Allure and Abjection: The Possible Potential of Severed Qualities

Frenchy Lunning, ‘Allure and Abjection: The Possible Potential of Severed Qualities’, pp.83-105, in: Behar, K. (Ed.), 2016. Object-oriented feminism. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

p.83

This is a tale of two gestures that meet in the heat of a metaphoric confrontation of transformation. In comparing Graham Harman’s work on allure juxtaposed with Julia Kristeva’s work on abjection, certain relationships, similarities, and movements suggest a way to read across each of their central metaphors in structure and movement, and in their implications of marginal identities and aesthetic locations.

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Black Circuit: Code for the Numbers to Come

Amy Ireland, ‘Black Circuit: Code for the Numbers to Come’, E-flux Journal #80 (March 2017). [http://www.e-flux.com/journal/80/100016/black-circuit-code-for-the-numbers-to-come%5D

We are used to calls to resist the total integration of our world into the machinations of the spectacle, to throw off the alienated state that capitalism has bequeathed to us and return to more authentic processes, often marked as an original human symbiosis with nature. But Plant—as a shrewd reader of post-spectacle theory—makes a deeper point. Woman as she is constructed by Man—and in order to be considered “normal” in Freud’s analyses—is continuous with the spectacle. Her capacity to act is entirely confined to modalities of simulation. She has never been party to authentic being, in fact it is her negating function that underwrites the entire fantasy of return to an origin. Because she is continuous with it, she is imperceptible within it.

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(Un)dressing the interface

Brahnam, S., Karanikas, M., Weaver, M., 2011. (Un)dressing the interface: Exposing the foundational HCI metaphor “computer is woman.” Interacting with Computers 23, 401–412. doi:10.1016/j.intcom.2011.03.008

p.401

This focus on dialogue—interaction with a ‘‘second person’’ interface—has eroded the boundaries separating human beings from machines, calling into question the uniqueness of human intelligence and the sacredness of human personality and identity.

What both metaphors fail to acknowledge is that computers are not simply tools or personas. They are complex. In our interaction with them, they define who we are.

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Metaphor and Materiality

Judy Wajcman, ‘Metaphor and Materiality’, pp.102-130, in:
Wajcman, J., 2004. TechnoFeminism. Polity, Cambridge ; Malden, MA.

p.102

Technology is an intimate presence in our lives and increasingly defines who we are and how we live. Just as the typewriter and the automobile were icons of freedom for women in the discourse of modernity that presaged first-wave feminism, so cyberspace and cyborgs have become ubiquitous postmodern symbols for feminism today.

Women’s lives have changed irrevocably during the twentieth century, rendering traditional sex roles increasingly untenable.

The Cyborg Solution

Judy Wajcman, ‘The Cyborg Solution’, pp.78-101, in:
Wajcman, J., 2004. TechnoFeminism. Polity, Cambridge ; Malden, MA.
p.79
Feminists were among the first to make the links between reproductive technologies, genetic engineering and eugenics.
[…] the focus of much of the early analysis by radical feminists was a determination to reclaim motherhood as the foundation of women’s identity. Implicit in this view is a concept of reproduction as a natural process, inherent in women alone, and a theory of technology as patriarchal, enabling the male exploitation of women and nature.
Like ecological feminists, radical feminists celebrated the identification of women with nature and saw women as having a special responsibility to ensure the integrity of human and natural life on earth.

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Virtual Gender

Judy Wajcman, ‘Virtual Gender’, pp.56-77, in:
Wajcman, J., 2004. TechnoFeminism. Polity, Cambridge ; Malden, MA.
p.57
Progress is still defined by technological enterprises, but it is digital rather than space technology that now excites the imagination with its more immediate and accessible possibilities. Rarely having made it into outer space, little wonder that feminists have seized upon new digital technologies for their potential to finally free women from the constraints of their sex.
p.59
The conviction that the Internet is the solution to social disintegration and individualism is no less popular than the idea that it will accelerate these trends.

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On the matrix: cyberfeminist simulations

Plant, Sadie. ‘On the matrix: cyberfeminist simulations’, in The Cybercultures Reader, eds David Bell and Barbara M. Kennedy, London: Routledge, 2000, pp.325-326

p.325

The Internet promises women a network of lines on which to chatter, natter, work and play; virtuality brings a fluidity to identities which once had to be fixed; and multimedia provides a new tactile environment in which women artists can find their space.

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The Feminization of Labour in Cognitive Capitalism

Cristina Morini, 2007. The Feminization of Labour in Cognitive Capitalism. Feminist Review 40–59.
p.41
Women from the world’s under-developed countries have been transformed into salaried substitutes of the reproduction of women from the developed countries, at the expense of their own capacity or wish for reproduction; women in the developed countries are driven towards production or indeed towards a future where life is artificial and/or sterile.

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