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Cyborg - Essay Example

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Theory of the Cyborg Donna Haraway’s article A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century presents an examination of cultural trends in the current cultural climate. Within Haraway’s analysis emerges the image of the cyborg…
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Cyborg

Haraway notes the frequent occurrence of cyborg life aspects of life in modern medicine, as individuals regularly implement machines or medicine to survive or live fuller lives. More specifically, the notion of the cyborg comes to be aligned with socialist-feminism in the 20th century. In these regards, Haraway notes, “The cyborg is a creature in a post-gender world” (Haraway, p. 2). Within this notion of understanding, there are a number of manifestations of this cyborg reality in the post-modern cultural landscape. This essay examines the emergence of Haraway’s cyborg within bounce music. In examining the theory of the cyborg within bounce music it’s necessary to consider the nature of this musical genre. Emerging in the late 1980s bounce music is a version of New Orleans hip-hop (Dee 2010). While it contains many traditional hip-hop elements, including rap lyrics and sampled beats, the genre is also very different from other forms of rap. In these regards, prominent bounce musicians have experimented with post-modern gender concerns and have implemented what is referred to as ‘drag rap’ vocals. Another prominent aspects are the lyrics, which are “mostly about sex and are so habitually obscene that they have helped keep bounce from spreading too far beyond its New Orleans borders” (Dee 2010, pg. ...
2). These cyborg elements are directly witnessed in many of the aesthetic formulations that have emerged in bounce music. One of the most prominent such versions of this occurs through the bounce music performer named Big Freedia. Big Freedia is the stage name of Freddie Ross. With the Big Freedia character Ross dresses in drag and performs bounce music. It is this exploration of sexuality and perversity that are characteristic elements of the cyborg. Indeed, one considers that the theory of the cyborg presents a version of the modern human as existing in a post-gender environment. While many of the prominent themes in rap music value realism and a gritty depiction of street life, bounce music differs as it explores hybrid themes and increased emphasis on irony. Such themes, as shown above, are both prominent elements in Haraway’s theory of the cyborg. Another prominent example of these themes of irony can be seen in terms of the bounce music videos. One prominent artist in these regards is Katey Red. In her video ‘Where Da Melph At’ the director films a woman seated in a car. As the woman places on a bounce music CD the music begins and a house of people with bright colored pajamas exit and begin dancing to the music. The scene is one of great absurdity and humor, yet in this scene one witnesses what Haraway has envisioned as a modern manifestation of the human condition. In these regards, the perversity as seen in the dancing where the individuals rapidly shake their rear-ends. In addition, the bright colored pajamas also reflect the Haraway’s ironic criteria. Another prominent criterion of the cyborg is the breaking down of the separation of the human and the animal. Haraway notes that the, ... Read More
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