters’ intentions were made more explicit (on this and other predictably touchy topics) it might, over time, help reduce angry responses from readers who suddenly discover, to their surprise, that the community isn’t what they thought it was.

  36. ratbite says:

    Nt jst tcky, crd nd mmtr, bt ls msgynstc! Thnks (gn) Mrk.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Zune: So Retro.

  38. tiskagent says:

    I tried to post this anonymously, but it didn’t go.

    What alarmed me most about this posting was not the sexist, adolescent-in-mom’s-basement aesthetics of the artist, but the helpful way in which our BoingBoing moderator said repeated complaints that the site shouldn’t have posted it would be censored.

    Boing Boing has done a lot to stand behind freedom of speech in many of its postings. But as a journalist who has worked in oppressive countries, I was a bit shocked to see the moderator’s list of acceptable discussion topics on the issue. It reminded me of more than one regime propaganda flack who had approached me or one of my colleagues to say they didn’t think our work was constructive — a veiled threat that can be quite dangerous in the real world. They often offered helpful guidance on what kind of questions might be fruitful for debate. That’s guiding the discourse, and when a government or moderator has full control over what gets published and what gets spiked, it’s an infringement of free speech.

    I don’t blame you, BoingBoing, for struggling with some comment threads breaking down into “pileons” as you complained. And there are certainly areas where drawing a line (racist or otherwise hurtful comments, death threats, excessive trolling, and etc.) is justified.

    But you can’t have it both ways. Either you leave the page open to discussion (and criticism of your choices) or you don’t. Each one of your readers who appreciates what you do, like me, also deserves a chance to give you feedback. Take a lesson from old media and allow people to critique you.

    Thanks.

  39. LifelongActivist says:

    firstly, trucknuts are a “decorative” motif not a repurposing of a disfigured female torso for some guy’s command and control.

    second, in a sexist culture, identical actions taken on the dominant sex (male) and on the subordinate one (female) can have vastly different geneses and communicate vastly different messages.

    the above point is exacerbated by the fact that it’s a guy who has chosen to disfigure a female torso.

    look, you can’t have it both ways: you can’t be cool and hip, and promote neanderthal sexism. you just can’t. BB is a wonderful site in many ways, but this was just a blunder.

  40. noen says:

    ill lich
    Thank you for at least acknowledging that I have a right to my opinion and that it is a valid one. I don’t think we should compare this artist to Dali. He just isn’t in the same league. This is kitsch and as such it can be reduced to a single valid interpretation. That is what makes it shallow and superficial.

    The Venus de Milo has a face, which changes how one reads it a great deal. It also happens to be in it’s present condition accidentally. It originally had arms and legs and was painted. We do not see classical Greek art with their eyes. We see it through modern eyes and filtered through modern sensibilities. There is no such thing as an unfiltered interpretation.

    Re: Fetishism. I did not intend to imply that fetishes are bad. What I did say was that I do not wish to be the object of another’s fetishized desire only. I do not wish to be fucked (most of the time), I want to be made love to.

    zio_donnie
    “you seem to believe that you completely understand the human species’ behaviour, that every human being acts following a script and you act accordingly.”

    We do. We are like spiders, we weave our web and then live in it. Or if you like, our lives are the song that we sing. It is a narrative of our own creation.

    “you seem to believe that there is actually a geneticaly encoded conflict between men and women. actually there is not. men and women share the same exact needs. there is not such thing as a “male polygamist drive” or a “female single partner drive” (or for that matter a “gay” gene).”

    Really? The gay gene does not exist at all? I think you are going to have a difficult time arguing, as you appear to be, that gender is completely socially constructed. As for reproductive strategies, that is an observed fact. I am not arguing for biological determinism. However, genes do select their environment.

    CommieNeko
    “why would you want to “reject” a purely male point of view, even one that you disagree with? Surely that is part of your dialectic…”

    I also reject the other extreme. The older Dworkin position that every sex act with a man is tantamount to rape. Thesis -> Antithesis -> Synthesis. I perceive myself as occupying the latter. I suppose I could be wrong but I don’t believe so at this time.

    Johnny One Spur
    “For you to say that “others here have not been taught to speak the language of art” is patronizing–like there’s only one “language of art” and you know how to speak it and others don’t, therefore any other interpretation is incorrect.”

    You are right, that is a little patronizing, sorry. That was not my intent. What I wanted to do was to express my position as clearly and directly as I could. However, I do think my interpretation is the correct one.

    “To those who say it would be creepy to see the piece in someone’s home: what if that “someone” was a woman herself?”

    I would ask her why she allows her boyfriend to have such trash in the house. Hopefully you don’t seriously believe a lesbian would have such a thing in her home. She’d find herself without any friends real fast.

    “actually i do have something similar in plain view where i work. it isn’t creepy it’s an anatomical model (it has a head too) but i doubt that someone would dare to put speakers in it (or label it as an art piece). could be fun though”

    Why stop there? Let’s go all the way and use a real cadaver. No? Why not? Surely you don’t believe in those silly superstitions about the “soul”. When you are dead you’re dead and that’s it. It’s no longer human, it’s just a hunk of meat. Why not make lamps from the skin and furniture from the bones? It’s no longer a person, it’s just organic material and you can make art from any material can’t you? Well? Wouldn’t it be fun?

    The answer is the same as I would give for why it is wrong to beat and abuse animals. Not so much for their sake (though there is certainly that also) but for our sake. Because it makes us better people. That, I think, is why I would say to a man who owned something like this. I would want him to walk away from it because it makes him a better man.

  41. Iscah says:

    100% with LifelongActivist. Mark, I surprised at your inability to recognise the difference between a guitar or a violin, where the shape of the instrument affects the harmonics and coincidentally look like the curves of a woman, and something like this. Really? You see no difference? And Takuan – She didn’t say it was porn. She it was an offensive use of a faceless, headless female torso for a functional purpose completely unrelated to sexuality (which one of the big reasons, btw, why the comparison of this to ‘male shaped’ objects like dildos is absurd and incomparable, but again, you’re really sophisticated enough to understand that if you choose, you’re just choosing not to. The women in the statue and photo you chose have heads, have faces, have personhood. This doesn’t.

    BTB, you clearly get what you’re looking for, there.

  42. earthmann says:

    Uh, I guess it’s all a matter of perception, but to me it seems like a violent reduction of her form to the function of our pleasure.

    I find it fascinating that some people only see a cigar (pipe).

  43. pork musket says:

    The first thing I thought was “Hand-built amp? I wonder what design it’s based on, and if it’s tube or solid state”.

  44. Lauren O says:

    Woman as a faceless functional object. That’s not such a new idea.

    Dude, you stole my comment. And you made it way more concise and effective than I could have. Not cool.

  45. arkizzle says:

    What about the Gautier link?

  46. arkizzle says:

    What about the mannequin (unmodified) as art object?

  47. thepixelpuncher says:

    Also can we consider that the male mannequins are devoid of any outer genitalia.

    Would this discussion be any different if a woman artist created this piece?

  48. n says:

    I’m going to sidestep the whole sexism stuff and ask, how is this a “radically new user interface”? You plug in your mp3 player into some speakers. That’s the interface. That’s always been the interface. The end.

    Also I feel like it borders on NSFW, which usually gets linked to with a warning, not posted proudly on the main page for my coworkers to possibly be offended at.

  49. AirPillo says:

    LifelongActivist:

    I think you’re getting into a bit of a quixotic fit, there. You’re looking for sexism to tilt at and then laying into it whether you’re certain it’s there or not (or whether it’s a windmill or not).

    As far as you’re capable of telling, based upon the information available to you, there is a pretty significant swath of surrealist art which is also, as per your definition, sexist and juvenile.

    Personally, I’d be inclined to think that repurposing an everyday object (a store mannequin, something considerably neuter and ubiquitous in the public conscience) into something different and totally unorthodox is quite a fair bit less juvenile than allowing said object to offend you so very much that you lose your cool and start slinging harsh vitriol at people who are not at all related to the act of its creation.

    Calm your nerves and pick your battles more appropriately, please. Your anger is pointed at people who do not, by any stretch of the imagination, deserve it.

  50. invictus says:

    I’m with LifelongActivist and numerous others above: Not impressed, and definitely wouldn’t consider this worthy of bb. Or of appreciation and promotion anywhere else, for that matter.

  51. arkizzle says:

    Does the recontextualisation of the mannequin (sans modifications), from ‘useful way to display clothes in a shop window’ to ‘object to appreciate in a non-functional way’ render it offensive also?

  52. Brainspore says:

    @Zio Donnie #143

    …what i don’t see in this case is the originality that had the fountain stunt. you see provocation is not timeless it works only the first time you use it then you have to invent another one else you are just a copycat…

    I won’t argue that this piece is as original as Duchamp’s (that would be some feat, since “Fountain” is considered the single most influential piece of art in the 20th century in many circles) but I brought it into the conversation since you were the one to ask the oh-so-timeless question “but is it art?”

    As to whether this speaker system counts as “provocative,” I think the number of comments on this post (closing in on 200 as I write this) is answer enough.

  53. vespabelle says:

    I’m with LifelongActivist@10 on this as well. Sexist and not clever.

  54. IWood says:

    #89 posted by noen

    Male sexuality “mortifies” or objectifies women. That’s just how it’s going to be but it is possible to tone it down a bit.

    So, given my proclivities, my sexuality must be objectifying and shaming everyone!

    Heavens! I’m such a bastard.

    On a more serious note: to blithely claim that entirety of male sexuality shames and humiliates all women is prejudicial at best, and amounts to an attempt to place the totality of one gender’s sexual expression into the same category as any other boorish behavior that any individual ought to be ashamed of.

    I find it difficult to have much respect for complicated theoretical structures when they’re used to create and support such dreadful oversimplifications.

  55. robulus says:

    @Tiskagent

    when a government or moderator has full control over what gets published and what gets spiked, it’s an infringement of free speech

    No. When a government has full control over what gets published and what gets spiked, that’s an infringement of free speech. When a moderator has full control over what gets published and what gets spiked, thats editorial control.

  56. Jack says:

    Does the iPod play “It puts the lotion on the skin…” on an endless loop?

    I don’t want to get that hose again.

  57. CommieNeko says:

    @191 I find it fascinating that someone could make a reference to _The Treachery of Images_ in this context and not understand the painting (or the joke.) There is no “her” here to have been violently reduced to anything. This is clearly (to me anyway) a manufactured object that has been sexualized. If anything this piece is much more a readymade; Marcel Duchamp rather than Rene Magritte…

  58. Sean Blueart says:

    The truck nuts are for boys who like to snicker at “pee pee” jokes. Sadly, most of them are older than 10. It’s intended to make some bucks for somebody who values money over culture.

    The speaker system is a thoughtful, well made, and in it’s way, elegant sculpture. For me, it makes a stronger and very different statement . Even more sadly, I read that statement as “Woman as a faceless functional object.”

    What’s so painful for me is that lots of time, care and certain beauty was pressed into making an unkind and unimaginative statement.

  59. AirPillo says:

    195:

    It’s the unfortunately common occurence of “inverse prejudice”, as some people call it.

    There has been and still is a fair amount of legitimate sexism against women in the world. Some of those women develop an unhealthy and prejudicial hatred of men as a result.

    Some of those people, in turn, become vitriolic neo-feminists. Unfortunately, that minority does a grievous degree of harm to the public image of legitimate, sane feminists.

    The sexist outbursts like those seen here in this discussion do a great deal more harm to women than art like this does. Unfortunately it is doubtful that the people responsible for this damage will ever realize or admit to that.

    As it happens, there is a hint of amusing irony in the situation, which at least produces a great deal of catharsis. A significant number of these prejudicial people who so freely set themselves up on a soapbox to lecture about sexism are in fact very serious sexists themselves.

    I wish they would stop doing so much damage to their cause, though. Ignorant activists are a serious threat to a good cause. Opinions like theirs undermine the continuing work of wiser feminists whose predecessors were responsible for the worthy goals of women’s suffrage and the slow but tireless integration of women into an increasingly egalitarian society.

    Good job, those of you who are culturing these strong, harsh opinions. You’re helping to keep women down. I hope some day you may learn to stop repressing your cause.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Unfortunately, that minority does a grievous degree of harm to the public image of legitimate, sane feminists.

      I strongly disagree. All successful movements are broad in nature, with radicals pushing the movement forward and moderates consolidating it and integrating it into society. The moderates always try to distance themselves from those pesky, embarrassing extremists, but without them, there would be no movement in the first place.

  60. Brainspore says:

    If I had photoshop skills, I would so make a male version of this. Impressive gonads would be the speakers. Debating between two place to plug the zune into.

    Even better idea for a companion piece: build a stereo into the male mannequin with volume knobs for nipples, then connect the two with a wire running from groin to groin.

  61. zio_donnie says:

    “Follow-up question: To those who say it would be creepy to see the piece in someone’s home: what if that “someone” was a woman herself? Would it still be creepy? Or would the fact that she has embraced the piece mean that it’s acceptable?”

    actually i do have something similar in plain view where i work. it isn’t creepy it’s an anatomical model (it has a head too) but i doubt that someone would dare to put speakers in it (or label it as an art piece). could be fun though, hacking the lungs to woofers and the liver into a sub. tho’ i suspect that the femminists wouldn’t be so riled up about it since we all know that the only vital organ is the vagina (here i said it.vagina)

  62. jaredmtucker says:

    Mst mprssv. Prd f y, frnd.

    ( tld myslf ‘d sty t f th cntrvrsy, bt cn’t hlp myslf)

    @189: Y r qt fsbly th lst lqntly spkn hmn bng t hv vr lvd. Cngrtltns.

  63. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Nobody would ever use male genitals as working parts in art.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Moderator Note

      I’m invoking the No Repetition Rule to keep this from becoming any more of a pile-on. If you’re going to say it, make it original and make it interesting. You have been warned.

  64. WA says:

    I have to agree with many of the critical posts here, especially Iscah’s. This really seems like some sort of puerile, sexist degradation and objectification of the female body, especially with the intentionally missing head and placement of the controls, which seems that it could be some sort of assertion of dominance on the part of the creator. It will, of course, make the music source the centre of attention, but in doing so will probably make the music pointless anyway—I doubt I would stay at any party utilizing such a degrading and offensive thing, and likely wouldn’t speak to the host again.

