Special Issues: tf004
Date Published: 5/9/2001
www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=278
Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Editors

Tech Flesh 11: Femigraphing Frankenstein

Technological Silencing

Patricia Leavy

I feel the electric energy of a new nodal point coursing through my body. Another history of Man and machine being written by the male authors of the biotech revolution and resulting in the final female extermination. In this moment of technological silencing I think back to Mary Shelley and her political prose. I read many feminist responses to these new bodily invasions and see the dilemma, my being a feminist as well. Constructing a discourse about the gendered forms of power within biotechnologies is itself a reconstruction cycling within a loop not of our choosing. I feel this tension within my own body. I create the characters of Mary Shelley, Ms Millennium Femifalse(the embodiment of post-millennium feminism), and a version of myself as a confused young feminist. These three voices are in conversation with each other in an attempt to illustrate the tension I, and others, now feel as feminists desperately trying to evoke a history of gendered technological exclusion in order to prevent a future of the same, but always jumping into a discourse rather than beginning one.

And here is my story of Frankenstein and her future analysts...

H/our cultural coronary — DISconnection — Manifests in monster (w)rites Ms. Millennium in her analysis of now crusader Mary Shelley. Eye Miss Mary. That poetry whore. VictorY. Eyespy a telling of a (t)old story. Please join me on a paperchase.

The femigraphing of Frankenstein continues so for the sake of a starting-point I shall repeat this typical feminist retelling: Infusion of life into fragmented cyborg chunks of huMAN FORM stitched together. Undone. Disconnected(ness) leads the nuclear neuronal narrator to crEATe cybernetic FEEDback naturally intrinsic to the circuit. Missing humanity makes madman? This seems to be the conclusion. The anATOMy of a dream is to deconstruct the corpse into new life. Was Mary a repressed visionary? End. Or so writes our Ms. Millennium. missing mary. Other versions and verses are im/possible. Palimpsest. Trying to return to mary's lost victor repeatedly. Loop back to (re)locate missed mary. Here is one more graphing of mary's meaning. Hear my fiction of superimposed feminist narration and watch how I too cycle back within another's loop.

H/our protagonist's absolute bondAge with presentfuture anticipates future digitized memory chips and participates in cyborg construction for future de(con)struction through reSurgence of absolution masked (as) dislocation. Suppose simulation mocks Truth by putting illusions to real meanings so that we can see them. And so wAS the scribbling scrolled as future texts. SHe wasn't disconnected as other versions tell us but rather wired within the circuit at such speed jamming1 our truths to us. Ms. Millennium (re)cycles the old testament in new high-tech water resistant packaging. Play Boy. Femifalse spins reel truths. Hyper dislocation millenniumMADmen miss. Mary. And we memorize mesmerizing memory with more graphings — incongruent iconic mirages of water make me thirsty in hour desert.2 Loop-Back-Again.

Time-Space context: MilitaryMania shifted to MedicineMuse. Poetry slut pens VictorY 2K. A feminist's daughter her positioned politicized pen yes wrote of our future (w)rites. His/Her process of creating the k/new life of mechanized male monkeys was all about location. Resistance flowing within the electrical circuit. Wired within us. The process of Hyper-HumaNature alienation transferred into man draining her life into mechanicalman. No, his process was one of supreme connection with the future moment and Ms. Millennium was wrong to hype disconnection. Yes he was crazy. In the sane.3 Seeing simulated forms before simulation? Mind Blowing! He must have been alienated by his penetrating connection to (present)history as s/he created future simulacra with origin.
Loop-Back Again.

Seeing the fu(tor)ture of the present, Mary offers us the moment by writing us through victorvision. By only knowing present truths as a jammed future4, men are made a bit too uncomfortable, perhaps. So the story is written as one of present dislocation which directly renders invisible the absolute connection female bodies feel to this dislocating system. By bringing its opposite to conscious being, a self-sufficient deterrence machine starts to spin.5 Victors all-consuming resonance with presentfuture gets disguised as its opposite. Apparently this initial simulation was soooo successful that Ms. Millennium is caught with her pants down. Again, nobly recycling within a loop.

A Telling Tale. H_our narrator screams silently. No now, only HIStory. Through a process of exclusion HERstory is included in a data flow of negation peopled by the ghosts of others' fears. In a lost battleground of tattered flags mary lovingly offers the ghosts names. The cycle continues. Loop-Back-Again.

