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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathUnruly Bodies
Unruly Bodies.
The Effect Body As a Place of Resistance. [1]
Yvonne Volkart
The Office Killer (Sherman, Cindy)


This essay assumes that the cyborg body is an unruly body. Donna Haraway appropriated this term, which stems from the history of outer space and is used in science fiction to describe cybernetic organisms, and recoded it for feminist interests. Cyborgs are both war machines as well as subservient humans who have been feminized by the current economy of housework. They are fictions of both a techno-capitalistic as well as a feminist provenance. And they are real humans of the age of information or the «informatics of domination.» [2] The cyborg body is always an effect and symptom body of the neoliberal information society. It is its product and its symbol, its sabotaging traversal and alternative conception of the subject.

In the following I would like to demonstrate that the feminist cyborg fantasy is essentially generated through the notion that resistance is something localized in the body. This is nothing new when one considers that feminists in the seventies already started out from the assumption that the body is a battlefield. In recent years, however, the focus has turned towards the notion of a fundamental development into a hybrid or cyborg beyond pure


technological fortification.

Running wild: «The Office Killer»

In the film «The Office Killer» from 1996 American artist Cindy Sherman shows a woman whose job is transformed to part-time work from home. She’s on call as a result of the deregulation, feminization and flexibilization of work. Left alone with a computer and a modem, she first responds by falling into a state of deep depression before she takes revenge and kills her boss. In a further act of selfempowerment, she radically appropriates the widely propagated potentials of digital technology, which in reality served as a means to oppress her: via e-mail she camouflages the murder as suicide and takes off in a smashing convertible. The last frame shows the previously ugly duckling is now a self-asserted blonde sporting sexy sunglasses who heads towards a bright and well-prepared future in superior style.

The film shows a tamed girl running wild. First, she tries to settle into her new miserable situation as best as she can but it makes her all the more desperate. Then she gets her act together, secretly arranging

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