inadequate futures

tagged with posthuman:

[009 - smooth talk]

November 02, 2017

alex christie

The good folks over at Real Life Mag were kind enough to let me write about Grammarly, fungible subjectivity, and becoming no one. The essay explores our capitulation to optimization/augmentation apps, which ultimately subordinate content to form, effectively rendering the user as anyone -- the faceless subject of neoliberalism. You can read the essay here.

One thing I'm having trouble articulating and working through in the dissertation proposal is the extent to which posthumanism and posthuman subjectivity (interrelated but definitely not coterminous) are either local and site specific or transcendent and ontological. It's clear to me how posthumanism as a discourses arises in the latter half of the 20th century: globalization, transnationalism, and the onset of network culture force us to think differently about how humans are connected. The cellphone (and really, the smartphone) shifts attention away from the human body to the human with(in) a network. The smartphone has become a very literal and felt extension of one kind of cyborg subjectivity. In this way, it's like what Nathan Jurgenson says about identity performance: 'Social media surely change identity performance. For one, it makes the process more explicit' ('The Disconnectionists'). Our imbrication in technology makes explicit something we might have missed before---how the human and tool are woven together into assemblages or amalgams---but that then seems ontologically grounded.