Pleasure within and outside the body.

For the longest time, artwork and sexwork have shared a similar lack of recognition for its labor and supportive financial framework. As media artists, we – the Commiserate Organizing Committee – feel deep solidarity. Following, from February 28th to March 1st, 2020, we invite you to apply to be part of OOOHack. We reach out to individuals with all levels of technical experiences and passions in the subjects of body, intimacy, and pleasure.

OOOHack is a 3-day collaborative event that explores the meanings and options of gaining sensual gratification from objects. We will select a cohort of 15-20 participants to start thinking about this question and consider the future of sex.  During the Hackathon, participants and projects will be advised by invited mentors who work professionally with different aspects of sex. The cohort will receive mentorship from experts; access to sex toys, hardware, and crafts to experiment; and operational instruction for fabrication facilities. Additionally, we will be live-streaming the hackathon and broadcasting it online as well as at the main festival area. The hackathon culminates in a presentation at the Commiserate 2020 closing ceremony and will feature awards from sponsors. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided throughout the event.

This event is open to the public. This event especially, but not exclusively, reaches out to artists from under-represented communities (women, LGBTQ+, POC).

Applications are closed for the inaugural edition of OOOHack!


The OOOHack cohort will receive guidance and mentorship from 5 field experts. We will be announcing a mentor a day from Friday, January 10, to Wednesday, January 15.

Progressive Genitalia (@progressive_genitalia) is a Sci-fi drag show, an infomercial like performance where Prof. Rory present the 3-step method for designing and growing the genitals you dream of by means of biotechnology. It explores complete new ideas of what sex, genitals and pleasure can look and feel like. It is far beyond the binary and an equally utopic as dystopic queer dream of the future.

Mille Bostedt is a performance artist from Stockholm. Their drag-persona Prof. Rory is a non-binary professor that invents genitalia. Mille work with silicone to create different alien-looking genitalia to wear. They also invent genitalia in Photoshop that they present on a silver screen while performing. Prof. Rory has performed in many different venues in Berlin, Athens, London and Stockholm. Apart from their drag practice Mille study acting and performance art at Stockholm University of the Arts.

Kyle Machulis (@qDot) has been called the world’s leading authority on open-source teledildonics. He has worked as both designer and reverse-engineer on a wide range of interactive technologies, including sex toys, personal health devices, self driving cars, and electrostimulation systems. Machulis is the founder of, a project to design, develop and promote open-source standards and software libraries for the control of intimate hardware.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Kyle will not be able to attend OOOHack due to unforeseen circumstances. Thanks everyone for your understanding!

Joslyn Nerdahl works as a fierce advocate for sex education, sex work decriminalization and surrogate partner therapy. She first discovered her talent for sexual healing as an erotic masseuse, helping people feel safe and embracing their sexual quirks without shame. She moved laterally through different forms of sex work and then began her own sex coaching practice. Around the same time she began working as a sexual surrogate for people with physical disabilities through a specialized agency called Sensual Solutions which helps folks with disabilities access their own or their partner’s bodies for sexual pleasure. Joslyn then enrolled with Sex Coach University which was an affiliate of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and is currently completing her sexology degree. She has appeared on numerous national and international podcasts, television news and radio stations discussing sexual health, sex work and sex and disability.

Darnell N. Motley, PhD (@DMotleyPhD) is a senior researcher at The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at The University of Chicago. Dr. Motley leads Ci3’s research on sexual and reproductive health among LGBTQ communities.In particular, his research examines and challenges the ways that structural factors attempt to limit the experiences of sexual and gender minorities, while also considering the impacts of racism, sexism, and health stigma on their health and wellbeing.

Dr. Motley is a skilled qualitative researcher and specializes in the development of culturally tailored structural and behavioral interventions. He is committed to the use of qualitative methods and an intersectional lens to illuminate these experiences. Darnell is also a clinician with extensive experience working with gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals living with HIV.

