Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMonstrous Bodies

icon: previous page

Julia Kristeva, and stemming from this, as it is also frequently implemented in culture and subject analysis. For Kristeva, the maternal body is the abject, with whom the subject is in a permanent state of confusion regarding boundaries.

Thus monstrous is no longer the Other (female) that has been split off from the One (male), but rather the indivisibleness and amalgamation. Otherness always also contains the One; flexible mutability is always body armor and its melting away. The mutual dissolution of both opposing types at the site of liquid simplicity as well as their seriality identifies them in principle as beings of the same kind. Only this explains the fact that T-1000 and with him many of the digital imageries are less a ‹female-disgusting morass,› as Mark Dery says further to Theweleit, than more of a refined, metallic immaterial-artificial liquid.

In many digital image concepts dual principles overlap: That which was previously the ‹natural,› the principle of fluidity and permeability that created openness and a sense of well-being or, conversely, disgust and fascination, has become something completely impenetrable-closed and artificial; never


fixed-rigid, but rather incessantly movable and superficial, something turned inside out. The concept of ‹nature,› which according to Theweleit stands for fluid femaleness, has mutated into a second, artificial, (male) programmed nature that continues to keep alive associations of a fluid femaleness. These overlappings explain how in Yves Netzhammer's recent computer animations, for instance, the subject of an apparently conventionalclosed doll body can become the focus, but at the same time is a pure variable surface and thus completely contradicts the concept of the closed body armor. [24]

The Monstrous Maternalness of Surveillance Technology

In the digital video installation «Departure—Arrival/Arrival—Departure» (1998) by Björn Melhus, too, the fantasies of the overlappings of a sexually dissolved, compact doll body combine with those of a monstrously proliferating reproductive power: Bodies fall rhythmically in a double video projection. In a display case opposite there are two LED towers that have the effect of a secret control

icon: next page