The cyborg experiments: the extensions of the body in the media age

The Cyborg Experiments: The Extensions of the Body in the Media Age
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The more far reaching are biotechnological practices which are challenging the concept of what we understand life , the natural and humanness to mean.

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Body , 2. As Stelarc himself puts it:. For me the body has always been a prosthetic body.

The cyborg experiments: the extensions of the body in the media age

Ever since we evolved as hominids and developed bipedal locomotion, two limbs became manipulators. We have become creatures that construct tools, artefacts and machines. Technology is what constructs our humanity; the trajectory of technology is what has propelled human developments. Talking about the body is thus not a question of giving answers, but rather a matter of asking questions. A quest to determine the nature of the body i. Discussing this interest in the porosity of skin, as explored in such works as Stomach Sculpture , Stelarc writes:.

As surface, skin was once the beginning of the world and simultaneously the boundary of the self. But now stretched, pierced and penetrated by technology, the skin is no longer the smooth and sensuous surface of a site or a screen.

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Skin no longer signifies closure. The rupture of surface and skin means an erasure of inner and outer.

However debatable the results of such suspensions may appear, 3 it should be noted that skin is not the only conventional limit to the body; the crises of corporeal boundaries take other forms. Our language tends to reinforce Platonic, Cartesian and Freudian constructs of internal relationships, of essences, of egos. I think we have to get away from these notions and try to construct a body that is not simplistically a split mind and brain. As Stelarc argues:.

Discussing the theoretical implications of the concept of the body, it seems possible that Stelarc attempts something that might be described as a double movement:. This shift is, however, immediately followed by a second move:. As Derrida himself puts it:.

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Man allows himself to be announced to himself after the fact of supplementarity, which is thus not an attribute—accidental or essential—of man. It is precisely the play of presence and absence, the opening of this play that no metaphysical or ontological concept can comprehend. Grammatology , In his own words:. And none of my own writings have been anything more than poetic speculations.

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These two points, though closely connected, may be identified and likened to the two aspects of the body-discussion: body-physical and body-ideological. Both of the moments are conceptualised by Stelarc in his metaphor of the cyborg.

Meredith Jones (author)

What you have here is an obsolete body that seems to have evolved as an absent body and has now been invaded by technology, a body that is hollow, that now performs involuntarily for remote people on the Internet. These alternative and involuntary experiences with technology allow you to question what a body is, what it means to be human. In popular culture, these concepts are symbolised in the Borg character Seven of Nine from the Star Trek: Voyager series. The image of a Borg or cyborg is significant for representing the prosthetic body as a body characterised by connectivity.

The body and how we talk about its qualitative and quantitative features shifts from a notion of essence to a recognition of its potential to successfully assimilate its prostheses.

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LOG IN. The art of protest The psychic space of the horror stretch Thinking the body aloud We have decided not to die performance Are you gonna kill the kids tonight honey? Work-in-Progress Seminar. C93 RealTime issue 54 April-May pg. Has the body become obsolete?

What might be called the classical doctrine of the body sees a coherent, enclosed whole, defined by its essence whatever that might be —the body oneric, typical of essentialist and humanist non-technological, theo-teleological narratives. Again, however, it is the physical reality of the performances that makes it impossible to consider the body as something that would completely disappear or dissolve under the pressure of its technological attachments.

This precaution acutely demonstrates the limited capability of the body to host technology, or prosthesis in general.

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The Cyborg Experiments. The Extensions of the Body in the Media Age. Editor(s): Joanna Zylinska Media of The Cyborg Experiments. See larger image. Note: Available at a lower price from other sellers that may not offer free Prime shipping. Joanna Zylinska is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is the author of The Cyborg Experiments (Continuum, ).

The constant flux of reflective feedback loops modifying and re-modifying the relationship between the body and its PLUS highlights the limits of the body-physical and body-theoretical at the same time. As Stelarc himself notes, perhaps surprisingly:. All of these performances were done with a kind of posture of indifference, indifference as opposed to expectation, in other words you allow the performance to unfold, you allow things to happen and thus making it less predictable.

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There is no narrative. Only modular rhythmic activity. We would like to know what the body is, but the rate of technological change undermines any definition we might want to come up with. In Forming virtual learning communities through group portraits. Back in the early days: A gay man's perspective on the changes from in gay.

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