    I will admit, though, that it would make sense as art, with the right description attached. If the description were to bring up the ideas of objectification, degradation, disfigurement, and sexism involved in the piece, it would be interesting. I also think that the discussion here over it is interesting, and having it on Boing Boing may not have been a bad idea, had the summary perhaps taken a different view. However, I don’t think the creator intended it for that at all.

  65. graphire says:

    kinky yet very original. But i still go for a Bose SoundDock over this.

  66. blueelm says:

    For Johnny on the Spur @ 280:

    My opinion of it would remain if the artist was a woman. It would even remain if the artist was a woman and she stated publically that she intended this piece to be feminist. Generally when talking about a work of art I try to separate the piece from the artist. So if that were her intent I would simply conclude that, for me, she failed at her intent. I don’t consider art to be about the intent of the artist, but instead about the many multiple reactions whatever object or interaction the artist creates. No matter who made it, I would find this visually trite and conceptually hollow. Those are cliches, I’m sorry. But this kind of imagery is kind of a cliche too.

    Also: IMO, a female can absolutely create misogynistic work.

  67. zio_donnie says:

    @BRAINSPORE

    “As to whether this speaker system counts as “provocative,” I think the number of comments on this post (closing in on 200 as I write this) is answer enough.”

    i agree that defining art is impossible, but i disagree that this object has any merit as “provocative” judging only by the number of replies. by provocative i intend thought provoking and interesting in new ways.

    i consider it more a flamebait to a certain community. it provokes the same reactions that would provoke a picture of two men kissing in a christian forum or a picture of a steak in a vegan forum. the outrage and high post count would be predictable but that doesn’t make the 2 pictures works of art. similarly posting about a vaguely sexist toy in a blog that is mostly read by liberals provokes standard group reactions as already seen here but the object itself does not have much merit per se.

    the key word here is “predictable”. nothing new,just provoking a well known crowd reaction. it’s not a coincidence that the moderators intervened early on to block redundant posts. out of 200 replies 150 were the same equally distributed between femminist indignation and indifference and the rest were off topic completely. hardly an intellectual success i’d say but pretty successful PR for the artist.

    now if this object upseted one way or another ALL of the commenters it would be really provocative. the fountain was provocative because EVERYONE was asking the same question :”is this art?”. instead this object raises no questions of its own it just flogs a dead horse. sensationalist maybe, provocative i don’t think so.

  68. jso says:

    @201 Trllng s rt?

    ctlly, ddn’t gt ny f th rctn t tht tht th mst vcl n ths crwd dd.

    S wht? Smn mddd mnnqn.

    Wht nxt? r y gng t gt ppty f smn mds blw dryr?

    r y ls th knd f ppl tht wrt th FCC vry tm smn ttrs wrd y dn’t lk? Hw bt th Jnt Jcksn np-slp? bt y ll bkd pln tckts nd pckd yr mgphn fr tht n.

    Srsly, gt rl nd cmpln bt thngs f ny cnsqnc.

  69. Sekino says:

    “m dsppntd n y, Bng Bng”

    This ought to be on a T-shirt by now.

  70. Jugsi Funny says:

    :)) crazy people. I enjoy crazy ideas like this. I’ve seen before a few ideas like this on numerous sites, there was one I liked…let me find it…OK here it is :http://jugsi.com/images/robocamera/

  71. noen says:

    IWood
    “So, given my proclivities, my sexuality must be objectifying and shaming everyone!”

    That is not what is being said but it is interesting that you see yourself that way. I wonder why that is? Hint: It has more to do with you than with the work in question.

    “I find it difficult to have much respect for complicated theoretical structures when they’re used to create and support such dreadful oversimplifications.”

    Your sentence is self contradictory, did you notice that or would that be too complicated for you? I don’t understand this strong anti-intellectualism we have today in America. “Og brain hurt!” All theory is complicated. You’re just unfamiliar with the ideas contained within cultural studies because we in America tend to devalue such things. Americans are typically ignorant of the language of Art. Well, we’re ignorant of a lot things.

    13strong
    “If this hack had been done by a woman, not a man, would those objecting still perceive this as objectifying and sexist?”

    Yes. Art is speech. This piece is speaking. There are people who do not like what is being said. They are speaking by giving voice to their disapproval. Other here have not been taught how to speak the language of art and do not understand why those who do reject the speech. They confuse rejection of the speech with rejection of the artist or the piece as a whole.

    What I see happening here are two (possibly more) communities separated by language and unable therefore to talk to one another. Hence we get more heat than light.

    catbeller
    “And male sexual response is necessarily symbolic and “objectified”, because all human thought is symbolic, and a woman’s body is an object, not a holy vessel or a very complex puzzle, at least at a basic level.”

    You’re part way there catbeller. It’s correct that this discussion is taking place at the level of the symbolic Real. The objection that feminists and other students of culture have is that we are more than that. I am not your symbolic representation of me. If you relate to me only as a symbolic other then you have reduced me, you have objectivized me or as I said earlier, you have mortified me.

    I, as a woman, as a human being, am more than my symbolic component. Though I do understand that male sexuality necessarily objectivizes. That’s how we work and I prefer that to being cattle that go into heat. So to repeat, what is objectionable (at least for me, I can’t speak for everyone) is not the sexual objectivization per se, but rather the claim that this is all a woman, or a human being, is.

    This art work reduces women to objects of fetishistic desire, nothing more. That is what some here are reacting to and reject. I agree.

  72. General Specific says:

    I think this is being taken way too seriously. It’s nice piece of Dadaism; lighten up!

  73. LifelongActivist says:

    Sean41 – really beautifully put.

    Antinous42 – sean’s comment says it all: this piece is unimaginative and unkind and for many commenters obviously doesn’t qualify as art. in contrast, there is a humor and warmth to the Mannekin Pis that is appealing – and, btw, you did note that it depicts the whole body, not a truncated penis, which sort of limits its applicability to this discussion.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      LifelongActivist,

      I’ve also noticed that your comment history at BB consists of you giving lectures. Which is somewhat different than engaging in conversation.

  74. AirPillo says:

    I strongly disagree. All successful movements are broad in nature, with radicals pushing the movement forward and moderates consolidating it and integrating it into society. The moderates always try to distance themselves from those pesky, embarrassing extremists, but without them, there would be no movement in the first place.

    That is entirely true, of course. However I think you might note that, given the chance, sensible and sane activists would likely make an attempt to steer the less rational members of their movement towards a progressive frame of mind regardless of it.

    Any cause will attract extreme opinions, some of which will be vitriolic or choose their battles poorly. This is, indeed, unavoidable. However I think it is a behavior that still needs to be discouraged and corrected and that it does, indeed, harm their cause.

    Perhaps an example might help explain why I think that is so. Hypothetically imagine that someone chooses to run for public office on what is ostensibly a rational and very much necessary platform of reform. Then let us assume that during their campaign, a significant amount of public attention is paid to confrontational, vitriolic, and/or misguided supporters of that candidate. Depending on the degree to which it happens, people are going to associate those people with their chosen candidate, and as a result begin to take them less seriously.

    I suppose what I’m getting at is that when people take up a banner and then misbehave under its auspices, they are at best failing to further their cause… and at worst hurting its credibility in the public conscious.

    I am entirely open to and aware of the idea that I may be wrong, though. I often am, especially in matters which are this socially complicated. I’m young, yet. :P

  75. arkizzle says:

    All this “intentionally missing head” business is just strawman nonsense (not just you WA).

    The work is a repurposed mannequin. The artist didn’t lop the head of a full representation of a woman as an element to the art, he modified a pop-icon (the mannequin) which has a life and memepool bigger than the simple fact that it is a representation of the female form.

  76. Pantograph says:

    Ww, frm th cmmnts s fr cn rlly fl nw pltcl wnd blwng. Lss thn wk snc nw gvrnmnt hs bn nstlld nd th thght plc hv lrdy swtchd mstrs. t wth th “trrrst” cmmnts, n wth wth th “sxst” cmmnts cmrds!

    Tht sd, tht’s prtty tcky pc f plstc.

  77. grey not grey says:

    Sophomoric at best, sexist at worst.
    *bakes woman-shaped cake*

  78. AirPillo says:

    Oops, did I mess up my blockquote, or has the tag changed, or something?

    I didn’t mean for the text to be in-line with my own comment.

  79. Brainspore says:

    @ Zio Donnie #200:

    There are many ways a piece of art may be considered “provocative,” including but not limited to originality or skill.

    This piece has provoked a response in this online community. It has provoked strong emotions. It has provoked a debate that continues still- one, I might add, that you seem as eager as anyone to continue.

    Whether this piece is “good” or “bad” or even “art” is a judgment call, but if you hadn’t found it provocative in some way then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  80. Sean Blueart says:

    GENERAL SPECIFIC; I take Dadaism and all artistic statements seriously.

  81. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Then let us assume that during their campaign, a significant amount of public attention is paid to confrontational, vitriolic, and/or misguided supporters of that candidate.

    In the queer movement, that argument is always used against drag queens and leather people, but the drag queens and the leather people are the core of the movement. They started it and continue to be the motive force a half century later. A lot of our people wanted to keep the fringe away from visibility. But, you know what? We have a lot more rights than we used to and society managed to integrate our most outrageous members. The breadth of purpose is what keeps it dynamic.

    In the women’s movement, people hated women like Betty Friedan, who are now viewed as quite mainstream. And don’t even get me started on the battles about whether lesbians should be excluded. But it’s the extremes of the continuum that keep it alive.

  82. Luci says:

    I think that’s a very cool speaker! And I think some people think too much (although that’s better than thinking too little).

  83. thequickbrownfox says:

    The guy is just an Industrial Design student for God’s sake.

  84. catbeller says:

    Well, I like to line ‘em up and knock ‘em down preemptively. Saves time.

  85. gorgon says:

    This is another shamelss example of men objectifying women. Don’t you understand a woman is so much more than an electrified groinal area and a set of music-producing nipples?

  86. maturin says:

    Beavis and Butthead would LOVE it.

  87. zio_donnie says:

    @Brainspore

    i believe that in this case the only ones really “provoked” by the piece itself are those 3-4 commenters who would likely be offended by any kind of osè immagery regardless of origin. from what i see most of the people here don’t even discuss the object itself as much as they discuss other people’s reactions.

    personally i was more “provoked” from the cries for removal of this post than anything else. in fact i was “baited” in by activist’s comments. i think that the piece sparked a good debate but i don’t believe that it has an inherent artistic merit as anything can spark a debate without necessarily being art.

    it would be interesting to see if this piece would provoke the same kind of debate in other places like an art gallery or a mainstream newspaper. i believe not. being posted in a mostly liberal blog provkes the same heated reactions that gains apple bashing in gizmodo, which is not that difficult.

  88. Sean Blueart says:

    ARKIZZLE @ 47, As a self-defined work of art posted on a portfolio site, it’s inviting response. My response, some of the responses I see here and the number of folks entering the debate may indicate that the work has a powerfully visceral presence.

    The slicing of the breasts are at the same angle as the slope of that headless neck, bringing it an additional emphasis.

    What I’m getting is that it’s a powerful work to (IMJ) a less than imaginative end. I can imagine a similar work that would inspire projections of power and respect rather than that of a hacked (in more ways than one) woman.

    “Let’s not weep for their evil deeds, but for their lack of imagination” – Nick Cave

  89. ill lich says:

    Marcell Duchamp’s “Fountain” was honored as the most important sculpture of the 20th century by 500 artists and historians.

    Or maybe it’s just a urinal.

    If you don’t think this is worthy of being considered serious art, fair enough; maybe you’d think the same of the unsigned abstract canvases I bought at the flea market, but I like them.

  90. presyncope says:

    Lt m jst Nth wht mst vryn’s syng. t’s nt ntrstng, prvctv r rt. Thr’s nthng clvr bt fml trs wth plg n th crtch nd spkrs n th brsts. Thr’s nthng t ttllt nyn wh sn’t shckd by fml brsts nd crtch t bgn wth.

    nd thn th thr sd f t s tht t rsnts wth th lng nd srs hstry f sxsm nd vlnc gnst wmn.

    Gvn tht t’s gt zr t ffr, nd scks (n sxsm grnds), tk ths sht ff bb.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Let me just Nth what most everyone’s saying.

      That would be a prima facie violation of the No Repetition Rule.

  91. zio_donnie says:

    @Antinous

    Embracing the fringe is a double edged sword. on one hand you are right to say that they keep a movement’s vitality since the extremists of any cause are the most ardent, the most vocal and the most dedicated. on the other hand they can reduce a movement to a caricature (i think of peta’s request to rename fish water puppies)or worse they could gain control of it. as an example of extremists gaining control i’d point out the case of the taliban who initially were only a fringe party of the afghan resistance that eventually fagocitated the rest.

  92. arkizzle says:

    CommieNeko

    I fear you missed my point. I wasn’t saying that the language of art was elitist. I was saying that there my be people in this discussion, who are fluent in the language of art, who don’t object to this piece (and indeed, there are).

    Noen makes it fairly clear that she thinks anyone who is versed in art banter is immediately on the horrified side.

  93. Anonymous says:

    This is not a sculpture and that’s important to remember, this was a mannequin that was re-purposed from the displaying of clothes to reproducing audio. The object here is not the female body, the object is a mannequin that was put to a new but similar use.

    And on those terms I actually sort of like it, I think it’s pretty campy looking but I’ve seen worse. I honestly did see it as a mannequin before I saw it as the representation of a female body and I’d feel different and actually agree with it being sexist if it was sculpted for the sole purpose of holding a pair of speakers.

    But it wasn’t, if you read the description on the site and on here it says, “As part of my object remix series[...]”

    Did the artist chop off the arms, legs and head? I doubt it, a lot of mannequins are without those parts for display purposes.

    So I guess it’s a matter of perspective; to me it’s a mannequin that’s essentially serving the same function as it did before, just with a different medium.

