Machines and Prostheses

November 19, 2014

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According to Donna Haraway, The Cyborg skips the steps of original unity and there by it’s junction with nature. She has various references in this chapter to films such as Blade Runner, where mankind has left nature behind and transcended into ”junkspace” (to quote Koolhaas), a capitalist society with complete lack of coherence. In the end of the chapter she also writes that she “would rather be a Cyborg than a goddess.

That’s fine, but what if there is harder to distinguish between nature and culture? What if the capitalist society embraces nature and wants to recreate it in various ways? There are several sci-fi films where you can see examples of “higher cultures” (often non-human and with Cyborg-like qualities) that are cultivating nature and “ancient” patterns within their high-tech designs. I’m not saying that it’s the only way to celebrate heritage but I’m just saying that it’s there.

I think there is an obsession today to distinguish between nature and culture. Why do we do that? Are we afraid of nature? Are we afraid of our history? Is it so scary to think of all the knowledge we lost about nature that we ignore the fact that we are still animals? I don’t know but I have a bit of a hard time with all this polarization between nature/culture. It’s not so interesting anymore. I understand that there are several ideas about womanhood and connection to nature, but I think we should normalize nature instead of celebrating or projecting it on people. I think if people stopped identifying with all these ideas of what a woman/man/robot/deity is, then we wouldn’t have a problem. It’s time to face our selves. We are not goddesses. And we are not Cyborgs. But we can be a bit of both.

 

-Wim W

One Response to “Machines and Prostheses”

  1. bingibjarts Says:

    I completely agree. I refuse to be pessimistic about the future. As the Katherine Hayles text – Unfinished Work – explains humans and their technology have co-evolved together, and both categories wouldn´t be as they are today without the other. Hence, technology and humans are bound to the same force, culture and nature are the same thing. A double helix spiral, the DNA of our existence…


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