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Chris Land

Human monsters are embryos that were retarded at a certain degree of development, the human in them is only a straitjacket for inhuman forms and substances - (Deleuze and Guattari, !"#$ %&'

(his is the space-age, and we are here to go - ()urroughs, !!*'

(he main thing about them is not that they wish to go +back,, but that they wish to get - away. / little more strength, flight, courage, and artistic power, and they would want to rise - not return - (0ietzsche, !"!$ 1, *'

1n !&* 2anfred 3. 4lynes and 0athan 5. 6line coined the term cyborg to refer to (nothing less than' an 7e8ogenously e8tended organisational comple8 functioning as an integrated homeostatic system unconsciously9 (4lynes and 6line !&*: !!;$ <*- '. 1n so doing, they simultaneously

heralded at least four decades of speculation on the post-human, and sought to close down this potentiality to effectuate a homeostatic-repetition of Homo-sapiens. (he e8ogenous e8tension of which 4lynes and 6line spoke was the technological e8tension of a biological organism to enable its continued survival in the hostile environ of space. =hilst their first e8periments involved the ubi>uitous lab-rat, 4lynes and 6line9s ultimate goal was the merging of high-technology and a human body to produce the ultimate astronaut. =hilst apparently radical, insofar as it broached the boundaries of the human body and took technics out of humans9 conscious control, at its core 4lynes and 6line9s work was conservative. 1t sought to conserve the essence of the human intact

and untouched thereby re-producing Homo 5apiens. (his move was both literally conservative and politically conservative. /s ?onda 5chiebinger has noted, Homo-sapiens was the name chosen for 7mankind9 as separate from other animals, even those otherwise included in the same ta8onomic classification$ Mammalia. =here humans were deemed closest to the animal kingdom, ?innaeus broke with zoological tradition and devised a term that highlighted the singularly female trait of lactating glands. =here he sought to divide and separate mankind from the animals, he chose the term Homo-sapiens, emphasising the rational mind, traditionally associated with the male of the species, as opposed to any merely physical features (5chiebinger @***'. =hen, just over @** years later, 4lynes and 6line sought to send man into space, and protect him from the ravages of such a hostile environment what they wanted to protect was precisely this faculty of reason$ the mind. 1n contrast they saw the body as a mere housing for this faculty, as something that could be surgically, chemically and mechanically modified without damaging the essence of man. Aerpetuating the 4artesian schism that had informed ?innaeus, the body itself was seen as a mere prosthesis. 0o wonder then, that they felt >uite able to suggest its wholesale prosthetic modification. 4lynes and 6line9s early formation of a logic of prosthesis has been carried into contemporary debates on cyborgs and the posthuman. 1n the work of modern day cyberneticians like Hans 2orovec and 6evin =arwick, the human race is in an evolutionary battle with its own products, and the machines are winning (2oravec !!*B =arwick !!#B Dery !!&'. (he only way to stay ahead of this Darwinian:capitalist battle for supremacy is to transcend our merely mortal condition and become cyborgs, downloading our consciousness into robot bodies, or computer networks where they can travel freely, unhindered by the vagaries of the flesh and its resistance to even sublight speed acceleration. 5uch a model, however, remains wedded to a logic of 7cosmic evolutionism9 (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ %!' where 2an is the telos of creation, albeit in a

cybernetically modified livery. 3volution is seen as an anthropomorphic force, actively seeking a combination of increasing comple8ity and efficiency. (he particular model of evolution that underpins the idea of the posthuman is itself all too human (/nsell Aearson !!#a'. (his chapter seeks an escape from this impasse by delineating the conditions of possibility for a trans-human becoming that neither collapses back into the humanist conceit of an enhanced anthropomorphism (the post-human', nor simply negates this figure , thereby remaining caught in a binary bind of opposition (the anti-human'. Cather, following 6eith /nsell Aearson ( !!#a and !!#b', the paper suggests a trans-human becoming in which technology plays a role that is decidedly non-prosthetic. )y entering into heterogeneous relations of becoming, the human is always already other than itself, but the deterritorialisations enveloped in these becomings can either be reterritorialised upon the image of the human (demonstrating the limits of a politics based on representation', or can open up new lines of becomingB apocalyptic deterritorialisations in a constant process of de-individualisation (Doucault !"<$ 8iv'. Distinguishing the trans-human from various de-humanising process in this way enables us to evaluate again the openings offered by new becomings-technology, where these becomings translate and transform both parties in the relationship. 1ndeed, following a Deleuzo-Guattarian ontology of flow and connection that some have referred to as 7cyborganization9 (Aarker and 4ooper !!"' we could say that there is no human essence independent of, or prior to, its becomings and connections, in which case man has always been a cyborg. )ut this does not mean that there are not different becomings, even becomingstechnology. =here 4lynes and 6line sought to fi8 the face of the human through technological innovation others have sought to reject all technics in a return to a 7pure9 human form, itself impossible to conceive without a techno-scientific other to articulate itself against. )ut, if the human is ontologically a cyborg-becoming, rather than empirically becoming a cyborg then both of these positions are untenable. Cather than retreating from the fascism of the human face, into a

