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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathCollective Bodies

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modeled on the Oedipal family. [13] Lacan’s infant viewer identifies with the mirror image as self or «me», in what is a dualistic and imaginary relation to the body ego; alternatively, the body image in the mirror is part of a triad, a symbol of self that is based on «not self». What Lacan doesn’t elaborate on is the space in-between the body and the mirror, on which embodiment implicitly depends. That is, it is the ‹relation› between the felt and seen that correlates them and forges ‹the body›. The body, whatever else it is, is also this space-in-between where vectors, links and bonds intersect. So, when Donna Haraway asks, «Why should the body end at the skin, or include, at best, other beings encapsulated by skin?» (178), she suggests the variety of models, but also the extension of the body beyond flesh into space. Consider also that the notion of the «seen» body is all too perceptually and conceptually limited to visuality and that a cloud—like garment of aural and olfactory perceptual space extending beyond skin is nonetheless a «skin ego» or «self». [14]

Embodiment is not a process that occurs solely in stasis before an image, but in motion with changing


tools and shifting relations between felt and seen. Tool using and eye coordination—the use of chisels, forks and pens [15] to the keyboard and the computer—are a foundation of socio-economic, creative and contemplative culture that produces body postures, motions and meanings. Different media generate not only different images as models but also different spaces of embodiment.

Arts that play with shifting vectors and links between the felt and seen bodies in the mirror and in the monitor are like an intricate dance. The unities of felt and seen bodies forged in the process are always in plural, even if the dancer is alone. In the late 20th century the signature art of play with embodiment was the closed-circuit installation. [16] Today it is the computer that has forged coordinations of the hand and eye to new modes of embodiment. Even the computer cursor (as Johnson reminds us in his homage to the inventor Douglas Englebart) [17] represents the user’s self most often as controlled by the hand. ‹We› are inside the ‹skin› of the monitor, on screen as cursor or as avatar—and thus multiply embodied. (It is ironic that an online ‹skin› or arbitrary envelop for

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