Machines and Prostheses

December 3, 2014

UNFINISHED WORK -From Cyborg to Cognisphere- , N. Katherine Hayles


About the Manifesto for cyborgs’ (1985) of Haraway.

According to Hayles, this manifesto is “a provocation to feminist who wanted to position women in alliance with nature and against technology”. The cyborg had a bad reputation because is closely connected to the military.

Apparition of nanotechnology and idea that the human body would be modified with cyber-mechanical devices. She emphasize the fact that technologies are became our companion of everyday life.

Since the Palaeolithic era, tool-making has been an essential component of human evolution. In the contemporary moment, this dynamic is intensified as the time required to effect significant change compresses and technologies become more pervasive and interconnected.”

Trough the example of security technologies, she also point the fact that humans and machines are so intertwined that they make one,and it makes no sense to distinguish them in the context of surveillance.

From this observation we easily can see in what the technology becomes integrated into daily habits of the human, and becomes a prosthesis or, in other words, indispensable in the every day life.

The design of kitchen is conditioning by the evolution of food’s forms. And in this way we are now dependant of the technologies enabling to cook or store them.

A frozen food is edible only if it has been frozen once. Some prepared meals are heatable only by micro waves. Today, food is almost always a thing needing technology to be used / eat.

Like say Haraway, “humans and animals have co-evolved together […] humans and machines co-evolving together”.

This text allow also to questioning the relationship between technology and gender.

We saw that they were closely interconnected. Indeed in the previous text, Judy Wajcman was saying that “gender relations affect every stage in the life of a technology”.

In the same way cyber technology has completely changed the relationship between gender.

So it would be interesting to ask if a professional kitchen would be more open to women if the hierarchy relationship between a man and an other man would be replaced by a relationship between a man and a machine ? If that was the machine who are giving the orders ? The women would they be more admitted in a professional kitchen ?

In the same way, if cook at home was only about order informatic informations to a machine, does it will be still seen like a women thing in a posthuman landscape ? When we though that, the digital houses are more the men’s wish according to the “smart house” describes in the text of Zoë Sophia.

What could be my posthuman landscape, because like say Wajcman in Technocapitalism Meets TechnoFeminism : “we simply have new information technologies, but the same old social relations, values and goals.” there is still inequalities on the labour market for example.


Elise Dorby


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