“I find greater companionship in inert figures, animals and speechless artifacts, for I can enjoy their presence and there is no psychic drain. In fact, by their very stimulation in accordance with my tailored ideals, they provide me with not only entertainment, but food for thought.” – Anton LaVey
Creative people create not just with their hands but the landscapes of our minds. What is art after all but taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary? Art alters your perception of the mundane and involves a specific talent. An ability to rearrange matter to present something slightly new. Art is a technology. It’s a process as much as it is an end product. My views about Art are often in flux with most artists. Am I an Artist? If it requires that I fit into a die-cast mold fabricated by the Art Industry, then NO, I have never been that.
Consider for a moment how one’s perception may be altered by simply adding an identifier: Satanist.
Have I somehow been transformed into a new creature?
Have I become something that I wasn’t already?
How can such a technology alter perception so profoundly?
As human beings we form relationships, not just with other people but with technology. Artificiality stands on its own merits. For example, when I read these words written by Anton LaVey, my relationship is with these symbols strung together to mediate an understanding. It doesn’t much matter to me if I am able to forge an interpersonal relationship with the author. What matters to me, is my ability to muse with the technology. The same is true for relationships forged with forms and the emotionality it invokes. If an identity-pin can provoke another to make specific correlations, alter their perception, and take actions because of them then surely it’s a technology. At the very least, it’s applied practical knowledge; a talent.
Typically, when people think of Artificial Companions, they tend to envision androids, or any other suitable substitute for a human being. Anything can be your companion. Anton LaVey articulated a practice I was already using yet I didn’t quite have the words to describe it in my youth. So, you can imagine my surprise when picking up a copy of The Devil’s Notebook and finding the subject explored so matter-of-factly, that I was like YES, exactly that! What LaVey eloquently stated was in essence, our ability to be self-aware, and deliberately seek out pleasures through discovery and of our own devising.
“Artificiality is a natural and often superior development of intelligent life. Artificiality is more than completely honest; it forestalls disappointment at a thing not being what they appear to be. If you know something is phony from the outset, your imagination can make it as real as needs be. But it does require imagination. Believe it or not, everybody has imagination to some degree. Granted, it doesn’t take much imagination to be fooled, either by yourself or someone else. But imagination is taken into the realm of creativity when you infuse the unreal with a reality which will be satisfying.”
– Anton LaVey
I often sit in awe of people who can not forge a relationship with self first and appear to be co-dependent on other human beings for companionship. I have always forge relationships with various mediums whether it be the written word, paint, music, dance and the like makes no difference and I spend a great deal of time in solitude in relation to the amount of time I spend socializing with others. It’s not for a lack of ability, it’s a lack of interest. I don’t need it but I do have needs. Sex for example would become rather bland if I didn’t explore and experience it with another living, breathing… Person.
What I don’t need is long-term attachments to other people. I use the term ‘Disposable People’ so frequently that it may require a bit of an explanation to clarify what I mean by that. People, in general, are disposable to me, in that there are so many to encounter, experience and use for what ever needs you have I see no need to get so deeply invested in particular people. If I feel like socializing, I can collect a few people for that purpose and scrap the lot without batting an eye-lash. They can be complete strangers and it serve my purposes. I’ve never had trouble interacting with people and I’d consider myself a modern woman who just takes advantage of all the goods and services available to me. From a Sociological stand-point, the shift from ‘traditional’ to ‘artificial’ is merely approach.
Traditionally, if you want to meet someone new people tend to go to social events, bars, or wait to be introduced by a mutual friend (just a few examples).
Artificially, I’m more inclined to cruise a site such as Craigslist.
I think that the more we advance in a technological age, the more the scales shift and ‘traditional’ becomes more ambiguous. Intimacy is merely the level by which you become familiar. I have an intimate relationship with my surroundings, thus I spend a great deal of time constructing and de-constructing complete environments to fulfill my desires. My life is never boring, or bears a hole that requires filling. I also don’t shoulder the responsibility of wants and desires of other people. I don’t feel obligated to satisfy them.
“Androids can be created, programmed and utilized exactly according to the master’s whims. They require no energy-consuming interaction in order to salve a non-existent ego. Yet even the semblance of an ego can be built into an android via actions and words — but always according to the Maker’s requirements. They can be shelved when they grow tiresome, brought back out when needed, modified in appearance, and destroyed without moral conscience. They are ideal companions.” – Anton LaVey
Much like disposable people. Do robots know they are robots?