Internet platform for the presentation and documentation of the “Sperm Race” project featured at “Next Sex,” the 2000 Ars Electronica Festival.
The “Sperm Race” project gave male visitors the opportunity to submit a semen sample to a laboratory in order to have the quality of their sperm tested. Magnitudes such as motility, concentration and pH-value were measured by means of CASA (computer assisted sperm analysis) in a laboratory set up in a container on Linz’s Main Square. The results led to the crowning of a “daily winner” and finally an overall winner whose sperm would undergo cryonic preservation and be placed in lifelong storage. Each sample donor could observe his sperm cells through a transmitted light microscope; they were then digitally photographed, and the image was enlarged 1000x and printed out as a very personal portrait. Female visitors, on the other hand, had the chance to bet on their favorites! In the Internet and at several terminals at an info-stand set up in Linz’s Brucknerhaus, fans could follow the latest results on the “Sperm Race” homepage and cast votes for the individual entries, which in turn influenced the race’s odds. The homepage also provided information about participants, race procedures and the project’s background.