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Body DriftButler, Hayles, Haraway$
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Arthur Kroker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816679157

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816679157.001.0001

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Complexities: the Posthuman Subject of Katherine Hayles

Complexities: the Posthuman Subject of Katherine Hayles

(p.63) 3 Complexities: the Posthuman Subject of Katherine Hayles
Body Drift

Arthur Kroker

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the thought of Katherine Hayles. Refusing to honor traditional divisions between science and literature, Hayles’ thought does that which is more difficult, yet ultimately more insightful. Her theoretical analysis folds the very latest configurations in the new science of complexity together with literature to the point where “information loses its body.” The new body that emerges—the posthuman body—discovers in the accelerated rhythms of scientific discovery an improved vocabulary for understanding what is happening to its subjectivity, perception, and memory as it is fast-processed through the digital matrix. Several of Hayles texts are analyzed, including her important trilogy, How We Became Posthuman, My Mother Was a Computer, and Writing Machines. Taken together, they represent a powerful mythopoetic vision of the posthuman subject: its informational context (chaotics); its privileged discourse (new media analysis); its evolutionary principle (complexity); and its dominant aesthetic value (intermediation).

Keywords:   Katherine Hayles, philosophy, complexity theory, posthuman body

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