romanticised primitive body, or remaining fi8ed upon the face of an always imperialist human cast in the image of God (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ #"', the alternative it to peel away this all-toohuman face, and transform it into a probe-head (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ ! '. Ef course, this raises the whole >uestion of what this trans-human probe-head might be, and whether it can be represented. /s this paper will argue, this >uestion of representation goes right to the heart of the problem of overcoming the human. /t best, as e8amples from =illiam )urroughs, 0ick ?and and Deleuze and Guattari suggest, when such points are reached, the limits of representation suggest that a te8t can only point outside itself, one reason for the difficulties faced by te8tual responses to the >uestion of technology (?and, forthcoming'. (he (in'conclusions of the paper then, like those of the two plateaus discussed in it, offer a series of departures from the te8t, rather than an ending, though each of these departures point to the end of what has thus far been legislated as the human subject.

2an and (echnics

F/Gfter 0apoleon the machine-technics of =estern 3urope grew gigantic and, with its manufacturing towns, its railways, its steamships, it has forced us in the end to face the problem s>uarely and seriously. =hat is the significance of technicsH =hat meaning within history, what value within life, does it possess, where - socially and meta-physically - does it standH (5pengler !<@$ %'

Daced with this >uestion of technics, Eswald 5pengler asks, 7=hat does it meanH =hat does it signifyH9 (he >uestion of technics is immediately reinscribed as a >uestion of meaning, something

that needs to be interpreted. /nd from whence should such an interpretation issueH 5ignificant to whomH (o 2an. =e might say the same of most contemporary theories of technology and social change. Aerusing the shelves of any bookshop today will reveal a wealth of te8ts dealing with the incredible rate of technologically induced change that is currently afflicting society, like a terminal case of retro futuristic chrono-semiitis (?and and Iones @** '. /uthors as diverse as Daniel )ell ( !#%B !"*', /lvin (offler ( !#*', 2arshall 2c?uhan ( !&%' and )ill Gates (@***' all offer a vision of radical social change driven by a virtual engine of technological transformation. /ll are concerned to delineate the implication and meaning of these technological changes for human society$ to interpret the meaning of technics. Dor 5pengler there are two possible responses to this >uestion. Dirst there is an /ristotelian heritage, sieved through the nets of the humanists, notably Humboldt and Goethe, to produce an idealism that denigrates the economics and technics of production as mere material concerns, beneath the threshold of serious concern. Dor these idealists, humanity9s energies should be focused on the achievements of culture. /t best, technics are there to free people to get on with what is of real value, literary, artistic, political achievements, and if a subclass of machines, slaves or workers needs to be kept subordinate so that an elite can produce such cultural achievements, then so be it. (he irony of this version of humanism is that humans are all too easily e8pendable in the pursuit of humanity9s striving toward greatness. Epposed to this idealist response is the materialism of 2ar8, )entham and 2ill. =hilst at first glance, and, given the vitriolic bile that 2ar8 regularly poured upon the Jtilitarians it seems absurd to group these three thinkers together, 5pengler9s point is similar to /nthony9s when he recognises a shared 7ideology of work9 that unites such seemingly politically opposed foes (/nthony !#&'. Dor these materialists, economics and technics provide the

