CCTP-725: Fall 201

Week 13 Discussions



In reading this week, I was particularly struck by Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto. It occurred to me that I once studied cyborgs in an undergraduate class at Emory, a memory which was nearly lost entirely. As I read through the piece, I found my own work and ideas reflected in her words, specifically in the section entitled “Fractured Identities.” It is possible that in the years since reading Haraway’s piece (among other cyborg texts), I have subconsciously been threading these ideas through my own artwork and writing. The irony of this hybrid among cyborgs did not escape me, and I thought it to be the best example I could possibly come up with to address the ideas of this weeks readings. Although Haraway presents them through the lens of feminism, I instead often work through issues of identity in the racial/ethnic/national sense, usually stemming from my personal experience as an Arab American.

My most recent series are based on the idea of living in the space between the oppositional binaries of “Arab” and “American,” (preceded by a series exploring the construct of the term “American”.) One of these series is called “Amerabia” and consists of black and white environmental portraits of my Arab American community.

Haraway writes: Consciousness of exclusion through naming is acute. Identities seem contradictory, partial, and strategic.

I wrote: This is a series of black and white environmental portraits of the people in my life. It is part of a personal and on-going exploration of negotiating an identity straddling two worlds that simultaneously encompass and reject each other. Amerabia refers to the liminal space between Arab and American, and the the remarkable way that language, religion and culture continue to mutate in this state of in-between-ness.

And another example...

Haraway writes: And who counts as 'us' in my own rhetoric? Which identities are available to ground such a potent political myth called 'us', and what could motivate enlistment in this collectivity?

I wrote:
lulwa_flat_print.jpg
In a piece about my baby cousin, I wrote:

Lulwa my cousin, was born in Washington, DC in June, 2005. She lives with her family in Dubai, and had her first trip back to the States in 2007. One of Lulwa’s first questions upon her arrival was

Is this America?

She pointed to cars, trees, home, streets, peoples, ceilings, animals, babies, stores, lights, shoes, and everything else in sign and continued to ask

Is this America?

I didn’t know how to answer her. I wanted to tell her that we are America, she and I, but I realized that America would not feel the same way.
firaspassport.jpg
And in a piece about my father (using his 1975 passport image) I wrote:

How shall we define "American"? As the person who loves only the country he knows, or the person who has chosen to pledge his allegiance? He who sought freedom and made a journey of his dreams, or he who has no other home?

mom_no_crop.jpg

I wrote this for a piece about my mother:

My mother grew up in rural Indiana, an Arab American of another generation. At 18 she moved to Syria in search of a cultural connection she felt was missing. In Syria she found my father, and thus began an endeavor in love and identity that is the true beginning of my story. It is a story of freedom and confusion, of colliding worlds that seem somehow to grow further and further apart.

This realization of the seemingly invisible and possibly ignored ways in which hybridity has come to define our entire culture all came together for me this week, in a very personal way. Haraway defines a cyborg as “a matter of fiction and lived experience,” a definition which makes all too much sense to anyone who is defined (to any degree) as something out of an Indiana Jones movie or the 9/11 attacks.

Serene Al-Kawas
www.serenealkawas.com


Di Lu

I like the exact delivery of this week’s discussion topic: The Human Body as Symbolic Vehicle:Body-Machine and Sexual Hybridities as Ultimate Transgression. People have long been fascinated by human bodies. They have expressed their curiosity and continuous exploration on bodies in many forms of art, and this kind of attraction has developed in both eastern and western cultures in parallel even back to the times when there was little communication between the two cultures, which can be explained as a universal pursuit of instinct.

It’s scientifically argued by some researchers that we human beings have been internally appealed by the strong allure of knowing and experiencing the other gender which we are not. Maggie Reys, a famous American female biologist at Massachusetts State University has written in her “Mysterious Dance --- Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior” that “There are billions of multiplying cells with kernels in our bodies which reveals the fact that we are androgenic in genes and a mixture of both sexes… From this perspective, we can take ourselves as bi-sexual and androgenic with sexes confused.”

The novel Orlando written by Virginia Woolf is one of the early experiment in gender studies which deals with multiple persona and changes of sex. It tells a story of a young man named Orlando who not only crosses time periods and space, but also genders. Woolf writes, “Orlando is just more openly demonstrating certain factors that exist in everybody but fail to reveal that much. Hence we have a dilemma here that both sexes need combination of features though they are different. The two sexes sway back and forth towards two poles in one person. The outward appearances are only maintained by clothes which cover up dramatic different characteristics on the surface.”


