By Neil Badmington
Alien Chic presents a cultural heritage of the alien because the Nineteen Fifties, asking ourselves why our attitudes to extraterrestrial beings have shifted from worry to affection, and what this may let us know approximately how we now see ourselves and others.
Neil Badmington explores our courting with extraterrestrial beings, inscribed in motion pictures resembling The struggle of the Worlds, Mars Attacks!, Mission to Mars and Independence Day; and the way thinkers comparable to Descartes, Barthes, Freud, Lyotard and Derrida have conceptualised what it potential to be human (and post-human).
Alien Chic examines the the concept that of posthumanism in an age whilst the strains among what's human and what's non-human are more and more blurred by way of advances in technological know-how and know-how, for instance genetic cloning and engineering, and the improvement of AI and cyborgs.
Questioning even if our present embracing of all issues 'alien' - within the kind of extraterrestrial instruments or abduction narratives, for example - stems from a wish to reaffirm ourselves as 'human', this can be an unique and thought-provoking contribution to the research of posthumanism.
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Extra resources for Alien Chic: Posthumanism and the Other Within
Jean Baudrillard once asked, in fact, ‘what are the writings of Barthes, Lacan, Foucault (and even Althusser) but a philosophy of disappearance? ’39 And with this disappearance, something ‘quite different’, as Althusser puts it, comes to take the place of humanism. It was precisely this apocalyptic aspect of antihumanism that worried Jacques Derrida. Although he moved in the same Parisian intellectual circles as Barthes, Althusser, and Lévi-Strauss, Derrida took a somewhat different approach to the question of ‘Man’.
Graham puts it, the ‘code of codes’40). Suddenly, the secret is all-too-readable and all-too-writable; the ‘signature’ can be copied, forged. There is a curious paradox here: while the Genome Project set out to provide the human being with unprecedented knowledge of itself, and was a major step in controlling its elements, the actual mapping of human genetic patterns—a process that reached the stage of ‘first draft’ in June 2000, shortly after Mission to Mars had been released41—effectively under-mines the sovereignty of the traditional subject of humanism.
The danger, rather, comes in the form of a robot named AMEE (Autonomous Mapping, 26 READING THE RED PLANET Exploration and Evasion), which has been brought to the planet by the explorers themselves. The autonomous nature of the machine, in fact, proves to be the true problem, the heart of the threat. 33 ‘She’ does, rather, whatever ‘she’ wants, and when the crew casually mentions the possibility of deactivation and dismantlement, ‘she’ switches to military mode and becomes a ruthless killer. The subsequent struggle between AMEE and the humans is, in short, what drives the narrative.