Madison R. Young (@nomadiso) is a community-driven curator, former Pro Domme, and creative technologist from Sarasota, Florida. As a curator, she works with global communities to realize creative projects for personal, social, and environmental healing and to encourage synchronicity of the collective experience through the senses and in the act of doing. Her personal journey into her sexuality allowed Madison to study how male-dominated BDSM and sextech communities have influenced a generation of queer femmes that hack into their individual strength and rewrite their subconscious scripts as well as their programming scripts. Her personal focus in developing, researching, and exhibiting multisensory environments with using soft materials and vibrations in contrast to embedded sexual undertones exercises the meaningful balance between reds and blues, and the highs and lows we all experience. She’s been involved with her work within Shared_Studios, Storybolt, and SAIC where she received her MFA in Art and Technology Studies.

OOOHack Schedule

DAY 1 – Friday, February 28

  • 3:45pm to 4:00pm –  Arrival & Check-in
  • 4:00pm to 4:15pm – Greetings & Opening remarks from Snow + Jas.
  • 4:15pm to 5:15pm – Icebreakers + Games
    • Ice breakers led by mentors + Snow
  • 5:15pm to 5:30pm – Break + Tea time. Mingle!
  • 5:30pm to 6:30pm – Mentor presentations/performances from
  • 6:30pm onwards – Commiserate Festival Artist Reception
    • Meet the participating artists, workshop leaders, lecturer, and our full team
    • Remarks from Commiserate Chicago Committee
    • Dinner & Refreshments

DAY 2 – Saturday, February 29

  • 9:00am – Open door & breakfast
  • 10:00am to 10:15am – Brief festival-wise welcoming remark from Commiserate committee
  • 10:15am to 11:00am – Cohort brainstorming & Research Prep
    • Reveal sponsor packages
    • Brainstorming activities led by mentors
    • Individual research conducted
  • 11:00am to 11:15pm – Project pitching
    • Each person / group pitch for 1 minute
  • 11:15pm to 1:00pm – Group forming & Lunch
    • Find & Sit with your teammates
    • 12:00pm – Lunch Break
    • Chat & blueprint your ideas!
  • Location Change
  • 1:00pm to midnight – Open work time (Note: feel free to leave any time before 12:00am.)
    • Mentors rotate through group for consultation
    • Potential for mentors or groups to visit and interact with festival exhibition pieces or performances for inspiration & discussion
    • Take breaks anytime – please value your health!
    • Coffee, tea, small snacks served throughout working hours
  • 2:15 to 3:15 pm – Keynote from Assist. Prof. Sophia Brueckner:
    Critical Optimism & Sci-fi Prototyping
    • Location: JCL 390, John Crerar Library ( 5730 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 )
    • Optional if any OOOHack cohort wants to continue working, but this keynote presentation is highly recommended by our committee!
  • 6:30pm to 7:30pm – Dinner

DAY 3 – Sunday, March 1

  • 9:00am – Open door & breakfast
  • 9:00am to 12:30pm – Open working time
  • 11:00am to 11:15am – Break
  • 12:30pm to 1:30pm – Lunch Break
  • 1:30am to 4:00pm – Open working time
  • 2:30pm to 3:30pm – Keynote from Desiree Foerster, PhD:
    Is sharing caring? Enacting novel relationships with nonhuman worlds in the arts
    • Location: JCL 390, John Crera Library ( 5730 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 )
    • Optional if any OOOHack cohort wants to continue working, but this keynote presentation is highly recommended by our committee!
  • 5:30pm – All groups hand over presentation materials to Snow
  • 5:30pm to 6:30pm – Break / Prepare for final presentation
  • 6:45pm to 8:00pm – Commiserate Closing Ceremony
    • 6:45pm to 7:20pm – OOOHack Cohort project presentation
    • Each group has 5 mins to present
    • 7:20pm to 7:30pm – Break
    • 7:30 pm to 7:45pm – OOOHack award ceremony by mentors & OOOHack closing remarks from Snow + Jas
    • 7:45pm to 8:00pm – Thank you & Closing remarks from Commiserate Committee
  • Dinner on your own
  • 8:00 pm  – Goodbye & Thank you! + OOOHack group photo 