  94. arkizzle says:

    Gorgon

    Nope, we’re all neanderthal women grabbers, without the ability to seperate objects from people – or indeed, symbols from objects.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Zio @ 213 – “fagocitated” ?

  96. AirPillo says:

    The answer is the same as I would give for why it is wrong to beat and abuse animals. Not so much for their sake (though there is certainly that also) but for our sake. Because it makes us better people. That, I think, is why I would say to a man who owned something like this. I would want him to walk away from it because it makes him a better man.

    You know, so far throughout this entire discourse that is the one explanation of this side of the issue that I’ve been able to wrap my head around and understand the best.

    I can accept that justification, certainly. I get it now. I do so, however, with the caveat that we as people should be really cautious about what we presume makes each other better people. Strictly speaking the only person we are truly qualified to make such assertions about is ourselves (though I guess that idea is a result my transcendentalist viewpoint).

  97. Anonymous says:

    Not to be repetitive, but I am glad to see that sex and gender are still polarizing subjects. I am certain that such a great divide in opinion and the vast possibility for offending the other side will be issues that haunt us until the day we no longer experience such a physio-social dichotomy. Though I am not religious I cannot help but think of the biblical angels, who are perfect and sexless. I cannot help but feel that misunderstanding, thoughtlessness, and an inability for us to share another human’s experience directly will unfortunately keep such topics alive. I do not mean to say that such discussion is bad, nor do I mean to side with those who point fingers and attack with such strong emotion that they alienate those they wish are trying to communicate their point to, but rather that sexual differentiation is ultimately bad in that it consumes so much of our energy as a species.

    Of course sex and gender are two completely different things, but I believe that it is too much of a coincidence that we have one of each, surely gender would be less important without sex. Unlike other physical differences among us as humans, such as race which will eventually be eliminated through time and interracial breeding, sexual differentiation not only provides us with a reproductive advantage but is also not something that would naturally achieve homogeneity. Sadly sexual differentiation has been the source of one of our greatest and longest lived wars, the war of the sexes. If only we could make love without inviting war.

    I think there are bigger issues that this piece brings up, perhaps unintentionally such as whether or not we can ever really deal with the issue of sexism.

  98. Tom Hale says:

    BB could have been named A Directory of Cool, Geeky ,Retro, Sexy, Interesting, Scary, Alarming, and Awesome Things. They grouped it all together and used Wonderful. The cyborg female torso fits in perfectly.

  99. Gaudeamus says:

    I don’t have much comment on the “art” but I sure would like to know this guy’s chances of getting laid with that thing hanging about.

  100. Mindpowered says:

    “m dsppntd n y, Bng Bng”

    YES!

    The ultimate obloquy.

  101. arkizzle says:

    I see JohnnyOneSpur@280 has said what I was trying to say @ 277, better than I was saying it.

  102. presyncope says:

    Let me amend that — not my place to tell you to take this off BB, but let me say it makes me cringe with embarrassment.

  103. arkizzle says:

    Sean, re: me @47

    Yeah, it just seems people are really relishing using words like “slicing of the breasts” to describe what would actually be “machining the fibreglass” – or – “intentionally missing head” instead of “used a mannequin”.

  104. grey not grey says:

    Sean Blueart – a “hacked” woman? Really? Perhaps if we called feminism and/or gender/sexuality studies “gender hacking” or “gender punk” people around these parts might take it more seriously.
    :D

  105. 13strong says:

    I’m not sure what I think about this, tbh. If it was being mass-produced, I’d feel more uncomfortable about the symbolism here, but as it’s a one-off hack, I feel like any attempt to judge the intent here would require more knowledge of the guy who made it.

    My second thought was “It’s like a really tacky version of a Giger sculpture”.

    Sorry to not add anything more worthwhile to the discussion.

  106. SC_Wolf says:

    So, is that a power switch or a volume knob, or both?

  107. help i cant comfirm my username themelonbread says:

    I wonder what would happen if that leg lamp from A Christmas Story was posted at BB?

    Anyways, I didn’t blink twice at the mannequin. I don’t know about you, but having worked in a clothing store where I had to constantly take down and dress up mannequins in whatever new items the store had makes looking at plastic disembodied torsos very mundane for me. I’d say we should be more outraged at the pay gap and differential treatment of women who take charge in situations.

  108. Rezpect says:

    As soon as I saw this I immediately thought, “My boyfriend would love this.” He’s a big ’70s Sci Fi fan and this really reminds me of something out of A Clockwork Orange.

  109. blueelm says:

    @280 again

    Sorry, but I feel compelled to add that I don’t find the piece personally offensive in the sense of the piece hurting my feelings or getting me all flustered.

    One thing about art is that you can pick almost any methodology and use that to talk about the art. So, to me, the feminist critique here is valid although just one of many possible reads.

    Since I’m still talking here, I guess I’ll also say that set and setting changes a lot about objects. So how creepy this would be in a house would depend a lot on the house. This could actually get a lot more interesting in a different setting than a white background.

  110. AirPillo says:

    PETA is a very good example, yes.

    Nowadays whenever you think about the issue of animal rights you cannot help but give thought to that organization, whose behavior (much akin to a poorly disciplined brat-child screaming and misbehaving to get your attention) has managed to worm its way into the entire issue as a whole and sully it in truly disgusting ways.

    A cause that is ostensibly about nothing more than compassion and loving animals, and yet we cannot avoid thinking, in the same avenue of thought, about bratty in-your-face lectures and obnoxious publicity stunts.

    “Is that what animal rights activists are all about?” people ask themselves… and it means that in order to avoid the dismissal of their cause, the more practical activists need exert that much more effort to bring their own constructive agenda to the forefront.

    For every inch you give to sanctimonious and vitriolic extremists, calm and logical progressive activists need push forth for a mile to stay ahead.

    Think of the way the media works, for one. Who makes a better headline, a calm and rational woman who volunteers in her community, lobbies to her representatives, and offers people sane and fair opinions… or a soapbox-carrying pot of vitriol who jumps on any opportunity to spout about how men are pigs and how all the piggly things they do need to be censored and excoriated?

    (I realize and confess I am using stereotypical caricatures here in order to convey my meaning clearly)

    The comparison to the gay rights movement seems apt. However, there are distinctions. Firstly, the fringe members you detail may give an outlandish image at a glance, might feel embarassing to some, but these people are not out preaching ignorance and hatred under the guise of justice. They’re just acting the way they feel happiest, and doing so without hurting other people. When you get right down to it the average person still can’t deny that if those people aren’t doing any harm they don’t deserve to be treated unfairly. The crux of the issue is still preserved. When people are jumping up to podiums at every chance and excoriating people for daring to report honest news about something which is “oh so obviously a man acting like a pig and objectifying women, for shame” you are given the image that hey, women must not have a lot left to gripe about if they’re grasping at straws for an argument like that. It’s wrong, there’s still a lot of honest good to do in the cause of feminism, but the image that kind of confrontational behavior conveys is that the need for their activism is vanishing and that the remnants of the movement are just jerks looking to pick a fight with the men they hate so much.

  111. robulus says:

    Are there actually any radical feminist posts on this thread? I mean quite a few have been DV’d so I may have missed them, but I remember reading feminist texts at uni that asserted that all heterosexual sex was rape. I’m pretty sure someone of that view would have stronger words about this post than I’ve seen here.

    I like it. I just find the form pleasing. But it is controversial, just as the milk bar in Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange was controversial, particularly considering the way women were exploited in the movie.

    I disagree with the idea that a strong negative reaction to this image somehow works against the feminist movement. The image is provocative and a sound case can be made that it is demeaning. It’s right that people make that case.

    So I find myself having to accept the dichotomy of my views about the work. I enjoy it and think it is an interesting post, it has certainly engaged some talented intellects in discussion. But it also highlights the fact that the objectification of women in our culture is still so entrenched it is nearly invisible.

    I’m reminded of this post http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/19/brian-mccarty-obama.html showing an Obama Doll at the site of MLK’s assassination, which interestingly generated less debate.

  112. Anonymous says:

    How and where can i buy this?

  113. jjasper says:

    Can we talk about why it’s hideously sexist, and not just condemn it as such? Feel free to delete if we can’t. No point in talking about it otherwise. If yes, I’ll do my best.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Can we talk about why it’s hideously sexist, and not just condemn it as such?

      Yes. That was my point.

  114. zio_donnie says:

    paradoxically enough here in catholic italy the first gay person (at least openly gay) to be elected in parliament was a drag queen named vladimir luxuria. she was the top act in a cult house music club in rome called “la mucca assassina”(the killer cow). she was elected with the communist party 4 years ago and was part of the prodi goverment that lasted only 2 years before dismembering and losing the elections to berlusconi.

    actually luxuria is one of the least polarizing and intelligent new faces in the italian left, because she promoted her cause with logic and arguments and not with stale retoric and hate speach, while many leftists that support in theory the gay rights movement went on bashing the church and indulging themselves in endless flamewars with the right.

  115. zikzak says:

    It’s a sculpture. Of course it’s objectifying, that’s what sculptures do. Pretty much every nude sculpture ever made has been created with the intention of objectifying the male or female body.

    I think the concern being expressed is that this sculpture makes a statement that women themselves are merely objects – that we should think of women the same way we think of our appliances. That would certainly be a troubling statement, but I don’t see any evidence that that was the intention.

    Furthermore, I think that while the 2nd-wave feminist criticism of this piece is unquestionably well-intentioned, it doesn’t reflect what non-women’s studies majors see in a sculpture like this. So while it’s a cool intellectual discussion, and can maybe bring up some more substantial manifestations of sexism/misogyny in society, I don’t think the main complaint really holds water for most of us.

    Sometimes, objectification can be OK.

  116. zio_donnie says:

    “I, as a woman, as a human being, am more than my symbolic component. Though I do understand that male sexuality necessarily objectivizes. That’s how we work and I prefer that to being cattle that go into heat.”

    that does not make sense whatsoever. the fact that you actually make something out of “male sexuality necessarily objectivizes” is disturbing. and there is nothing wrong with cattle going into heat, i’d argue that there would be something definetely wrong with cattle that sit in a starbucks discussing the latest sundance festival flicks while texting over a cup of coffee before mating.

  117. Anonymous says:

    Marcell Duchamp’s “Fountain” was honored as the most important sculpture of the 20th century by 500 artists and historians.

    So?

  118. Brainspore says:

    I consider myself a pretty enlightened, progressive type 21st century liberal and I’m a bit surprised at all the hostile reactions to this piece appearing on BoingBoing. Maybe it’s just because I was an art major and am used to seeing provocative work.

    Personally I think it’s pretty clever. So does my wife.

  119. Anonymous says:

    “a radically new user interface”

    Doesn’t he mean “a radically old user interface”? A guy inserting a plug into a woman’s vagina while pushing his face against her breasts is the oldest human user interface.

    I’ll pass on the sexist slant and just call this out as uncreative, boring and duplicated on notebooks weekly during school years by some bored kid in class. Throwing a Zune into it throws it so far into classlessness (he can’t even get the gadget freaks excited with this!) that I almost think it’s intentionally shitty.

  120. Anonymous says:

    When I first saw the headline I was interested, as I’ve made art with mannequins (including female legs and headless torsos), but when I actually looked at the thing I reacted in the same way that many of you have; a mixture of disgust and disappointment, as it could’ve been so much better.

    It’s sexualized in a way that says “Breasts are for attention, vulvas are for control.” Imagine how much cooler it would’ve been if it either wasn’t so sexualized (with the speakers and maybe a transparent panel exposing the music ‘guts’ in the torso) or was sexualized in a non-sexist/empowering way.

    And Antinous, a little boy’s peeing penis in a statue is really not analogous. You literally use her genitals to control the object; it’s a significant statement. And I’m a little annoyed at the ‘no repetition’ rule; I think some people are trying to make it seem like people who are bothered by this are overreacting, and silencing people who back them up (even if they don’t add anything else) just furthers that perception.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’m a little annoyed at the ‘no repetition’ rule

      There are many layers of intelligent discussion that can be explored here. 37 flavors of Do Not Want does not a conversation make.

      You could love / hate it because:
      - It’s female / not male
      - It has no head / it has a Barbie crotch and breasts
      - It’s misogynistic / it’s a statement about misogyny
      - It’s blandly executed / it’s a statement about mass-market art

      Get the picture?

  121. davedorr9 says:

    Breasts as speakers = okay, I think that is funny, and could see how you could make some clever prototypes.

    ‘Vagina’ as receptacle for jack = a little trite.
    Also, the placement completely mars the overall look.

    Inserting the player into the abdomen – better in so many ways.

  122. superrobot says:

    I think that maybe there has been some trolling going on. I’m just sayin’.

  123. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    Takuan – some parts of the body are well suited for that already.

    Such as the throat and mouth.

    What did you think I was going to say?

    (I am, however, reminded of the joke about the nanotech executive receiving a fax.)

  124. Takuan says:

    (is it too early for the Dirty Vicar sketch?)

  125. lymie says:

    To quote Liss at Shakesville,
    “Certainly there will be people, here and/or elsewhere, who will dismiss this as a “joke,” as just some bit of kitsch that shouldn’t be taken seriously—to which I can only say that the objectification and exploitation of women’s bodies, the reduction of women to the sum of their womanly parts, and the regarding of women’s bodies as communal property and playthings are the most fundamental and pernicious expressions of misogyny, and the fact that we have been so resolutely inured to these narratives that we are expected not only to not care when they are congealed into a toy effectively celebrating them, but to laugh at it, could not more pointedly underline how very far away we are from true equality.”

    What she said.

  126. Anonymous says:

    Zikzak @65:

    The complaint isn’t that it objectifies women (I’m only minoring in women’s studies, do I count?), as, indeed, all statues of the human form could be said to do that. The complaint (mine at least) is that the modifications to the mannequin send a certain message (specifically about the vulva being a site of control) that isn’t particularly pleasant. In addition to that, the mannequin, other than the speakers and port, isn’t visually interesting- it is merely a vessel. The rest of the body is either absent (and yeah, the artist likely didn’t deliberately cut off the arms, head and legs, but with found art choice is just as important as any ‘deliberate’ action in another medium would be) or ignored, focusing only on the sexualized parts. Basically, he started with a mannequin that is meant to use its sexualized parts to display clothes and then made it even more reduced to those parts by ignoring all of that other flesh.