material base of all society. (hey determine its form and dynamics, its evolution. 4ulture, from this view, and all that is valued by the idealists is merely ideological superstructure. =hat both of the responses outlined by 5pengler share is a drive to evaluate technics in terms of a pregiven human subject. =hether this is the labouring, value producing human body that provides the foundation of a 2ar8ist theory of value (2ar8 !#&B 3lson !#!' or the eternal human subject at the heart of the humanities, the terms upon which valuation should occur are given. (hese responses to the challenge of technology are still repeated today. =hen faced with managerial discourses on information systems and knowledge management, critical scholars accuse theorists and practitioners alike of technocentrismB of ignoring the really crucial human factors at play in organised social settings$ leadership, culture and commitment (?and and 4orbett @** $ ;<'. 1n such critical responses to technological determinism, the privileging of technical objects is inverted to replace the human subject at the centre of all social analysis. 2ore subtly a collection of approaches that we can gather together under the idea of a 7te8tual turn9 develop a particular stream of social constructivism to suggest that the only way to rid ourselves of the delusions of positivism, and eliminate any elements of 7residual technicism9 from our analyses of technology, is to conceive of technology as a te8t (Grint and =oolgar !!#B Ioerges and 4zarniawska !!"'. ?ike the critics of technocentrism however, these theorists are so keen to obliterate any evidence of objectivism that they fail to reflect sufficiently upon the subject of interpretation. 1f technology is te8tual, then we must pay attention to its interpretation. /ll well and good, but what is it that performs this interpretationH 1f the answer is simply a human subject, then we would be well advised to heed 0ietzsche9s note of warning, addressed to an earlier generation of critics of positivism$

/gainst positivism, which halts at phenomena - +(here are only facts, - 1 would say$ 0o, facts is precisely what there is not, only interpretations. =e cannot establish any fact +in itself,$ perhaps it is folly to want to do such a thing. +3verything is subjective,, you sayB but even this is interpretation. (he +subject, is not something given, it is something added and invented and projected behind what there is. Dinally, is it necessary to posit an interpreter behind the interpretationH 3ven this is invention, hypothesis. (0ietzsche !&"$ @&#'

=hen faced with the >uestion of technology, then, the trick is to avoid any kind of essentialism, even an essentialism of the subject. (o put it another way, the subject does not organise interpretation, uniting it into a complete whole. (he subject is not behind or above interpretation, but alongsideB a product of interpretation. )ut where does this leave the >uestion of technology and its significance for the humanH

/fter the Human


1n 7 *,*** ).4.$ (he Geology of 2orals (=ho Does the 3arth (hink 1t 1sH'9 Deleuze and Guattari go after the figure of the human in hot pursuit across the anthropomorphic stratum. 4aught in a series of double-articulated straitjackets, this elusive human monster suffers the judgements of a lobster-god working on a mineral time-scale (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ %&'. Dortunately, ?eroiGourhan finds geological traces of change out on the steppe$

=hat some call the properties of human beings - technology and language, tool and symbol, free hand and supple laryn8, +gesture and speech, - are in fact properties of FaG new distribution Fof form and contentG. 1t would be difficult to maintain that the emergence of

human beings marked the absolute origin of this distribution. ?eroi-Gourhan9s analyses give us an understanding of how contents came to be linked with the hand-tool couple and e8pressions with the face-language couple. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ &*, s>uare brackets added'

1nstead of proposing an essentialist definition of the human, Deleuze and Guattari recognise the formation of an anthropomorphic stratum, formed by folding and sorting processes not entirely unlike the formation of geological strata (ibid.$ ;"-& '. (hose features recognised by the philosophers as distinctive of the human - language (for e8ample 5earle !"%B Dellows !!;' and tool use (/nsell Aearson !!#aB )ergson !!"' - are not so much essential attributes, as processes of de- and re-territorialisation. Human evolution has been the result of complementary changes in the mouth and the hands that have enabled tool use and language to emerge in parallel. =hen bodies begin to move in a more upright position, the hands are freed from their locomotive functioning (deterritorialisation' to take on other functions, such as making and using tools (reterritorialisation'. =ith hands and tools, the mouth is freed from those functions where it has to act on the e8ternal world, for e8ample to carry things, or to tear and grind food. (his deterritorialisation of the mouth frees it up for other purposes, such as language (another reterritorialisation' ()ogue !"!$ @"-!'. (hese stratifications are double articulations producing forms and contents, to use a materialist rendering of Hjelmslevian semiotics. (he hand is produced as a form of content, with its corresponding tools as a substance of contentB language as a form of e8pression, with the face (supple-laryn8, mouth and lips' as its respective substance of e8pression. 5piralling out, we recognise that these shifts can only occur within a relatively deterritorialised milieu$ the steppe with its spaces open for upright movement. (he anthropomorphic stratum is a distribution that can only be mapped$ 72aps should be made of these things, organic, ecological,

and technological maps one can lay out on the plane of consistency9 (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ & '. 5uch an approach is >uite distinct from 5pengler9s response to the >uestion of technics. Cather than seeking the meaning of technics within human history, or its significance for human being both reductions of technology to language and signification - Deleuze and Guattari do not ask what it means, but what it does, and how its movements can be mapped, not subservient to the human but as a constituent form of content within the anthropomorphic stratum. =hilst the te8tual turn seeks to reduce all material e8istence to >uestions of meaning, significance and interpretation, 7FtGhe end result of Deleuze and Guattari9s analysis of the content and e8pression of the strata of reality is not to convert the world into signs, but to situate material signs within a substrate of matter9 ()ogue !"!$ @&'.