2020 Cohort

Addie Barron is a disgruntled tech industry worker and a sex-agnostic, begrudgingly cyborgian trans woman. She is currently pursuing self-directed learning in machine learning for artistic and anti-capitalist projects, digital and analog sound synthesis, microorganisms, fungi, fermentation, and breadmaking (she finds these things both poetic and erotic), and amateur erotica writing. 👉 👈

Rin Yunis (@yunisverse) is a maker with passion for making life with disability easier & improving the hands-on ways humans and technology interact. She is invested in ethical and honest communication for all the relationships in her life. Her research focuses on haptics and human interaction via touch and assistive technology with a focus on neurodegenerative disease and movement disorders . 👉 👈

Yuzhu Chai (@plums_intheicebox) is a creative coder, writer, and artist. She explores the versatility of language and text via painting, book-making, and programming.She is interested in the materiality of text and the exploration of (virtual) spaces that her medium creates for interactivity in storytelling. 👉 👈

Mags (Maggie Oates) is researching data privacy and security in the art world. Things that tickle her include embodiment, eroticism, and queer transhumanisms. Things that keep her up at night include sex worker rights, migration justice, and those wild merger & acquisition clauses in privacy policies. 👉twitter@oatesmeal 👈

Heather Kelley is an award-winning game designer, media artist, and curator. She is a founder of the experimental game collective Kokoromi. She has designed and produced touch-screen vibrator controllers, AAA next-gen console games, interactive smart toys, mobile and handheld games, research games, installations, and web communities for girls. 👉 👈

Katy Illonka Gero is a writer and scientist. Her essays and poetry have been published in Electric Literature, Synaesthesia Magazine, the Blueshift Journal, and others, and she writes about sex and technology for Do You, a sexual discovery and wellness app. Katy is working on a poetry manuscript about climate change and the body. 👉 👈

Daniel Lipson (@daniel.lipson) is an independent scholar focused on the intersections of queer theory, disability studies, and the politics of machine interfaces. In addition to their academic research, they work as a tutor, game developer, and intimacy designer. 👉 👈

Ziwei (Zoe) Liu finds passion for technology a big part of her identity. She thinks about engineering with heart to turn machines into great helpers to empower humans to solve problems and find happiness. 👉 👈

Arianna Gass (@argass) is an intermedia artist and scholar whose interests intersect digital and embodied play. She explores embodiment from a technical perspective, examining the interface of on-screen and off-screen bodily performance in video games, as well as from a creative perspective, through the production of interactive multimedia performances. 👉 👈

Wanbli Gamache (@wichakpi_g) is a new media performance artist. She uses video,
performance, and technology to reconstruct dynamics of spectacle, authorship, and intimacy through eroticized mediation of self-hood and body. 👉 👈

Francisco Rojo (@auxisnarf) makes interactive experiences that are grounded in his lived reality. His work celebrates the aesthetics of everyday existence by creating spaces to explore and play. In engaging with the complexity and discomfort of his own emotions, he uses technology not to “solve” the harshness of our existence, but to pay closer attention to and recognize the beauty in it. 👉 👈

Jasmine Lu (@j.lu20s) investigates how we can encourage a more symbiotic relationship to our devices. She likes to make things, and has worked with VR/AR, 3D Printing, laser cutting, etc. She is passionate about building a future of technology that is sustainable, diverse/accessible, interdisciplinary, and empowering! 👉 👈

Lena Chen (@elleperil) is an artist and writer who examines the fractured experience of womanhood: the state of being simultaneously revered and vilified, desired and rejected, empowered and objectified. From modeling nude in the aftermath of revenge porn to breastfeeding members of the public, she constructs intimate and participatory performances exploring gender, sexuality, labor, and trauma. 👉 👈

