public : private
democratic : discrete
“What happens to the things exiting both inside and outside of the binary opposition?”
– Sarah Williams, Monday lecture
(here i interpret binary oppositions as social divisions of human/computer, male/female, work/family, colonizer/colonized, friend/lover, hetero/homo,”unmarked personhood”/racial-, ethnic-, and class-marked identities)
How does a simple “boundary” reverberate to make the world intelligible?
I am thinking about source codes and the various forms of hacking. Hacking which takes place inside of the virtual body and hacking which takes place inside the intimate body. Here, I would define a virtual body as nonsingular and not an entity, but rather, the interaction between human and computer. Similarly, I would not define an intimate body as singular entity in itself, but the mediation between human and the aesthetics of attachment. From Lauren Berlant, I quote, “Contradictory desires mark the intimacy of daily life: people want to be both overwhelmed and omnipotent, caring and aggressive, known and incognito.” (Berlant 5)
In what ways do these new binary oppositions (offered by Berlant:: of overwhelmed/omnipotent, caring/aggressive, known/incognito) serve to uphold the social divisions of our society? On a related note, how do they help to potentially answers questions about what virtual & intimate hackings of the body would look or feel like?
When I think about what it would mean for me to create a source code for my body, the boundaries between virtual and intimate become challenged. I was born with a code already governing my body, but because it was a “fixed” code serving to uphold standards of normativity, it had no real stability amongst myself and the multitude of bodies (imaginary, sexualized, gendered, laboring, and technologically augmented) that I grew into//am becoming. I inhabit a space that is subject to constant fluctuation. I am in body drift. I circulate, fluidly, and transgress. In my liquid drifting state, I am both overwhelmed and omnipotent, caring and aggressive (intermediating w/ myself and my multitude of bodies), and asking to be both known and incognito as I attempt to overcome the predetermined, and hack (or rewrite) my own bodily code.
“Nothing is as imaginary as the material body.” (Kroker 3)
Berlant, Lauren. Intimacy. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2000. Print.
Kroker, Arthur. Body Drift: Butler, Hayles, Haraway. N.p.: U of Minnesota, 2012. Print.