?anguage and the 5ubject

(he elementary unit of language - the statement - is the order-word. Cather than common sense, a faculty for the centralization of information, we must define an abominable faculty consisting in emitting, receiving, and transmitting order-words. ?anguage is made not to be believed but to be obeyed, and to compel obedience. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ #&'

2y general theory since !# has been that the =ord is literally a virus, and that it has not been recognized as such because it has achieved a state of relatively stable symbiosis with its human host. ()urroughs !"&$ %#'

Deleuze and Guattari suggest that the elementary unit of language is the order-word. /s well as playing upon the sense of mot dordre as a password (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ ;@<, translator9s

note' so that the statement becomes the repetition of an access code, saying the right thing at the right time, this idea of ordering operates on two registers. /lso reflecting its military connotations, there is the giving of orders. 1n this sense, language and control are entirely implicated in one another, a co-implication that is reflected in the way that cyberneticians have employed the term 7communication9 (=iener !& B Hayles !!!'. En the other hand, there is the idea of linguistic ordering as a mode of organisation particularly concerned with hierarchical relations of dualism. /s they put it in relation to the teaching of language in school$

(he compulsory education machine does not communicate informationB it imposes upon the child semiotic coordinates possessing all of the dual foundations of grammar (masculinefeminine, singular-plural, noun-verb, subject of the statement - subject of enunciation, etc.'. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ #;-&'

1n this sense, language itself is fundamental to the production of the subjects it presumes, in particular the subject of enunciation assumed by the subject of statements in the first person. (his point has been made >uite forcefully by 0ietzsche in his criti>ue of the 4artesian cogito. Giving the e8ample of the statement 7lightning strikes9 0ietzsche points to the absurd anthropomorphism implied by these two words$ a subject (7lightning9' who 7strikes9 (0ietzsche !!%$ @"'. (he same point applies to Descartes9 74ogito ergo sum9 (Descartes !"&$ #, &"'$ there is no logical necessity of a subject who thinks. 3ven to say 7it thinks9 is too far for 0ietzsche as the very supposition of a subject is to infer according to 7the grammatical habit$ +(hinking is an activityB every activity re>uires an agentB conse>uently,9 (0ietzsche !"!$ @%'. )ut if language and thought are not products of a pre-e8istent human subject, but producing and positioning the subject in a semotically structured social field then attention must be paid to the

materiality of discourse. ?anguage is not a simple reflection or representation of internal subjective states but an e8ternal objective material force. =illiam 5. )urroughs9 thesis that 7the word is a virus9 is not metaphorical, but literal, or at least metonymic (?ydenberg !"#'. ?anguage is not a simple product of the subject, nor a neutral tool of representation. Cather it is something simultaneously e8ternal to and constitutive of 7the human9 ()urroughs !"&$ %#'. Aassed from one body to another, language produces the effect of

subjectification precisely as a symptom of viral infection. (hat this virus has achieved a degree of symbiosis with its host does nothing to alter this fact, but merely conceals it. Deleuze and Guattari also recognise the viral nature of language, which they claim has nothing to do with the simple representation of information from one party to another$

?anguage is not content to go from a first party to a second party, from one who has seen to one who has not, but necessarily goes from a second party to a third party, neither of whom has seen. 1t is in this sense that language is the transmission of the word as an order-word, not the communication of a sign as information. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ ##'

Discourse is always indirect and communication is all too communicable.

