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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathPostsexual Bodies
The Making of…Desire, Digital
Marie-Luise Angerer


Paul Virilio introduced the term «tele-action» to describe the digitalization of our lives, thus defining the substitution of direct action through «acting from a distance» as a new phenomenon. In his view, however, in the long term this acting, communicating and feeling from a distance will lead to the complete disorientation of humans: «To be used to mean to be somewhere, to be situated, in the here and now, but the situation of the essence of being is undermined by the instantaneity, the immediacy, and the ubiquity which are characteristic of our epoch. […] From now on, humankind will have to act in two worlds at once. This opens up extraordinary possibilities, but at the same time we face the test of a tearing-up of the being, with awkward consequences. We can rejoice in these new opportunities if and only if we also are conscious of their dangers.» [1]

In the meantime, however, without any great effort this model of two worlds, which can also be referred to as ‹tele-presence,› has gained acceptance in everyday life and culture and has not provoked general disorientation. Instead—at least in the first half of the nineties (of the twentieth century)—a prevailing mood


of euphoria has set in. Artists and Net users have taken possession of cyberspace as a new space for action and experience. It is being celebrated as a free, unrestricted space onto which no limits have been set. The body and its gender modalities are being discovered as central parameters of identification. For the female gender, even a new epoch is being proclaimed: Sadie Plant, one of the representatives of English Cultural Studies, has declared the Net to be an omnipotent space specifically for women. «If the male human is the only human, the female cyborg is the only cyborg.» [2] Against the background of the cyborg concept as developed by Donna Haraway, the Australian culture theorist Zoë Sofoulis made the following remark: «The future is unmanned, that is, neither dead or collapsed, but animated by other dynamic agents, including women and machines. From the perspective of cyberfeminism […] the question is not one of dominance and control of or submission and surrender to machines, but of exploring alliances and affinities, co-evolutionary possibilities, especially between women and technology.» [3]

The taking possession of cyberspace by female

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