Re: [-empyre-] gendered viractualism

From: "Melinda Rackham" <>

yes the body..that thing that propells us around, that makes our emotions,
that thing that is us.. a metacolony of virii and bacteria all symbiotically
bound to one another to make up what we call human..

Hi Melinda. Actually, I want more to address here how technological consciousness infects people like a virus.

why does  the individual with thier body dissapear in the viractual

Of course what "disappears" or is "disembodied" is not the material body but an abstract notion of the self. This de-presentation is followed by a reconstruction of embodiment into what is now commonly known as the posthuman condition. In fact, for me, this posthuman condition has become emblematic of a rigorously self-scrutinizing of the subject of ?logocentrism?. We are now part of an automated technologically hallucinogenic culture that functions along the lines of a dream, free from some of the classical strictures of time and space; free from some of our traditional earthly limits which have been broken down by the instantaneous nature of electronic communications (particularly with its crown jewel, immersive virtual reality). The modernist existential concept of the singular individual has been supplanted by the electronic-aided individual, in a way liberating the body from linear time and vaporously placing it in a technologically stored eternity (simulacrum-hyperreality). This quality of phantasmagorical and perverse displacement has for some signified a tightening spiral which formulates a new vision of existence - a vision which Jean Baudrillard has called ?pornographic?. But for me, the subject's existence is enhanced by his/her disappearance into technology-induced realms. The body's dissolution may be empowering.

I hope that this, and what follows, addresses also some Christina?s request that I talk a bit more about the quality of the unfamiliar ? the incommensurate, the excessive -- especially relative to the ideal of self-transcendence

i tend to think of actual and virtual as a spatial continum..

Yea, I agree with you here. As I said, with virtuality, modes of production and representation collapse into a realm neither real nor imaginary - but simulatory. In viractual mechanomorphic consciousness the body - through a dismemberment of traditional narrative subjectivity - is undone by a proscribed clamor it cannot contain. Here trans-crystalline notions of the self reflect the formational effect of webbed high technology. Here the kind of top-down logic (with which we are all too familiar) is opposed by an intricate interplay of complexity. There is no Debordian spectacular society where all people are advertisements for the status quo portrayed here.

so what is wrong with the physicality of the material body..?

Nothing, but The viractual supposition, it seems to me, plays more into an abstract area where we may refuse to recognize the subject as existing in the form of decisive representation. But one might wonder; should belief in the body?s semi-obsolescence as depicted in viractual mechanomorphism be theorized as an expression of narcissistic cybernetic post-flesh - or, rather, as a refusal of technocratic control in that the intractability of the body would no longer be so central an issue?

yes we are all
open systems of data and biological fluxes and flows and we are
simultaneously hard and rooted to the earth .. i tthink by setting up these
categories of opposition like fixed/temporary, individuality/multiplicity
etc etc it brings the actual and the virtual into more difference than

I don?t think it was I who set these catagories up, but I see your point. Frankly, I am trying to trace the tensions between human narrative and the mechanical spectacle - more than simply noting their merging.

while not wanting to be essentialist, and believing that gender is to an
extent performance.. it is also a phyisicality - interresting things happen
within the body according to flows of eostrogen and testosterone... from my
observation men are far more interrested in the hemaphrodite than women..
and men take up female roles more often than women take up male roles in
virtual space... while women also seem to be for more interrested in
exploring  what is engendered as  female --  which sort of  leaves the
masciuline body as an empty shell..

coudl you say more about where the gendered body resides... and  what forms
of sexual order do you see being created..  melinda

Sure, binary gender assignment provides representation with its organizational basis. But I?m more interested in imaginative capabilities which tech suggests - like non-representational counter-mannerist self-presentations. I think that by entering into the viractual the sexual subject may fuse in a complex and cryptic way. Here flesh is no longer the grounds for subjectivity. At the same time the subject is licensed through a décadent extension into self-motorized possession as the subject achieves disembodiment within high technology. Persuasive simulated worlds can exist for us as "real" because we can perceive them through the techno-apparatus of our body spliced into the cybernetic circuit. I understand this anti-materialist lurch towards liberty in terms of self-transcendent race and gender collapse.

I have found that there are many woman interested in this proposition from their standpoint. Have you seen Tamsin Lorraine?s book "Irigaray and Deleuze : Experiments in Visceral Philosophy"? She deals at length with female problems with disembodiment and surpases them. Next week I am taking part in an art exhibition at California State University, Sacramento called POSTFLESH - which is organized by Rachel Clarke.

Do you feel that woman do not wish to question - and unlasso ? their traditionally assigned epistemological status? Even without citing the efficacious theoretical influence of Donna Haraway's cyborg-theory, depictions of viractual post-flesh seem to courageously facilitate an inebriated subjectivity by constructing an imaginative space of accommodation. Here flamboyant self-reliant relationships between the protoplasmic body-image and virtual spatial conceptions are visualized as self-prosthesis. Indeed, female cultural producers who do not take some slant on this self- transcendent tilt by now look dismally gendercentric. Do you think men are being disingenuous by proposing this hemaphrodite posture? Given our period?s death, or explanation of, the mythic Father/God - I think not.

In the viractual mechanomorphic operation, the paradoxically simultaneous experiences of sex, death and immortality that is fundamental to Western religious practice is laid bare into a post-flesh art by virtue of a relocation of body/machine/consciousness. That such a semi-programmable philosophy engages our contemporary fixations today is not remarkable.

Meilleures salutations,
Joseph Nechvatal

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"Like philosophy, art exceeds lived experience by creating an approach to chaotic virtuality."
-Tamsin Lorraine, "Irigaray and Deleuze : Experiments in Visceral Philosophy


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