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Insect MediaAn Archaeology of Animals and Technology$
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Jussi Parikka

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816667390

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816667390.001.0001

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Sexual Selection in the Biodigital

Sexual Selection in the Biodigital

Teknolust and the Weird Life of SRAs

(p.169) Seven Sexual Selection in the Biodigital
Insect Media

Jussi Parikka

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter looks at the ethological relations of digital culture and software through an example of feminist media art, Lynn Hershman-Leeson’s film Teknolust (2002). This film is an unusual intervention into the practices and representations of biodigitality in the 1990s. It depicts scientist Rosetta Stone and her creation of three self-replicating automatons (SRAs) modeled on her image. The theme of biodigitality is buried in a micro-level analysis of relations, affects, and “cuddling,” which is a repeated feature of the film. The SRAs can be seen as similar to exploration machines that analyze the gaps and undefined spaces between humans, machines, and biological life in general. The film works through a certain network of sexuality that shifts from human-centric reproduction to “bacterial sex,” with emphasis on sexuality as an effort towards the becoming-insect and becoming-machinic ideas included in Gilles Deleuze’s feminism.

Keywords:   Teknolust, biodigitality, self-replicating automatons, sexual network, bacterial sex, Deleuzian feminism

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