What is the history of the female cyborg, and how can she/they adapt for a better future?
“I've just met a girl named Maria
And suddenly that name
Will never be the same
1984 marks the midpoint of the two bookends of our research/investigation. It is the year of the seminal essay A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway. The first bookend: 57 years prior (1927) marked the beginning of the popular depiction of the female body fused with technology in the Fritz Lang film Metropolis. The second bookend: 57 years after Haraway’s essay, we will explore the trope of the female cyborg in popular culture as well as alternative depictions. We will also pivot to more speculative iterations between the years 2020-2041.
There are (3) critical postulations exemplified by Haraway’s essay that will comprise the jumping point of the research:
Transgression in the boundary between human and animal (Affirmation of connection between human & other living creatures)
Ambiguity in distinctions among animal-human-machine (Uncertainty of what accepts as nature)
Boundary between physical and non-physical is imprecise (Machines and microelectric devices are everywhere and invisible)
Thus how have these (3) points manifested in both popular culture and visual art? Have they been met, eclipsed, surpassed and/or widened? In addition, what are the social/political ecologies where these points have developed, and what critiques can be applied? Thus can the speculative nature of the essay at the time it was written, alternately be expanded in the future in a way that is still emancipatory?
Our research will comprise of: reading additional applicable text, watching applicable video, consulting applicable people who are similarly interesting and/or researching such material, recording and collecting applicable material both visual and audio, classifying collected research material, finally: mapping previous, current and new trajectories of the research.
Hybrid Enviroscape TEST 1
Collage is not a new medium. But in the digital age how can binary subject/object dissolve or at the least teeter within the trope of The Cyborg? Or conceivably it is the opposite. Perhaps it’s not the dissolutions of edges but the very definition of them that enables the act of mutation as such. Hybrid_Enviroscapes explore this meeting point as a spatial deceleration.
In TEST 1: A Hybrid is born from an egg. A blue egg with a 3D isoline protocol. Out of it, springs arms (splines) that spiral and enable it to hover. It’s looking for a home and has found one. In this land, it is able to stretch and flicker its tentacles within an Enviroscape, which is, in turn, flickering as well. This Enviroscape developed within the universe of Second Life with the grafting of glitter|i| from the Cyborg Salon. This is a good match! In celebration, there is a warm welcome [in Wing Dings]. A conversation has begun between the Hybrid and its Enviroscape, enveloped within an audio mutation of a Ted Talk with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin + Love in the Future + Meet Q, The Gender-Neutral Voice Assistant