Mediamatic Magazine vol 5#4 Alfred Birnbaum, David D'Heilly 1 Jan 1991

Fexy Facts

Just when you thought it was safe to leave the machine on all night

Surely everyone by now is well acquainted with the I-told-you-not-to-call-me-here cellular phone and instant-erase electronic personal organiser and other wonders of postindustrial living. You might even have been asking yourself, what'll they think of next? - magic words to R&D departments everywhere.

Look No Further: The handheld copier with fax modem peripheral had arrived leave it to the japanese - this is it!(1)

(1) Inapropriate Technology

The Facts Of Fex -

Marketed earlier this year, The Tokyo Woman's fax (2) is dainty enough to slip into the career woman's handbag - so the promotional brochures suggest - but a much better slogan would have been: Anywhere the hand can go, the fax can go!

(2) The Fuji-Xerox FAX Sharaku consists of the main Sharaku in unit, an ergonomic lump of designer plastic that houses a small A6 (w104mm) non-grayscale scanner and thermotransfer printer, and the detachable Sharaku FA-1 “base, a black box that communicates via telephone lines to standard G3 FAX machines or other Sharaku FA1-s at a rate of 60 sec/page. The FAX Sharaku can both send and receive transmissions, its A6 signals automatically resized to A4 and vice-versa (As a copier, the Sharaku III can reduce and enlarge 50-200%). The FAX Sharaku is also a grip-exercising device: all scanning and printing is manual, done by gliding the main unit over the surface to be scanned or printed on. (That's right, it prints on any surface). This draw-action must be done at just the right

speed and alignment - twice if both scanning and printing - or the result is hopelessly distorted. The Sharaku FA-1 alone will store up 8 pages of in-coming FAXes until you're ready to hook up the Sharaku III and print out, but the Sharaku III memory can only retain what it’s scanned for 8 min. Who designed this thing? Why would anyone want these features? Or rather, what were these features really designed for?

Think of the possibilities. And be assured, whatever you can think of, someone else has thought of it, too: Anywhere the fax can go, it’s already been - and it hasn’t transmitted home to Mother either. Welcome to the world of FAx-Sex - fex, for short. All-over licktronics and telecaresses. McLuhan vindicated at last: The medium really is the massage. Our fax life has always been a good part nocturnal, as anyone whoas ever been awakened at 3am by an urgent fax communiqué from 13 timezones away around the globe can tell you. (Getting up in the middle of the night and trying to decifer a page of blips and streaks surely ranks with The Losing of the Filofax as a new Jungian archetypal situation) Now that fax machines are proliferating and the chances of receiving wrongnumber FAxes increases commeasurately, however, we can look forward to waking up to find whole rolls of liquilinear FEX spewed out across the floor: liptonguelipnecknipplefingemipplenavel-pubis.. all skewed and stretched in continuous scrolls, suitable for papering your walls or wrapping presents. Ah, can you hear it? The mating call of the faxes!

19 Sept 1990, Saitama, Japan

In what appears to be yet another instance of nuisance telecommunications, Mrs. Taeko Hatton (32) received a 25 minute (10 metre) fex from an unidentified sender during the night at her home in KitaUrawa. Mrs. Hattori, who was asleep at the time, discovered the prank after sending her two children off to school in the morning and immediately reported the prank to the Urawa City police, who referred her complaint to Nippon Telephone and Telegraph.

According to ntx sources, reportings of FEX-related problems have risen significantly over the last two months, perhaps due to cost reductions in off-hour message-unit rates during the Ohon vacation season, a period that also corresponds to proportional increases in single occupancy in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area when many leave to visit family or travel abroad.
Police have yet to determine if Mrs. Hattori was specifically targeted or a victim of random dialing. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the unidentified transmitter is personally known to Mrs. Hattori and would have known that husband, Mr. Yuichiro Hattori (36) was away on business. Commented Mrs. Hattori: There looks to have been quite a lot of line noise. Some parts are very indistinct, probably a had connection. Obviously didn't think to use the fine or dark modes. Rather disappointing, ready. Instantaneous, clean, safe. While not yet as widespread as French Pink Minitel, Japanese Terekura ‘Tele-Clubs', American Dial-a-Date or other telephone sex services, FEX at least has the advantage of being a hands-on medium, as yet un-commercialised. (I just called to say I rub you.) FEX is exceedingly graphic - if fragmented (a special turn-on for deconstructivists?) - and it delivers hard copy(3). Although you had better get used to, among other things, buying endless quantities of FAX paper (4), for who ever stopped in the middle of a roll? Not when we've just gotten warmed up to optimum thermosensitivity.