    Seriously, how does the concept of plugging into a vagina to operate the ‘body’ not squick people out?

  127. jjasper says:

    And sometimes it’s not, Zikzak. I’m not a women’s study major, and I’m not female. I’m a self identified feminist. If feminism isn’t something you take seriously, you’ll probably find nothing wrong with it. If it is, you probably will.

    But dismissing feminists because you outnumber them is not a rational argument. And that’s what you just did.

    ———

    And on to the actual criticism. When you take the societal defined sexual zones of a representation of a woman’s body, cut them out or use them to plug something into, and remove any identifying characteristics, you’re making a statement. Might not have been in the artist’s intent, but in the larger context (and this is important) of representations of women, it’s part of a repetitious pattern of the same sort of thing again and again.

    That’s the basics.

  128. Takuan says:

    who owns this form?

  129. arkizzle says:

    JJasper, the second half of your post @ 73 has been the most useful yet, on this thread.

    Thanks.

  130. Bender says:

    From what I understand, this is a singular piece. It isn’t something to be mass produced, and that is a huuuuuge difference. This piece has succeeded in bringing discussion. Good on the artist, and congratulations to him.

    To those people who are so upset, please take a break from boingboing, and gaze at that Thomas Kincaid print you have hanging over your sofa. Stare at the pretty flowers and the cute cottage at the end of the winding lane. You’ll be back to normal in no time.

  131. noen says:

    Rezpect
    “this really reminds me of something out of A Clockwork Orange.”

    It reminds me of Ed Gein.

    zio_donnie
    “that does not make sense whatsoever.”

    It makes sense to me. How can I explain it to you?

    “the fact that you actually make something out of “male sexuality necessarily objectivizes” is disturbing. and there is nothing wrong with cattle going into heat”

    I never said there is anything wrong with cattle going into heat. Why would you think I said that? Did you read what I said? I don’t know why you object how sexuality works. Up thread someone wondered about pornography for women and what that would look like. There’s no need, we have that. It’s called the Romance Novel. People have tried to create visual porn for women that catered to their perception of what that would entail. They failed. For most women what is erotic is the telling, the narrative, the story. This is how we all work, it just is. I see nothing wrong with that.

  132. buddy66 says:

    It’s kitsch. Techno-kitsch, I guess, but Kitschen, Ja.

  133. hng23 says:

    I find Allen Jones’ girl chair & table far more offensive than this.
    http://www.shafe.co.uk/crystal/images/lshafe/Allen_Jones_Chair_1968.jpg
    http://www.boingboing.net/images/x_2008/abughraibtable.jpg
    And they have arms, legs & a head.

  134. machinelf says:

    Just the thing for my milk bar.

  135. Hiroshi Taniguchi says:

    I would never display this in front of my daughters. But I can enjoy the giggle it resulted in when I saw it first.

  136. EeyoreX says:

    I think Arkizzle pretty much nails it with his analysis.

    On a purely emotional level I find this sculpture/soundsystem desturbing and icky, probably because it was designed to be icky.

    If you feel the need to register your displeasure with this sculpture, then this forum is as good a place as any to do it, I guess. But channeling your anger towards Boing Boing for just reporting about it is something adults call “shooting the messenger” and wich doesn’t earn you any activism skillz.

  137. Anonymous says:

    Is this peeing statue sexist and degrading to little boys?

    http://www.traveljournals.net/pictures/55070.html

  138. hng23 says:

    Sorry,the original table doesn’t have a bagged head. The entire set is here: http://www.phinnweb.org/livingroom/ILikeToWatch/allenjones/pic/aljones.jpg

  139. pAULbOWEN says:

    Jst pk. Pls, pls tk t dwn.

  140. Takuan says:

    I building a live one. All very legal and correct. The speaker-bearer has consented to all the electronic implants in writing after being examined for soundness of mind and lack of coercion, it’s strictly a money thing, a contract. Think of it as being a host-mother for someone else gametes. Completely harmless with non-rejection coated materials and provision for cosmetic reversal later after the term of the contract expires. We even have a profit sharing clause. Need a name, “Walk-Woman”? …

  141. Brettspiel says:

    Working my way through the thread, only about half way along, thought I’d share this. Not exactly art; semi-utilitarian and the most common example I could think of on the male-objectification side (am I the only one who spent his youth guffawing at Spencer’s in the mall?).

    http://tinyurl.com/dx4qol

  142. Anonymous says:

    What are those links supposed to be about, Takuan? Dworkin and Max Hardcore… you don’t have to be on the anti-porn/pro-censorship camp of feminism to dislike this. I work for the porn industry in a capacity designed to help protect their first amendment rights, and I still think this is sexist. If that wasn’t the argument you were trying to make, sorry; but if it is, it’s rather reductive.

  143. Tom Hale says:

    Some of you are looking a little too deep into this. Can’t it just be a mp3 player/female mannequin combo? Sure, I think its tacky, but to each his own.

  144. Sean Blueart says:

    This guy deliberately and carefully designed and formed an image, and doesn’t have the artistic chops to comprehend the impact or power his image might have.

    It’s a sculpture. It’s a work of art because of its power to persuade (as seen here in these responses) and it’s relationship to 20-30,000 years of image making. He might be ignorant of that (I doubt it, he’s studying at Cranbrook) but he can’t separate it from it’s context in history. He can’t separate it from it’s metaphorical impact; it’s having an impact!

    He could have ruminated on the design and shifted things and it would say something different and he didn’t do that. It’s bringing to mind Beavis and Butthead and the “Smell the Glove” cover conversation from This is Spinal Tap. I can almost hear him saying: What’s wrong with sexy?

    I say, He brought this image forth and that matters! Mark posted it and that maters! People are responding and dialoguing and that matters!

  145. chgoliz says:

    I can’t discuss feminist theory very well, as I graduated from college before there was such a thing as women’s/feminist/gender studies. My feminist heyday was spent working on trying to get the ERA passed, among other things. What I’m noticing here is the sad fact that the subtle (and not so subtle) putdowns against feminists haven’t really changed over the decades. If you politely disagree with any aspect of the original posting or follow-up discussion, you’re “offended” and “hypersensitive” and “extremist” and “unreasonable.” Oh, and let’s not forget the charge of “weenie men.”

    I don’t think the post count is indicative of the supposed artistic or technical qualities of this piece. It’s not provocative, it’s provocation: we’ve been given kitsch as flamebait, and so the posts roll in.

  146. noen says:

    Male sexuality “mortifies” or objectifies women. That’s just how it’s going to be but it is possible to tone it down a bit. Personally I wouldn’t want this in my home. But then my home is filled with my art.

  147. Anonymous says:

    I did this to a mannequin when I was 12 or 13 years old — almost 40 years ago. I liked girls then and I like ‘em now, but I wouldn’t do it today.

  148. A New Challenger says:

    I’m thirsty for some Moloko Plus.

  149. 13strong says:

    This is not an argument against the objections of some commenters here (whose points of view I can understand). I understand this as a tech-hack and not a piece of art, though the two are not mutually exclusive, obviously, BUT:

    If this hack had been done by a woman, not a man, would those objecting still perceive this as objectifying and sexist?

    Personally, it doesn’t take much of a shift to perceive this, especially from an artistic point of view, as a female-positive piece of work, in which the female form, the female experience, is being broadcast. With some shift in perspective, this could be a symbol of empowerment, not objectification (in this day and age those two concepts seem to run shoulders a lot).

    Now, it’s simplistic to equate the idealised female form with the female experience or with all females, but I just thought it was an interesting idea.

  150. Caroline says:

    Right, Bender. Everyone who is making a feminist critique of this item is just an uncultured, hypersensitive pearl-clutching prude.

    Christ, this makes me tired. For the umpteenth time: This piece is part of an entire universe of women’s bodies repurposed for utilitarian things. The fact that it’s so familiar for women’s bodies to be used as decoration isn’t just the way it is. It implies a lot of things. Women are for other people’s ownership and use. Women are passive, for other people’s control. Real women had better be as decorative and easy on the eyes as mannequins and models.

    And most fundamentally, it implies that the only people who matter — the people you want to appeal to — are straight men. Neither artists nor industry makes a concerted effort to produce things that straight women find erotic. It’s not normal to see eroticized men. But it’s very normal to see women posed in highly sexual, erotic ways. In fact, it’s unusual to see a woman or a woman’s body posed in any other way. For example, see this classic thread on superhero poses.

    It can be a useful exercise to mentally gender-swap things like this, and see how the implications change.

  151. jjasper says:

    arkizzle – Thanks. And now for my next trick. More advanced concepts in feminism:

    The audio jack plugging directly into the crotch sort of kills any conversation about the makers intent *NOT* having a sexual component. Can we acknowledge that? This is a “repurposed object” where the intent was to also present a sexualized object.

    When Antonious at #42 says

    Nobody would ever use male genitals as working parts in art

    he’s linking to a peeing cherub. Not (I would hope) something that the artist intended as a sexual image. And that sexuality is an important component. The *penetration* the the mannequin is an important component. It’s clearly sexualizing the figure.

    Though the headless part is a bit complex. If the figure had a recognizable head of an individual, that’d be a statement about that individual, as it’s just a random female figure, it’s a statement about women’s figures, and how the maker thinks it’s acceptable to talk about them.

    How’re we doing so far?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      How’re we doing so far?

      It’s a headless figure with a Barbie doll crotch. What if it were a game controller that looked exactly like a real vulva? Would that change the dynamic?

  152. Blaatann says:

    I actually didn’t think much about it other than “kiiiitsch”, before I saw the post-count. I guess that the idea that someone would do this as a sort of statement about how much he hates women in general was just too far from my mind. It is just a concept I can’t quite grasp. I’m really hoping this is a concept for the history books soon.

    There was a discussion regarding a new set of laws here in Norway that criminalise Johns instead of prostitutes, making it sort-of legal to sell sex and definitely illegal to buy. And the amount of hate towards women and some sort of perceived femi-nazi conspiracy really floored me.

    I don’t mean to belittle the repression of 50% of the human race that’s been going on for most of modern history, or excuse the “artists” lack of taste. But I can easily imagine a mind set where this seemed very innocent, if not a bit puerile.

    I’m gonna get chewed out for being so naive..

  153. Slicklines says:

    I gotta say that in this case, I find the posts far more interesting than the object itself. I find myself disagreeing with many of them, but I think it’s a good idea to remember (especially given the current political climate here in the States) that people with different opinions are not stupid, uneducated, or even wrong. There is no telling what happens when art hits the brain. At the very least, it seems to me this piece (which hit my brain as rather trite) has people thinking.

  154. jjasper says:

    Tom Hale, the answer is no, actually. You can’t take a man made object out of the continuum of thought and culture. And especially not something like this.

  155. Kay the Complainer says:

    Lifelong Activist! I’ve run into her on Pharyngula before – she showed up to patronize everyone about veganism, was mercilessly made fun of, got huffy, then left. I think this is her way of “advertising” her book.

    This could be a really neat piece of functional sculpture, but as it is I find it tacky, and though it pains me to agree with LA, sexist. I would have put the speakers in the butt myself and put a dock in the neck instead of a cable in the you know what. A statement, maybe, about the disconnect between artistic idea and its realization.

  156. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Zio @ 213 – “fagocitated” ?

    Phagocytize – absorb. He’s Italian.

  157. Purly says:

    Kinda terrifying.

    Didn’t Salvadore Dali make a statue of a women’s bust into a chest of small drawers to keep things in?

  158. failix says:

    This isn’t sexist by any means. It’s just funny. And yes it is provocative, and the artist who made it would surely be very happy to know that it bred this huge conversation. Because that’s exactly the intent of this kind of art: to initiate debates and reflect on certain subjects.

  159. 13enster says:

    If it had a head we could call it Zunes de Milo!

  160. SpinkySulks says:

    What offends me most is humorlessness. It would take someone humorless to see this post and automatically assume that by dint of being posted, every single bb editor thinks it’s the Awesomest Thing Evar and wants one for their own home.

    Which is odd, because I can think of many times when the editors have posted something without context or comment, and reasonable people can glean the statement, ‘Dig this loser.’

    I’m not sure that’s the case here, but then, I don’t care.

    I’ll admit that I’m bored silly of Crying Objectification (and anything else that comes from attending classes with 15-word titles, particularly when one such word is ‘Toward,’ and another includes a nonstandard hyphen).

    What I see is very trustafarian 2nd year art student being Edgy! And Shocking!
    And some of you took the bait.

  161. Tim says:

    I love naked. My objection to this has nothing whatsoever to do with naked. It has to do with a really gross objectification of the female form. Can I say again how much I love naked? And the echoes of human form in utilitarian objects is a beautiful thing, but a headless, armless torso used to plug in an ipod is such an obvious sexist objectification I’m surprised to see it here on BB.

    I can certainly understand people being surprised with the idea that something like this is offensive to many reasonable people, and to further think that the reasons are unwarranted, but I feel confident that, on further reflection, most will see what it’s about. Just keep in mind that most of us who think stuff like this is gross are not puritans. It’s really not about that.

    I love the type of dialogue that things like this inspire, and think it’s always a good place for people to be exposed to ideas that are new to them. But this wasn’t presented in that context at all, and for Mark to respond to someone stating what to me seemed like an obvious criticism with an ad hominem attack shows more of an unawareness over the existence of the debate than I would have expected.

  162. Blue says:

    >Fr vryn ls wh gt thr pnts n bnch: n ths dy nd g mnnqn wth spkrs fr bbs nd 1/8″ jck fr crtch s ffnsv? Srsly?

    Bng ffndd s th nw Hl Hp, Mk, hvn’t y hrd? Tlrnc nd brd-mnddnss s s 2008.

  163. Susan Oliver says:

    I would also have appreciated an NSFW tag on this one.

    It’s not provocative, it’s provocation: we’ve been given kitsch as flamebait, and so the posts roll in.

    Agreed.

