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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathCollective Bodies

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represented not only changes in the individual life course but also the play of a culture with categories of gender, roles and status in an otherwise fixed traditional society. [5] In carnival, man and woman, beggar and king can change places. In other historical formations—feudal, early modern, industrial and post-industrial societies—play takes on different forms of «public liminality». Festival, theater and film produce different monsters, bodies formed by mixing different contradictions according to varied kinds of dream logic. The cyborg is only the latest in this historical parade of bodies that mark cultural change. I propose to add technological art to the category of «public liminality», insofar as it plays with the boundaries that mark the cyborg condition.

II. Why Should Our Bodies End at the Skin? Physical and Non-Physical Embodiment

Imagining monsters that combine all the liminal features Haraway addresses is a tough job; hence, it is no surprise that Western culture has fallen into clichés that limit our ability to write or remap the world. There are at least three major weaknesses of the


imagination in regard to the cyborg body. I will address these undeveloped liminal qualities of the cyborg as a transition figure and suggest how the notion of ‹embodiment› already entails monsters at the boundaries between animal and human, animal/human and machine and between the physical and non-physical.

Weak Links in Cyborg Imagining

The first weakness in common ways of imagining cyborgs is the metaphor of the body as container, entailing a self-sufficient vessel with an interiority that is penetrated or replaced by alien machines. [6] We know this: the cyborg is indeed partly machine, according to Haraway but «the machine is us, our processes, an aspect of our embodiment» (180) rather than an alien and separate being. Furthermore, according to Haraway, «Our best machines are made of sunshine; they are all light and clean because they are nothing but signals, electromagnetic waves, a section of spectrum, and these machines are eminently portable, mobile….». Thus, «Cyborgs are ether, quintessence.» (153)

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