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Sampling (hetero)sexuality: diva-ness and discipline in electronic dance music


Susana Loza 

Cyborgs, fembots and posthumans: electronic dance music and the biopolitics of fucking machines

In the technophilic West, netizens, infomorphs and the audio digerati triumphantly-if-precociously herald this as the dawn of disembodiment. These reality hackers dream in binary code. They yearn to manufacture human-alien hybrids, ethical androids and genetically programmed clones. They already engineer digital soul divas, aural cyborgs, Nintendo's voluptuously overdrawn robo-bimbos, and the supernaturally and surgically perfect bodies purchased at Lasers R' US. They share the meat-hating philosophies of the cyber-protagonists of Neuromancer, Snow Crash and Software. They willingly computerise their passions via text sex, MUD-based gender masquerades, naughty newsgroups, techno-fetishistic video games, virtual reality-based erotic escapades, and pornosonic digital samples. Nonetheless, it seems that for the rest of us to join these intrepid cybernauts in their Age of immaterial Information, our too-solid bodies must first be anaesthetised with utopian visions and sounds of an incorporeal future. So electronic dance music, popular culture and modern science inject the flesh with fantasies of immortality, limitless pleasures, and unadulterated agency. With their tax-funded market research and their potent techno-imaginings, entertainment systems, netters, digital dance music producers, and radically hopeful scientists prepare human matter to be dematerialised and devoured byte by agonising byte. In other words, they passionately fabricate the human-machine hybrid also known as the cyborg, the fembot and the posthuman. These techno-organic entities traverse the space between desire and dread; their indeterminate forms simultaneously destabilise and reconfigure the dualistic limits of liberal humanist subjectivity. Each incarnation plots the feared consequences and perplexing possibilities of boundary transgressions between the human and the machine quite differently.