Citizen as a System
Contemporary Bodies
• Liminal Habitats
• One:
• a rather post-modern place delimited by the
ins and outs of Performativity
• Two:
• a post-human place, between natural and
constructed physicality
Illustration
• Liminal Habitat One:
• 'Metropolis', Fritz Lang's 1920's silent movie
• 'Metropolis', Kaos Theatre’s 1999 stage
adaptation
• Liminal Habitat Two:
• Exoskeletons for Human Performance
Augmentation (DARPA)
• Australian Performance Artist: Stelarc
• Brazilian Interactive Artist: Eduardo Kac.
Intent: to shed light on
– core conundrum of the sociology of the
body
• our tenacious physicality
– core performative cross-boundary site
• the cyborg phenomenon
Confront what we take for granted :
– that our bodies and our selves are
indivisible.
•A metaphor for the
postmodern liminal
habitat between agency
and structure.
•A story of a futuristic
city built upon the
shoulders of slave labour.
•The rich elite above, and
the poor workers below:
this is a theme which
resurfaces time and again
–Choice, freedom, and
individualism of the
lofty elite
–Ignorance, drudgery,
and prescribed
existence of the
amorphous masses
below.
• Maria Klein
• Jon Fredersen's son
•Resolution in the liminal
space between them.
–An agent of social construction
–A paragon of the socially
constructed.
•The workers
•They move in a
dance-like rhythm in
tune with the
machines
•Foucauldian technologies
of the body
–prisoners doing Public
Works
•Huxley's Deltas
•Pre-existing roles
•Citation
•Failure of the Body
•Early scene in the
workers' part of the city
•Fredersen's son
The vision of
MOLOCH!'
- God of Fire!
•This scene is the motivational core of the
whole story:
–The failure of the body.
•The failure of the human
body
•Cyberpunk
•Control mechanisms
–law-abiding citizenship,
–sanity
–health
–sexuality
•Fredersen's son and Maria Klein
–change the rules of their society
–force mechanisation into a human mould.
•Fredersen and his mystic inventor, Rotwang
–intent on creating a new workforce
–more suited to further mechanisation.
Rotwang
•Frankenstein
•Pentacle
•Essence of life
•Golem
•Magical / Occult
•Modern / Scientific
•Management &
worker theme
•A machine in the
image of man
•Rotwang’s prosthetic
hand
•Brain & Hands &
Heart of the city
–city understood
through image of the
body
•Failure of body :
failure of city
–evil plot to do away
with bodies
–heroic hope of divine
intervention
•Rotwang to make a
robot Maria
•The making of the
robot
•False-Maria the
whore
•Destabilisation
–we both have
and are bodies
•Grammar
•Having / being /
doing
•The Morticians
–Direct action
•Choreography
of images
•The body
•The physicality of
death
– The story has become
a war over the body,
about the body, and
fought with bodies.
•City / body
•"The greatest acrobats
of change are the dead."
•Rotwang the
geneticist
–Age demographics
–The genatoid Maria
–Genetic weaponry
– This story is a fight
over bodies, about
bodies, with newly
created bodies
•Birth of the genatoid
•Physical presence
•Mediated view
–representation of
representation
•What is the real
body?
–distorting lens
•Death of Rotwang
–killed by the human
he has cloned
–disruption of liminal
habitat
–ontological discomfort
•A new liminal space
•Reproductive technology
•Twins
–‘Life not worthy to be
lived’
•Posthuman liminal
habitat
•Exoskeletons for Human
Performance Augmentation
• Soldier as a System
• Land Warrior
System
• Starship Trooper
• Armor
•Wave/particle duality
•Era of code
•Dolly the Clone
•People : code
•Zoque babies
•Stelarc’s extra ear
•Obsolete body
•Post-evolutionary
experiments
•Technological determinism /
pragmatic cynicism
•Eduardo Kac
•Interactive Art
•Time Capsule
•Implants/Neuro-prosthetics
•Dehumanisation
–Zoque babies
–Kosovo
–Eggs
•Posthuman liminal
habitat
•Postevolutionary
experiments
•Ecosystem
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