Megan Levin (@meqanasty) is a software engineer who’s into art, leftist politics, computer science, and everything in-between. They’re here, they’re queer, and they’re ready to hack some dildos for a more ~pleasurable~ world. 👉@meqanasty 👈

Jenna Boyles (Jenna Junk @jennajunk) is an e-waste hacker who gleans sound from techno-trash. Playing on the sensitivity between squishy-body and hard-wired machine, she rewires electronics and creates soft e-textiles as a way to articulate the ubiquity and resonance of unwanted things. 👉 👈

Bonny Chen is interested in making things that are playful, weird, intimate, and experiential.
She derives a lot of joy from elegant code, watching her houseplants grow, cooking dinner for people, and cutting all the wires for a breadboard prototype to exactly the right length. 👉 👈

Queer Cyborg Mystic, Jacob Rosenbloom (@jake_a_boom_boom), wants to see technology make room for human connection and vulnerability. Jacob leverages play in their work to craft spaces in which guests can explore themselves, connect with others, and experience new perspectives in safe and joy-provoking ways. 👉 👈

Fran. E (@fran.e.gallagher) began their artistic practice within the lighting and sound world, performing with lights and speakers. These objects became extensions of their body almost as phantom limbs. They seek a sense of wholeness through technology; transcending their body using machines. 👉 👈

Marie de Azevedo (@mariedeaz) is passionate about the way we use technology to change our bodies and lives. Her interests include medical equipment, art, science fiction, and queer liberation. 👉@mariedeaz 👈

April Wang is most passionate about HCI, design, computer graphics, cognitive psychology, and music. She runs an arts group called Outside the Lines at UChicago. She finds figure drawing a meditative and creative outlet, through which she develops a deep appreciation for the human form and expressiveness of the body. 👉 👈

Sponsorship Information

The Organizing Committee of Commiserate Chicago aims to make this event free for all participants and to foster a dialog between Chicago sex tech community and ones that are remote from us. Your support will make this event possible, and your help can come in the forms of financial or in-kind contributions, such as sex tech products, gift cards, memberships, etc. Co-sponsoring this event and / or the Commiserate Chicago 2020 as a whole will help to offset the cost of artists/ Hackathon mentors honoraria, travel arrangements, Hackathon materials and logistic fees such as food and exhibition equipment. All sponsorship money will be handled by the MADD Center.

Sponsorship Levels

The OOOHack offers three support levels: Silicone, Glass, and Leather. Your support is crucial to the success of our Hackathon. We are committed to develop mutually beneficial partnerships and are open to discussing sponsorship plans or targeted contributions (e.g. specifically for awards).

Silicone Sponsor

  • 3 registrations with custom badges for people from your organization to attend the festival.
  • Third priority for naming Hackathon events (e.g. lunches, coffee breaks, etc).
  • Logo on the Sponsors sections and all promotional materials.
  • Organization’s promotional items at the entrance of the Hackathon space.
  • 2 tickets to the Artists Reception with artists, sponsors and organizatiers.
  • Recognition in the opening and closing remarks of the Hackathon and Festival.
  • Voting rights in all awards alongside Mentors and Commitee.

Glass Sponsor

  • 2 registrations with custom badges for people from your organization.
  • Second priority for naming Hackathon events (e.g. lunches, coffee breaks, etc).
  • Logo on the Sponsors sections and all promotional materials.
  • Organization’s promotional items at the entrance of the Hackathon space.
  • 1 ticket to the Artist Reception with artists, sponsors and organizatiers.
  • Recognition in the opening and closing remarks of the Hackathon and Festival.

Leather Sponsor

  • 1 registration with custom badge for a person from your organization.
  • Third priority for naming Hackathon events (e.g. lunches, coffee breaks, etc).
  • Logo on the Sponsors sections and all promotional materials.
  • Organization’s promotional items at the entrance of the Hackathon space.
  • Recognition in the opening and closing remarks of the Hackathon and Festival.