Ironic power de(con)struction manual

November 6, 2013

Ironic power deconstruction manual

Donna Haraway suggests in the beginning of A cyborg manifesto that irony is “..about the tension of holding incompatible things together because both or all are necessary and true” p.149.

Some say that in order to understand something, you need to understand its opposite. To understand nature, you need to learn about culture. To understand humans you need to study animals. To understand binary oppositions you need to explore multiple similarities? I don´t know about this, but I would say that the nature of binary oppositions are cultural constructions. Now this is where the irony comes in. Since we seem to be lost in a “..maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves” p.181, there is no comprehensible way to explain the alternative. The cyborg imagery, as Donna Haraway suggests, might offer a way out of this maze. However, it seems to be about erasing, or rather blurring, the borders, not explaining alternatives. It´s quite possible I haven´t understood the cyborg imagery correctly, but that´s fine, since I´m rather confused than correct.

And correct me if I´m wrong but change can be about destroying as much as building up. Destroying hierarchies. Building equalities. Eradicating power structures. Constructing alternatives. Blurring borders. Drawing new. Pulling apart and putting together. Nobody is innocent and nothing is holy. Nature flows through our minds and fingertips and is suddenly culture. In the search for laughter everything is ironic.

“The machine is not an it to be animated, worshiped or dominated. The machine is us, our processes, an aspect of our embodiment.“ p.180

Anders Isacson

Source:

Donna Haraway, Cyborg Manifesto in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, London: Free Association Books, 1991, pp. 149-181

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