Cross-readings along the axes of Cyborg:
Nature and technology are not different, nature was to the witches what technoscience is to us, the cyborg witches.
We are geek whores, cyborg bitches.
We scream noise and cyborg covens, soldering and alchemy, we spit out performances and install gnu-linux, we love recycling and reparing with our breasts bared.
Gynepunk Manifesto [EN] (2014)
MACHITÚN* cyborg = AnarchaGLAM SPELL.
A Cyborg Manifesto.
--- 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.49-181.
At the centre of my ironic faith, my blasphemy, is the image of the cyborg.
A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.
The cyborg is a matter of fiction and lived experience that changes what counts as women's experience in the late twentieth century.
Cyborg 'sex' restores some of the lovely replicative baroque of ferns and invertebrates (such nice organic prophylactics against heterosexism).
Cyborg replication is uncoupled from organic reproduction.
Modern production seems like a dream of cyborg colonization work, a dream that makes the nightmare of Taylorism seem idyllic.
And modern war is a cyborg orgy, coded by C3I, command-control-communication intelligence, an $84 billion item in 1984'sUS defence budget.
I am making an argument for the cyborg as a fiction mapping our social and bodily reality and as an imaginative resource suggesting some very fruitful couplings.
Michael Foucault's biopolitics is a flaccid premonition of cyborg politics, a very open field.
Ths cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics.
The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centres structuring any possibility of historical transformation.
The cyborg incarnation is outside salvation history.
As Zoe Sofoulis argues in her unpublished manuscript on Jacques Lacan, Melanie Klein, and nuclear culture, Lacklein, the most terrible and perhaps the most promising monsters in cyborg worlds are embodied in non-oedipal narratives with a different logic of repression, which we need to understand for our survival.
The cyborg is a creature in a post-gender world; it has no truck with bisexuality, pre-oedipal symbiosis, unalienated labour, or other seductions to organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity.
In a sense, the cyborg has no origin story in the Western sense - a 'final' irony since the cyborg is also the awful apocalyptic telos of the 'West's' escalating dominations of abstract individuation, an ultimate self untied at last from all dependency, a man in space.
The cyborg skips the step of original unity, of identification with nature in the Western sense.
The cyborg is resolutely committed to partiality, irony, intimacy, and perversity.
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.
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.
The cyborg appears in myth precisely where the boundary between human and animal is transgressed.
It is certainly true that postmodernist strategies, like my cyborg myth, subvert myriad organic wholes (for example, the poem, the primitive culture, the biological organism).
They are floating signifiers moving in pickup trucks across Europe, blocked more effectively by the witch-weavings of the displaced and so unnatural Greenham women, who read the cyborg webs of power so very well, than by the militant labour of older masculinist politics, whose natural constituency needs defence jobs.
There might be a cyborg Alice taking account of these new dimensions.
Ironically, it might be the unnatural cyborg women making chips in Asia and spiral dancing in Santa Rita jail* whose constructed unities will guide effective oppositional strategies.
So my cyborg myth is about transgressed boundaries, potent fusions, and dangerous possibilities which progressive people might explore as one part of needed political work.
From one perspective, a cyborg world is about the final imposition of a grid of control on the planet, about the final abstraction embodied in a Star Wars apocalypse waged in the name of defence, about the final appropriation of women's bodies in a masculinist orgy of war (Sofia, 1984).
From another perspective, a cyborg world might be about lived social and bodily realities in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines, not afraid of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints.
Cyborg unities are monstrous and illegitimate; in our present political circumstances, we could hardly hope for more potent myths for resistance and recoupling.
I like to imagine LAG, the Livermore Action Group, as a kind of cyborg society, dedicated to realistically converting the laboratories that most fiercely embody and spew out the tools of technological apocalypse, and committed to building a political form that acutally manages to hold together witches, engineers, elders, perverts, Christians, mothers, and Leninists long enough to disarm the state.
Cyborg feminists have to argue that 'we' do not want any more natural matrix of unity and that no construction is whole.
Both are cyborg semiologies.
The cyborg is not subject to Foucault's biopolitics; the cyborg simulates politics, a much more potent field of operations.
The cyborg is a kind of disassembled and reassembled, postmodern collective and personal self.
The speculum served as an icon of women's claiming their bodies in the 1970S; that handcraft tool is inadequate to express our needed body politics in the negotiation of reality in the practices of cyborg reproduction.
However, there is no 'place' for women in these networks, only geometries of difference and contradiction crucial to women's cyborg identities.
In that sense they are part of the cyborg world.
I look briefly at two overlapping groups of texts for their insight into the construction of a potentially helpful cyborg myth: constructions of women of colour and monstrous selves in feminist science fiction.
Earlier I suggested that 'women of colour' might be understood as a cyborg idendty, a potent subjecdvity synthesized from fusions of outsider identities and in the complex political-historical layerings of her 'biomythography', Zami (Lorde, 1982; King, 1987a, 1987b).
Cyborg writing must not be about the Fall, the imagination of a once-upon-a-time wholeness before language, before writing, before Man.
Cyborg writing is about the power to survive, not on the basis of original innocence, but on the basis of seizing the tools to mark the world that marked them as other.
In retelling origin stories, cyborg authors subvert the central myths of origin of Western culture.
Feminist cyborg stories have the task of recoding communication and intelligence to subvert command and control.
Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism.
That is why cyborg politics insist on noise and advocate pollution, rejoicing in the illegitimate fusions of animal and machine.
The replicant Rachel in the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner stands as the image of a cyborg culture's fear, love, and confusion.
Anne McCaffrey's pre-feminist The Ship Who Sang (1969) explored the consciousness of a cyborg, hybrid of girl's brain and complex machinery, formed after the birth of a severely handicapped child.
Let me conclude this point by a very partial reading of the logic of the cyborg monsters of my second group of texts, feminist science fiction.
John Varley constructs a supreme cyborg in his arch-feminist exploration of Gaea, a mad goddessplanet-trickster-old woman-technological device on whose surface an extraordinary array of post cyborg symbioses are spawned.
Superluminal stands also for the defining contradictions of a cyborg world in another sense; it embodies textually the intersection of feminist theory and colonial discourse in the science fiction I have alluded to in this chapter.
Cyborg monsters in feminist science fiction define quite different political possibilities and limits from those proposed by the mundane fiction of Man and Woman.
A cyborg body is not innocent; it was not born in a garden; it does not seek unitary identity and so generate antagonistic dualisms without end (or until the world ends); it takes irony for granted.
The ideologically charged question of what counts as daily activity, as experience, can be approached by exploiting the cyborg image.
Cyborg gender is a local possibility taking a global vengeance.
Race, gender, and capital require a cyborg theory of wholes and parts.
Cyborg imagery can help express two crucial arguments in this essay: first, the production of universal, totalizing theory is a major mistake that misses most of reality, probably always, but certainly now; and second, taking responsibility for the social relations of science and technology means refusing an anti-science metaphysics, a demonology of technology, and so means embracing the skilful task of reconstructing the boundaries of daily life, in partial connection with others, in communication with all of our parts.
Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves.
Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.
The 3D Additivist Manifesto [EN] (2015)
10 Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto.
Manifesto for the Gynecene [EN] (2015)
We support an empowering of women that is founded on a desired change of paradigm, where weakness is understood and respected as a valuable condition in itself, and at the same time on the possibility, accepted and detabooed, of technological transformations of the human body towards hybrid forms such as the cyborg.
Also specific to tRANShACKfEMINISt [EN] (2014):
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