c y b o r g   m a n i f e s t o   2 . 0   ::  d i s c u s s i o n s
::   u t o p i a n i s m s

The rapid construction and infiltration of the new information technologies in our present-day societies over the last decades appears to be profound. Not incidentally, the quick spreading of these new technologies are surrounded both by various utopian and libertarian, but also nostalgic and dystopian discourses , since it has not yet been fully understood how these new media operate in a strong dialectic with their societal, cultural and economic contexts. More particularly, these discourses seem not complex enough to grasp the actual potential and uses of the new media. A better, situated and historicized understanding of the workings and promises of these new technologies in its various contexts will therefore enable us to move beyond such generalizing statements that the utopian and dystopian invoke.

Cyberutopian discourses consist typically of the phantasies of human bodies becoming obsolete where man becomes pure intelligence, and the automatic emergence of a 'global village' where social hierarchies will eventually dissolve, allowing for a total egalitarian society. These utopian discourses however fail to see the body as the material location where power is exerted and fail to account for the social hierarchies within Western culture in which the Internet was created. Moreover, the idea of a global village through the Net excludes the non-connected and the desire of becoming a pure intelligence can be exposed as a traditional masculine white Western phantasy that is closely connected to the notion of Cartesian subjectivity and psychoanalytical accounts of how Western masculinity is constructed. New notions of subjectivity, like a nomadic or mestiza one, might provide us with a way out of these hegemonising utopianisms.

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