Victors voice of dominant discourse spoke through the haunted authors' present to her anticipating audiences. Exposing intimate connection to presentfuture dislocation places a high-speed glitch in mechanized deterrence. Her process: Searching future sign for present-historical origin, revealing future simulation. MIND BLITZ. Houston we have a problem. Fixtheglitch. Wait. What is the story mary tells us and through who. Victor and Femigraphings? Return to Mary's VictorY.

Again. Victors positivistic paradigm paradise presents the prosthetic possibility post-coitus. Analogue. Within the scientific dreamlife of me/n hour story (re)surfaces. My battery hurts already. Repeat. The dislocation emboDied by the fictitious, presents the boundary based location of the real. This is the pre-modern CARNivAL anticipation of postmodern simulated forms. Victors progress/ive disconnection tells of our author's location within a dislocating high-speed scientistic system. The power of the penned virtual historical fiction is in its/his/her link to the naked, shivering, longing, lonely, collective... moment of transgressive festival. Embodied. Embalmed. Refracted. Cemented and bound. Palimpsest. Loop.

"Dear Mary— My Blessed Daughter of Eve makes madman cursed by contemporaries; crucified consistently. We do you proud. Our rallies and texts sing your once strange speak. The silenced may have solace. The message mARCHES on. You are (in) my prayers. Ms. Millennium."

"Dearest Ms. Millennium— We shall disCount madmen? Wh* are they? K/not? Recycle nobly for you are Eve's REAL Daughter. I merely vibrate as Shakespeare's aborted sister. Mary."

Reconciled: A looping smile. Regurgitation/Feedback. Again.

I often imagine conference calls with ghosts. Picturing what they might say. And all of the screaming yet silenced worlds within our space. I can see each new ball-point pen, just as Mary's, piercing a sack filled with fluids now able to freely swirl. Yet eventually they too absorb each other again. Soon each shade again appears primary. But... not without passing through the sacred ecstasy of within.6 I too shall write to Mary.

"Mary— They eagerly jump into the river causing splashes, quickly absorbed into current currents. What is the point of soaking in their water? The knowing laughter of fish my only sanity. Miss you."

"Friend— I'm smiling. softly. So easy to sweepingly dive into sound. Is that a place of true noise? Till..."

There is truth in the sadness of knowing we swim within another's pool even in our moments of greatest resistance. I too wish to haunt but in new places. The fight continues. Listen to the future of presenTHIStory. just ssshhhhhh.

"Dear Mary— In response to our previous dialogue I must confess that a receiving blanket of confusion drapes me. Do we not honor your noble life's work by proceeding on as we do? I am most concerned. Ms. Millennium."

"Dearest Ms. Millennium— Oh yes, it is meaningful indeed. But please, enough about me. To your dilemma. Through the looking glass of time I bare witness to the movement of your worthy efforts. I am left with only these observations. From your point of Genesis have you not willingly catapulted onto the(ir) discursive wire and now desperately hold on for dear life as speed is repeatedly increased? My simple thoughts are of another time. Your point of departure, long ago in the history of the already written future, is where your choices ended. And long ago in the history of the future I too am most concerned.
We kill Victor. Y. Again-Again-Again-"


Notes

1. I am referring to Luce Irigaray's notion of "jamming" the system implying that the act of jamming makes the system tense with contradiction.

2. I take the term "desert" from Jean Baudrillard and his contention that the postmodern era is characterized by a "desert of the real". See Jean Baudrillard Simulacra and Simulation, The University of Michigan Press:1994. I use the term "hour desert" to evoke a sense of time's desert (or our desert within this time in history) following Baudrillard.

3. I am thinking of Stephen Pfohl's discussion of being crazy, or, in the sane, in the introductory chapter of Images of Deviance and Social Control: A Sociological History, 2nd Ed., McGraw Hill:1994

4. Again, I am referring to Luce Irigaray's conception of "jamming" the system.

5. I am influenced by Jean Baudrillard and his discussion of "deterrence" systems in Simulacra and Simulation, The University of Michigan Press:1994.

6. I am referring to the term "Sacred of Transgressive" as the sacrificing of closed boundaries which is discussed by Patricia Williams in The Alchemy of Race and Rights, Harvard University Press:1991


Patricia Leavy is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Boston College.
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