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Lecture 4

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Mike Johnstone

LECTURE 4 Feb 1 Today; Test 1 information Neuromancer: A feminist reading of neuromancer Technoscience, the body, and identity Artificiality and imitation Nonhuman identities Case, and the return to/of the body Test 1 info: Check blackboard. See syllabus to see what's covered in lecture. Check posted tips for studying/writing the test A feminist reading of william gibson's neuromancer by TA lisa. Ideas of mergings, interfacings, integrations between body and technology; i.e. cyborgs, hybrids, posthumans; "jacking in" to the "matrix' Artificial intelligences and other sentient Questions to consider: What sociocultural, ideological norms is the novels challenging How is the novel's cognitive estrangement subversive A look at donna haraway's "a cyborg manifesto" and molly as a character Haraway's cyborgs "a cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism.. Creatures simultaneously and organism.. Creatures simultaneusly animal and machine Blends the organic and the machine. A robot with a downloaded human consciousness to a human being with cyborg and technological parts. A cyborg blurs that line between a machine and an organism Exists in science fiction, modern medicine, modern production How does haraway use this project in a way for thinking about gender? The cyborg is a creature in a post gender world. By blurring the binaries between human and machine. Our way of thinking is dualistic. We think in binary/opposite pairs. Basic western organis, hierarchical/dualism: eg. Mind/body, human/animal/, male/female Everything on the left is PRIVILEDGED AND CONSIDERED MALE And everything on the right is weak and FEMALE She argues that the cyborg blurs boundary between machine and human, and this could lead o a collaspe of all those binaries. If we can dissolve the barriers between organism and machine, she fears that all of these can be dissolved. She's arguing for a new cyborg world called the "informatics of domination" Informatics of domination: Realism --> science fiction Physiology --> communications engineering Reproduction --> replication etcetc Everything on the left hand side from realism down is going to shift She argues that cyborg worlds will change something like reproduction will move to replication. Something like organic sex role specialization will turn to optimal genetic strategies Dissolving of the family structure Dissolving of the origin story. Neuromancer's cyborgs: Rats - prosthetic limbs Wage's vat grown eyes and muscle grafted goons Case' abilities to jack in to the "net" Molly: set mirros leneses, scalpel blades, beneath her nails, readout chip in her optic nerve. Gibson goes through great lengths. Does molly, as a cyborg woman character, fulfill haraway's predictions? She had to engage in feminine sexual activity to be a cyborg. Sim switch concept of case, a man, invading the mind of a woman is masculine invading feminine mind. Male is validating female opinions. She's not the one giving her thoughts, it's case Negative view that prostitution is always bad. They present her as a sexual being RIGHT away. It presents a vixon character. She IS the muscle of the team tho.. Injured molly is carried out by an injured man at the end. She had to be severely physically altered to be a STRONG character tho. Her primary weapon are her nails. It's very typically female. Two sides: she's the muscle, but that strength is accompanied by many complicated factors Molly is very eroticized. She is tied to the idea of Meat. In the binaries, she always gets body. Case fell into the prison of his own flesh. Not only is molly fleshly. Molly stays firmly within the realm of the body. In a lot of ways, while molly a cyborg, she's not a harraway vision of a cyborg. Many critics agree that there's a radical duality between the mind and the body, in which the former is privileged over the latter. Denied an active role in cyberspace. Molly never entes the matrix, she is meat, but she does have an experience that is almost cyberspace: "I wasn't conscious, it's like cyberspace, but blank" The only way we get described where molly gets something like cyberspace isn't filled and vibrant like cases's experience of the matrix, it's blank, it's not coming from a empowering action, but simply leaving her body. "The Doll" (p 138 - 141) We have a portray of molly's body that isn't molly's body. The man builds the woman, but his destruction
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