  164. zio_donnie says:

    “I never said there is anything wrong with cattle going into heat. Why would you think I said that? Did you read what I said? I don’t know why you object how sexuality works”

    actually you did imply that cattle behaviour is inferior and something to avoid :”That’s how we work and I prefer that to being cattle that go into heat”. maybe i got it wrong but i understood this statement as that sexual drive must always be overanalyzed and reduced to a philosophical question.

  165. sans comic says:

    My leftist, vegan, pro-Choice, pro-Palestine state, business grad (yes, really) girlfriend sent this to me and couldn’t stop talking about how rad the sculpture was.

    As someone else pointed, all sculpture (female AND male) objectifies. Moving on. And while discourse and dissent is more than welcome, I feel like the sudden backlash was incredibly unwarranted. As an average male I didn’t bat an eyelash at this more than I would an installation piece that set dildos on fire while Witchhunt (killer, female fronted thrash) played on repeat condemning centuries of patriarchy.

    I mean really, it just plays music — which reminded me how the female form is ubiquitous with all art.

    And isn’t that the highest praise possible? Cripes.

  166. pxlpig says:

    Korova Milk Bar anyone?

  167. tiskagent says:

    @robulus

    Hmm. Good point. Although I would argue that “editorial control” is one of the main tools of censorship. Many “independent news outlets” around the world use editorial control to present a biased view of things and suppress criticism.

    I don’t think that’s the case with Boingboing, but for a site that is such a clear advocate of the free exchange of ideas, I was surprised by the moderator’s desire to limit disparaging comments — particularly because that, even if one comment basically repeats another, an overwhelming outpouring of any sentiment (in this case, anger, criticism) is in itself important, and quantifying that by allowing each to have his or her say actually does add to the debate.

    I’m not arguing that this site should allow any old hack to throw up what he or she wants in forums. But I bristle at the idea that my comments have to follow prescribed guidelines. Isn’t that just so like the “old media filter” that the new media is so upset about? Guiding discussion on the state of affairs within a narrow context?

  168. LifelongActivist says:

    Kay#92 – Wrong on several accounts. I’m still on Pharyngula, still commenting there, and once in a while PZ posts a link I contribute – the last one within the past month. You may not care for my postings, but try not to misrepresent.

  169. codereduk says:

    Well, seem the comments are winding down now.

    Looks like I can get back to downloading porn.

  170. Anonymous says:

    Talk about menstrual cramps!

  171. CommieNeko says:

    @226 Caroline

    There _is_ a difference in the way both genders react/perceive erotic works, especially works featuring female imagery.

    (And I would disagree that you don’t see eroticised imagery of men. Certainly I’ve seen some wonderful work in a similar vein (actually much better art IMO) by gay artists. And a lot of commercial imagery does the same thing to men.)

    One of my hobbies is life drawing. I do drawings of nude men and women, generally as part of a group in a life drawing class. The process itself is surprisingly unerotic, involving the complete objectification of the model. They are a complex arrangement of forms, shapes, and patterns of light that must be dealt with in the most abstract of terms in order to portray them faithfully.

    But the results can be (unsurprisingly!) rather erotic. As I said, I draw both genders, in more or less the same detached way. And while I sell a few of the drawings of male subjects, mostly to gay couples, all genders and orientations respond much more positively to the drawings of female subjects.

    I don’t claim to fully understand the psychology involved, and I don’t claim that the reactions are due to the same internal processes, but it has become clear to me that images of women draw a much stronger response than similar images of men.

    So I can easily understand the preference, and predominance, of female imagery in art and commerce. If you are an artist trying to sell a point of view, or a commercial interest trying to sell a product, then you are going to target imagery that grabs your audience’s attention.

    I would, and have upstream of this post, argue that the theme of this work is not objectification of women, that it is more about the sexualization of objects, high tech gadgetry in this case. But that is just my reaction to it. And while I found the piece itself not the most captivating thing I’ve every seen, it certainly has drawn a big response here. In that regard I would call it a success of types.

  172. Evil Jim says:

    I think it’s neat. The location for the audio-in jack is a bit juvenile but I guess that works for some people.

    The human female form is beautiful & has been the inspiration for art for millenia. Where does that end & “disfigurement” begin? It’s plastic, people. Please return to your regularly scheduled lives.

  173. dragonfrog says:

    Um, um, Noen, could I please have my sexuality back?

    I’m really not down with objectifying anyone, I don’t know what you mean by scare-quote-mortification, but I don’t like the sound of it, and I find Dworkin’s all-straight-sex-is-rape highly offensive.

  174. mkultra says:

    IMO, this sculpture is really more of a comment about the objectification and commercialization of the female form than it is an example of such.

    The fact that so many people are here discussing it means that it’s working.

    In art, the worst possible outcome is to be ignored.

    Does it make you feel squicky? Good. You’re paying attention.

  175. martha_macarthur says:

    I am subordinate to no one.

  176. RedShirt77 says:

    Wow, replace tits with speakers and suddenly there are over 200 comments.

  177. davevontexas says:

    “Objectification”, feh. Sometimes crass is good. I don’t think anyone would bat an eye if there were a statue-of-David Playstation controller. Hm… now there’s a thought.

  178. a_user says:

    y’know when I saw the picture, I kind of drew a mental list of who would come charging in waving flame throwers on the comments.

    They did not disappoint. I was half suspected Mark of intentionally posting the image to stir up a bit of buzz.

    Mother controls son to compensate for the control she never had over her own father, creating men who only see relationships with women as control or be controlled. Step out of the circle, you have the power.

  179. zikzak says:

    @jjasper: I’m a self-identified feminist too, which is why I take the concerns raised seriously enough to discuss them, rather than just roll my eyes and say “oh, those crazy feminazis…”. So the point was not that only feminists care about this, it was that only a particular flavor of feminist do, and the concerns they raised aren’t things that most of us can relate to.

    Since you got to make up a story about the artist’s process/intentions, here’s mine:

    This guy learned how to install speakers in stuff and thought it was cool (you can see other non-sexist objects he speakerfied on his site).

    He found a mannequin and thought that’d be a cool host for speakers. The speakers are round, so he thought they’d fit well with the roundness of the mannequin’s breasts.

    There needed to be a plug, so he decided to make a visual pun and place the plug where an orifice would be located. The belly button could maybe have worked too, but not as well.

    Then, he put it online, and got schooled by a lot of well-intentioned but overeager armchair feminist theorists on what his sculpture means.

    I’m not saying that’s necessarily how it went, but it easily could be. So it comes across like people are kind of itching for a fight when they jump to so many conclusions.

  180. Kay the Complainer says:

    LA-haven’t seen you there lately, but I might have missed it. I post there under my real name myself . Tell me, what else did I get wrong? You may notice, if you can see through the smug, that I’m actually agreeing with you.

  181. catbeller says:

    My eyes glazed over about twenty posts in. And I’m a veteran of the old alt.religion.scientlogy newsgroup, even during the cult-spawned sporge storm. I’m incapable of thread boredom. I thought.

    Too much overthinking here. It’s a mannequin with a cute and rather silly makeover, not an attack on, what, women? Thoughtcrime? Symbolcrime?

    As Granny Weatherwax said to the vampire, it’s not so much a craving for blood that drives him, but a thirst for power over other people. In this thread, I don’t see much to indicate that the mannequin has much power over anyone. But a lot of people seem to crave power to change people so that they don’t make silly art, or report on it.

    Mannequin != male penile supremacy. And an object that looks like a woman is not an objectified woman.

    And male sexual response is necessarily symbolic and “objectified”, because all human thought is symbolic, and a woman’s body is an object, not a holy vessel or a very complex puzzle, at least at a basic level. You can’t separate symbols from human perception and response. The brain is wired for symbols and pattern recognition, and sex is top of the list for what the brain is wired to do.

    But I’m grateful to learn how to spell mannequin without a spell checker.

  182. Joel Johnson says:

    “I call this next piece, ‘Playing Myself’. At first glance it might not look like a sitar, but…”

  183. Tom Hale says:

    I guess I just don’t understand art. All I see is a mp3 player/mannequin combo. Does going to college make you see these things differently? Honestly, I could buy a mannequin, cut off the boobs, attach speakers and an amp, and wire a jack for my Zune in about 30 minutes. I doubt if I could get what I paid for it in parts at a local flea market. However, if I were to give it to an Artist, and let him claim it as his own creation – poor guy worked and planned its conception for weeks, struggling with how he wanted to express his frustrations on how women are objectified by todays advertisers. Why is this art? Why does it need ten syllable words to describe how it makes you feel?

    I admit, I know nothing about art and I’m not putting anyone down – but sometimes these discussions just seem silly.

  184. Ashley Y says:

    “in a sexist culture, identical actions taken on the dominant sex (male) and on the subordinate one (female) can have vastly different geneses and communicate vastly different messages.”

    This is essentially circular:

    1. we have a dominant sex (male) and a subordinate one (female) because of sexism such as this;
    2. this is sexist because we have a dominant sex (male) and a subordinate one (female).

    Actually, subordination in society is highly contextual and not bound to the sexes.

  185. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Thought question:

    If one of the drivers in an ordinary wooden box loudspeaker was replaced with a fiberglass mannequin breast, would that be sexist and offensive?

  186. CommieNeko says:

    @ Noen

    “Why stop there? Let’s go all the way and use a real cadaver. No? Why not? Surely you don’t believe in those silly superstitions about the “soul”. When you are dead you’re dead and that’s it. It’s no longer human, it’s just a hunk of meat.”

    Actually I went to a museum exhibit a year or so ago that was just that. People had donated their bodies to a foundation that used them in creating anatomical displays. Being a figurative artist, I found the exhibit wonderful. I have even thought about donating my body to the foundation.

    Here’s the Wikipedia article on the exhibit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_Worlds

    Some were strictly clinical, others were almost whimsical. We really _are_ just objects, but we carry a lot of emotional resonance in our forms. The most moving entry, to me, in the exhibit was created from the body of a relatively young woman dancer. They had posed her in a graceful ballet dance position. It was really quite moving and beautiful. It was impossible to look at it (her!) and not wonder about her story.

  187. RedShirt77 says:

    “I would also have appreciated an NSFW tag on this one.”

    Its a Mannequin! My god, you will see one of these nude if you walk through sears in the middle of the day. And this one doesn’t even the nipples. When did so many Mormons start reading this site?

  188. arkizzle says:

    ZikZak, that would have been my assumptions of the piece’s creation too, had I the chance to make up a story :)

    Of course it’s all assumption, but I imagine the truth lies pretty squarely in the middle of the awareness/intention spectrum described by the two different hypothetical scenarios.

  189. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, the whole ‘My girlfriend/wife/sister/mom didn’t find it sexist’ thing is kind of equivalent to saying ‘My black friend didn’t find it racist’ in feminist circles. If someone was trying to suggest that only men find this acceptable, then it would be relevant, but as it is, no one’s said anything like that. Let’s presume that everyone agrees that gender doesn’t matter when interpreting this piece of art.

    To paraphrase JJASPER, if you take feminism seriously you start to notice things, especially representations, like this one, that are part of a pattern. If this sculpture were of a man’s body instead, it wouldn’t be the same because of a lack of a pattern of control that this statue is a part of. That’s not to say that, if the gender was reversed, it couldn’t be making an anti-male sexist statement; it could. Just, the context would be different because of the different ways in which men and women have been portrayed and treated historically.

    Some people see this understanding of a different context to mean that feminists think that sexism can only be perpetrated by men and against women, or are only interested in those cases, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just important to acknowledge the different contexts of anti-male and anti-female sexism, and understand that one tends to be a lot more prevalent than the other.

    Furthermore, not all statues of the human form objectify that human form; that’s not really what objectification is about. It has less to do with the literal ‘is this an object that is linked to a human’ meaning that I think is being used, and more about dehumanization. Most statues of people are not dehumanizing at all (in fact, the classical ones we tend to think about of naked people are very animated-looking, which is part of the appeal); they may be objects, but they’re not objectified. No one is upset that someone made a statue (a literal object) out of a female body. That’s not what makes this objectification.

    And I don’t think that Mark, or anyone who isn’t bothered by this statue, or even the artist is some kind of horrible sexist pig. I don’t think this should be censored, or not posted here for discussion. People react differently to these things, and it is certainly possible to analyze this piece of art in a way that reduces or eliminates the sexist implications (although no one has quite convinced me). I’m interested in those readings, even if they’re ‘perverse’ readings (in the sense that they’re deliberately going ‘against the grain’ and trying to see the opposite of the most apparent meaning).

    I am not at all interested in the people who are saying that we’re ‘getting too deep’ (ie, ‘thinking too hard’) about it or that you have to take a bunch of 11-words-in-the-title classes in feminist theory (‘indoctrinated into feminist academia’) to see this as sending a problematic message.

    (This is the same Anonymous as 68, 73, 86 by the way; I’d like to log in, but the password reset isn’t working. Sorry about that, I know it’s much harder to have a conversation when someone is Anonymous. I’d add a little signature to identify myself, but I know it’s against the rules).

  190. SeattlePete says:

    “In art, the worst possible outcome is to be ignored.”

    Interestingly enough, I didn’t give this post a second thought until I saw all the comments. I saw the image…thought “Oh well, I’ve seen that a million times before” and moved on. I mean I guess that this would have been more interesting if it was a found object – I’ve been in many squats in my life where mannequins have been repurposed for many reasons. But this…

    I just assumed that this thing was being sold for a bazillion dollars and that’s what the comments were about, not sexual objectification.

  191. Takuan says:

    hee! snuck in Amanda Lepore! (stupid mammals!)

  192. zio_donnie says:

    what’s sexist about this thing? and is this art? some guy got a manequin and put 2 speakers in it and there you have people writing books about it. it’s is just trash like the stuff i make from things i don’t use anymore but i find amusing and cool. like i made a clock out of an old hard drive but i didn’t call it art or a comment on time and memory, i just like it.

    then it’s blatantly about function. what do you do with a manequin? how do you repurpose it other than gut it and fill it with something (like a pc that japanese guy made)? in a headless female manequin where would you put the speakers? and if the audio cable came out the butt would it be still sexist? nothing original here i guess i’d come up with something similar if i ever got a manequin. just a kitch pair of speakers.

    n th thr hnd f ths thng ws crtd s cmmntry n nythng, th mkr s tlntlss nd tl tht ms fr hs 15mn f fm nd blg cmmnt trg frm th lks f thr tls lk “lflngctvst”. t’s jst chp hck nd flmwr btwn ppl wh shld gt ld mr ftn.

