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UAL Research Online

Ex machina: Possessing and Repossessing the Body

Flynn, Susan (2017) Ex machina: Possessing and Repossessing the Body. Ethos: A Digital Review of the Arts, Humanities and Public Ethics, 3 (1). pp. 32-45.

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Flynn, Susan

The imagined risks of a world controlled by technology and the attendant changes in the cultural landscape have long informed the science fiction genre. If our current era has espoused data as the defining measure of humanity, the resultant concerns are rightly centred on who has ownership and control of what that data can create. The current Hollywood fascination with science, which sees it oscillating between ingenious and miraculous, presents it as a panacea to all of our physical “ills.” Complicit with and feeding into the public’s vision of science and its scope, science fiction films are informed by deep-rooted dominant ideologies of the body. In this age of physical radicalization (i.e. transplants, artificial organs and cloning), fantasies of modifying the body emerge with increasing frequency (Rose 11). Optimization of the self is now inculcated in public life. Cultural vehicles like films are increasingly seizing the possible modifications of the body as a narrative device for exploring this optimization vis-a-vis the advent of biotechnology. The creation of “flesh” and of “almost real” life is depicted as the natural evolution of a progressive science. Medical science begins to look like an art form; bodies are made beautiful and more highly functioning while science is seen as the repository of unending possibilities. Contemporary public life appears to depend on this compulsory optimization. [introductory paragraph]

Official Website: http://www.ethosreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/EJ3.1.pdf
Additional Information (Publicly available):

The text of this article is freely available at the publisher's website. See http://www.ethosreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/EJ3.1.pdf

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Ethos Review
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 1 February 2017
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 13:49
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 13:49
Item ID: 12096
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/12096

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