photo by Jonathan Becker for Vanity Fair
Bill Vallicella is a philosopher living Arizona, whose web log I’ve come to read recently. Not trained in philosophy myself, nevertheless, I find his writings very accessible and interesting.
Today, he posted with his thoughts about a Vanity Fair article about a San Diego area man who makes life-like sex dolls or sexbots. Vallicella notes the creepiness of the designer (seen above). I have to say, I agree with Vallicella’s post and that the photo is quite disturbing. Then again, on its face the thought of sex dolls is pretty unpleasant, too. It seems unnatural, alienating, lonely and a reflection of a dystopia. Nevertheless, the photograph is great. Even photographs of skin crawling subjects are powerful. The photographer couldn’t have captured a better picture of this subject in my view. On one end of the lonesome an perverse world of people who purchase these dolls (presumably men) is lonesome cubical from which are churned out the designs that bring these things “to life”. It reminds me a lot of a photo essay that was done several years ago by a German photographer named Michael Wolf, although in that case, the subject were children’s toys, churned out for the West.
The photo reminds me a lot of the lair of a homicidal sex criminal. What adds a banal quality that makes it somewhat scarier is the photo of the designer with a woman I assume to be his wife.