Cyborg Manifesto

breadloafvariousBiotechnology

Feb 20, 2013 (4 years and 5 months ago)

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Bodies + Machines:




Cyborg, as used for example by Donna Haraway (1991)
and Adele Clarke (1998), means the intermingling of
people, things (including information technologies),
representations, and politics in a way that challenges
both the romance of essentialism and the hype about
what is technologically possible. It acknowledges the
interdependence of people and things, and it shows just
how blurry the boundaries between them have become.



(Bowker & Star, 1999)



Does ideology of technology which
promises to liberate the body from
its constraints correspond to reality
in which we live, or does it only
reproduce the existing patterns of
power and authority?




Cyborg


As the information systems of the world expand and
flow into each other, and more people use them for more
different things, it becomes harder to hold to pure or
universal ideas about representation or information,
about identity


Representations of monsters / hybrids are a reflection of
that experience of (ruptured) identity (imagined cyborgs
in art and fiction, popular culture)


Real cyborgs (technologies of health, beauty ...)

Cyborg


Picture of possible unity



Framework is rearrangement of social relations
related to science & technology



Current movement from organic, industrial society
to a polymorphous, information society


Analyses of Cyborg


AAA annual meetings: cyborg anthropology
sessions (mid
-
1990s+)


Cyborg Handbook
(Gray 1995)


The Cyborg Manifesto

(Haraway 1985, 1991)



historical images of cyborgs emerge at times of
intense change that involve thinking of how
humanity is impacted by technology (Gonzáles
1999)

‘Cyborg’


Source: www.prairiecon.com [accessed Sept. 25, 2002] courtesy
of Sarah Oelker

‘Cyborg’


Source: google search for ‘cyborg’ [accessed Sept. 25, 2002]
courtesy of Sarah Oelker

Cyborg Representations



Grotesque images that involve imagining the
relationships bw people and things that are
interpenetrated



Bad science fiction or crucial notion for understanding
technoscience, and how the knowledge (of science and
technology) is shaping lived experience




Source: google search for ‘cyborg’ [accessed Sept. 25, 2002]
courtesy of Sarah Oelker

‘Cyborg’


Source: google search for ‘cyborg’ [accessed Sept. 25, 2002]
courtesy of Sarah Oelker

‘Cyborg’


Source: google search for ‘cyborg’
[accessed Sept. 25, 2002] courtesy of
Sarah Oelker

cyborg representations
--

hybrid identities




http://www.scrippscollege.edu/~dept/art/CTA/cyborg.gif
(go)







Cyborg Representations: Gonzáles


Organic cyborg (monster of multiple species)


Mechanical cyborg (techno
-
human amalgamation)


Cyborg consciousness (abstract, amalgamated, hybrid)




Cyborg body politics?
--

Gendered cyborg? (social
control over woman’s/man’s body)



Why are robots not cyborgs?

Cyborg Representations


The notion of purity based on membership in a
single, pristine racial, sexual, or even religious
group does not hold in the ‘borderlands’ (the
margins) that is populated by cyborgs


Cyborgs are the iconography of modern
experience (not natural, but mediated through
technology)


Why do they reflect a process of rethinking human
nature? (use examples from your own search)

autonomous






automaton









simulacrum

pre
-
industrial






industrial









post
-
industrial

Cyborg Representations: Gonzáles


Cyborg images appear when the current model of a
human being does not fit a new paradigm
--

a hybrid
model of existence is required to encompass a new,
complex and contradictory lived experience
--

the cyborg
body becomes the historical record of change in human
perception
in the realm of fantasy


How is the cyborg body reflecting modern experience in
each of the cases that are discussed by González?


What is the habitat of each of these beings?

“The dichotomies that reflect a shift from the comfortable old hierarchical

domination to the new networks I call the Informatics of Domination”

(Haraway,
A Cyborg Manifesto

(1991), 161


Representation


Eugenics

[biology]


Hygiene


Microbiology, tuberculosis


Organic division of labour


Sex


Labour


Mind


Racial chain of being



White Capitalist Patriarchy


Simulation


Population control


Stress management


Immunology, AIDS


Ergonomics /cybernetics of labor


Genetic Engineering


Robotics


Artificial Intelligence


Neo
-
imperialism, United Nations
humanism


Informatics of Domination

Informatics of Domination



biotechnology & medicine have the power for
liberation but in fact they do not reverse the
existing patterns of power & authority


if they are further strengthening the cultural definitions of
gender


through practice that involves male professional power and its
inscription on a woman’s body


through research guided by the commercial interests of
‘biotechnology
-
industrial complex’

Cyborgs in art and life: fictional cyborgs


Human with mechanical attributes:

(4 look female; 6 look male)


L’Horlogere (mechanical mistress)


Number 18 (from Dragonball Z)


Robocop


The Bionic Woman


Jax (from Mortal Kombat)


6 Million Dollar Man


Molly and Dixie Flatline (from Neuromancer)


Seven of Nine (from Star Trek)


Machine with human attributes:
(1 looks female; 4 look male; 1 can change its appearance)


Data (from Star Trek)


Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 1
or

Terminator 2)


Vicky (from Small Wonder)


T
-
1000 (from Terminator 2)


Andrew (from Bicentennial Man)


D.A.R.Y.L


Human with magical attributes (magic as another way of controlling nature):

(1 male, 1 female)


Harry Potter


Fibi (from Charmed)

Cyborgs in art and life: real
-
life cyborgs

Example:



The technology involved:

Wearable Computers



Chips in clothes, cups

Kevin Warwick



Implant that records nerve impulses

Steve Mann



Electrodes and laser computer display in eye

Artificial limbs



Chips and gears to replace lost limb

Stem Cell Research



Transplants of nerve cells

Rat Robots




Rats w/ implants to control movement, feeling

Cloned livestock



Copies of animals, potentially used for food

Plastic pods



Lightweight barriers to seal off disease

Florida “Cyborg Family”


Microchip implants for tracking

Tom Christerson



AbioCor artificial heart

Jens




Artificial vision sensors to replace lost vision

Lexus factory in Japan


Robots doing most work; need human help

Danielle Duval



Microchip for tracking

Stephen Hawking



Motorized wheelchair and computer voice

Xybernaut




Wearable computer w/ display covering 1 eye

“Cloned” virtual humans


Computer
-
animated people based on real ones


Cyborg Representations


List the organic (human) and inorganic (technological)
characteristics of cyborgs you encountered.



What was your response to these ‘beings’?



Are they monsters, hybrids?



What are they not?