Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathEditorial

icon: previous page

and ethno-specific power relations. In doing so she has developed an alternative notion of the subject supported by the queer theory that has influenced and inspired many media artists.

«Cyborg Bodies. The End of the Progressive Body» maintains that despite what we are led to believe, the technical extensions and social structures that make humans into cyborgs to not lead to optimization and self-empowerment. Rather they lead to a loss of control and feelings of being deprived of power and fear; however, in the spirit of Haraway they also lead to new forms of embodiment and subjectivity beyond conventional progressive thought, to which the term «cyborg» was originally bound.

The artistic projects and theoretical approaches presented here essentially pursue this other track or the suppressed other side of the cyborgs. They put that which is generally not mentioned up for discussion when fantasies about new technological possibilities are elevated into the fantastic. Not all of the artists, however, treat this ambivalence towards what is technological with an equal amount of criticism or would even maintain that they would celebrate «the


end of the progressive body.» However, this is precisely the contention of this project. The untenability of progress optimism is always part of every outline, even if some of them require a critical analysis in order to track it down. «Cyborg Bodies» is less on the trail of the much implored ‹disappearance of the body› than it is of the new, multiple and ‹cyborgized› forms of embodiment and the possibilities of other subject positions associated with it.

«Cyborg Bodies» developed out of my work on the subject of «Weiblichkeit als Subjektentwurf des Informationszeitalters. Lektüren zeitgenössischer Medienkunst» as well as out of various curatorial projects. [1] All of the artists involved in these projects have an advanced notion of technology and the body on the one hand; on the other hand they make an appeal for the necessity of a constructive criticism and reinvention of one-dimensional notions.

The texts by the participating artists have enhanced this subject by a variety of further aspects and perspectives. What connects all of them is the virulence of the Haraway approach, the questioning of progressive thought, and the development of

icon: next page