CAN FEMBOTS FEEL?
Do fembots understand emotion? Can they feel anything? Are they allowed to?
As my first deep dive into AI art and my first large collection, FEMBOT is a blending of me + AI; woman + robot.
At its most basic level, this collection (unintentionally) addresses the absurd claim that AI art cannot convey emotion.
On a more personal level, FEMBOT is the most complex reflection of me that I have shared. 77 parts of me, 77 feelings and experiences, in one cohesive collection. If you are familiar with my art, you know that while I have certainly shared some intensely personal pieces about trauma, I often keep my public art on the level of cultural and societal topics to carry some larger message, even if also personal. But FEMBOT is only personal.
The fembot is also me as a sex worker, as most people here have known me to be, as a woman who is supposed to be perfect but not actually feel anything out of character. This role has at times freed me, but it can also be a trap, particularly as a multifaceted artist – how can I openly stay true to myself if I am also playing a role 24/7 that requires me to compartmentalize and act out someone else’s fantasy?
In a relatively short time, AI art has helped me surpass all sorts of limitations – physical, financial, emotional. It has also served as a sort of protective barrier between the outside world and my body that I always use in my self-portrait art.
Specifically, leaning into the weirdness of surrealism with AI has alleviated the pressure to take the perfect photo, to look desirable for someone else, to be perfectly in tune with my body any time I want to express something with it.
I want to thank everyone who has been collecting FEMBOTS even before knowing much about them, for resonating with my work, for supporting my exploration of something totally new and different. Below, I will share some of the pieces and the processes that led to them. Uncensored, unlike Twitter.
Each FEMBOT was based on a unique self-shot photo of me that I ran through Stable Diffusion v1.5 and edited in Photoshop (before and/or after). These photos were selfies, or erotic content from sex work, or from art shoots, or taken specifically to make certain ideas come to life for this collection. Those shared below will be blurred for my privacy.
I will not be sharing my prompts because, well, I don’t save them, and I don’t think artists using AI should be pressured to share them anyway. But the FEMBOTs are ephemeral, created over the course of 10 days, often for 10 hours a day. I could not recreate them if I tried. They are a moment in time.
I will say that the legendary Vivienne Westwood was invoked in a couple pieces. Coincidentally, she died a few days after minting. RIP.
And, one thing that remains constant in every piece is a touch of gold.
When I started this collection, I did not know how big it would be. My first few pieces were more experimental. As I built momentum and figured out what I wanted this to look and feel like, everything became extremely intentional. As my skills in using this technology improved throughout the creation process, I sometimes went back to refine my earlier pieces, but some were already perfect and stayed just as they were.
Here, you can see one original photo, its first draft that I made early on, and the final version of “idol”:
For “Guardian,” I used a photo taken while test shooting for “Kill the Middleman“: I
“Fidelio” Is another example of a piece made from a photo taken while shooting for another art piece, “Burn it Down,” which a couple people told me reminded them of the Stanley Kubrick Film ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ I had not see it at the time, but then watched and obviously loved it. This piece was a tribute to that film, as you may have surmised from the title. “Devour” (not pictured here) is another FEMBOT piece that references a film, but less intentionally. Let me know if you can figure that one out. 😉e.
Do you remember my Pepe the frog bra that I wore in my “The Original NFT” Beanie Babies collection back in 2021? Of course he had to make an appearance here, too… Oh, and yes, I even made a piece from a photo of me wearing my 3D glasses (“Wired,” not pictured here)
The photo that became “prepared” was taken while filming a kinky video about, um… something.
“Safety” was also intentionally planned. It is an image of self-love and the safety that I have found in my own arms, and in psilocybin, that I have yet to find elsewhere. Mushrooms are quite prominent throughout the collection, sometimes as a main feature and sometimes very subtly.
The pieces depicting nature were, in fact, made from photos of me in nature:
Even “Gaia” originated as me next to a world map…
Some pieces reflect my experience of objectification, both voluntary and involuntary:
And I obviously had to make a few pieces about that Domme life… “Bootlicker” is one of several pieces in the collection that was intentionally assigned certain token numbers. If you are familiar with my 2020 NFT of the same title, you’ll understand why it’s #45 here…
“Numb” reflects a time when I could still smoke, when I was still numb, but becoming less so. I do miss rolling my perfect joints, and I sometimes even miss being numb. But there’s no going back, to either one. “
Without art, I would probably still be numb and unable to express my feelings…
I took this gas mask photo in late March 2020, just as COVID began to change the world as we know it. I got the mask due to extreme forest fires but have never actually worn it other than for this photo and for my October 2020 NFT “Fvck Covid, Use Protection“.
This is token 19, you know why. It now also feels very “The Last of Us”… It
Happy little accidents are when your output for a piece called “Matrix” includes an Elon Musk that you didn’t even ask for. Zoom in on the face in the middle.
“Distance” was derived straight from my profile picture at the time I was making this collection, when I was very frustrated by distance from a person, by the feeling of just talking to PFPs and words on a screen, that connection to someone that exists only in your phone, only in your head:
I painted this witch hat for cosplay earlier in 2021…
I was always the only person in all of these photos, but my dog that I fostered and raised in Armenia was in one of them with me, that turned into “Pure.” This puppy showed me the depths of love that I did not know I was capable of until him. The photo below is not the one I used, but it is him 🥺 and the collector of this piece can contact me for more dog pics. Utility!
Having grown up around a carpet business, I had no choice but to use a photo of me on a carpet. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ _(ツ)_/¯
You might have seen me post this sunset photo below on Twitter before I deleted it and many other “suggestive” tweets in hopes of getting off their naughty list:
I used quite a few ass pics to make art about things that had nothing to do with ass other than maybe that I act like one when I ghost people. (Sorry.)
The blooming of “Lotus” —
The last example I will share is “burnout,” because that’s what I’m about to be if I don’t end this somewhere. This was one of the first pieces I made for the collection that I tried to refine later but just could not beat this original version:
Feel free to reach out and ask me about anything! The full collection, all minted on its own ERC-721 contract, is viewable here or at fembot.cryptonatrix.xyz via Manifold’s Curate App. Because this initial display page does not update to indicate what has been collected, I put this together and will try to keep it updated:
Thank you for reading this far, and I hope this illuminated some of my process for you!