Accepted paper:

Reclaiming humanity: a return to nature through the cyborgian body

Authors:

Aaron Parkhurst (University College London)

Paper short abstract:

Through brief case studies that focus on the lived experience of self-proclaimed 'cyborgs', this paper questions popular discourse on the 'enhanced' person, and examines conflicting perceptions of the future body as both 'post' and 'pre' human.

Paper long abstract:

Popular discussions on cyborg technologies often focus on the future body, influencing 'trans-' and 'post-' humanism discourse. Through brief case studies that focus on the lived experience of self-proclaimed 'cyborgs', this paper questions popular discourse on the 'enhanced' person, and examines conflicting perceptions of the future body as both 'post' and 'pre' human. Emerging technologies allow some individuals to redefine normative aesthetic and sensory techniques through novel partnerships with cybernetics. As these individuals begin to construct cyborgian identities, many of them develop their own theories of adaptation informed through perceptions of bodies past and future. For some, the future body is seen as transcendent, becoming beyond human, yet for others, the future body is a reclamation of human ability, a return to nature and techniques of the past. This paper attempts to understand these positions in the context of how these individuals feel the world and create emotional perspective through intimacy with new tech.

panel P12
Being, being human, and becoming beyond human