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 pathUnruly Bodies

icon: previous page

foot-stomping, hand-clapping girls at the beauty contest; the female desire as it is articulated in the love songs we hear sung on the morning bus ride or in the disco; the blows and stabs delivered to the female victims. Everything is affected by these circumstances of movement and the shift of boundaries, circumstances full of contradictions. «Gender matters to capital,» a caption reads. Biemann doesn't stop at revealing life on the border as a set permeated completely by sexualization—as Sidén did—but also goes on to show that the (re-)stabilization of gender is still and continually being used as a means of control, i.e. for the production of people. In other words, she makes it clear that the multis, by creating jobs for women and empowering them as consumers of an entertainment industry built especially for them, are, on the one hand, initiating a process of destruction of patriarchal structures, but, on the other hand, they are bringing this process back under control through reterritorialization. Biemann also reveals similar power structures forced by globalization in two further videos: «Remote Sensing» (19XX?), which is devoted to the trafficking of women for sex work, or «Writing


Desire» (2001?), which on the one hand is on the trail of the variety of erotic desire, and on the trail of the commercialization of the body and desires in the age of the computer on the other hand.

Biemann shows women—primarily women from the poor countries of the South and the East—as exploited cyborgs, as the embodied effects and symptoms of global capitalism today and its technologies, which are not the same for everyone. However, despite these dismal findings, Biemann also shows the effects that change identities and present other life opportunities. At the beginning of «Performing the Border,» while the camera is showing a woman driving through the desert a voice off camera says: «I've known Concha for five years. She knows all the ways to cross the border. Her strategies are multiple and variable.» Like Sherman's «The Office Killer,» Biemann's videos are supported by the hope that their primary agents turn out to be flexible in this cyborgization and are able to take paths different than those intended for them.

From a Cyborg to a Cyborg

In all of the works discussed here, the cyborg body is

icon: next page