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The visible human project: Data into flesh, flesh into data

Waldby, C. (2013) The visible human project: Data into flesh, flesh into data. In: Marchessault, J. and Sawchuk, K., (eds.) Wild Science: Reading Feminism, Medicine and the Media. Taylor & Francis, pp. 24-38.

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THe RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN technology and the body is one of the defining concerns of contemporary intellectual and ethical practice in both the sciences and the humanities. It is a concern at the forefront of the much vaunted move from a humanist to a post-humanist theory/normativity of the subject, as biotechnologies make the humanist distinctions between human and machine, nature and culture, life and non-life increasingly difficult to sustain. Such projects as IVF, cryogenics, genetic engineering, the Human Genome project, and the various productions of digital artificial life, not to mention an increased dependence on more and more sophisticated prosthetics, involve the biotechnological manipulation and management of the borders between such distinctions, and the prospect of their eventual redundancy. As Braidotti (1994) points out, the management of living matter has always been a priority for our culture, and the development of these biotechnologies indicates the emergence of new use values for the human body, new forms of knowledge, productivity and exchange, which must always have consequences for the meaning of subjectivity, conditioned as it is by forms of embodiment.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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