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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II
Bodies INCorporated (Vesna, Victoria), 1995

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results—or whether they represent an ideal image of so-called ‹maleness› or ‹femaleness,› which is unattainable in real life and therefore instills fear. According to the ‹logic of the freak show,› the monstrous gender of these ‹horror pictures› assumes the role of a counter-image to the normality of the dominating gender order with stabilizing functions.

In contrast, where would we find a possible starting point for other or altered perspectives specifically for the digital medium? As demonstrated, it could lie in the potential of «doing» or «being gender» under the premise of a digital masquerade—which, however, only takes effect if this masquerade is not already a calculated and calculable part of a game function and thus quasi mechanically implemented.

De-monstrations of the monstrous

On the other hand, a deviating perception or a subversive treatment of these images is only possible if the horror has been recognized in its function as a function within the ‹logic of the freak show› and if this mechanism for its part is put on display or made experiencible as a mechanism.


An artistic project that begins at this level is Francesca da Rimini's «Doll Yoko»: A Web-based, non-linear narration that works with hypertexts and images and which intertwines the various formations of monstrous and trivialized artificial femaleness until they become indistinguishable by allowing a girl murdered in the course of misogynous birth control measures to become a revenant. In her multiple manifestations, precisely those stereotypes that normally—played out as projections «over her dead body»—contribute to a restrictive and normative fixing of traditional notions of femaleness are brought back to life in a kind of surplus production that bursts all perceptive capacities:

‹Rock the Horror Picture Show.›

Conversely, what can also be helpful is the examination of the limitations cyborg configurations are subject to because the ‹imperative of anthropomorphism› clearly continues to be the decisive condition for our identification with the images we have of cyborgs.

In Victoria Vesna's project «Bodies INCorporated» (1995 ff.) we are invited to create for ourselves a second body in cyberspace as a «substitute

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