We will be focusing our video essay around week four’s lesson on Cyborgs.
The argument we want to make with this video essay is that the cyborg is a figure that reflects human ideals and as humans increasingly use technology to enhance life and reach these ideals, we are becoming increasingly and inevitably posthuman. We want to explore Haraway’s idea that “We can be responsible for machines; they do not dominate or threaten us” because they represent these ideals and that machines are ultimately “an aspect of our embodiment” through our use of technology (Haraway, 222). Furthermore, through the dissolution of boundaries between humans and the cyborg ideal, we want to demonstrate Hayles’ idea that “In the posthuman, there are no essential differences or absolute demarcations between bodily existence and computer simulation, cybernetic mechanism and biological organism, robot teleology and human goals” (Hayles, 3). To illustrate this point, we will use contemporary examples of how humans strive towards the ideal that cyborg fiction establishes, and how we are therefore becoming posthuman.
We believe a narrated video essay is the most effective way to present our thesis. The video essay will integrate quotes from both Hayles and Haraway in narration, with clips edited to demonstrate the main points of our argument. We will use scenes from various films featuring cyborgs such as Terminator: Salvation, Iron Man, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Wars to at first illustrate how cyborgs are a reflection of the perfection humans strive for. We will then draw on real life examples with clips and pictures of pacemakers, artificial limbs, and current technological advances that are furthering our integration with machines to illustrate how we are moving towards the cyborg ideal and that the boundaries between fiction and reality are being broken down.
The video below is a good model for our visual essay because of its effective use of commentary with visual quotes and clips from media that exemplify the points of the narration.