A Conceptual Lever and the Narrative Construction of the Cyborg as a Quantum Machine

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Liccardo, Sabrina (2013)
  • Publisher: University of East London, School of Law and Social Sciences

Archimedes purportedly announced, "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to\ud place it, and I shall move the world.” Archimedes was referring to how the use of a lever could\ud provide leverage by amplifying an input force to create a greater output force executed against an\ud object. Thus, the basic elements of a lever include effort, load or resistance, a lever arm, pivoting\ud point and a fulcrum. In this theoretical paper, I have mapped several concepts onto the following\ud elements of a lever; the psychological world onto ‘effort’, the socio-material world onto ‘load’,\ud history, culture, and tradition onto the ‘lever arm’, temporality onto the ‘pivoting point’, narratives\ud onto the ‘fulcrum’ and a ‘chronotope’ onto the ground. Who is the ‘One’ that attempts to move the\ud ‘other’ and how does he use the elements of a ‘lever’ to do so? In a phallocratic culture, the\ud difference between a set of dualities is constructed as binary opposites and the positive terms,\ud which dominate the binary, are linked to one particular sex. Thus, man (the ‘One’) is valued over\ud woman (its negative ‘other’). If we are to transform culture we need to destabilise the binary\ud opposition that is founded in the male/female couple (Cixous, 1981). Thus, in this paper I\ud compare mechanical nature of a lever with the dichotomous patriarchal social system, in which\ud the masculine dominates the construction of meaning. I use the elements of a ‘lever’ to illustrate\ud how the reproduction of a phallocratic culture might occur. This patriarchal social system follows\ud the principles of digital computing in that it encodes ‘data’ that are associated with the masculine\ud and feminine into binary oppositions. However, the ‘cyborg’ (Haraway, 1991) as a quantum\ud machine, can exist in more than one state simultaneously. The cyborg maintains a state of\ud ‘quantum superposition’ and ‘quantum entanglement’ because when it is in one state of a binary,\ud it partly exists in the other state simultaneously. Due to this entanglement, each member of the\ud binary must be delineated relative to one another. I thus conceptualise the cyborg at the centre of\ud this lever as it embodies the self as a psychological, socio-material and cultural phenomenon thus\ud providing an interpretive entry point to understanding ontology as the entanglement of subject\ud and object, space and time, matter and meaning, history and fiction. Furthermore, the cyborg\ud utilises narratives (stories) to reconstruct identity in the interplay of duality.
  • References (34)
    34 references, page 1 of 4

    Anderson, B. (2006) Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso.

    Andrews, M. (2004). The Uses of Narrative: Explorations in Sociology, Psychology, and Cultural Studies. Transaction Publishers.

    Andrews, M, Squire, C., and Tamboukou, M. (Eds.). 2008. Doing Narrative Research. SAGE Publications Ltd.

    Bakhtin, M.M. 1981 [1930's]. The dialogical imagination: four essays. (M. Holquist, Ed., C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

    Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Duke University Press.

    Barad, K. (2012). Interview with Karen Barad. In Van der Tuin, I., & Dolphijn, R. (2012). New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. New Metaphysics, 1-195.

    Bhabha, H. K. (2004). The location of culture. London; New York: Routledge.

    Bourdieu, P. (1983) [1997]. The Forms of Capital. In Education: Culture, Economy, and Society, edited by A. H. Halsey et al. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Bruner, J. (2002). Making Stories: Law, Literature, Life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Cixous, H. (1981). Castration or Decapitation. Trans. and Introd. Annette Kuhn. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 7 (1), 41-55.

  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    47
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    ROAR at University of East London - IRUS-UK 0 47
Share - Bookmark