Over the course of this semester, I have read, highlighted, circled and noted a tonne of information on cyborgs, technology, societal thoughts, pop culture and prosthesis. As a result of this ten week journey I have managed to produce a body of work which is made with a hope of sharing some much needed positivism in our dark and gloomy world.
My main research aim was to discuss technological prosthesis in order normalise the concept of the cyborg in mainstream societal thought. The podcast delves into the negative associations society has around technological advancements, particularly the relationship between humanity and machines. I describe the role of popular culture by using interviews and surveys I conducted myself. This process went really well, the only thing that could have been improved was the amount of responses I received. I do acknowledge that twenty responses is not a lot in the grand scheme of things but considering the size, time and ethical restraints I had to take into consideration it was a pretty rewarding outcome.
I use three stories of people who have overcome obstacles and broken down societal boundaries through their relationship with technological prosthesis. Every human can relate to the central themes of wanting to prove something or seeking to belong. It is my personal belief that people rely so much on technology and yet are confronted by the prospect of it’s position in the economy. By incorporating Donna Harraway’s work and my own research I could demonstrate this paradigm that exists and perhaps convince the people listening; that cyborgs don’t necessarily have to be emotionless machines, instead they are everyday people, like you, me and the seven other billion people found on earth.
Technology is so rapidly evolving that society is scared that it is an uncontrollable force. So when there is discussion of cyborgs and humans people obviously are going to freak out. I wanted to do two things:- Firstly, stop people from freaking out or at least ease the transition towards the inevitable truth. Secondly, I wanted to show that technology actually has a positive influence and power position in society. My aim was to look at the benefits, gains and people surrounding technological prosthesis instead of focusing on the fears, apprehensions and problems almost always projected into society. This Digital artifact was a progression that evolved over time, my first two blog posts helped to narrow down ideas and in reflection I am grateful they were compulsory assignments during the semester. After I received feedback for both of them, I tried to improve the clarity and aim of my research ideas.
My biggest issue was compiling the overwhelming amount of information I received into a succinct yet coherent project. It was a long and tiresome task but in the end I achieved what I set out to do. I provided happy stories of happy people, redefined the cyborg through a process of normalisation and demonstrated how technological prosthesis is beneficial for human kind. Personally, I no longer have that uncomfortable feeling brought on by my exposure to Terminator as a child. Instead, I am looking forward to changing the subconscious of all my listeners by redefining the cyborg through technological prosthesis discussed in my podcast.
- Brookes, J. (2018). Technology makes Prosthetic industry ripe for evolution – Which-50. [online] Which-50. Available at: https://which-50.com/technology-makes-prosthetic-industry-ripe-evolution/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].
- Curious. (2018). Bionic limbs. [online] Available at: https://www.science.org.au/curious/people-medicine/bionic-limbs [Accessed 19 May 2018].
- Draycott, J. (2017). Severed limbs and wooden feet: how the ancients invented prosthetics. [online] The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/severed-limbs-and-wooden-feet-how-the-ancients-invented-prosthetics-77741 [Accessed 17 May 2018].
- Gunkel, D. (2000). We Are Borg: Cyborgs and the Subject of Communication. [online] Gunkelweb.com. Available at: http://www.gunkelweb.com/articles/we_are_borg.pdf [Accessed 13 May 2018].
- Harraway, D. (1991). A Cyborg Manifesto. [online] Faculty.georgetown.edu. Available at: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/theory/Haraway-CyborgManifesto-1.pdf [Accessed 13 May 2018].
- Mullins, A. (2009). My 12 pairs of legs. [online] Ted.com. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics [Accessed 23 May 2018].
- Murray, Craig. (2005). The Social Meanings of Prosthesis Use. Journal of health psychology. 10. 425-41. 10.1177/1359105305051431.
- Nelson, B. (2013). 7 real-life human cyborgs. [online] MNN – Mother Nature Network. Available at: https://www.mnn.com/leaderboard/stories/7-real-life-human-cyborgs [Accessed 11 May 2018].
- Patches, M. (2014). Rage Against the Machine: A Brief History of Evil Movie Computers. [online] Rolling Stone. Available at: https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/rage-against-the-machine-a-brief-history-of-evil-movie-computers-20140417 [Accessed 14 May 2018].
- Peersson, M. (2018). Aimee Mullins | Icon Magazine. [online] Icon Magazine. Available at: http://iconmagazine.se/portfolio/aimee-mullins/ [Accessed 23 May 2018].
- Romm, C. (2015). Americans Are More Afraid of Robots Than Death. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/10/americans-are-more-afraid-of-robots-than-death/410929/ [Accessed 15 May 2018].
- The Medical Futurist. (2018). The World’s Most Famous Real-Life Cyborgs. [online] Available at: http://medicalfuturist.com/the-worlds-most-famous-real-life-cyborgs/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].