Digital Art Festival Taipei15th, Taipei

To all love losers O1_ ❤

Different from romantic love in culture, love in East Asian social environment has always been a tool for establishing a family or negotiating peace agreements between countries. Love has a long history of social functions in East Asian society. With the development of modernization, the concept of “free love” has become more and more popular and discussed in society.

Most families are becoming more and more able to accept subgirls seeking free love, but Asia has relatively close family relationships, which has also formed many communication must and difficulties between generations and culture.

When does love become a problem that requires technology-driven solutions?

Most families are becoming more and more able to accept subgirls seeking free love, but Asia has relatively close family relationships, which has also formed many communication must and difficulties between generations and culture.

Love in the age of data: Reliable and predictable algorithm pairing, but difficult to understand and complex meaning algorithm

We treat computers as reliable machines because they can calculate the amount of data and information that we cannot provide.

It collects data and provides objective analysis, so it seems to provide a more reliable and reasonable answer to the contingency and unpredictability we encounter in love and relationships. However, this is the result that we rely on the computer to produce for us, and on the other hand, we cannot understand or read the language. It is so complicated that our reading and writing ability has now surpassed it.


The emergence of dating app gave rise to the mixed reality (MR) in social encounters. The gamification, matchmaking, anonymity, and visual-based self-presentation therein allow users to constantly indulge themselves in the next possible match, where the perception of dating and love is slowly shaped into a game. The virtual space online bestows a reconstitution of expectations on ourselves and the other upon us. Here, infinite new choices are available to us, to which we refuse to commit, for next one may be better amidst the plethora of data flow. In light of the popularization of mobile devices, geo-social location social apps, and affective computing technologys , are we finding love more easily because technology provides a great number of opportunities for us to meet people? Or is the concept of love changing faster due to the development of technology?

Risk Management in Love

The geo-locating system employed in dating app turns into a standard filtering mechanism, allowing distance and online status to become prerequisites for people’s encounters. Such function lets us detect any “datable subject” in proximity; through software interface, we are capable of monitoring the distance between subject and ourselves as well as the usage time of the subject, and vice versa.

Users express their preferences through diverse filters and brief self-intro, while paid members are pushed onto the screen by the third-party interface objectively. Swipe left to reject and right to accept become the sole agency that users keep. As we challenge the photo dominated filtering mechanism software companies turn to preach us instead through inserting commercials amidst profiles to sell us how happiness and love should be. The spectrum of genders does not exist until they are coded as options. veeeky stresses that our carefully calculated online user paths, users, and products are our modern intimate relationships and gold coins to buy happiness. With content farms born for clickbaits and attractions for online check-in, HSU Zhe-Hao criticizes how our digital functions keys controls the lives of users instead.

We gain more access to our digital environments and delete unpleasant individuals or things easily. Yet, the frequency of having unpleasant online interaction rises as well. We do have more chances to create connections, but thus spend more time on meaningless conversations and receiving harassing messages from strangers, while growing numb and weary to ever-increasing choices. Through the power of manipulating characters in games, LI Yi-Fan discusses what the feedback influence of our highly manipulated digital bodies do to our flesh. FENG Ziming recorded a whole-day program of radio shows and jams the signals of a wide range in the outdoors, while surrounding hidden radios broadcasting radio waves of love forcefully on every listener.

LIN Tzu-Huan employs the act of touching in rubbing the magical lamp to touch panels as the metaphor, pointing out that the principle of love driven by technology eventually returns to individuals’desire for recognition in the world. Plastique Fantastique translates and amplifies sounds of heart beats of two individuals in the space, creating an empathetic experience through the rhythm of heart beats. Then, in the face of a manipulation of interpersonal interaction on a larger scale, how can we constantly reflect upon the self-definition amidst the total manipulation?

The Third Wheel in Every Modern Relationship: Surveillance Capitalism

With all the dating platforms offers free dating services while capitalizing and privatizing data sets, our online presence and exchanges are no longer just between you and others, but an archives of information whose interfaces we may be able to access as users, but the storage of which simultaneously remain opaque and inaccessible. It is simply beyond the reach of user control.

These new love archives remind us that desires no longer belong only to ourselves but also to databases that store them

(Mackinnon, Thylstrup & Veel, 2018). Lauren Lee McCarthy and Kyle McDonald employ the intriguing conceptual variation of man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) in the cybersecurity field that intercepts messages, highlighting the role of a third-party medium in the communication in between. CHANG Hsin-Yu inquires the emptied semantic status where language is reduced to 0s and 1s in digital transmission. Nowadays, all of our experiences are conveyed via these platforms. As such, Our experiences are now mediated by opened up, so if thought, cognition, and love are no longer the preserve of individual humans but something can be analyzed, multiplied and diving (Lucy, 2017).

