Cyborg Bodies:
(In)Organic Vocabularies of Performed Identity

 

Introduction

This is a paper about bodies, and about two liminal habitats - in- between places where we, as human beings, exist in paradox.

The first is a rather post-modern place delimited by the ins and outs of performativity, the second a post-human place, between natural and constructed physicality.

To illustrate the first of these places, I shall be discussing Fritz Lang's 1920's silent movie, 'Metropolis', and this year's adaptation of the film for the stage by Kaos Theatre Co, with a new script by Xavier Leret. The second habitat I shall illustrate through a brief discussion of current affairs, and reference to the cybernetic work of the Australian performance artist, Stelarc, and the Interactive Art work of the Brazilian, Eduardo Kac.

What I hope to be able to do, in the course of these discussions, is shed some light upon the tricky and elusive conundrum at the core of the sociology of the body - our tenacious physicality - and how that conundrum is further problematised, for the future, by the cyborg phenomena confronting what we have always taken for granted - that our bodies and our selves are indivisible.


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