This paper examines notions of invalidity in relation to the body through an exploration of popular cinematic and cultural references, anecdotal observation, and self-reflection. It focuses on the author’s bodily experience and other direct accounts and is a personalization of the physical integration between the human organism and machine—the cyborg. The paper discusses examples of the representation of the cyborg in cinema and television and explores the resultant perceptions of the cyborg that resonate in contemporary western society. By exploring these notions of the cyborg as primarily either “villain” or “super-crip”, the resulting understanding of human integration with machines is analyzed through the perspective of those who must navigate its effects, the disabled person in society. By discussing specific disabled bodies and the implementation of cyborg technologies as a way to validate them, further observing the process and consequences of occupying the liminal space in between designations of “normal” and the “other” and how they unfold in the life of the significantly technologically augmented human is presented through personal narrative. The author concludes by arguing that the space in between either domain is in a constant state of flux, narrowing and widening, forcing the disabled cyborg body to eventually step off to either side invariably concealing or revealing itself as “villain” or as the “super-crip”.
|Keywords:||Film, Television, Disability, Crip, Cyborg, Cybernetic, Prosthesis, Technology, Normal, Other|
Assistant Professor, Department of New Media, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
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