In defense of haraway i would not dispose of her cyborg so easily. i
think she proposes a way to think of the cyborg as a positivity
instead of a negativity. in this sense she transforms the heritage of
critical theory which tends to think of technology as always already
closer to the more powerful.
I think haraway's is an opening to think about cyborgs in context.
what they are to become depends on their interactions with the social
and economic and cultural contexts which alters them and their bodies
in ever new ways. but i think we can start thinking of hierarchies of
cyborgs. the hierarchy between an afghani girl who lost a limb and
wears a wooden prosthesis and an upper class newyorker who wears
digital glasses to enhance his pleasures may offer different
potentials to futures of cyborgs.
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 8:09 PM, Lanfranco
> I find the definition of 'ethnic cyborg' problematic. Reasons for my
> position are related to the basic nature of the cyborg, as envisaged by
> Donna Haraway. The new nature of the cyborg should have been that of
> revolutionizing the status quo, overcoming differences, surpassing and
> moving beyond human differences and even beyond human nature. The
> proposition of the cyborg as ethnically distinct has for me a very dangerous
> connotation, which is that of promoting a future power struggle based on
> augmented and non-augmented beings, racist interpretations of ethnicity
> (augmented-humans vs non-augmented-humans) and a constant quest for a
> bio-mechanical superiority.
> What I personally feel is that there is a generalized institutional attempt
> to conquer 'new' territories - the cyborg as well as that of the world wide
> web - and subjugate them by replicating old frameworks. This happens by
> imposing structures and divisions along the lines of already existing
> hierarchies in the realm of the real. The ethnic and consequentially
> national definition of the cyborg may just represent its ideological fall.
> In this context the cyborg, the Centaur of the futurists, has already failed
> in providing an alternative to the social hierarchies that according to
> Haraway should be altered and revolutionized. The cyborg is presenting us
> with an old framework just transferred and transposed in a different realm,
> that of the cybernetic organism.
> Dr. Lanfranco Aceti
> Associate Professor in Contemporary Art & Digital Culture
> Sabanci University
> Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
> Room 2082
> 34956 Istanbul, Turkey
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