  193. zio_donnie says:

    @Catbeller

    for one that thinks that the comments were overthought you sure talk much.

    anyway you can be grateful that the manequin is not black ’cause in 200posts we would be still talking about african art during the paleozoic.

  194. 13strong says:

    I’d like to see an accompanying piece for this.

    It would be a male mannequin, with a microphone where the erect penis should be, the mic cable up its ass (a la Mapplethorpe), and some audio dials for nipples.

    Does this guy take commissions?

  195. Anonymous says:

    This is why I tend to fall mostly in the ‘artist’s intention doesn’t matter’ school of theory. The guy (or girl, hypothetically) could be completely innocent of sexist intentions and still create something with sexist implications. Which is why I’m not judging the artist, just the art.

  196. arkizzle says:

    Tom @ 108

    Sorry dude, can’t give you that one. Not necessarily for this piece, but there is hugely valid discussion to be had in art. Sometimes it’s criticism is overly flowery and subjective-experience-sold-as-ultimate-truth (eg. bad crit). But in general art can describe things that are hugely important to human beings’ sense of the world and their interactions with it.

    And from there, there are arguments to be had :)

  197. ackpht says:

    I’d rather look at a pair of La Scalas.

  198. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Such a lot of anger around this subject. I don’t think it’s a very impressive product, and I wouldn’t want one, but I can’t ever see myself getting at all bothered that it exists. So does lots of stuff like this – tacky and classy, with male or female anthropomorphism, and developed by male and female “artists”. It does not strike me as a product to be taken seriously. Why bother? It’s just so much tat. Some feminists of my acquaintance are quite sure they would never buy such a thing, but seem about as perturbed as I am at its existence. Why? Because a degrading statement about women is not worth disputing if nobody is going to take it seriously anyway. This is true of any cause, feminist or otherwise. Ignore the outliers, and focus on your median. Nobody but perhaps a child is going to change their previously held views on women just because they see one of these, and it’s not even slightly for kids. I don’t hear men tearing up the streets because so many women have managed to reduce them to a reusable, battery-powered vibrating polyurethane cylinder, and that’s a much more popular concept than this will ever be.

  199. Chris L says:

    I think anyone who blushes at this needs to lighten up a bit.

    Just to rub it in your red faces, here’s a Hans Bellmer (the M. C. Escher of sexuality) sculpture.

    http://mulot.free.fr/art/29%20-%20La%20Poupee%20-%20Hans%20Bellmer-1-0.html

  200. zyodei says:

    Jesus people, chill out. It’s ART. It’s supposed to MAKE A POINT and illustrate some aspect of society. Just because it offends you, doesn’t mean it should be stricken from view! I find these calls to pull the post to be really shocking.

    But on another point, I don’t see what is so offensive about this. Maybe it is the fact that it was made by a man, and all these people are imagining a bunch of grubby men rubbing their dirty hands all over the vulva to adjust the volume.

    —->Maybe the point he is making is that we are all controlled to some extent by our sexuality, by our reproductive urges? Who can deny that? What’s so offensive about that?

    As a man, if somebody made a torso of a male where you plugged your iPod into his erect penis and sound burst out of his rippling pecs, I’d think it was hilarious and never think about it again.

  201. ill lich says:

    Is there a sub-woofer in the rear?

  202. Takuan says:

    so…ah…Zio,…ya doing anything later?..

  203. PeerB says:

    The objectification of the male body in this stereo just causes me so much paint to look at…

  204. Kay the Complainer says:

    OK, now we’ve had 2nd wave feminist criticism of this object, and now a post-modernist feminist perspective. I suppose, Ashley, it is hard to call a thing inherently sexist; the meaning of any object would obviously depend on its context. (Think of a doctor holding a syringe, then think of a heroin addict holding a syringe.). Point taken, nothing is monolithic.

    I still think it’s tacky, though.

  205. jjasper says:

    zikzak – My feminism is neither armchair, nor well intentioned but overeager, thank you very much.

    What your story does is unplug (pun indented) the object from society as a whole, and places it into a vacuum, which is basically saying “nothing sexist here, move on”.

    It’s really uncomfortable to get something you find nifty sexist. Or racist. Or homophobic. Isn’t it?

    You can probably call all of the people who call it that, who might well be active real world feminists of one stripe or another “armchair” or “well intentioned but overeager” because that shuts them down as far as you’re concerned. It places what’s being said into the worth ignoring box.

    Which is also what Tom Hale is doing by calling the discussion silly.

    And I use the language I use because, when I’m not kidding around, that’s how I write. And if you want to get into a discussion about what makes art art, this isn’t the place for it. I do have about a college degree’s worth of art theory classes, though, so I’d be getting pretty damn technical.

    If it were a discussion about math, I’d defer to mathematicians, and shut the hell up. If you want to talk feminism and art, though, I’ve got academic training in it. Feel free to skip over what I say, but “can’t we just not talk about this and admire it as a cool object?” is not an option, if I’m part of the conversation.

    Antinous asks –

    It’s a headless figure with a Barbie doll crotch. What if it were a game controller that looked exactly like a real vulva? Would that change the dynamic?

    Yeah, a bit. And it’s not a barbie doll crotch. Being penetrated in it’s vaginal area is part of it’s function. Barbie’s are creepily sexual/desexualized, and have a distinct set of features. The headless aspect makes it about all women, not all women’s vulvas.

    Does that make sense?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Does that make sense?

      The object is not intrinsically bothersome to me. What I find disturbing is that it’s never a male body that’s objectified. Or even better — what if it was a baby? That would really ramp up the discussion about bodies and power and sexuality. Is a headless baby with a plugged in crotch more offensive than a headless woman with a plugged in crotch? The utter predictability of boobage is my only really problem.

  206. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the maker just had an old mannequin and it fit the floorspace where he wanted to put a music source. If I did this, that would be why. I’d tell everybody it was art, though, just to piss off the people who go around looking for reasons to be pissed off (I aim to please!).

    The component placement is kind of trite, but fairly obviously the breasts are the easiest place to install the speakers.

    –Charlie

  207. arkizzle says:

    Misc, I read Antinous there as light hearted.

    I don’t think you should have insulted him personally though. I can see that part of your comment being dv’ed.

  208. Anonymous says:

    ZIO_DONNIE:

    Would it still be sexist if the port was in the butt? In short, no, not as much (though, I mean, I’d still have to look at it. I’m sure it could be done). Yeah, people have buttsex, but the symbols are different; to me, the sexist-ness of it is rather specific to the fact that the control mechanism plugs into the vagina. That squicks me out more than the boob-speakers.

    And I agree that it isn’t particularly original or visually interesting or what I’d call good art on an aesthetic level completely removed from the meaning of it, but I still think it’s cool to talk about it. I’d rather think about something too hard than not hard enough.

    And Misc… that’s kind of similar to the point I was trying to make. Particular to this kind of discussion is the claim that the offended/objecting parties are overreacting or being overly-sensitive; silencing the ‘me too’s’ just emphasizes that.

  209. Ernunnos says:

    #160, thanks, I I think it’s interesting that out of all the posts, you’re the only one to raise that question. This isn’t functional. There are no tweeters. (He could have used some drivers with coaxial tweeters, but chose not to) the speakers are positioned together, facing upward and away from each other, which is exactly the opposite of what you want in a stereo system. It’s going to sound like crap.

    It’s not functional, therefore, it’s just art. If I had an empty space to devote to sculpture, I can think of a few thousand pieces I’d rather display.

  210. Brainspore says:

    #113 posted by zio_donnie , January 25, 2009 7:15 PM

    …is this art?

    Ah, now that’s a more complicated and interesting question than it sounds. This thread reminds me of a much more famous piece of controversial art- Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 sculpture “Fountain” (which was just a urinal with his signature on it).

    At first glance “Fountain” was roundly denounced as nothing more than a juvenile prank, but the ensuing debate led to some very thoughtful discussion about the nature of art itself. As it turns out, “art” is one of those things that seems easy to define until one is actually asked to do so.

  211. arkizzle says:

    Barbie’s are creepily sexual/desexualized, and have a distinct set of features. The headless aspect makes it about all women, not all women’s vulvas.

    Does that make Barbie dolls (with face, but no vulva) “about” all women’s vulvas?

    Asked honestly.

  212. Anonymous says:

    So is this more or less offensive than the Hillary Clinton nutcracker?

  213. Brainspore says:

    #226 posted by Caroline , January 26, 2009 6:41 AM

    …It can be a useful exercise to mentally gender-swap things like this, and see how the implications change.

    I did as you suggested and mentally pictured a male mannequin torso with a beer tap in the crotch. I have concluded that I wouldn’t be offended by that either.

  214. Pipenta says:

    If I walked into an apartment and saw that, um, sound system, I would feel uncomfortable. I would imagine most women would be uncomfortable around it, or be in the mode of “Oh, I don’t let things like that get to me.” We all do it about certain things. The world being what it is, we have to. But it takes energy. There’s a little bit of a stress level that comes with encountering something like that.

    Perhaps, if it was owned by women, I might find it amusing. Yes, I probably would. But this is just loaded. I’m not intellectualizing this. I’m giving my gut reaction.

    If I saw it in some guy’s apartment, I’d squirm. I’d figure he wanted to broadcast that he didn’t care how women felt about their own bodies and their boundaries.

    I’d just figure that owning something like that was a dick move. And I assume that anyone who has something like this, and is so proud of it that he posts it here, is kind of getting off on the discomfort he is causing a lot of women to feel.

    Yep, a dick move for sure.

  215. SamSam says:

    @Gorgon #51:

    This is another shamelss example of men objectifying women. Don’t you understand a woman is so much more than an electrified groinal area and a set of music-producing nipples?

    Ha! I didn’t think that I’d snarf while reading this thread — good thing I had just swallowed, or you’d owe me a new keyboard.

  216. Takuan says:

    ah, but what if you were say diving on a helium/oxygen mix and noticed it around 100 meters?

  217. presyncope says:

    Antinous: your note appeared after I had submitted my message. “Prima facie evidence” is a little prima donna, but: your sandbox.

  218. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    For most women what is erotic is the telling, the narrative, the story. This is how we all work, it just is. I see nothing wrong with that.

    Well, I do.

    All=the set containing or pertaining to every member.

    Most=some indefinite majority.

    All!=Most (with the possible exception that that both are well known “weasel words”)

  219. Manooshi says:

    Having studied feminist theories– especially in the context of often male-dominated aesthetics, I can see why reducing woman to that of “headless functional [sex] object”, as an earlier comment noted, can be extremely problematic. That said, it’s still a pretty fucking cool MP3 speaker system, regardless of whether it’s an ‘original’ idea or not. However, I wouldn’t want it in my home. And it would be a major turn-off if my man owned it. It’s very juvenile and disrespectful, but I can appreciate the ‘Dada’ aspects of it. And yeah, it reminds me of the ‘leg lamp’ in the “Christmas Story” for sure. Lol. I predict my ex-boyfriend will think it’s THE best MP3 speaker system EVER, and it will be mentioned on his next ‘dude’ radio show.

  220. blueelm says:

    “Tolerance and broad-mindedness is soooo 2008.”

    Actually, tolerance and broad-mindedness would probably include tolerating the view of the feminists on this one. The fact that it can be considered “broad-minded” just to be ok with looking at something like this is actually telling.

    There’s only a couple thousand years or more of naked-women to look at in art, and at least several hundred years of female-anthropomorphized appliances.

    Remember, feminism isn’t about freeing the boobies. It involves an attempt to raise the conciousness of viewers to understand that to this day the visual gaze is mostly male. Think about this piece with a man’s torso and you would have something that looked “gay”. The gaze would still be male.

    At this point I’m just trying to clarify what I see as a growing rift in this discussion between various communities. Personally, I find most advertising a lot more offensive.

    This discussion has actually given me an idea for a piece of my own though, so I have to thank BB for it!

  221. ethancoop says:

    “I’d like to see an accompanying piece for this.
    It would be a male mannequin, with a microphone where the erect penis should be, the mic cable up its ass (a la Mapplethorpe), and some audio dials for nipples.”

    If you did the erect penis mic, the same people freaking out about this mannequin ipod speaker system would somehow find fault in it too. My guess is that they’d claim that you were “forcing” them to hold a phallus close to their mouth to use it thereby once again “forcing” them be complicit to the act of male gratification.

    Srsly, ll y vrsnstv brds nd wn mn r mkng wy t bg dl bt ths. Clm th frk dwn, myb try gng dcf wth yr $8 cff drnks r ct bck n th hrbl ts r whtvr th hll s csng y t gt s wrkd p vr bsltly nthng.

  222. pork musket says:

    I know several women that enjoy a good porno now and then. I also know some that think porn is terrible and degrading and disgusting. Women are not all wired the same way, no matter how many times you repeat to yourself that they are.

  223. arkizzle says:

    Anonymous @ 124

    The problem was that the initial criticism was of the post, not criticism of the art. And it was done in a particularly pissy way.

    If the initial criticism was about the art, and not a condemnation of Mark and BoingBoing, it might have started the conversation differently.

    It took a while to regain equilibrium, but now we are here, dicussing rationally.

  224. jjasper says:

    arkizzle – Yes, in a way, because they can be defined as not having them, and are one of the most popular dolls out there. But it’s more that this figure is almost certainly intentionally sexualized, and barbie is has this weird sexy/sexless thing going on. Also, Barbie has an identifiable face.

  225. zio_donnie says:

    “Zio @ 213 – “fagocitated” ?

    Phagocytize – absorb. He’s Italian.”

    i’m greek actually (tho’ i live and work in italy)so my mispelling is extremely meta. i misspelled a greek word (fago-eat kit-the root of the word kyttaro-cell fagocitosis means eating cells)in italian on an english speaking message board. sorry ’bout that

  226. Tom Hale says:

    Listen – I’m not calling art, or the intellectual’s discussion on art silly – And I realize art is important to every culture -all I’m saying is that I don’t understand how this mannequin mp3 player can be called art.

