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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathCollective Bodies

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reassembled, postmodern collective and personal self.» (163) Furthermore, these are «Partial, contradictory, permanently unclosed constructions of personal and collective selves…,» (157) indicating that collective embodiment and its shifting affiliations or bonds and links that are partial and changing is unstable over time. Considering that the occasion for Haraway’s essay in the mid-1980’s was the need to think through the relation of socialist feminism to women of color who may not be feminists and who have other links and affiliations, the problem of individual and collective is a crucial thread of Haraway’s essay and an important element of discussion in the commentary on art that follows in this essay. I hope to demonstrate next how embodiment precludes the notion of the body as vessel, how it presumes links forged between the physical and the nonphysical and how it presupposes collective and shifting affiliations over time. The negative space of links and bonds—invisible but not necessarily empty—is the key to the enigma of the cyborg’s physical/nonphysical, collective and personal self.


Embodiment and the Space-in-Between

‹Embodiment› suggests a body under construction—not a given but rather a process that requires tools and blueprints, models and images. Becoming human, much less becoming cyborg, means bringing multiple bodies into co-ordination in postures, motions, gestures and agency in the world. [10] ‹The› body itself is never singular since the ‹felt› or propriocentric body is mapped differently in the brain than the ‹seen› body. The feedback mechanism that allows these bodies to be configured is commonly thought to be a mirror. However, while it may seem implausible or mere pathetic fallacy, modeling embodiment on nature has examples too numerous to tell. Imitation of animal or tree or rock [11] or another human being can serve the purpose of model or mirror. The ancient Greek Kore or Kouros statue as the embodiment of and model for beauty and goodness has its counterpart in mass media advertising today, while less static models of embodiment include tools, machines and kinetic and peripatetic forms of art. [12]

Lacan’s famous «mirror stage» describes a process of formation of the «fortress» ego in a structure

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