Monday, October 17, 2011

Discussion of Post-Humanism and Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

This article, "Cyborg Bodies and Digitized Desires: Posthumanity and phillip k. dick" by Jennifer Attaway, discusses the posthuman condition, problematizing the 'human' and desire present in Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I thought it especially relevant to our discussion of this text and technosexualities.

The interaction between human beings and intelligent machines has challenged the traditional understanding of what it means to be "human." In his novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, phillip k. dick rethinks human identity through the positioning of human beings within a technologically mediated reality that displaces the biological body and the spontaneity of human sensation. Written in 1968, dick's novel anticipates the effect of a technologically mediated culture on the formation of a posthuman identity. dick's fictional juxtaposition of the human being and the organically anthropomorphic android complicates conventional implications of embodiment. Androids are physically indistinguishable from human beings and the only identifiable difference is the human ability to feel empathy, which is encountered prosthetically through an "empathy box." In Do Androids Dream? the body is bled of any definitively human quality while human internality is mediated by the machine. Using dick's novel as an illustration of the process of human redefinition, "Cyborg Bodies and Digitized Desires: Posthumanity and phillip k. dick" argues that the posthuman state is a disembodied condition informed by what is deemed "digitized desires."

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