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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II
Future Body (LaPorta, Tina), 1999

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science fiction fantasies, which—like the cult film «Tron» [2] —imagine humans' entry into cyberspace, but also by developments in the areas of information science and bioscience, where metric and imaging processes are combined with those of medicine, as, for instance, in the «Visible Human Project»: an anatomical computer model of the human body whose data records come from microscopically small slices cut from the corpse of an executed man. [3] The fact that this connects the «Visible Human» not only with numerous anatomical specimens in medical history, but indirectly also with the main character in Mary Shelley's «Frankenstein,» who was assembled from parts of corpses obtained for the ambitious scientist out of the graves of hanged men, is less an absurd coincidence than it is a revealing detail: The ethos that puts forward that human dignity is inviolable even after one has died is transformed into an offer to poor sinners to at least once in this way serve the welfare of humankind. However, because the body donor in «Visible Human» was made this offer while he was still alive and he consented to the deal, in ‹virtual space› he resecures—at least virtually—the unity of his


contour. In contrast, the scars and coarsely patched cuts on the body of Frankenstein's creature, who is made up of disparate source material, identify it as a monster.

Not least of all it is the altered technological processes that enable making the cuts of particularization invisible. Contemporary cyborg configurations therefore also stand out by their having incorporated both aspects: On the one hand the divisibility of the body into minute units, which are due to its informatization and cartographization, and on the other hand its assembly into a functional unit, which—at least at the simulation level—is intended to correspond to that of the human organism. For this reason, what is decisive for the interpretation of cyborg configurations is which interfaces are made or remain visible or invisible, and which interfaces are activated or deactivated. Very like the «Primo Posthuman 3M+,» Tina LaPorta's vision of a «Future Body» (1999) also presents a 3-D grid model of a body, whose contours identify it as female and which users can explore per mouse click. But unlike Natasha Vita More, LaPorta is not interested in the potentials of a

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