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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II
Play with Me (Mori, Mariko), 1994Miko No Inori (Mori, Mariko), 1996Wave UFO (Mori, Mariko), 1999

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between human and technology, rather they also make reference to the social place in which this relation articulates itself. Accordingly, it is not only a matter of the constitution of the biological body, but also of the role models that are embodied, and not only of the physical, but also the social gender—even if the body is still not only the preferred venue for the discourses on cyborg configurations, but also the medium preferably used to lend them shape.

Mariko Mori slipped into the role of cyborg very early on. [27] In photographs such as «Subway» (1994) or «Play with Me» (1994) one sees her emerge into various everyday situations as a reanimated cult science fiction, Manga or computer game character. It takes a longer look at these works to detect in them moments of breaking away from the overdrawn images of femaleness provided by pop culture cyborg configurations.

It is not necessary to insinuate that the artist's work is critical of contemporary culture. The light contact lenses in Mori's video «Miko No Inori» may lend her the uncanny gaze of a cyborg, but the soft spherical music ensures that the figure rubbing a crystal ball assumes the appearance of a savior descended from heaven. In contrast, in the 3-D


animated film «Nirvana» (1997), the goddess idolized by kitschy-colorful boddhisattvas, who also plays a leading role in other of the artist's works, fuses trivial pop culture with borrowings from traditional religious iconography in a highly harmonious way. And finally, in her project «Wave UFO» (1999–2002)—a futuristic space capsule in which visitors can view their brain waves translated into fluid images—Mori combines old esoteric pipe dreams of a visualization of conceptional images with those from science fiction and applied technoscience in order, for her part, to now claim a place on the Mount Olympus of artists-scientists as a successor to Leonardo 2000. With this move she transports the phantasmatic space of her cyborg configurations from the ‹virtual space› of art into ‹real space› in two ways: On the one hand by directly involving her audience. On the other hand, as an artist she embodies an artificial figure that under the premise of futuristic masquerades revitalizes traditional images of femaleness and authorship, and succeeds in appropriating them for herself in a skillful blend.

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