We Came, We Saw, We Femmebot-ed: The Establishment’s Gender|Technology Event!

Last night at the StoreFrontLab in San Francisco, 75 beautiful humans all gathered together to talk about the intersection of art, technology, and gender.

We talked about the future; we talked about how one person’s utopia is another’s dystopia. We talked about the Siri being the proverbial, pliant secretary-slave; we talked about alien sex; Ursula K. Le Guin; we talked about aol, the sneaky genius of Twitter bots, and how we can all take better care of one another.

Kamala Puligandla, Mallory Ortberg, and Maggie Tokuda-Hall regaled us with three incredible readings about futuristic phones, preposterous sci-fi plots, and AI. We belly-laughed loud and I know it echoed into the streets.

In short? It was kind of a perfect evening and I wish every one of you was there.

Take a gander at the magic. We’ll be making more soon.

Pre-party mingling in StoreFrontLab’s courtyard.

Establishment co-founders Kelley Calkins and Nikki Gloudeman take in the alfresco Est. vibes.

Mad mingling, cheese noshing, vintage video watching, and covfefe quaffing.


KQED Visual Arts Editor Sarah Hotchkiss (in the polka dots) moderated the panel, wondering about how the panelists’ vision of the future aligns with their current reality.

Annalee Newitz (in glasses) said she had dreamed (at age 14) of triple-genital sex with aliens when she was a grown up. But alas.

Charlie Jane Anders (with the pink coiffure) talked about the incredible community of female geeks at io9 and her new novel set on an exoplanet…

I (Katie Tandy) gestured wildly and emceed like a champ.

Virtual designer Chelley Sherman (with that Wednesday Adams glare) spoke about building virtual 3D donuts—in the hopes of getting free confections from donut shops—and the humbling importance of inclusivity and safety for WOC at Grey Area Foundation for the Arts.


with Mallory Ortberg, Kamala Puligandla, and Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Kamala Puligandla kicked things off with a hilariously scathing tale of female friendship, modern courtship, and the new FemmeVibe phone.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall told a delightfully depressing story about a woman who falls in love with Beau, her office scanner/copier.

Mallory delighted us with alternative Black Mirror episodes and How To Tell If You’re In A Soft Science Fiction Story. “Your new mission is to figure out the real mission before you start laying eggs.”

We laughed. We hugged. We fan-girled on each other like woah. We filled up our brilliant love-cups and promised to do it again.

Really soon.


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