Working through our readings I thought I would apply the characteristics of human-machine relationships in the Millar paper to myself to bring the whole concept of cyborg into perspective for me. It was also a good chance to have a play at creating an artefact.
“tools or machines that restore lost functions or limbs” – I had most of both my front teeth knocked out/broken when I was about ten and have had reconstructions ever since (this one may be argued as normalising but as the teeth are literally lost I decided to add it to this category). I have spared everyone by not including this in my artefact above.
“technologies that return existing limbs or organs to normality” – this is represented by my glasses in the picture without which I literally could not function normally.
“technologies that improve human performance” – I used my tablet and a phone in my artefact for this element of my cyborg-ness, they allow me to be part of an international class delivered by a university in a different country. My voice is ‘heard’ across the globe. I also took the photograph with my smartphone and uploaded it to my Dropbox account to insert in this post, which all happened in mere minutes and now it will in the public arena with the click of a button.
“technologies that create differences, but do not enhance human bodies” – this is the tattoo in the picture, inside my tablet. It was supposed to be a temporary one lasting about three years, but as I got it in 2000 I am guessing that was a post-truth.
Before this masters I only considered cyborgs in reference to futuristic films set far in the future. Therefore, thinking of myself as one has definitely made me reconsider how I view technology within our society and the concept of cyborgs.
Miller, V. (2011) Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology, in Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage.