Theorama: Haraway's Cyborg

(Work in progress–highlighting some bits of text in colors)

This explosive text ushered a branch of feminist inquiry including cyberfeminism. In the cyborg, both the brainchild and unfaithful bastard of military-industrial patriarchy, Haraway finds a culmination of those effects of technology that feminists and socialists had hitherto ignored or antagonised as phallic (and therefore a mere tool/extension of their designers). Amidst the bleak era of nuclear doom, she enthusiastically outlines how the integrated circuits of technopower inspire and enable emerging forms of hybrid activism, of pleasurable play and unprecedented affinities among marginalized subjects, merging sci-fi imagination with united front strategies and posthuman, post-individual sensibilities for an amazing future.

I nest SHELL within this web of thoughts: as the figure which is found in the abutting surfaces that we write on and read from in our daily artistic practices: the screens, stages, streets and cozy corners, the sci-fi bodies, diaries, souvenirs and fetish objects that carry the shared imagination of another future. From Haraway's rethinking of the demaged body under neoliberalism, let's shift our focus to this body's hybrid surroundings: the liminal space we can perceive and dance. With this figure, we can approach the objects of our artistic, embodied practice in their rich interconnectedness and find new pathways of connection among each other, across fields and categories, and in confidently joyful irreverence to patriarchal norms.

Resistant Rhetorics
In 2015, Zoë Sofoulis suggests "that what is most relevant about the Cyborg Manifesto today is not the cyborg figure but the kind of question to which it was posed as an ironic and blasphemous answer: what new myths and metaphors can help us frame our political languages and analyses of science of technology (and their associated conditions of production) in order to resist domination?"

How to know / How to act
The aim of the Shell Congress is to find guides and act towards a non-extractivist dwelling. Its source of knowledge is in the practices on and across the Shells. "In the 30 years since the Manifesto was first published, notions of complexity have become more familiar and make Haraway’s ironic epistemology more legible and relevant. The alternative to the hyper- rational positivist ordering of truth and knowledge is not undifferentiated randomness but an intelligent responsible facility to negotiate across different knowledges of complex entities and phenomena and determine which ones matter most to guide effective actions." (Sofoulis)

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