n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - OorbLYFsels : lokale liggame en globale inligting

Volume 43, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


In current cyber-discourses, information is increasingly construed as bodiless and global, whereas material bodies are embedded within locality. This paper attempts to show how the severe incision made between so-called bodiless information and informationless bodies is indeed unworkable. By focusing on a local body, namely that of the Quena woman Saartjie Baartman - also known as the "Hottentot Venus" - the problematic separation between local bodies and global information is explored. It is in particular the ways in which Saartjie's body has been decoded by techno-scientific discourses as an icon of deviant "primitiveness" that is examined. It is significant that Saartjie's remains have (re)mained by returning to South Africa where it has been restored to its local place of origin. For although (global) information was extracted from her (local) body, her "otherness" and materiality have always been in excess of techno-scientific probing and could not be completely contained by scientific analysis. In other words, she could not be reduced to either her locality or to global information for that matter. For matter exceeds becoming mere information and information matters quite literally.

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