commodifying bodies

At one level, then, the commodification of the body is a new discourse, linked to the incredible expansion of possibilities through recent advances in biomedicine, transplant surgery, experimental genetic medicine, biotechnology and the science of genomics in tandem with the spread of global capitalism and the consequent speed at which patients, technologies, capital, bodies and organs can now move across the globe. But on another level the commodification of bodies is continuous with earlier discourses on the desire, need and scarcity of human bodies and body parts for religious edification, healing, dissection, recreation and sports, and for medical experimentation and … Continue reading

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manchurian operations club

After having sent the manuscript of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ (Knorr 2011) to the editor, I went downtown in order to reward myself a bit. Perfectly aware that I’d never have time for it all, I nevertheless bought ‘↑Call of Duty: Black Ops‘ (Treyarch 2010), ‘Portal 2’ (Valve Corporation 2011), ‘↑Crysis 2‘ (Crytek 2011), and ‘↑Far Cry 2‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2008). In a street café I treated myself with a latte macchiato, all the while wondering at the boxes of my newly acquired treasures. The collector’s edition of ‘Far Cry 2’ indeed comes in a treasure chest, containing e.g. a t-shirt. … Continue reading

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punk galore

[As ↵the question crept up, I thought it to be timely to complete a post which I began to draft in December last year … in between it found its way into my book ↑Cyberanthropology (Knorr 2011; in German). So, the following more or less is the English version of a snippet of the book’s third chapter, which is on the cyberpunk discourse.] In 1991 ↑The Difference Engine (Gibson & Sterling 1991), a collaborative novel by ↑William Gibson and ↑Bruce Sterling, was published. The story is set in 19th century Great Britain, but—and that’s the core idea—Victorian society hasn’t developed … Continue reading

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clockpunk musketeers

The moment he emerged from the water in full 3D glory his equipment at once reminded me of the ↵industrial tribal art, and I already liked the movie. The majority of the critics’ reviews paints a less favorable picture, though. Nevertheless those reviews pour quite some water on my mills.     Alonso Duralde for example ↑wrote for Reuters: “The creators of the umpteenth new adaptation of ‘↑The Three Musketeers‘ [Anderson 2011] decided that the classic novel really needed a giant blimp battle, high-tech booby traps, bird droppings, ‘Matrix’-esque slo-mo fight scenes and scads of computer-generated French soldiers.” [bold emphasis … Continue reading

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remember

“Remember, remember … the fifth of November!” Well, well, the fifth of November just broke, and I’m curious what’s going to happen. If ↑Guy Fawkes, respectively ↵Alan Moore‘s “↑V for Vendetta,” and ↑its movie adaptation of the same name, on the symbolic level really is of such importance to the #OWS movement [see ↵occupy guy and ↵guy headroom], then we should expect some occupation today. Above that ↑Anonymous has announced actions against Facebook and against a mexican drug cartell—that is, if Anonymous indeed announced all of that, and not some hoaxsters. Anyway, it’s the fifth, it’s Guy Fawkes’ day. If … Continue reading

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billion dollar brain

“↑Billion Dollar Brain” (Russell 1967) is a cold war spy thriller movie based on the ↑novel of the same name by British writer ↑Len Deighton (1966). Said novel is one of a series starring an unnamed secret agent, working for British intelligence, as the central protagonist. During the 1960s three movies were made, based on three novels of the series. In the movies the protagonist has a name, ↑Harry Palmer, and is played by ↑Michael Caine.     Both, the novels and the movies, somewhat counter ↑Ian Fleming‘s urbane character ↑James Bond and his glitzy high society universe. Deighton renders … Continue reading

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real time source

One of the arguments I try to make in epic breadth in ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ is that the cyberpunk discourse gathers ever more momentum. In the book my exemplary strategy for a proof is looking at the movie production. The point is that more and more of the high-end productions [high-end in terms of budget, star-speckled cast, prominent director, or all three of those criteria] fall into the cyberpunk genre. The trend is unbroken: This year we already had ‘↑Source Code‘ (Jones 2011), starring Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘↑Real Steel‘ (Levy 2011 | ↑review), starring Hugh Jackman, and today ‘↑In Time‘ (Niccol 2011), starring … Continue reading

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paris calling

The ↑12th EASA Biennial Conference will take place in Nanterre, France (near Paris) from 10th through 13th July 2012. The overall theme is “↑Uncertainty and disquiet.” The ↑list of workshops is set and the ↑call for papers open—the latter will be closed on 28th November 2011. You can only give one presentation, so you have to skim through the vast list and make up your mind to which workshop you want to submit a paper. If this one submission is rejected, you save a lot of money, ’cause it’s of no use to journey to a conference without presenting something … Continue reading

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occupy guy

On 26th September 2011 ↑Noam Chomsky announced his solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The next day ↑Cornell West addressed the crowd in person. And on 09th October ↑Slavoj Žižek gave a talk at ↑Liberty Plaza (formely Zuccotti Park). Not that I am much in synch with Žižek, but it’s the second time this year that I read something from him which made me applaud. Have a snippet from the transcript: In April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV and films and in novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign … Continue reading

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