Fleshing the meme
towards the freak_mutante
– the Cyberbody … a set of poetic constructions…
By Stahl Stenslie. To view the text as PDF follow this link.
At present, cyberbodies are temporary constructions of greater or lesser interest within the context of the narrow bandwidth of Net worlds. Their effect on the real person – as a sort of Lacanian mirrors- is psychologically interesting, but remains within the limits of similar, mimetic “Barbie and Ken” play situations. In todays´ prosthetic cyberculture, there is great disparity between the amount of “memetic”- obscuring presumptions about toy bodies and actual, sensually physical in_cyberbody_experience. Bridging the gap between the real and the digital seems to be of interest to the councils of the electronic art community, *but why not extend this concept* and give the memetically infected cyberbody a connection to the real world and fundamentally distort, mutate and dissolve reality outside of traditional, digital realms?
The Net body is both virtual identity and digital double, it is an impotent icon of imaginary construction. The only membranes to carnal reality are the pixels dancing off cathode ray tubes, and the only sense of RL are ASCII signs. But beware. The body of the future will merge with the flesh, giving its descendant cyberbody constructions access to deadly reality
Through sensoric interfaces connecting thought with experience, the body of the net promises to become a sensing creature, enabled to link digital and corporal reality. It will be freak_mutant, bio-cybernetic constructions outside of absolute control. This will be no prosthetic cyborg device serving pleasure principles, but rather a craving creature, living as – and between- the real and cybernetic body. An art-ificial life construct enabled to sense and feel.
The body can already be wired, now it is time to skin the Code, memetically infect it, and mate it with the gene of the human.
And? Just a dream of the artificially intelligent human? Or, of the human living artificially? All-Things-Coded are artificial constructs, and likewise, their intelligence. Coded life, artificial identity and personality: a matter of construction? What are they except references to references?
– Art-ificial life … or, mating with humans to change the species.
Under the presence of code, memes will fornicate under human skin, and the species will adapt through assimilation, re-creating itself by mutating into a trans-species as freak_mutante. And what is there to be afraid of? Because the nature of the beast is bizarre and monstrous, alien and terrifying?
The body of the future: a body without limits? An angelic plaything enabled and distributed by a global cyberorganism, by the omnipotent code that incorporates disparate, multiple personalities? Is the cyberbody a switchboard of souls? Or, a body without reference, without identity, haunted by parasitic cyber-spirits trekking the non-located junctions of the Net?
The cyberbody-the personification and carrier of identity in cyberspace–has a factual status as a subordinate and fictional construct to real life, the corporeal I.D.. Although these fictional body extensions can designate feelings of identity for a certain period of time, there is no such thing as a digital surrogate for real-life, for real-in-body experiences. And why should there be? And then again, why not?
At present, digital art and electronic communities surf between poles of shiny, hippie ideals, cool technology, green values and politically correct attitudes. They are too busy surfing digital reality to reconnect to the substance of life: the body. The Web is full of intentions, but where can one feel the essential, hard core experience? Why shouldn’t the memes and digital metaphors boot up the body in ecstasy? Would they if they could?
– Being as a phenomenon of corporeal reality – a highly sense-URL presence
Being in a reality composed of communicated hallucinations and schizoid constructions is dirty and difficult. Escapism comes in the disguise of perfected avatars and imaginary net-constructs that–behind their make-up of poetic ASCII and static, pre-defined imagery–only scratch the surface of sens-URL desire. Disguised in delicatly coded flesh, delighting in the difficult, complex, dark challenge of charged hominid emotions should be a matter of course. To experience the primal scream of digispace. Only a few interface products give bodies in cyberspace the technical ability to feel. And, without a complex sensory and effectuator (stimulative) technology wiring the body to the global sensing organs of the New-Dimension, the Net will face a future as a relic, the biggest Hard-Disk_Telephone System ever built.
At present, the cyberbody’s existential quality can be viewed only as the users uploaded and controlled projection of identity and qualities. The body of the future, the freak_mutante, will add a subtle yet radical dimension to the symbiosis of human/cyberbody/artificial intelligence. Through interface technologies now appearing, will the freak_mutante soon use the human component as its sensory organs?
The human will lend the cyberorganism its eyes, ears, brains and fingers.
The body of the future: a re-combinant of consensual hallucinations, memetic engineering, networked flesh and shared dispositions. A corpus of factual liquid personalities and the cause of alternate (schizoid) perceptions . It will be an up, and downloadable, distributable, editable, mutatable multiple manifestation of the self, working in full duplex sensory mode. Implicitly, through its autonomy, it will also soon exceed personal control. Not that mankind was ever in control of itself: too many hormones, too much heritage, too extreme environment, too often mudding.
Face it, the body now hosts digital parasites. And, prolonged by the wire, the human has entered the domain of interference. Distortions have become part of reality, but with the net as source and the body as compiled code the interface between the artificial and the real world will be activated. Say “good-bye human” in the digital age: the freak_mutant will transcend the tool-using ape through unification with the executing code. What was human, anyway? Have mortal beings already existed too long under cyborgian conditions to really know?
To view the text as PDF follow this link.