“The cyborg is resolutely committed to partiality, irony, intimacy, and perversity. It is oppositional, utopian, and completely without innocence. No longer structured by the polarity of public and private, the cyborg defines a technological polls based partly on a revolution of social relations in the oikos, the household. Nature and culture are reworked; the one can no longer be the resource for appropriation or incorporation by the other. The relationships for forming wholes from parts, including those of polarity and hierarchical domination, are at issue in the cyborg world. Unlike the hopes of Frankenstein’s monster, the cyborg does not expect its father to save it through a restoration of the garden; that is, through the fabrication of a heterosexual mate, through its completion in a finished whole, a city and cosmos. The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust. Perhaps that is why I want to see if cyborgs can subvert the apocalypse of returning to nuclear dust in the manic compulsion to name the Enemy. Cyborgs are not reverent; they do not remember the cosmos. They are wary of holism, but needy for connection- they seem to have a natural feel for united front politics, but without the vanguard party. The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.”

 

Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.151.

“Facebook offers a compelling case study for the apparently posthuman subject that emerges in cyberspace because it has been designed to become part of users’ daily lives, and to shape their offline narratives and selves in Facebooked ways. These designs, based on software platforms and algorithmic data-crunching, show us Haraway’s cyborg in action, producing selves from a human- machine interface. At the same time, however, these programs reenact highly traditional concepts of selves and narratives, and thus throw into relief the boundaries of “old” and “new.” Facebook builds on both human and posthuman concepts of the human subject in compelling, and arguably posthuman, life narratives, as its users produce and are produced by accounts of digital life. If, as Neil Badmington suggests, “the task of posthumanism is to uncover those uncanny moments when things start to drift,” when “boundaries” become “uncertain” (19), then posthuman concepts can be a productive tool for charting the shifts and drifts of the autobiographical in cyberspace.”

 

-Laurie McNeill, “There is no I in Network: Social Networking Sites and PosthumanAuto/Biography”, Biography, Vol.35, (Winter 2012), 67

Share This