The Embodied Cyborg – Part One

I don’t know about you, but I can help but think of embodied cognition when I see the Verizon Uppernet commercial on TV. The idea of embodied cognition is that the body shapes cognition, that ideas are formed and expressed in the physical world, are of the physical world.

I think most people think about their Cyborgosity, if at all, when using their smart phones, participating in social networks etc.  We can see that we are in love with our interfaces, will joke about it, out of that uncanny discomfort that arises when we suddenly become aware that we are more stuck in the gooey web than we would like to admit.

But I don’t think most people generally think much about the stuff of the internet, the servers, the huge mileage, the huge mass of  cables, the ever-expanding shell of Herztian Space  every Tweet creates.

The Uppernet commercial fetishizes all that in a sonorous baritone voice grounding the internet in “bedrock, concrete and steel” while merging it with the “smartest brains” in true Haraway fashion.

The Uppernet vision is directed at business leaders, those whose offices are visible at the end of the commercial, above The Cloud and in control.

All Pervasive Queerness

The Cyborg Queers the Human body.  By locating so much information, so much experience and knowledge outside the body, the boundaries between Human and Machine, Human and Animal, Male and Female, Inner and Outer become permeable, then fluctuating and then break down.

The continual flow of new data continuously reconfigures the categories of a Cyborg’s identity.

These mutating categories fly into Hertzian space in all directions at the speed of light, infinitely.

Humans try to incorporate the idea of continuity into that of identity – a collection of all the moments of awareness that arise from any particular moment of awareness.  But Cyborg identity, riding through space defined by the electro-magnetic, stops time. The Cyborg is everywhere and nowhere.

Humans experience the Queerness of Queerness, the blurring of boundaries and categories.  Cyborgs experience All Pervasive Queerness, the indeterminateness of information itself.  This is the second mark of Cyborg existence.