Dec 12, 2011

2011 12 12 Because Someones Always Said It Both Earlier And Better

"I am not a cyborg simply because I wear an artificial limb. I see cyborg more as a subject position than an identity, and believe it is more descriptive of my position vis-à-vis the relationships of production, delivery, and use surrounding my prosthesis than my actual interface with it. In other words, if I am to be interpellated as a cyborg, it is because my leg cost $11,000 and my HMO paid for it; because I had to get a job to get the health insurance; because I stand and walk with the irony that the materials and design of my leg are based in the same military technology which has blown the limbs off so many other young men; because the shock absorber in my foot was manufactured by a company which makes shock absorbers for bicycles and motorcycles, and can be read as a product of the post-Cold War explosion of increasingly engineered sports equipment and prostheses; and because the man who built my leg struggles to hold onto his small business in a field rapidly becoming vertically integrated and corporatized. I am not a cyborg simply because I wear an artificial limb, nor is my limb autonomous. Amputees (and other disabled people using assistive technology) are not half-human hybrids with semi-autonomous technology; we are people."

Steven L. Kurzman, "Presence and Prosthesis: A Response to Nelson and Wright." Cultural Anthropology, 16: 3 (August 2001), 382.

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