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<nettime> The New Mediated (Em)Body Is My Others
Andrew Bucksbarg on Wed, 5 Jul 2006 20:56:36 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The New Mediated (Em)Body Is My Others

The New Mediated (Em)Body Is My Others

The imaginary of the networked, augmented self is unitary, but the  
practice of this multi-user self, this multiplicity of being in the  
cybernated, social dataspace is far from a cohesive, organic and  
maintained system. Networked identity is supplemental, like a link on  
a page, a page on a site, a node on a network or a server in a  
circuitous expanse. Not only is dataspace continually invaded by the  
process of this other, but this realm of media saturation requires  
and reproduces a myriad of othernesses that shed and collect in  
archives and databases. These fragments of self assault the perceived  
purity of identity. Networked identity embodies competing notions of  
fluidity and fixity, of limitation and expanse, augmentation,  
embodiment/disembodiment, multiplicity, temporal change and  
stagnation and otherness. When we think about this reflectance, we  
are confronted with the problematics of this newly mediated self. We  
are challenged with the endlessly configurable in menu options and  
avatars. We engage in the practice of compressing ourselves into  
blurb-like containers, such as ?about me,? and profiles that begin as  
templates of favorite movies and music, which need continual  
updating. We exist somewhere in the detritus memories of user names  
and passwords and abandoned email accounts collecting endless amounts  
of spam. We utilize the reflectance of media to both understand our  
use of the media and how we are extended through their use. Aside  
from the freshness and excitement of new media, we are left to wonder  
how these complex systems lack and how they also delimit us, and in  
this process, produce something supplemental and other.
Archives of identifiers must be created and maintained; they are  
enacted upon us based upon corporate, gendered or racial components,  
but they lack in the biological. Their machinic logic is the cement  
from which we cannot escape and their supplement is the fracture we  
continuously attempt to heal. Even their evolution into the organic,  
the attempts at a biologic, are the offspring of this otherness, an  
artificial life, and an intermediate to our being.


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