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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II

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cyborg condition in ‹virtual space,› we can learn something else. In the process, an identification with the position of the ‹freak› or the ‹monster›—donning its skin—is not as crucial as recognizing the function it has as a surface that can be made a fetish of, a surface that is not a ‹shell› for a ‹core,› but is already everything: The ‹whole› is an image that—reproducing the ‹old stories› or the traditional ‹narrations›—is intended to be ‹revitalized› or mobilized.

This ultimately also results in a further decisive indication of why images of ‹artificial humans› are so prominently equipped with the features of physical gender in the first place: If they are personified proof of fathering «without a woman,» i.e. if they come from a ‹test tube› or the memory of a computer—if they do not require dual biological sexuality for their reproduction, or if dual biological sexuality was not required for their production—then we can assume that their ‹physical gender› decidedly serves the invocation and demonstration of ‹femaleness› or


‹maleness›—a ‹femaleness› or ‹maleness› that corresponds less with any reality of ‹woman› or ‹man› than it represents an idea of what ‹femaleness› or ‹maleness› should be. However, precisely with reference to the interface gender we can learn something else: Namely—in confirmation of Judith Butler's argument—not only that «gender,» but also that «sex» must be considered under the premise of the masquerade. [59] In other words: At the moment we begin to abstract from its function for biological reproduction, in its specific role for producing meaning physical gender proves itself to be a function of the representation of a human image that is intended to be animated or revitalized in the ‹artificial humans›—«over their dead bodies,» ‹eerily› brought back to life. And this, on the other hand, is an understanding that cannot only be transferred from the ‹virtual reality› of digitally generated image spaces to those art historical or historico-cultural narrations of ‹artificial humans› in general, but also to any other perceptual reality.