Another example is Kitchen by Japanese writer Yoshimoto Banana. Her most successful novel Kitchen implies sexual ambiguity by portraying masculine females and feminine males. The hero completes the transgender surgery and turns himself into a woman ( this was written in the 80s before the imaginary surgery came into reality in 1998). The female characters, such as gorgeous feminine appearance and usage of specific language for women, combine and contradict with his born instinct and psychological condition as a man, making the figure special.

yoshimoto_kitchen_uk.jpgKitchen-Banana-Yoshimoto.jpg


Yizhou Zhang

Gender studies is always one of the most interesting field in cultural studies. Let’s connect this week’s topic to our previous discussions on postmodernism/postmodernity, and we can find that the representation of sex/gender or body in today’s context of popular culture and contemporary art is highly deconstructed, appropriated, and dialogic. According to Queer theory, our sexual identity as well as sexual orientation are not “natural”, but socially /culturally constructed. Now that everything can be remixed, gender is no longer a purely binary issue of “male” or “female”. Many examples have demonstrated that the image of “blurred” sex has been more and more accepted and appreciated in the global popular culture. In the past, such phenomena mainly existed in the West - the “unisex” style of David Bowie and Elton John was a rebellion of gender stereotypes.

However, in East Asia, with the gradual opening of mind, people have shown even more interest and passion to pop icons who are “feminine men” and “masculine women” - Hong Kong pop king Leslie Cheung and pop queen Anita Mui were perfect examples of these two images in the 1990s. Today, young male idol groups of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are created to be “flower boys” (boys who are as “beautiful” as flowers). In mainland China, the trend of “neutral gender” led by the popularity of Li Yuchun (also known as Chris Lee) has great influences on the aesthetics and sexual identities among the younger generation.


.jpg.jpg.jpg

In the film Farewell My Concubine (霸王别姬), 1993, Leslie Cheung played an actor who acts female roles in Chinese opera, caught in strong disorders of sexual identity and orientation. In the film Kawashima Yoshiko (川岛芳子), 1990, Anita Mui played Yoshiko Kawashima, who was “strikingly attractive, with a dominating personality, almost a film-drama figure, half tom-boy and half heroine, and with this passion for dressing up as a male”.


Born_This_Way.jpg

Lady Gaga’s latest album Born This Way is also a good example to understand the topic of cyborg, and of course Lady Gaga has always portrayed herself as a “unisex” icon as well. From the album cover image, we can see Lady Gaga as a cyborg - a mixture of “organism” (human body) and “machine” (motorcycle) according to Donna Haraway. Moreover, the music video of the song Born This Way was produced as a short science fiction film, which uses the birth of a new race as a metaphor to challenge the hegemony. Also, one of the actors in this music video - Rick Genest (also known as Zombie Boy), has astonished the fashion world by tattoo across the majority of his body.



Virtual Sexuality, Pseudo-worlds, and the Boundaries of Perversion


Adbusters_82_Porn.jpg
In an AdBusters article from 2009, __“Pornocalypse Now”__, Douglas Haddow describes and examines the role and nature of pornographic media is contemporary heterosexual male sexuality. The article is actually quite graphic and disturbing (no need to read it unless you’re really bracing yourself) as he is largely focused on frighteningly violent hardcore pornography that is becoming more and more normative or, as he puts it “the mainstream becomes porn and porn gradually edges closer to snuff.” Haddow is tackling mainstream media’s appropriation of the pornographic and relating this to the vacuum of male heterosexuality--the article isn’t so relevant for its primary points, but I remembered an excerpt from it while considering this week’s topic and my thoughts on Debord and virtual pseudo-worlds last week. He writes:

“Our surroundings become inundated with pornographic imagery aimed at keeping us plugged into the feedback loop …[that] it’s easy to get distracted from what’s going on beyond all the hot pink noise. It’s in this fog of fake fucking that man sleepwalks.”

Haddow here identifies what, from my thinking, seems to be the pseudo-world of sex in pornography. Haddow points to a generation of young men for who sexual awakening and experience has been so connected to and mediated through a computer screen, the virtual is naturalized. I would suggest that use of pornography is considered quite normal among digital natives and evenly discussed openly--particularly when users are young men.


