Thinking about cyborg consciousness

The following are some excerpts from ‘The Cybercultures Reader’
By David Bell, Barbara M. Kennedy
(p286) As Haraway writes ‘late twentieth century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed.’

(p289) Starting from Haraway’s initiatives, Sandoval suggests that ‘cyborg consciousness can be understood as the technological embodiment of a particular and specific form of oppositional consciousness’. This cyborg consciousness needs to develop out of a set of technologies that together comprise and formulate a ‘methodology of the oppressed’ – or what she refers to as a ‘mestiza’ consciousness. Sandoval recognises five specific ‘technologies of energy’. First is semiotics, the ‘science of cultural signs’. Second is the process of challenging dominant ideological signs through deconstruction. Third, she suggests, is ‘meta-ideology’ – an operation of appropriating dominant ideological forms but then utilizing them in order to transform and transpose meaning structures. Fourth is the technology of ‘democratics’, collecting together the previous three areas to bring about a social egalitarian relational, with a new exploration of the concept of ‘love’ within post-modern discourse. Finally she suggests ‘differential movement’ – the one through which all the others manoeuvre, flow, energize, in polymorphous ways.

… indeed, Sandoval uses Deluzian terms like ‘rhizomatic’ to describe the vectors, webs and velocities of differential consciousness: ‘Differential consciousness can be thought thus as a constant reapportionment of space, boundaries, of horizontal and vertical realignments of oppositional powers. These energies revolve around each other, aligning and realigning in a field of force.’

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