Love is calculating by itself. It underlines the limit of computation and the randomness in probability calculation. In the post-digital era we are situated in, the computer systems with powerful processing capabilities make love appear to be solvable (Deterministic Algorithm). Dating websites endeavors to convince us with their figures of successful matchmakings, while more choices and opportunities of encounters shall increase our probabilities of falling in love (Mackinnon, 2016). Yet, it occurred to us at the same time that more accidents seem ever-complicated along with the accelerating environment. These dating apps did not get us rid of the enormous complexity and randomness that govern us all. Instead, they make people more and more vulnerable to the influence of complexity, randomness, and possibility.

Since love is hard to prove to be true and its inherent feature is contingency, the data-based matchmaking becomes a love solution that is neutral and reassuring. Meanwhile, we are increasingly haunted by archival uncertainties (e.g. new forms of errors, new personal information breach, and new forms of surveillance) which becomes potential hazards (e.g. photos shared onto the cloud accidently); now that computer can compute data and process huge amount of messages we cannot handle, we consider this machine that collects data and establishes objective analyses extremely reliable. It offers a trustworthy, reasonable solution to us for the randomness and unpredictability encountered in love and relationship. FAMEME found the opportunities for profit in the Asian society of sexual depression, materializing the cryptic sounds of love creation. Instead of searching for true love amidst the vast ocean of data, just throw in the money and get yourself a tailored appearance of having love.

On one hand, we rely on computer to produce results; on the other, we are incapable of understanding them, nor can we read computer languages. The complexity of computer languages has gone beyond our reading and writing abilities, while most people’s data are privatized and even sold. Joana Moll exposes the real-time auction of dating profiles. Not just the owners of these files are sold without consent, while users have no access at all, but also that we cannot manage things taking place in the process, nor the variations occurred in the computing process.

The Feminine Image of Sex Bots, Queer Love, and Intimate Relationship across Species in the Future

Non-consensual sexting, cyber stalking and online harassment, and gender-based hate speech, although conducted in the virtual world, share the same gravity with those in reality in their impacts to victims, physically and mentally. These trolls hiding behind the screen that usually launch anonymous attacks often employ doctrines, norms, and online harassment in an attempt to prove their hegemony and gender-dominant relationship. The lack of proper laws to regulate these harassing behaviors online further exacerbate the security concerns of the minorities, in reality and virtual community alike.

The patriarchal perspective in the society has always been associating female and nature’s images and concepts with roles of caregiving. This concept of “mother earth,” however, systematically rules out females in cultural production, rights, and political arena (e.g. the selfless and endless giving by “nature” and “woman”). Christa Joo Hyun D’ANGELO examines how images in popular culture twist the women of color and strengthen the bias against female traits through the production and visual communication. The feminine image oscillates between two extremes, natural tools, smother/whore. We have also seen more developments of “machine-men to machine-women” in literature in recent years. Once technology becomes associated with chaos and destruction, the machine becomes female. (Mackinnon; 2016).

The ceaseless love scammers are granted with more stages to shine thanks to the expansion of dating app users. Apart from scamming by real people, there are also automatic malware and bots (software proxy) involved. These dating app bots, disguised under their intoxicating dating profiles, are embedded with malicious applications or advertisements underneath. Through the ambiguous moods fostered beneath false feminine identities, they expose masculine subjects that are relatively stable to an unpredictable realm of obscurity. Johanna Bruckner’s dialogue combines humans, sex bots, sex toys, artificial intelligence, bacteria, and inorganic microorganisms. The key to our connections with other species is the dense coverage of sensors. Nevertheless, no matter how many gestures, facial expressions, and touches sensors can translate, if we do not redefine our knowledge of intimacy, we can never develop a sense of intimacy across species. WANG Shao-Gang utilizes VR chat to create an online space before inserting videos recorded in reality into the virtual space, allowing performers to write their scripts and draw netizens to this realm built with images taken virtually and in reality. NI Hao traces backward in time, pondering over the phenomenon of females using pictures of diving commonly seen on dating apps in search of the postures of humans wandering through the ocean to analyze the ocean and history of colonization as well as the perspectives in human’s profit-seeking behaviors.

