Realizing Theory

Vivian Rosenthal

Max Headroom, Bubble Gum Crisis, and Blade Runner all embody the theories of Haraway and Baudrillard. That is, they all three embrace the notions of simulation and the cyborg. In fact, they are the realization of these theories. In all three visual texts any notion of a primary real is challenged, thereby bringing into play Baudrillard's simulation. Similarly, the boundary between culture and nature, the organic and the inorganic, blurs.

My first response was to think that it was problematic that these theories were realized in a cartoon, a TV show, and a movie, all forms of media, rather than in what we think of as real life. And yet, I soon decided that these forms of media are so called real life, and real life is the media. Not only are distinctions being blurred in these cartoons and movies, such as the distinction between human and machine, but in the line we attempt to maintain between ourselves and these forms of media. In other words, the realization of Haraway and Baudrillard's theories in these visual texts is the realization of these theories (in real life) in that real life is as much these visual texts as the visual texts are real life.

[To other discussions of this topic by members of English 111, Cyberspace and Critical Theory, Spring 1998.]

Website Overview Cyborg OV Body OV Theory