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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMonstrous Bodies
The Mutant  Genome Project (Piccinini, Patricia), 1994Protein Lattice (Piccinini, Patricia), 1997

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aspect. With all of their media difference, the remarkably smooth, compact and impermeable surfaces of these ‹innards,› which have apparently been turned inside out, have a lot in common on a phantasmatic level with the permanently mutating and fluidizing images we are familiar with in the practice of morphing, where there is nothing else left except mutating surfaces without an interior, without permeabilities. Thus it becomes evident that not only do the cyborg woman made a fetish of and ugly monsters have something in common on a phantasmatic level, but also that the apparently so radical difference between the closed cyborg body and the open and proliferating monster body is not a fundamental one.

The Woman and Her Monster: Gender

Patricia Piccinini stages the deconstruction of monsters and goddess-like models as products of the same fantasy of perfect control and uncontrollability. In 1994 she began her series «The Mutant Genome Project,» for which she created the animated 3D figure «LUMP» (Lifeform with Unevolved Mutant Properties). In German, LUMP means clump, sore, mass; but for


Piccinini it is a kitschy doll being out of the consumer culture. It seems to be synthetic through and through, and somehow familiar. In series such as «Psycho,» Piccinini brought the Australian television personality Sophie Lee into the picture, having her hold the deformed but cutely done up LUMP in her arms like a child. Like the ‹mother,› her LUMP has always been a fetish: monster and goddess as projections of the same fiction of the abnormal—ideal and degenerate—and its complete repression and dissolution in the smooth, calculated surface. In the photo and video series «Protein Lattice,» which she began in 1997, pretty female models carry the mouse with a human ear growing on its back that became well-known through the media. This naked hybrid mouse with its gigantic auricle and the uncanny opening into the inside of its body also points towards female genitals, and literally becomes more similar to them through the staged proximity to the model: Both of them are monstrous cyborgs.

In 2000–2001 Piccinini developed the project «SO2.» The SO2 (synthetic organisms 2) are a kind of hairless mole or embryo—hybrids between an undeveloped

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