Moreover, what story would be produced if the earliest human civilization encountered artificial intelligence? With Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) and application of AI technology, OUCHHH probes into the Göbekli Tepe, the earliest historic remain ever excavated in the history of archeology. The origin of civilization shall be interpreted by machine whereas humans struggle in processing. The mimicry of humans by machines is better each day. From daily conversations and intonations to the ability to think and respond, and to the machine that acts like humans, they are making progress relentlessly. We are creating an ever-complicated media that not merely is for us to express our languages but possesses agency of its own.

Digitalization of Love Perception

Anthropologist Shaka McGlotten suggested that people nowadays are loving and not feeling right for we are unsure about ourselves, which in turn making us afraid of being emotionally attached to others. However, in a society under the structure of capitalism, where our lives are filled with insufficiency, uncertainty microjobbing, precarity, rapidity, and benefit-driven ambience fostered by messages of more choices, how are people sturdy enough, physically and mentally, to embrace emotions and love?

With the filter criteria and self-presentation as the prerequisites for matchmaking, to ensure users’ continuous commitment of their attention, the diversity and surprises of love, the uncertainty of falling in love, and the fear of being rejected are protected by game-like interfaces and filter settings. Nonetheless, under the circumstances of our uncertainty in self-acceptance and the poor knowledge of ourselves, we adapt to the universal values of others in choosing a spouse and attempt to demonstrate them in the virtual world. Ruini SHI presents the emotional bonds established in the story and the settings of game characters therein via the story of a couple meet and fall in love in a game world; RUAN Bo-Yuan attempts to define the experience of love formulated in the world of game via the sense of intimacy generated through avatar in online game. Jaden J.A. HASTINGS takes it further by applying the selection mechanism on the software interface to the field of reproduction. She took on the challenges of gene modification and IVF technologies and modularized genes for people to assemble ideal, perfect sperms freely at an affordable price, calculating for the perfect match amidst the fundamental genetic codes.

Intervened by data and technologies, love is no longer an emotional exchange between two parties. Where encounter of each other is recommended by algorithms and driven by technologies, emotional communication between each other is translated and mediated by calculating third parties. Not only software users are required to express themselves within the interface framework provided by third parties, but also their encounter processes are turned into products, in which the third parties profit from manipulation of information communicated between the two users. The generation today has been living on a culture of calculated manipulation. Through brain wave analysis to collect how nerve system controls our cognitive state, Refik ANADOL seeks to find the emergence beyond morality and philosophy, where AI, individuality, and intimacy will not collide each other. Following the ever-complex, drastic changes of market values, capitals, technologies, and politics, our affective exchanges that facilitated through platform economy are charging toward a safe love with risk free, no hard feelings, no missing out and no responsibility.


  • Lee Mackinnon “Love Machines and the Tinder Bot Bildungsroman - Journal #74 June 2016 - e-Flux.” E-Flux, https://www.e-flux.com/journal/74/59802/love-machines-and-the-tinder-bot-bildungsroman/. Accessed 29 Sept. 2020.
  • Kristin Veel & Nanna Bonde Thylstrup (2018) Geolocating the stranger: the mapping of uncertainty as a configuration of matching and warranting techniques in dating apps, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 10:3, 43-52, DOI: 10.1080/20004214.2017.1422924
  • McGlotten, Shaka, and Alkisti Efthymiou. “What About Loving And Not Feeling Right? | Akademie Schloss Solitude: Schlosspost.” Akademie Schloss Solitude: Schlosspost, https://schloss-post.com/loving-not-feeling-right/.
  • Janelle Ward (2017) What are you doing on Tinder? Impression management on a matchmaking mobile app, Information, Communication & Society, 20:11, 1644-1659, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1252412
  • Emily Rosamond (2018) To sort, to match and to share: addressivity in online dating platforms, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 10:3, 32-42, DOI: 10.1080/20004214.2017.1400864
  • Lee Mackinnon, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup & Kristin Veel (2018) The techniques and aesthetics of love in the age of big data, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 10:3, 1443648, DOI: 10.1080/20004214.2018.1443648
  • Sam Miles (2017) Sex in the digital city: location-based dating apps and queer urban life, Gender, Place & Culture, 24:11, 1595-1610, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2017.1340874
  • Lee Mackinnon (2018) Repeat after me: the automatic labours of love, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 10:3, 1438735, DOI: 10.1080/20004214.2018.1438735
  • Thompson, Laura. “I Can Be Your Tinder Nightmare’’: Harassment and Misogyny in the Online Sexual Marketplace.” SAGE Publications Ltd, 4 June 2015, http://sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

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