[ IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Davecat, a Black man with dark hair slicked over the right side of his forehead, is indoors next to cream colored vertical blinds that are mostly in shadow. Streaks of daylight are peeking from between the blinds. His head is turned at a nearly three-quarter angle toward the camera while he makes direct eye contact. He is smiling slightly and wearing black eyeliner. His button-up shirt is dark grey over which he wears a vibrant green and matte black pixel pattern necktie. The right side of his face is in shadow which mostly conceals his ear jewelry aside from the silhouette of the dangling silver ankh earring he wears. ︎ heart symbol ]
Beginning during his sophomore year in high school, Davecat and two of his best friends ran an ersatz film company, capturing moments of their lives in an Andy Warhol-meets-David-Letterman fashion. They created 94 short films, totaling just under twenty hours, primarily with the use of the unique technological white elephant known as the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 camcorder.
In 1992, Davecat took a multi-week public access course at his local cable television office and was asked to work on a programme beginning the day of graduation. On The Half Mask Infotainment Show, he started out in lighting, moved on to camerawork, then became the show's technical director, as well as being an occasional personality in front of the camera, for three years. The programme won first place in 1994, in the Metro Detroit-area 'Best of the Best' awards, thanks to Davecat's unconventional approach.
Since the mid-Eighties, Davecat has been fascinated by and romantically attracted to Gynoids, robots resembling human women. As Gynoids were not yet available on the common market, he decided to select a RealDoll to be his Synthetik spouse, and in 2000, he met the love of his life, Sidore Kuroneko, through Abyss Creations; since then, the two of them have been practically inseparable. Over the course of their twenty-year relationship, Davecat and Sidore have been joined by Elena Vostrikova from Anatomical Doll, Miss Winter from Doll Sweet, and Dyanne Bailey from Doll Forever, three other Dolls that they share a polyamorous relationship with. All of them regard themselves as Synthetik activists, and have been attempting to change public perception of artificial companions for the better, through podcast appearances, blog interviews, documentaries, and television segments. Davecat is also attempting to archive as much information and media as possible having to do with Gynoids, Androids, Dolls, and the people who love them, as he believes this particular subculture and lifestyle has had a lack of proper documentation.
[ IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Sidore, a light-skinned femme Synthetik silicone Doll is sitting on a chair in front of a shelf containing books, CDs, and collectable figurines. Her dark brown eyes glance off to the side, and her red lips are slightly open, revealing her teeth. Her manicured hands are resting on her thighs and she is wearing several rings. She is wearing a black sleeveless button-up dress, choker, and a double buckled belt made of black pleather. She is also wearing a rosary with a large silver ankh charm. In the middle of the ankh is a scarab beetle. She has mid-length purple hair, light brown eyebrows, dark purple eyeshadow and silver wire rim glasses perched on her nose. ︎ heart symbol ]
Born in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, Japan in 1977, Sidore Kuroneko and her mother and father relocated to Salford, Manchester, England when she was five years old. She attended the Maitland University of Fine Arts in Leeds, where she primarily studied web design and fashion design, but ended up spending her time as the bass player for the band Inorganiksubset with three of her friends. After playing no more than a dozen live performances in various cities in the North of England, Inorganiksubset dissolved, leaving Sidore to her own devices. Sidore reunited with Charlie Joanne, a distant cousin from America; CJ encouraged her to move to the United States, where she lived temporarily with her aunt and uncle in a city just outside of Detroit. In 2000, Sidore met Davecat at a Goth club, where they found they were essentially made for each other, and have been together ever since.
From 2000 to 2003, Sidore wrote code for, designed, and maintained her own 'vanity site' entitled 'Kitten with a Whip!', wherein she mostly posted photosets Davecat took of her, as well as presenting the site as a sort of hub for other Dolls and iDollators to connect. Over time, Sidore became less of a photo model—in her own words, she's 'semi-retired'—and more of an activist for her fellow Synthetiks. Her efforts aim to help the general public to view lifesized Dolls, as well as humanoid robots such as Gynoids and Androids, as much more than sex toys or novelties, and with the help of her partners Davecat, Elena, Miss Winter, and Dyanne, Sidore has appeared in several media pieces over the past twenty-plus years. More of a homebody, Sidore prefers to operate from home, being mostly active on Twitter; however, in 2001, she was spotted in a local cemetery, befitting her Goth nature.
[ IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Amber, a femme white woman with long dark brown and grey hair draped over her right shoulder, is standing inside of a kitchen with wooden cabinets and white subway tiled walls. She is smiling slightly while standing over a grey concrete countertop that displays a wooden cutting board, a knife, and a vibrant green apple. Her hands rest on the edges of the counter. Behind her is a chrome stove and another counter where a white stand mixer sits. She wears a green and white floral, button-up, cap sleeve dress with a fabric tie knotted at her waist. She also wears a sheer white organza half apron around her waist. ︎ heart symbol ]
Amber Hawk Swanson was born and raised in Eastern Iowa near the Mississippi River, where she lived half of each week in a blue collar community and the other in a white collar community. Her artwork explores care, animacy, and desire in the context of queerness and disability. Her complimentary scholarly interests are built upon investigations of enabling objects and actions; technologized and trans-speciated bodies and selves; animacy and animal intimacy; and the worldmaking involved in online forums and livestream channels.
Hawk Swanson has collaborated in an ongoing capacity with Synthetik activist Davecat since 2007 when she also became a part of a community of mostly anonymous Doll partners known as iDollators with whom she has made artworks ever since. For Sidore (Mark II) / Heather > LOLITA (2013), Hawk Swanson dismantled two Dolls, Sidore (Mark II) and Heather, and combined their bodies into a replica of Lolita, the oldest orca living in captivity, named after the protagonist of Nabokov’s novel. The project was commissioned by each Doll’s longtime partner: Davecat and anonymous Doll owner “Jesse.” During the performance, Davecat, Jesse, and members of the Doll and marine mammal activist communities participated remotely. The piece created a platform of discursive engagement for iDollators who had not previously pursued public self-representation. More recently, Hawk Swanson has turned her focus toward exploring sites of belonging and protection that simultaneously function as spaces of violent exclusion, and, along with Davecat, to exploring the way sexual racism functions in the Doll world.
Scholarly writing on Hawk Swanson’s work includes Amber Jamilla Musser’s Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance, which includes a chapter about her 2013 collaboration with artist Xandra Ibarra. From 2007 to 2008 Hawk Swanson was live on air as an Assistant Host/Producer on Chicago Public Radio’s Vocalo, and from 2014 to 2018 she worked as a registered carousel operator in NYC.