By Bernadette Wegenstein
The physique as an item of serious examine dominates disciplines around the humanities to such an volume new self-discipline has emerged: physique feedback. In Getting below the outside, Bernadette Wegenstein lines modern physique discourse in philosophy and cultural reviews to its roots in twentieth-century thought—showing how psychoanalysis, phenomenology, cognitive technological know-how, and feminist conception contributed to a brand new physique concept—and experiences the millennial physique in functionality artwork, pop culture, new media arts, and architecture.
Wegenstein indicates how the idea that of physically fragmentation has been in movement because the 16th century’s research of anatomy. The background of the body-in-pieces, she argues, is a background of a suffering courting among ideas of the body—as fragmented and as holistic. Wegenstein exhibits that through the 20 th century those it seems that contradictory hobbies have been built-in; either fragmentation and holism, she argues, are integral modes of imagining and configuring the physique. The historical past of the physique, accordingly, is a heritage of mediation; however it was once no longer until eventually the flip of the twenty-first century and the electronic revolution that the physique was once top in a position to exhibit its mediality.
After analyzing key recommendations in physique feedback, Wegenstein seems on the physique as “raw material” in twentieth-century functionality paintings, clinical recommendations for visualizing the human physique, and techniques in pop culture for “getting lower than the skin” with photographs of freely floating physique components. Her research of present traits in structure and new media paintings demonstrates the deep connection of physique feedback to media feedback. during this method of physique feedback, the physique not stands in for whatever else—the medium has turn into the physique.
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Extra resources for Getting Under the Skin: The Body and Media Theory
Rather, the mind contacts matter through the function of time. The body in turn possesses the material capacity to translate the intensity of time into action. 130 Bergson thus develops a theory of indirect Making Room for the Body 29 unity, for it is neither in perception, nor in memory, nor in the activities of the mind that the body contributes directly to representation. The body is united indirectly with the spirit, and the markers of this uniﬁcation are the image, on the one hand, and the skin (or a rethinking of that border zone), on the other.
In fact, when one hears scientists speak about the possibilities of intelligent machines and artiﬁcial life, one often gets the impression of listening to science ﬁction authors, if not to the preamble of Terminator, as in the following quote by Warren McCulloch: As the industrial revolution concludes in bigger and better bombs, an intellectual revolution opens with bigger and better robots. The former revolution replaced muscles by engines and was limited by the law of the conservation of energy, or of mass-energy.
In The Ego and the Id (1923) Freud talks about the body ego as a border surface, a skin sack or a skin fold. ”113 For Freud the skin is what constitutes the ego: “the ego is ultimately derived from bodily sensations, chieﬂy those springing from the surface of the body. It may thus be regarded as a mental projection of the surface of the body, . . ”114 Chapter 1 26 Many deﬁnitions of the skin, and more generally of the human interface or surface, have been proposed since the beginnings of psychoanalysis; whether or not these attempts have taken into account a psychoanalytic key of analysis, all of them agree on the importance of the skin.
Getting Under the Skin: The Body and Media Theory by Bernadette Wegenstein