Sex Doll Sanguine by Savana Stauss

Sex Doll Thumbnail Image

COURSE: English 245: Seminar in the Major (Special Topics)

MEDIUM: Digital Illustration

Sex Doll Sanguine is a sensory exploration of the connection between femininity and robotics. The relationship between perfected womanhood presented as plasticine, exhibited by living women and recreated for the consumption of the public in nonliving forms. This piece also exists to explore perceived femininity and the social projection of femme identity–how feminine presentation is used to suppress and maintain a control on the gender binary status quo.

Sex Doll Sanguine is a visual essay designed to coax the viewer into a femme sense of security, then pouncing on the viewer with use of imagery intentionally selected to fall at the nadir of the uncanny valley. This piece is an ice bath of men controlling women, in their appearance, in their behavior, in their self-presentation, disguised as a teen magazine. I wanted the viewer to feel that they perfectly understood the piece at first glance, in its softness and pinkness, and then for the slow descent into unease as they unravel the concepts at play. I hope it was a pleasure to read, and I hope it helped to create an awareness that the likenesses of women should be their own, not simply used as a way to make cyborgs more easy to control. Sex Doll Sanguine was designed to analyze the way that women are represented in or as robots. In some cases, it appears to be something that women have chosen; cases like these look like Poppy or Kylie on the surface. I’d argue that though it enhances their marketability, it isn’t something that they’ve chosen for themselves. I don’t dive into the background of either figure; both have handlers that determine their next move. Poppy has Titanic Sinclair, while Kylie has a robust team of controllers behind an editing team, calculating the way she presents herself. In other cases, there is no way for the femme to have control over their appearance, as in a 3D-printed Scarlett Johansson or in film, like Ava from Ex Machina.

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