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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies I

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in «Terminator III» he is supposed to ensure that as the ‹last› human couple, her son and his girlfriend survive the end of the world to become the ‹future Adam and Eve.› [46] However, despite their bodies, which are hypertrophically equipped with ‹male traits,› they have no sexual identity of their own. Thus, the doubly connoted phallus always remains in the hands of the engineers: This is the only ‹right place› for it to be.

Nevertheless, the ‹interface gender› can also prove to be the crucial point of potential deviance from the otherwise stereotypically developed narrations. Take, for example, the filmed version of the musical «The Rocky Horror Picture Show» [47] : Frank'n'Furter's creature Rocky—the incarnation, so to speak, of a ‹Mr. Universe›—was actually conceived as a playmate for his transsexual creator. On the other hand, despite the phallic overformation— raised to a caricature—of his fingers to scissor blades, the main character in Tim Burton's variation on the tale of «Frankenstein,» «Edward Scissorhands,» [48] exercises an incomparable erotic attraction on women, whose hair he subserviently cuts, while the men, whose front yard hedges he trims, quite obviously sense a


code-of-conduct battle or begin to suffer from fears of castration. In an unexpected turn of the «promises of monsters» (Haraway), [49] in this case the monsters exhibit subversive potential.

«Reinvent yourself!»

The monstrous promises of the new technologies are not, however, only reflected in the retelling or new versions of the old stories of the creation of artificial life. As a ‹figure of the third,› from now on new meaning is given to an old philosophical topos in that it also wants to be taken at its word: Selfcreation finds itself under the sign of the cyborg configuration in the age of its technological realizability. [50] Just as television or popular magazines contain advertisements for more or less unrestricted biomedical technologies for the ‹improvement› or even the ‹correction› of one's appearance, with the aid of new technologies the corresponding models are at the same time being designed, created and supplied. The imperative of these cyborg configurations is: «Reinvent yourself!» [51] And this includes the invention of a new body.

Fewer and fewer limits appear to be being set to

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