1510rd2.jpg

While viewing porn might be regarded as normal, using a Real Doll is probably not. Real Dolls are the popular brand of sex dolls--much like the character Bianca in __Lars and the Real Girl__. Real Dolls are sex cyborgs--anatomically correct silicone “women” that are designed and ordered by their “creators.”The practice of sexual engagement with and gratification from a non-human object designed to be humanlike is considered uncommon and probably a perversion. This person is mimicking human sexual intercourse with simuclacra. To use Freud’s “uncanniness,” the use of a lifelike doll for sex is creepy because its a reconstruction of a “reality” that is too close to accept. Considering this, I must wonder about porn. Sex dolls are used for sexual release with a synthetic partner--so what is a computer screen? As with a photoshopped add or digital music, there is “no there there” or the sex of internet porn.

The line between “normal” and fetish is not descriptive--both instances, sex dolls and pornography--offer human sexual behavior mediated through a representation; both are sexual expresses that bridge the virtual and non-virtual as hybrid. The difference is how the non-virtual is experienced. I look back to Barthes; here the photographic and videographic escape the connotative and function denotative for the porn view--scrutiny that is not lost on the representation of a sex doll. In sexuality, again the ideas of a powerful, convincing, and unquestioned pseudo world can function as “real” or at least common.
--Erica Harp

external image gadgetusecover.jpg

This week's topic recalls for me a blog post I wrote in January on post humanism. Spurred by a podcast episode on hive mind, I wrote about the work of Jaron Lanier, self-described as a technological humanist (or post post humanist). The problem, according to Lanier, is not that technologists eradicate the dualism between machine/human identity, but that they become overzealous and dogmatic in advocating this position. The title of his recent book "You Are Not A Gadget" suggests that Lanier himself might simply be construed as a humanist, but his positions about the appropriate role of technology and its implications for identity are more nuanced. Rather than advocating for a singularity position, he seems to advocate a position of complexity. Given the moves toward complexity in recent scholarship, singularity theorists have it wrong because their theory is just too plain simple.


























I was surprised to read work by feminist scholars such as Haraway because technology and its attending philosophical debates tend to me so heavily male dominated. By taking on conversations often reserved for/created for/propogated by white males, her scholarship remarkably radical, breaking down gender binaries in and of itself.

The fact that technology has become so sexualized, gendered and fetishized points to the dominant cultural systems at play for ages. Haraway writes: "Gender, race, or class consciousness is an achievement forced on us by the terrible historica experience of the contradictory social realities of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism." Similarly, the fetishization of the power of technology is the result of some pretty twisted (Freud would say repressed) identity anxiety by those in power. Creation of characters like the Borg Seven of Nine in the Star Trek series remind us that sci-fi tells us as much about (probably more about) our present-day culture as the future it imagines, more about the condition of male fantasy than technological prediction. Embodied by actress Jeri Ryan, fantasies about this cyborgian character are played out through comic drawings.




external image Jeri-Ryan-Seven-of-Nine-Voyager.jpg

-Ben King



It is fitting that in a class centering on hybridity, we must discuss the hybrid that most closely hits home in our modern lives--cyborgs. Whether or not our fellow man pays attention to the “always-already” remixed music, art, or literature we’ve discussed, any citizen of Earth today is himself a hybrid. We are the love children begotten from nature and from technology.

It seems that today we are more cyborg-like that we’d probably like to admit. Along with our obsession with information is also the dependency upon technology that gives it to us. As PJ Rey states on the Cyborgology blog, “Modern day cyborgs are characterized by profound trust in both technology and the expert systems that create it.” Right now I’m trusting this cloud computing interface to take the thoughts I have and preserve them, rather than trusting my own hand to write and store a piece of paper. We’re trusting without even thinking twice, which is an important distinction, and shows that the technology has become a part of us, more as outfitting or equipping us rather than a tool we consciously pick up. This leads to us not even knowing when we're cyborgs or not, perhaps much like the case of Deckard in Blade Runner.
external image dante_cyborg.jpg external image untitled7.jpgAbove left: Hybridity is natural; Above right: Blade Runner iconic imagery of cyborgs that are "more human than human".
The more one considers how natural most technology feels, how much it feels a part of us, the easier it is to see how the line is blurring between the human and the post-human. I think most would agree that ours is an age of information. We are constantly consuming and emitting data, and although data is real, it has no body. N. Katherine Hayles mentions in How We Became Posthuman that, “when information loses its body, equating humans and computers is especially easy, for the materiality in which the thinking mind is instantiated appears incidental to its essential nature” (2). In this way we can think of human bodies as a mere conduit for information. Since there are exponential increases in information, we can become “too overloaded with data” and need a “software upgrade” for our bodies to keep up, as Steve Nichols’s “The Posthuman Manifesto” puts it. This makes it easier to comprehend moving from a body of flesh to a “body” that happens to be made of metal, for example. Donna Haraway goes further to say that today, “It is not clear who makes and who is made in the relation between human and machine.” This makes sense if you think about how much machines contribute to our “making”, aka being raised on technology.