    I’ve had this discussion before, with people that used the same 10 syllable words and was told Anything can be art. i’ll just have to take your word for it.

  227. zio_donnie says:

    ok i read the article again and this thing would be a new “interface”. that only proves my first impression of a cheap hack. i mean if you intend to make some kind of social commentary on the woman’s place in society at least put some effort in it. a new interface would be imbedding the player in the manequin and controling it with something innovative like touch screen breasts or blatantly offensive and provoking like controling the thing with a finger in the vagina or something.

    what i want to say is that the manequin was bought out of the self and barely manipulated at all other than puting 3 holes in it. and i don’t think that your average manequin in a window store gets all this heated discussion everytime you see one. the “artist” here just got 20minutes with a dremel and a mail at BB and is already the new hope of dadaism.

    btw catheters like the one protruding from the manequin are not innovative though with a strech of immagination you could call them interfaces.

    PS:@Takuan: i don’t think it could work between us unless you own a private jet.

  228. blueelm says:

    I know this thread is overfilled, but I don’t see many posts from people with a similar background. I happen to be a female artist, and I have to admit that my gut reaction to this was something along the lines of *eyeroll*.

    On one level I think there’s something weirdly S&M about the harsh black incisions of the speakers and the strange catheter-like projection from the vaginal area. However to work as art I would actually need it to be more provoking in a less predictable way.

    If this were a piece of contemporary art it would be at least 20 years out of touch. That’s being gentle, because I could see this as some kind of kitsch. Formally, it’s really more in line with the first half of the 20th century. For something riskier from the art world, try Nobuyoshi Araki.

    As far as a consumer product goes, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be on boingboing. Each to his own. I find it tacky, but I think it’s well done and some what novel. It certainly got people talking.

    Sorry for the long post in a long thread.

  229. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Tisk,

    Bristle away, but do it in the Moderation Policy thread. And read it while you’re there.

  230. jjasper says:

    Antinous –

    The object is not intrinsically bothersome to me. What I find disturbing is that it’s never a male body that’s objectified. Or even better — what if it was a baby?

    If we want sexualized babies, we can go look at H.R. Geiger. If I want sexalized male representations, I can go to Chelsea, NYC. It’s out there.

    But in artistic representation, women are most frequently objectified by men as sex objects. They are in real life too.

    Is a headless baby with a plugged in crotch more offensive than a headless woman with a plugged in crotch?

    A headless baby with a plugged in crotch is not part of a larger dialog about consistently representing babies as sex objects throughout history. That question is too complex for a yes/no answer.

  231. ridl says:

    It’s too bad this got the placement for the Weekend Discussion. There were so many more interesting entries last week that deserved it more than this mediocre piece of functional kitsch.

    Then again, a good number of interesting comments as always.

  232. ill lich says:

    I would want him to walk away from it because it makes him a better man.

    Perhaps. Or perhaps it just makes you think he’s a better man.

  233. Takuan says:

    hydraulic jet count?

  234. arkizzle says:

    Pipenta, good thoughts. I agree (with what I hope you’re saying), context is everything. I hope you are not really viewing this as black and white as “any woman can own this without making me feel uncomfortable, but any man can’t”.

    I would hope you have relationships with men, in whom your emotional trust is strong enough, that having this in their possession would make you equally as amused as it would with the random woman you described in your comment.

    Shorter: is a random woman more deserving of your emotional trust than a close man?

  235. jjasper says:

    Tom Hale –

    Listen – I’m not calling art, or the intellectual’s discussion on art silly – And I realize art is important to every culture -all I’m saying is that I don’t understand how this mannequin mp3 player can be called art.

    High art? No. But it’s a statement of representation, even if it’s not meant to be serious. I consider the steampunk stuff posted here to be art too, in a way. Some of it’s really good art. This? Not so much.

    I’m at a stopping point here. I’ll happily answer questions, but I’ve said what I meant to say, and said what I thought needed to be said on how I thought the ‘can’t we just have fun with this nifty object’ type thinking was wrong. But beyond that, I’m disengaging. Not taking my marbles and running home, just at a natural stopping point.

    Tom Hale, Arkizzle and Antinous win at being civil. Thanks, folks.

  236. arkizzle says:

    Tisk,

    The spirit of the moderation you mentioned was intended to open the discussion up to more than the “I’m with such-and-such, I’m disgusted with BB” comments that were starting to appear.

    Antinous didn’t tell anyone what they could say, he asked people to be a bit more creative in their remonstrations, that we could have a discussion instead of a “pile on”.

    Frankly, Activist’s post covered what a lot of people wanted to say, but they chimed-in in agreement anyway, rather than expanding or illuminating why they agreed.

    For an interesting discussion, it’s better to ask questions and offer a personal view than simply +1 every comment you agree with.

  237. zio_donnie says:

    @BRAINSPORE #125

    i understand where you come from and i agree. i actually would buy the fountain back at the time as i like controversy somtimes even for the sake of it and i firmly believe that the world is always a better place after a debate.

    what i don’t see in this case is the originality that had the fountain stunt. you see provocation is not timeless it works only the first time you use it then you have to invent another one else you are just a copycat. that is to say that this particular object is not a provocation as much as a PR stunt. and if some find it offensive it is not for the artistic merit of the creator but for their own mindset that sees provocation and controversy everywhere even in the most mundane things and therefore is easily baited into PR stunts like this one.

  238. Razzabeth says:

    @95 Zunes de Milo.. LOLOLOLOL

    About the artwork, I have to admit that when I saw it I thought something completely different than most of the people here did. I saw it as a rocking Goddess figure, capable of bringing forth either the doom of heavy metal or the soft sweetness of classical music from her titties, and everything in between.

    I think it has to do with your preconceived notion of women. If you are a woman and comfortable with yourself, then a mere statue shouldn’t be enough to make you UNcomfortable with yourself, imho.

  239. arkizzle says:

    Folks!

    Looks like the comment numbers are offset. Some anonymous comments popping up after approval, I presume.

    Try to include a name as well as a post number (or use quotes) in your responses! Better bump proofing :)

  240. Tenn says:

    Shoot, I like it. I like seeing the female form in art and being ‘objectified’ because damnit, it’s pretty. The male form is not as appealing to me.

    Of course the female form is ‘used’ in ways that the male form isn’t. Of course it’s objectified more often. It’s prettier. People who objectify it think it prettier than the male form.

    If you have protests, then make art based on the male form.

    This isn’t that great or anything, but the protests always seem to bother me. If it bothers you that there isn’t equal representation, then change it.

  241. arkizzle says:

    Zio

    Actually, I think there is a controller of some sort, a pot or a pop-switch, located at the vagina. So there is definitely room for discussion of intent or awareness, as such.

  242. arkizzle says:

    Me @ 141

    I didn’t mean that to come across quite as personally as it might sound.

    I meant it entirely generally. Sorry for any offense.

  243. Takuan says:

    how could we use nanotech to turn our whole epidermis into a speaker?

  244. zikzak says:

    @jjasper: I guess the reason I brought up “armchair theorists” was because I’m fairly sure almost all the radical feminists I’ve actually done political activism with would see this as a stupid, tacky, but ultimately harmless creation. And it’s my experience that people who’ve learned a lot of theory but don’t do a whole lot are much more aggressive in their desire to critique things, possibly in order to solidify their identities as “real” or “serious” feminists.

    But that may not be you, so if it’s not, forgive me.

    I didn’t understand the question about it being really uncomfortable, maybe ’cause of a typo, but to be clear: I don’t like this sculpture (or whatever it is). I think it’s stupid, tasteless, and kind of vulgar. So my reaction is certainly not jumping to the defense of something I like.

    I dunno, I guess it’s not really a big deal. I guess I just resent people who choose stuff like this to be self-righteous about, since it’s so rarified and graduate-level. It reminds me of the political conflicts between different factions of modern artists or something.

  245. Trilln451 says:

    ROSSINDETROIT

    “If one of the drivers in an ordinary wooden box loudspeaker was replaced with a fiberglass mannequin breast, would that be sexist and offensive?”

    In order to be functional, wouldn’t that have to be an inverted breast? Which would be a lot more subtle & therefore rather clever.

    If it’s just a breast stuck on a box, well, that’s just frackin’ macabre.

  246. arkizzle says:

    JJasper: tip o’ the hat.

  247. Wally B says:

    #260 Mindpowered, great word!

  248. robulus says:

    @Takuan #312

    Outstanding. There is the fundamental interconnectedness of the universe, right there.

  249. noen says:

    “actually you did imply that cattle behaviour is inferior and something to avoid”

    Because we are more than that and it is that added dimension that is being denied. Therefore my humanity is negated and I am reduced to a mere fetish object. The mirror operation of this would be when women reduce men to their status as a provider only. The gold digger is the true female chauvinist because she reduces and sexualizes men to be nothing more than their ability to make money.

    Why is this so? It is because human males and females have differing reproductive strategies. Males, ideally, would prefer to cast their genes wide while females, because they invest a great deal of resources into their offspring, would ideally prefer the opposite. Thus we have two competing and opposed strategies, a dialectic if you like. This sculpture lies entirely at one end of the dialectic. That is why people are objecting to it.

    My position is that this tension, this dynamic conflict, is a good thing. It would be a shame for either side to win. The art work in question declares victory and hence, in my view, should be rejected.

  250. zikzak says:

    Also:
    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1157/1224382961_b1ada511f6_m.jpg

    You turn it on and off with the penis, if it’s not clear from the picture.

  251. Brettspiel says:

    Ok, so how is this different from Coop’s Atari Girl?

    http://tinyurl.com/c79cqm

  252. zio_donnie says:

    Arkizzle

    from what i can tell from the foto it’s an on/off switch for the speakers, so not much of an interface as such. apparently you do everything from the player.

  253. LifelongActivist says:

    Arkizzle135-

    I regret a couple of word choices in my initial post (I won’t repeat them and compound the error), but don’t regret blaming BB, which blundered editorially in promoting the piece. If a porn site hyped it it would still be a sexist work, but the posting at least would be aligned with the overall mission of the site and the expectations of the readers. But BB has a strong record in support of human rights, so what should one conclude? That BB thinks feminism is not part of human rights? That BB thinks objectifying women is not sexist? As it happens, I think neither of those things is true – that, as I wrote earlier, this was just a blunder. As a writer myself, I know that these things happen. Still, it needed to be pointed out.

  254. AGF says:

    @ 309, I ♥ you Takuan. (ooh how about a bra and panties set as a spin off)
    Noen – When I die I’d like my organs to go to science and my bones to be cleaned. I then want my bones to be donated to a university drama department. I want to be a prop! Maybe I can play Yoric. I hope I get dresses up for halloween parties. And re the lesbian thing – boy the women you know really must not be much fun – or have a sense of humour. I can only imagine how silly things would get with the mannequin/speaker chick in my house.

  255. arkizzle says:

    Takuan, I never noticed the phallic nature of the cephalopod..

    Don’t tell me, you were just a young ‘urchin, fresh off the fish-farm, your new life in the big ocean.. the sculptor befriended you and you trusted him.

    Well, you look great. What your Old Ones say? Were they disappointed? But look at you now; the biggest squid in the bay.

  256. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s terrible to objectify music this way.

  257. Tim says:

    #220: I agree that my reaction to the piece changes depending on it’s intent (mass production vs. art), and further agree that the discussion it has engendered to be valuable. Was the irony lost on you when, immediately after saying that the resulting discussion is a success, you tell one side of the discussion that they should “please take a break from boingboing, and gaze at that Thomas Kincaid print you have hanging over your sofa”? Discussion requires differing points of view.

  258. LifelongActivist says:

    And, of course, as many others have pointed out, it also violates BB’s standard on aesthetic grounds.

  259. zio_donnie says:

    @LIFELONGACTIVIST

    you need to calm down. you just see the sexist devil everywhere. first of all this isn’t even a mass production item but is intended as art and art usually wants to provoke thought. you would have more of a point if you were against realistic commercial manequins.

    moreover your totalitarian look on society with calls for selective censhorship of things you do not approve just makes you a bigot just as much as those who would censhor films or videogames on the basis that they do not go well with their views. comment as much as you like but by bashing BB for posting whatever you fail.

  260. arkizzle says:

    Zio,

    Sorry, I wasn’t referring to it’s description as “a new interface”.

    Rather your comment “i mean if you intend to make some kind of social commentary on the woman’s place in society at least put some effort in it.”

    The on/off switch is located at the vulva. Not effort as such, but as relevant as the examples you go on to list.

    No argument here, just clarifying my comment.

  261. arkizzle says:

    Activist

    You are entitled to your opinion. But I disagree with your listing this post as a blunder. Perhaps Mark doesn’t equate the same things to violating human rights as you do (or more specifically, harming feminism’s progress).

    Also, what exactly are Boing Boing’s aesthetic standards?

  262. Sparrow says:

    I don’t see a single comment assessing this from a functional point of view, or asking what it sounds like. Wouldn’t there be some phasing problems from having both speakers share the same cavity, or is it large enough to be considered an infinite baffle? Does the angle at which the speakers are mounted interfere with the stereo image? I wouldn’t expect it to sound any better than a cheap set of computer speakers. It looks like in this case, form wins out over function.

    This is an object (which is itself an incredibly objectifying and only vaguely representational abstraction of the female form) being treated as an object and there is an attempt made to recontextualize it, but really doesn’t speak to me or make much of an impression. I would probably be more impressed with it, if it wasn’t so blindingly obvious, or if it included an iPod dock in the neck rather than just a line-in. I wouldn’t buy it, and I would not be impressed if I saw this in someone’s home, but in a gallery or club, I’d give it a pass.

    #60, I’m going to steal those terms (Gender-hacking and Gender-punk.) I always found the most interesting discussions of cyberpunk to be in the realm of feminist deconstructions of the works, so those terms seem strangely appropriate.

  263. zio_donnie says:

    Arkizzle

    i see your point but my opinion stays. that the creator wanted to make some kind of commentary about women was clear since he decided to pull the audio cable from the vulva. i was arguing that the on/off button doesn’t add much in the “new interface” proclamation which i was bashing in the first place. big words should be backed up by a bit of effort and craftmanship and not only by PR in my opinion.