(3) Is that a scanner in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

(4) Special ultra-sensitized and lubricated FEX papers may cost a little more, but dot-for-dot they're worth every yen PSI.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t the next step to expanding cyber-consciousness and bridging virtual sensory spectrums between our discrete physical receptors. Just lucky, I guess. Meanwhile, let's see if we can get a discount for a technoerotic conference calls. Blue box a trois, anyone? Lastly, it should be noted that with the addition a special ROMboard adaptor, The Tokyo Womans FAxcan also have relations with certain pcs.
On top of the aids (5) scare, will we now be seeing a rise in FExually- transmitted computer viruses?

(5) Artificial Intelligence Designed Stupidity.

Proper pleasure for the office automation age

from M. Hisauchi.Thdasfiii Ohentai Bon (The Compleat Deviant), KK Bestsellers: Tokyo, 1988

Last September 2, at a certain clothes pattern design studio in Osaka, there came a FAX bearing an at-first-glance- unidentifiable pictogram. Not two seconds later, the woman who retreived this FAX was so startled by what she made out on the paper that she dropped it to the floor with a disgusted Uggh! Hey, what gives? A co-worker came over to pick up the dropped FAX. only to find, not a clothes pattern, but - there in black-and-white in the middle of the otherwise blank page - an erect cock, veins and all.

Yes, someone had sent a FAX of a male member to their workplace in broad daylight. This caused something of a stir, but - well - the thermojet black veined item had apparently been just a prank, so the whole thing passed with a simple Disgusting! Yet a week later it was hairy balls and an arsehole that came through the FAX. So many filthy things showed up, in fact, that they supposedly reported it to the police.

Now, as the design studio was staffed almost entirely by women designers, the police suspected someone in a client firm - a clothing manufacturer perhaps - who would have been familiar with things inside the design studio. Even so, using a company FAX in the dayltime? More likely a freelance designer in the same field.

Fine. Leaving the search for the culprit to the police then, we are nonetheless struck by how OA - Office Automation - has at long last come into the hands of the deviant. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the cock and balls were apparently not only quite vivid, but enlarged to two times normal size. (Of course, whilst cocks do vary individually in size and there no doubt are those do possess such horse prods, but it seems highly unlikely that anyone has balls as huge as those of the folkloric Shigaraki tanuki ’badger-dog’.) Hence, it would appear that the items were first placed directly on a photocopier and enlarged before FAX transmission. Fundamentally, such prank faxing constitutes a form of exposure fetishism, much the same as the man who would take polaroids of his member and slip them in among the products sold at the supermarket. What’s different is the means and the receiving end. The very notion of a cock making its own way to an office - and over telephone lines to issue forth from advanced electronic equipment at that - is innovative to say the least. Certainly the one imagining the reaction of the woman receiving it on the other end would enjoy yet a different pleasure from it.

The design studio later received another two transmissions in the form of reproductions from porno magazines - and thereafter, never again. For despite the subtle difference, it would seem that transmitting to a workplace just didn’t cut it, not like transmitting to a single woman’s apartment - there’s a time and a place for everything, and sometimes you can’t really can’t milk much more abuse from a good thing.

This holds for true for the sender and the receiver, but what’s to stop a third party from getting into the act? Say, two do the sending and one does the receiving; that is, the two on the sending end engage in S&M.

The woman is tied up and postioned astradle a photocopier for a little close-up exploration The repro is then waved in front of her nose, saying, Watch carefully! I'm going to send this unretouched copy of yours to your office. I'm going to show your twat to tens, to hundreds of men. And before her very eyes, you feed it into the fax machine.

Guaranteed good safe fun, insofar as one prank FAX of a twat sent looks pretty much like any other. Yet just as surely, the document will get seen and shown - guaranteed to electrify the woman’s passions.