- Jan 2019
The machine-beings that emerge from these couplings thus demon-strate a different form of identity, o
I had to come back to this when I had a memory flash-back. My oldest daughter had Polio before we adopted her from China. For years she had to wear a full leg brace (KAFO) to keep her from hyper-extending her weak and somewhat underdeveloped leg. At first people assumed the brace was temporary, but eventually she started calling it her "bionic leg." It worked. People laughed. It opened up a conversation about her leg rather than making it an object of negative conjecture.
So, to diffuse ideas about disability, difference, and "other," she took on the identity of a cyborg, which acted rhetorically and psychologically on herself and others to diminish the "other" distinction. Calling herself a cyborg became a rhetoric of inclusion.
. In eXistenZ, however, the characters are notall cyborg-style hybrids, wherein the category of the human must first beimagined as relatively discrete in order for it to be connected to (andpotentially troubled by) its Others (human plus machine). Many of thehuman characters in this film exist simply as sites of information ex-change—material entities produced by and teeming with swarms ofothers (codes, identities, technologies, knowledges, and so forth). In
As opposed to the robots in WestWorld: they look human, they have skin and blood, but the emphasis is mostly on the code that makes them behave in certain ways.
I wouldn't say that I consider the "hosts" in WestWorld to be cyborgs--they are not part machine, part human-- they are all machine. Or is skin the definition of human? How much human material does it take to be cyborg?