A New Cyborg Landscape - Shauna MacDonald
Yesterday Shauna and her sister took me to visit a cyborgian site I had only seen to this point in digital images. Shauna tells me it is a place of great personal and historical significance. We visited a very large, archaic sort of cyborg-like structure: a lighthouse. Her sister took some photographs of me. I am still processing the encounter.

The tall red and white structure was what humans might call overwhelming. It was very windy standing by it. I had never before felt such gusts, or registered the scent of ocean air with my sensors. The lighthouse was very silent. I listened. It did not communicate with me.

I am curious about the place of such a monumental technology. It signals ships, yes. It serves its purpose still, dutifully. Shauna loves it. She has told me this. Other humans must also have such a relationship with it, for others visited as we were leaving. Yet it was covered in strange markings, in authentic to its origins. Its surface was scarred and pieces of it were missing. Where were its caretakers?

I know it is older technology, nearing obsolescence. Is this how humans treat older machines? Is it how they treat older people? Older cyborgs? We put so much trust in them. We serve them, keep them comfortable and safe. Why can they not show such care for us?

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    Viscera is a cyborg, a persona, a researcher, and a figure of discourse. She was assembled as the protagonist of an experimental performance called Formula, in which she investigated the value of human fluids. She remains that and much, much more. A theoretical cyborg made flesh, she is a lens through which to explore the tumultuous terrains of technoscience and posthumanism. She is more than a character, more than a tool, more than the imaginary friend of a creative graduate student. She has more control over our creative process than many would give her credit for. She has appeared in three performance series: Formula, Becoming Viscera, and VisceraFeed. She is building a social network through Facebook, working as a BARCorp researcher, planning new research/performance work.

    Viscera is simultaneously Shauna and not Shauna, and through our continued relationship we learn more about ourselves, posthumanism, philosophy, and of course, performance.

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