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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies I

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sexuality, something ambivalent, whose oscillations will be dealt with later, is attached to both figures of transgression.

But for the time being one could ask why cyborgs even have to have gender: Must not one assume that an artificial creation does not require a sexual act of procreation either for its manufacture or for its reproduction? This is a question that with complete justification could be directed towards the precursors to cyborgs—therefore the fantasies of artificial humans we encounter in cultural and art history: From the legendary «golem» from Jewish mythology, [13] Pygmalion's living sculpture, and the uncanny doll Olimpia in E. T. A. Hoffmann's novella «Der Sandmann,» [14] to Frankenstein's monster in Mary Shelley's novel of the same name; [15] and numerous science fiction fantasies, from Villiers de l'Isle Adam's «The Future Eve» [16] and the woman robot Maria in Fritz Lang's «Metropolis» [17] to the replicants in «Blade Runner.» [18]

If one looks at the ‹interface gender› here, certainly the answer turns out quite clearly: The bodies of these creatures—this is demonstrated both


by the stories that tell of them as well as the images that are in circulation about them—are very clearly marked by a gender (and bring about meaning) that is more or less oriented towards traditional concepts of «maleness» and «femaleness.»

Artificial humans or anthropomorphism as imperative

The ‹imperative of anthropomorphism› states: Gender belongs to the successful production of a human. And this means a gender that is one or the other, in any case one which allows unambiguous classification. This is the law with which scientific, juridical and social authorities in our society must equally comply with, as they appear to be at pains to assure its continued existence. They are not only backed up by the cultural history of religious and mythological traditions that relegate dual or mixed gendered figures to the realm of the numinous or the monstrous.

For long stretches this is also reflected by the (art) history of fantasies of ‹artificial humans.› In these tales of creation it is the decided aim to create an ideal-typical embodiment of the ‹natural gender,› a ‹real man› or a ‹future Eve,› by means of art and

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