The theme brings together artists and researchers interested in exploring the interconnections of sexuality, identity, and digital technology. This involves the ways in which digital media shapes and channels sexual desires and identifications, as well as the kinds of sexual dynamics that become attached to encounters with and through media technologies. Rather than being approached as mere instruments for exploring identities, sexualities, or desires, digital media is understood as facilitating certain kinds of interactions between people, technologies, representations, and platforms -- giving rise to new kinds of affective intensities, sociabilities, and networked experiences.
The topics presented under the theme include gender, desire and identity in virtual worlds; epistemologies of transition; queer sexuality, aesthetics, and sexual politics; international pornography and cultural identity; biopower, knowledge production, and sexual practice; fetishes and fantasies of mechanicity; and sensuous intimacies with new technologies. This range of topics and approaches makes evident the complexity of issues categorized under the deceptively simple terms sex and sexuality. Unpacking these terms and their associations, the presentations in "Sex and Sexuality" open up new spaces for thinking about sexuality and technology beyond binary concepts like embodiment and disembodiment, the factual and the virtual, or the offline and the online -- revealing forms of mediated intimacy, sensuous intensity, and connective presence.