external image is-the-cyborg-a-metaphor.jpg?w=360&h=444 Humans are both the makers and the made; an always-already a hybrid mashup of culture and technology.

The line blurs between technology “maker/made”, just as the lines blur for “mind/body” and the many binary structural systems Haraway lists in the "Cyborg Manifesto". This is called into question in Hayles’s mention of the Turing test for gender. None of the constructs of the past centuries is safe, even arguably the most glaring of all on a daily basis, the binary between man and woman. If we are made and embodied by technology, then operating on a platform that does not have that distinction in sexuality. Instead of upholding the traditional stories of why the world is the way it is (with separate spheres for good and evil, right and wrong, etc.) “cyborg authors subvert the central myths of origin of Western culture” (Haraway, 175).
Hybrids are free to reject structures of the past. This can be powerful, and often involves concepts which have been “repressed”, like sex and violence, which JG Ballard calls, “powerful catalysts for change” and “energizers of the imagination” in his interview with Spin. Instead of “castigating itself for its hypocrisy” (Foucault, 8), society is able to express itself with images and embodiments that may have once been seen as oversexed, which reveals itself as a relative term once we’ve become post-human.
--Barry Blitch

For this week’s topic, I wanted to examine some of Freud’s theories of sexuality through Barbara Kruger’s work, in particular the theory of fetishism. According to Freud, the woman, particularly her genitalia, always evokes the anxiety of castration for men so the fetish object offers protection from the threat of castration. It also makes women “tolerable as sex objects” (Freud, p.154). Kruger’s, Untitled (Use only as directed), 1988, uses a female doll that has been “castrated”. The head and legs are removed, which in the arrangement look very phallic. Next to the legs is some sort of tool, which seems to be the same tool as pictured in the directions. This is an extremely clever image since it plays with the different aspects of Freud’s fetish theory. The decapitated doll can evoke the anxiety of castration since it has literally been hacked apart. At the same time, it is part of the process of coming to terms with anxiety by demystifying and deconstructing the female body.
BarbaraKruger-You-are-seduced-by-the-sex-appeal-of-the-inorganic-1982.jpg
The theory of fetishism surfaces again in Kruger’s piece, Untitled (You Are Seduced By The Sex Appeal Of The Inorganic), 1981. The focal point of the composition is two gloves intertwined and paired with the text: “You are seduced by the sex appeal of the inorganic”. Freud discusses a fascination with looking in the state of scophilic (is this spelled correctly?) pleasure where a person (usually a male) uses another person as an object of sexual stimulation through sight identification with the image seen (meaning in other words, an object could provoke the same sexual stimulation as a person). By objectifying the person (usually a female). it allows the other person to gain sexual stimulation and satisfaction (Mulvey, p.417). However, in the Kruger image, she reverses this idea. Instead of objectifying a person, the person is represented by an object.


Katy Schwager

Janelle Monae & AfroFuturism
cindi_mayweather.jpg
"Cybergirl, droid control, get away men who tryna steal ya soul. Microphone, one stage. Tomboy, outrage. Streetfight, bloody war. Instigators, third floor. Prometheus cloud, broken heart, STD, quarantine. Heroin user, cokehead. FInal chapter, deathbed. Classic sweat, metal skin, metallic tears, mannequin."