  264. Takuan says:

    one day, nanobot assemblers… hey, remember the “beauty barbers” from Dune?

  265. Teapunk says:

    A word of advice, sisters: When you go home with your date and see something like that, run.
    Change your phone number and watch Boxing Helena.

  266. crispernaki says:

    Taukan @ 8

    Good one! Lucky to not be drinking and surfing.

    Mkultra @ 103

    Squicky is my new favorite word.

    Everyone else… I know what to make you for your birthday…

    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/05/speaker_dolls.html

  267. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think that I would let a Zune touch me down there….

  268. codereduk says:

    That’s nothing, you should have seen where he put the stylus on his other mannequin for his old turntable.

  269. LifelongActivist says:

    Zio155 –

    1) You are inferring/assuming way too much from my posts.

    2) Censorship is a government function. Corporations, blogs, etc., don’t censor; they edit. And the smart/ethical ones welcome and act on audience feedback. BB itself has in the past explained or apologized for postings based on reader feedback.

    So even if the editors don’t happen to like my critical posting, I don’t think they would see it as out of line the way you do. Besides, I never asked for the photo to be removed; just stated my objections to it, so even by the loosest definition there’s no “censorship” involved.

  270. Bathblogger says:

    how can i buy this? very classy!

  271. arkizzle says:

    Crispernaki

    Thanks! I’ll send you a note with my birth date and preferred colour scheme. You’re the best!

  272. ill lich says:

    I think the tackiness is part of it’s charm.

    It also reminds me of those ridiculous penis sculptures in “A Clockwork Orange”, or more accurately, the milk dispensers at the Moloko bar: they are both faux-futuristic pieces of art, and functional devices (as for the functionality of those speakers, they may very well sound like crap, but a lot of the plug-and-play ipod speaker systems I’ve heard sound pretty lame, so it’s at least par for the course. If they put some kind of small dual cone car speakers in there and a subwoofer in the butt it might sound pretty good.)

    Not every piece of art has to be “high art” or avant-garde, and not every stereo system has to be a work of art.

  273. LifelongActivist says:

    Ark159: You are certainly entitled to disagree. And, again, I wasn’t focused on the aesthetics, much – others were much more vocal on this aspect of the problem, so you should ask them. // Anyhow it’s getting late, so I will have to leave the conversation soon. It was a good one.

  274. Falcon_Seven says:

    This isn’t the first time that BB has posted about ‘objectified’ mannequins:

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/11/17/video-of-mannequins-.html

    Bon appétit!

  275. Anonymous says:

    Talk about inverted nipples!

  276. theegor says:

    My impression of its sexual nature: looks like a newborn connected by an umbilical chord.

    But after reading all of these comments, my impression has changed to: we are each half of a whole, and need the other half to complete and make music. Without BB completing me, I wouldn’t have considered this.

  277. arkizzle says:

    Do you having trouble satisfy you mannequin?

    Is you cable thickness leaving a lot to be desired?

    Let M0n5ter C4blez larger your skinny equipment.

  278. dimmer says:

    I can’t help but think that a male form a la “David” would offer much more practicality: twist the foreskin left or right to change volume, shove it back as a select switch.

    Is it art? Read the flurry of comments and it’s clear that indeed it is.

  279. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    The most unreliable of all possible interfaces.

  280. AGF says:

    Ok. Disclaimer – I couldn’t bring myself to read everything before commenting – but I will.
    First: Want! but I’d like it more if Coop designed the mannequin. Second – I’d really hate to see how some of you would react if you watched me work with dress making mannequins! OMG there are pins everywhere! Oh the humanity. sigh.

  281. zio_donnie says:

    @lifelongactivist

    i surely assume much of your posts but unfortunately that’s how internet works, i can reply to you judging from what you write not who you actually are since i don’t know you.

    that said censhorship is by no means a goverment function only. actually the worst kind of censhorship is self censhorship consisting in keeping your opinions secret in order not to offend anyone. in the case of blogs it consists in “editing” out things that could drive away readers. and you called for it on the basis that the post offends your sensibilities while by no means this blog post is offensive. it’s not like they posted child porn or something universally accepted as offensive.

    ergo i repeat that the calls for “editing” as you put it, everything you don’t like or care about is bigotry in disguise.

    btw i didn’t know (or care)about BB removing posts on readers suggestions. it’s a blog and the owners do what they wish. but i pitty the “think of the children” crowd who feel they need to filter their sources in order to match their beliefs.

  282. Takuan says:

    is there a headphone model?

  283. HDN says:

    Any one else reminded of the lamp in “A Christmas Story?”

    “Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.”

  284. andyhavens says:

    A female mannequin can generally be seen as a stand-in for the economic objectification of women; not “woman as sex object” but “woman as consumer.” More specifically, it is symbolic of the role consumption plays in the cultural definition of female beauty. “If you want to be a beautiful woman, you must buy these things.” The mannequin has no head, no arms, no legs; this makes it even more of a symbol for the cipher we regard a woman to be when she is without economic and/or fashion cues. Woman-without-stuff = unknown, uninteresting, unimportant. That’s what a head/arm/legless mannequin symbolizes.

    In this case, though, the breasts have been partially removed in order to insert an object that projects sound/music. Rather than being a blank form on which to drape advertised wares, now the form has something inside. Something unique. Something artistic. But why put the speakers — the source of art — inside the breasts?

    Breasts are the source of food and nurturing. Just as mothers nurse their children, so does music provide sustenance for the soul, soothing or exciting us depending on the moment or type of interaction.

    But wait… the speakers aren’t the source of the music. They are its externalization, just as breasts are the externalization of motherhood. Where does the music originate from?

    From the vagina; the source of all life. While the outer world fixates on the obvious (the breasts, the music), the secret store of the art itself… the technology that produces birth… is the vagina.

    There is little sexualization going on here. The speakers in the breasts more resemble haunting eyes. And the cord that plugs into the vagina seems more medical (a catheter?) than sexual. For this to be truly dehumanizing in a sexual sense, it would need to be: a) sexual, and; b) changed in a way that subtracted life or interest even further from the faceless form. If anything, this mannequin is *more* interesting because of its disfigurement; it tells more of a story; it is more an object of, perhaps, sorrow and/or pain. To take something inherently generic and add interest pushes it more towards empathy.

    So… this piece might be read as a redemption of the economic dehumanizing of women through music or, more broadly, art. It could be saying, “Don’t think of me as a woman without clothes… I am art, even without fashion. Art is born inside me and is nurtured from me.”

    Or it could be a puerile fixation on tits and crotch. As a poet, I’m quite used to readers who, on the one hand, take my intentional meaning and screw it up in interesting ways, while others find no meaning there at all.

    “How can we tell the dancer from the dance?”

    I found it interesting and scary.

    If I was going to do this on a male mannequin I’d put the speakers in his hands, being held out, like a dealer showing a cut deck of cards, while the player would be inset, at the base of the spine, with the cord running up and disappearing into the back of his head.

    I’ll leave it for someone else to deconstruct that message…

  285. arkizzle says:

    Nice visioning Andy, I enjoyed it :)

    Now I really gotta go!

  286. Anonymous says:

    All these comments, and nobody’s asked the really important question:

    How does it sound?

    No, I’m not being facetious. If it sounds like shit, it’s an insult to the female form. If it sounds beautiful, it’s an awkward, creepy compliment.

  287. Anonymous says:

    This is horrible. It is extra sad really because I wouldn’t look at BB for a long time because I considered the content sexist. My husband is always trying to tell me this is a good site but this kind of thing is so unkind. How is it meant to make me feel?

    It is a shame because I love technology and computer games as well but it is so often about reducing women. This time reducing us to headless objects and furniture.

    Actually, he doesn’t try to get me to look at BB anymore. He probably looks at content like this and decides not to.

    From looking at the comments thread it seems a lot of people who tried to comment and state their disappointment were censored so this probably wont be posted either.

  288. skoopd says:

    That is freakish. If Vegas were asked to take odds on this guy’s accidental electrocution after getting too cozy with said speaker system, they would be off the board.

  289. Sean Blueart says:

    Thanks folks. Compelling discussion. Good Night.

  290. thisgirlangie says:

    m dsppntd t fnd ths n Bng Bng, t’s nt p t yr sl stndrds. t’s nt snrky, t’s nt cl, t jst mks s st bck nd thnk bt f w r nnyd t t.

  291. ill lich says:

    This art work reduces women to objects of fetishistic desire, nothing more.

    It DOES? Why? Because you SAY it does? That is one valid opinion, of course, but not much better than Ashcroft covering up a bare nipple because he thinks nudity = sin (or whatever he was thinking). I’m not sure we can automatically and unequivocally decide the artist’s intent. Was Dali’s “Soft Construction with Boiled Beans” misogynistic because it portrayed a giant skeletal hand tightly gripping a breast? Well. . . maybe, but surrealist art is fraught with multiple meanings, so don’t oversimplify. You don’t want to be reduced to a sexual object, and I agree: nobody want’s to be reduced to one aspect of their being. But similarly maybe you shouldn’t reduce a piece of art to one single valid interpretation. I could just as easily interpret this as saying “music is like mother’s milk.”

    People seem to be focusing on the fact that her breasts are cut off to make the speaker cavities, as if that is some fetishistic thing. Her head, arms and legs are also cut off. So what. Shall we start protesting the Venus de Milo next? Maybe the Louvre should put some arms on her so she’s not an “object of fetishistic desire” anymore (pretty ironic for the goddess of love). (Besides, what’s wrong with a fetish? Are you going to start questioning everyone’s personal sexual desires now? What turns people on in their own privacy is none of anyone’s business; you can be bound, gagged, whipped and objectified all weekend if that turns you on, then go to church on Sunday, and back to work on Monday, and nobody’s the wiser.)

    I don’t really want to argue about this; people are entitled to their opinions, but I think people are getting all worked up over a visual joke. If this sculpture is indeed causing harm to the goals of feminism, it’s far less than the damage done by the ubiquity of Paris Hilton, who gives creedence to every ridiculous chauvinist idea every day.

  292. zio_donnie says:

    “Why is this so? It is because human males and females have differing reproductive strategies. Males, ideally, would prefer to cast their genes wide while females, because they invest a great deal of resources into their offspring, would ideally prefer the opposite”

    “My position is that this tension, this dynamic conflict, is a good thing. It would be a shame for either side to win.”

    big words big words… you seem to believe that you completely understand the human species’ behaviour, that every human being acts following a script and you act accordingly.

    there are so many fallacies in your world view that would require several pages just to point out. the one that strikes me the most is that you seem to believe that there is actually a geneticaly encoded conflict between men and women. actually there is not. men and women share the same exact needs. there is not such thing as a “male polygamist drive” or a “female single partner drive” (or for that matter a “gay” gene). sexuality is driven in many ways by social factors but there is no genetic predisposition. for example social behaviour like prostitution (or sex in exchange of material or social advantage)was observed in apes. so one would think that human behaviour is not so sophisticated after all.

    there is no gender war as such. there are social contexts where women are treated as inferior (see islamic nations) but the problem lies in culture more than it lies in DNA. educate them and gender will become a non issue pretty much like in western societies (and i do believe that in western societies women are equal to men).

    to think that there is a war (or dynamic conflict as you put it) between man and woman and that it is actually possible for one gender to dominate is lunacy.

  293. LifelongActivist says:

    It really stinks to encounter this on BB. Shakesville blog runs a reglar series of tawdry consumer items that use the female torsos as a motif or interface –

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/09/today-in-disembodied-things.html

    So this is nothing new or innovative. And even if Turek himself naively thought he was creating something novel and worthwhile, and wasn’t simply going for attention and controversy (a big if), for BB to showcase such puerile and boringly mundane sexism is inexcusable. In the short term, maybe you will build traffic through appealing to juvenile prurience, but in the long term you only degrade your credibility (not to mention, karma).

    Grow up.

  294. noen says:

    #102 posted by dragonfrog
    “Um, um, Noen, could I please have my sexuality back?”

    Sorry hun but no, you can’t have it back. You see, that’s what we witches do. We steal your manhood and put it in a box. I collect them, got a couple dozen right here. Feed them a little corn or oats and they’re just fine.

  295. CommieNeko says:

    @ 273 NOEN

    Even granting your interpretation of the piece, mine is quite different from yours, why would you want to “reject” a purely male point of view, even one that you disagree with? Surely that is part of your dialectic… Especially when a piece is as playful, even ironic as this one. I think in a lot of ways it makes many of your points more effectively than you have.

  296. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    LifelongActivist@10: You must blush every time you see at a guitar (unless you’re a Bo Diddley fan to the exclusion of all other performers).

  297. pork musket says:

    If you have a problem with this because it objectifies/dehumanizes women, shouldn’t you have a problem with female mannequins in general? Don’t they do the same thing, but for the much shallower purpose of making a buck rather than something to think about?

  298. zio_donnie says:

    strange but until now nobody asked the most important question: why it is a zune down there and not an ipod/phone.

    it is a question of supreme importance. is the artist making some anti-apple statement? is he implying that art does not pay enough to buy state of the art mp3 players instead of run of the mill surrogates? is he the elusive zune fanboy coming out? is the zune bad for your genitals? choosing the zune for the foto is a statement that cannot be ignored.

    if the player was branded apple nobody,even the most fervent femminist, would ever think that this is more than a new iAccessory or a tongue in cheek mod. put a zune there and you have a full blown sexist conspiracy.

  299. arkizzle says:

    Other here have not been taught how to speak the language of art and do not understand why those who do reject the speech. They confuse rejection of the speech with rejection of the artist or the piece as a whole.

    That’s pretty elitist. You are essentially dismissing anyone who doesn’t object to this as not understanding art or the language of art.

  300. thequickbrownfox says:

    Salvador Dali would love it.

  301. pork musket says:

    @152 You’re projecting your interpretations onto the rest of the readership here. If most of the readership doesn’t see the sculpture as an attack on a sex (and I’m not judging whether the readership does or does not) then your condemnation of the editorial decision to post/not post holds no water. Surely you’re not naive enough to think you speak for everyone?

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