The Body – Session 6/7

Week 6 – Reflexive Embodiment

As Ashley Morgan was not able to attend week six’s session we went over the readings she uploaded to Moodle – which I found helpful because although I read the readings and reviewed the presentation, I did not fully understand them.

In summary, reflexive embodiment is when we are both the the subject and the object, i.e. I am the subject looking in the mirror and am the object being looked at.

Week 7 – Everyday Cyborgs

What is a Cyborg?

It is an extension of the body or bodily function through the application of technology.

The idea of the cyborg has existed since the 19th century and can be seen in Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelly where it existed through the form of fantasy.

One element of the cyborg is through prosthesis this again can be seen throughout history form the 20th century whereby prosthesis was used to return to normality for example; war veterans would have prosthetics to enable them to return to ‘normal’ and to prevent people for being reminded of the severity of the war.

However nowadays prosthetics are not designed to return people to normal, but are designed to enhance the body. For example, athletes wear blades to enable them to run faster. The difference in appearance has become more widely accepted in today’s society.

What is the body?

  • Malleable – can be changed i.e. plastic surgery.
  • Bionic – glasses, hearing aid etc.
  • Communal – organ donation.
  • Engineered – gene therapy, IVF.
  • Virtual & Hyperreal – virtual surgery, keyhole surgery, endoscopy etc.

What is meant by Other and Dualism?

Other:

This can be seen with binary whereby one is more powerful than the other, therefore one becomes the ‘other’ of the other one. For example; women are other to men.

Dualism:

Human/ Machine dualism  – separate entities put together. Nature – natural organic body. Culture – way in which technology is applied to the body.

Reminds us of the EMBODIED nature of the body.

Overall, I found this week’s lecture to be quite interesting particularly because my last study group looked into the idea of the cyborg. It is an area that does spark an interest and is something I am thinking of writing about for my final essay, therefore more research is required in this field.

 

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Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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