In 2007 on her Metropolis: The Case EP former cult darling and mistress of self-promotion, Janelle Monae introduced the world to her take on the classic cyborg meme with a character, Cybergirl Android Number 57821 otherwise known as Cindi Mayweather who according to her narrative is scheduled to be dissembled for falling in love with a human. Metropolis borrows its title from the 1927 Fritz Lang film of the same name. Cindi Mayweather's story harkens back to the Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman article and Hans Moravec's test showing that machines could become repositories for human consciousness. It also introduced me to the concept ofAfrofuturism. A movement and a mix of space age and related intergalactic interests and out of this universe consciousness and propensities mixed with Afrocentric focus. First propounded by SunRa in Chicago in the 1950s marrying bebop and modal scales. The result of which is Jimi Hendrix, Pure Cloned Funk otherwise known as "Parliament Funkadelic," and most recent DJ Spooky and Janelle Monae.




Chased by the Droid Control Marshalls who have been charged with retrieving her cybersoul. She happens to evade them and returns as Cindi for her follow up album the Archandroid

janelle-monae-arch-android.jpg
The Intergalactic Afrofuturism party continues with her second album, the Archandroid.
Janelle Monae


Yu-wei Wang
“We are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs” – by Donna

Haraway In this week’s discussion, I was particularly interested in the topic of human body as the symbolic medium. Human body is always a medium, in that as a human being all the things we perceived, felt and experienced are inevitably through our body. It is our body that receives stimulus from outside world foremost. Literally, we engage and interact with the world through our own flesh. In Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto, she defines the conception of “Cyborg” as a cybernetic, hybrid of machine organism, and a creature of both fiction and lived social reality. Although the conception of cyborg is formed around 1980s, and it is applied to Science and Science-fiction field initially, the characteristics like hybrid of machine and organism, lived in fiction and social reality, and the ambiguous of genders are ubiquitous in our current digital age.


The Internet is the foremost explicit example. With the widespread of the Internet, Internet has become the primary medium of communication. People are used to communicate each other through “machine”. In the realm of Internet, individuals are nutralsexual, in that one can be either female or male in Internet as one’s will that gender shifting or posing is in ease; individuals are all the hybrid of machine and organism, in that the subject that people interact with is not human being but the machine in actuality that we reach other’s minds indirectly; we become the creature who live in both fiction and social reality, in that digital technology has become inseparable in humans’ daily live that many activities originally done in person are now completed through the Internet, such as information transmission, commerce activities, and data storage et cetera. Moreover, because of the capacity of the technology, the fabricated wonderful visual reality in the Internet attracts some people to immerse themselves in, and reluctant to face the cruel social reality, Otaku for example.

hybrid.jpg
A cyborg by Ray Kurzweil

Haraway’s cyborg is a beta version of Posthuman. According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being "whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards. Linking the concept of cyborg with posthuman, I reconsider the position of our current human generation in. It is true that people in our era are different form them in former generation, since by the supplement of the technology our capacity is far more than our ancestors. As I see it, we are now in a posthuman era. It is interesting to think that with the inseparable relation with technology or more precisely machine, inevitably in some degree and in many cases, we are subject to be influenced by the culture of technology, gradually losing the leading role in the game. For example, our life style is changed by technology or I should say we adapted ourselves to the technology? How we posthuman deal with the challenges and changes made by the rapid development of technology is an interesting issue to consider with.



Luxgen 7 smart car commercial.



Literature & the Supernatural Hybrid- Jess Steele

In an interview, Peter Greenaway laments on the current state of the “autonomous medium” of cinema – a medium where it’s “always a necessity to start with text and finish with image.” From “an always already hybrid” perspective, Greenaway’s attention to the hybrid nature of text, sex, and identity has long been a focus of artists and authors.

For example, in literature, Toni Morrison, in almost all of her novels, deploys sound, dance and music in her novels (from a hybrid of sources) to evoke repressed discourses. Perhaps her most famous novel, Beloved, explores the power of word (through naming, memory, community, song), etc. in relation to identity and community. Although set in a pre-cyborg era (post Civil War), the presence of the supernatural, specifically through the ghost, Beloved, allows the characters to name, feel, and remember what was lost or repressed.

Morrison speaks of the hybridity of language, history, supernatural and song that went into the novel Song of Solomon:


Foucault argued for the “multiplicity” of power relations - I think Greenaway agrees these can be demonstrated through more traditional and more “passive” mediums, such as literature and film, as well as new mediums such as multimedia, however, need to be thought through the “democratic processes of art” in “very post monarchical systems” (Greenaway).



