n Gender Questions - Bodies of technology : performative flesh, pleasure and subversion in cyberspace

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2309-9704



This article contextualises the body in cyberspace, using the specific examples of the performative body and the social networking site Facebook. Technology is established as a process which continually unfolds and illuminates new understandings of subjectivity, unfurling in parallel with the performative body - and gendered identities - that Judith Butler articulates. Here, the author conducts a close analysis of the technological affordances of Facebook as a site that fosters the construction of a phantasmic, performative subject that Butler describes. This argument relies on an understanding of technology and the body as having their meaning dynamically constituted through mutual interconnection - an understanding of interface that is taken from the theoretical work of Donna Haraway and Vicki Kirby. The purpose of seeking out the performative body in cyberspace is to explore the possibility of technologically-derived, subversive bodies. This is done by examining the emergence of pleasure in human engagement with technology. This pleasure suggests that subjects are enticed by the creative possibilities which technology offers, as it leads to regenerations that, under the right conditions, yield subversive bodies.

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