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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMonstrous Bodies

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opposing conceptions of body and gender: On the one hand there is the notion of a closed, perfect and woundless whole body, whose homogenous and compact surfaces contain no interfaces whatsoever with an interior. Human characteristics such as a navel or orifices are missing; the bodies are either genderless or superficially marked with gender; gender-distinguishing traits such as genitals, nipples or body hair are often erased. Whether as sculptural body armor or serially deindividualized data clone—the representation of gendered characterlessness or disarrangement combined with the notion of an air- and watertight, ageless body without the ‹wounds› of gender division and the of umbilical independence from the maternal body bears up to an obvious constant of visualizing cyborgs, mutants, replicas, monsters or hybrids. This model frequently signifies ‹maleness› in that the neutrality of gender is connoted with a kind of universal male gender. [29]

On the other hand, besides these closed bodies there are figurations with a tendency towards openness, towards permanent change, towards a proliferating, monstrous transformational power that


appears to be nothing but mutating, fluid surface. Because it is generative, monstrous and fluid, this model connotes ‹femaleness.› Both models can appear separately, but they frequently overlap so that both notions appear simultaneously. These overlappings arouse the association that a monstrous-maternal reproductive power has seized hold of the ‹male› model. Both of them signify the adsorption of human ‹nature› by technology, the end of permeability and gender-specific reproductive power. Genitals and orifices no longer make any sense if mothers are no longer required in order to give birth. Or conversely, there can no longer be natural reproduction if the genitals have been disarranged. And if there no openings, but only bulges and reversals, fluid, multiplying and varying surfaces, then there is also no longer an interior. A body that descends from machines, that is about to become a machine itself. This kind of body no longer requires liquids that flow though it, penetrate it and are excreted from it. This kind of body has itself become machine fluid, digital liquidity.

The digital media, whose basic numerical structure

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