Helene Vincent

As I read Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents and Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, I thought of a series of paintings that are now over twenty years old. In 1990, Jeff Koons ‘ show Made in Heaven opened at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York. The show, which consisted of graphic works depicting the artist and his wife (porn-star turned member of parliament Illona Staller) having sex, elicited an endless debate; is this art, or is this pornography? In 2010, this show was once again mounted at a townhouse turned gallery, Luxembourg & Dayan.

Hybridity has been the axial idea we have discussed this semester, and it is fitting that it also be discussed in terms of sexuality. Koons’ work forced me to ask myself, is it possible for art and sexuality to collide without the bi-product having the vulgar, kitsch qualities of pornography? Koons goal in this body of work seems to be showing us that it is indeed possible, but the debate surrounding the show continues. Yes, some people view the paintings as elevating the natural, timeless act of sex into a spiritual position where we understand the act as an ultimate act of love, but others, and their view cannot be ignored, view the paintings as outright smut. Another way in which I think hybridity plays into Koons’ work in an interesting way is the medium Koon choses to use. He uses a very fragile, delicate material (glass) to create sculptures of sex, something seen as an aggressive act.

I think a large part of the appeal of Koon’s Made in Heaven paintings can be understood through Freud’s pleasure principle. In Civilization and its discontents, Freud writes, “An unrestricted satisfaction of every need presents itself as the most enticing method of conducting one’s life, but it means putting enjoyment before caution, and soon brings its own punishment”. Koons’ works seem to champion the idea of “unrestricted satisfaction”. The body of work portrays him and his wife completely immersing themselves in each other’s satisfaction. Nothing else counts, only the sexual act at hand. They free themselves from all other wants or needs and focus solely on the idea of pleasure. I have never read Freud before, so I worry that my use of his text is somehow false, but I am under the impression that to Freud sexual pleasure seems to be at the forefront of his discussion. The inability to satisfy every need immediately and without restriction seems to come back frequently to his idea that civilization forces us to tame our sexual habits (the “aggression” he refers to). Koons, in this body of work, seems to have succeeded, if only for a brief window of time, in transgressing the barrier of civilization.

In The History of Sexuality, Foucault claims that the repression of sexuality that began in the 19th c. is one of the factors which brought sex into discourse. Foucault states, “Instead of something to do, sex became something to say,” and that talking about sex became a “deliberate transgression.” If talking about sex is a deliberate transgression, painting about sex must be a step beyond that. Though we are now hundreds of years past the century Foucault is discussing, it is still a very pertinent idea. We talk about sex all the time, it is absolutely everywhere: books, movies, tv, news channels, magazines, schools, just to name a few. But it is still not socially acceptable to talk about sex unless you are talking about a certain kind of sex: sex with a stable partner of the opposite gender. And even so, it is perfectly OK to talk about sex, but as can be seen in the reaction of most people who viewed Koons’ work, it is absolutely not OK to turn what everybody is talking about into images. We “Other Victorians,” as Foucault calls us, still do not want to watch the act unfold in front of us. Sexuality, to us, is still confined and private. Koons took sexuality and released it from the privacy of the home into the public space of the gallery.

Koons_1

Koons_2

Koons_3


“Sex Times Technology = The Future”, this title remind me the Japanese robot Actroid-F. Can you distinguish it from a real lady? I guess she is a really good example to support the sentence, “Sex Times Technology = The Future.” Actroid is a serious of robot made by Kokoro Company. They are all females and were set up as different roles. As shown in the video, Android-F is a nurse.

Different from make artificial human body, our body, can change in many ways with the plastic surgery technology and the transgender technology. In the postmodern society, people can make choices of their gender and appearances. I guess this is the best combination of technology and art. Medical technology used to help human beings living longer, but now, it can help people becoming beautiful. It is also the way that made our bogy a cyborg body, which is part human and part machine.

orlan.jpgThe French performance artist Orlan brings the concept postmodern body to us. It means our body can easily transformed as we imagined. Orlan makes the processes of her cosmetic surgery as a series perform. She got inspirations from traditional paintings to do her cosmetic surgery. Through 9 operationsshe has the chin of Venus, the nose of Jean-Leon Gerome, the lips of Europa, the eyes of Diana and the forehead of Mona Lisa. She tried to make a ideal female beauty in the real world.
Xindi Guo