Aause
Ceturning briefly to the anthropomorphic stratum, before finally taking our leave, whilst language begins as a form of e8pression linked to the face, and associated with the hand-tool couple as content, it soon spreads beyond this narrow remit. (he anthropomorphic stratum sees the formation of machines, such that technology and language e8ceed themselves. 38pression is a semiotic collective machine that constitutes a regime of signs, including, but much more than, the face-

language couple, just as content is a technical social machine that pree8ists the hand-tool couple, constituting it through a formation of power. 1n Dialogues, Deleuze and Aarnet illustrate this latter with reference to ?ynn =hite Ir9s study of feudal technology$

(he history of technology shows that a tool is nothing without the variable machine assemblage which gives it a certain relationship of vicinity with man, animals and things$ K the stirrup is a different tool depending upon whether it is related to a nomadic war-machine, or whether, on the contrary, it has been taken up in the conte8t of the feudal machine. 1t is the machine that makes the tool and not vice versa. (Deleuze and Aarnet !"#$ *%-;'

(oday we might say the same of the internet. =hilst it is a commonplace that the internet was developed in the depths of the J5 state-military machine as a means of keeping missile systems active in the event of nuclear attack, this origin has been problematic for many of the theorists concerned with delineating the net9s rhizomatic, even emancipatory potential (5tivale !!"'. )ut the >uestion of origins is not important here so much as what variable machine assemblage gathers it into its organisation (cf. Deleuze !""$ <-%'. De- and re-territorialised onto the socius of capital the net looks >uite different from its /CA/03( military origins, just as it is >uite distinct from its association with academic research tools. /lternatively it can also be taken up by a nomadic war machine, as when the internet is employed by anti-capitalist protestors to disseminate information on events around the meetings of the =orld 3conomic Dorum, or G" for e8ample, or is taken up by the Lapatistas in the 4hiapas region of 2e8ico (4ockburn et al @***$ &&'. (hese two machines - the technical social machine of content and the semiotic collective machine of e8pression - whilst being fully a part of the anthropomorphic stratum, 7at the same time rise up and stretch their pincers out in all directions at the other strata9 (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$

&<'. ?anguage is not only viral, but imperialist. (he semiotic collective machine appears to colonise the other strataB to translate them into languageB 7to unfold, to stand to full height, producing an illusion e8ceeding all strata, even though the machine itself still belongs to a determinate stratum9 (ibid.$ &<'. )ut what is this translationH 1t is 7the ability of language, with its own givens on its own stratum, to represent all the other strata and thus achieve a scientific conception of the world9 (ibid.$ &@'. 1t is this illusion that is 7constitutive of man9, an illusion that 7derives from the overcoding immanent to language itself9 (ibid.$ &<'. /s )urroughs would put it, the human is a virus ()urroughs !"@$ <&'. 2an assumes that he can interpret even nonlinguistic systems in terms of language, it is from this that his apparent power over, and separation from the other strata appears. 1t is in this that he is most like a god, stretching his pincers out across the strata in judgement.

/fter the Human @


)ut if man9s linguistic god-comple8 is constitutive of 2an (alongside his machines' then what are we to make of the supposedly profound changes affecting us at the close of the mechanical age (5tone !!;'H =e are now told that advances in information and communication technologies are heralding a new era, not only in the social organisation of the network society (4astells @***', the information society (=ebster !!;' or the post-industrial or post-modern society (6umar !!;', but also in the very formation of the human, traditionally conceived as the building block of social organisation ()admington @***B Aepperell !!#B Davis !!"B )ukatman !!<'. )ringing together linguistic communication and technology these new machines seem to hold open the prospect for a deterritorialisation of the anthropomorphic stratum. (he Eedipal, straitjacketed figure of the human is still evolving and the story of 2an is not at an end. 0ot yet$ 7=hat is animal at dawn, a human at noon, and a cyborg at dusk, passing through (base four' genetic wetware, (binary' techno-cultural software, and into the tertiary schizomachine programH9 (?and !!;$ !"'. /s Arofessor 4hallenger

nears the (in'conclusion of his lecture on the evolution of the anthropomorphic stratum and its distributions of form and content in plateau <, he 7slowly hurries9 toward the plane of consistency, performing a destratification of the human.

Disarticulated, deterritorialized, 4hallenger muttered that he was taking the 3arth with him, that he was leaving for the mysterious world, his poison garden. He whispered something else$ it is by headlong flight that things progress and signs proliferate. Aanic is creation. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ #<'

Here then we have a vision of the end of the human, suggestive of a deterritorialisation of the anthropomorphic stratum, of the distributions of form and content that are constitutive of 2an. /s signs proliferate in the recesses of cyberspace the techno-cultural binary of words and things is disarticulated and comes apart at the seams but what is the line of flight thereby produced and can it escape recaptureH (o address this >uestion some lines of distinction need to be drawn and worked through. En the one hand there are the posthumanists, with their desire to escape the mortal world of flesh and fluid wet-ware into the clean and dry non-space of the matri8, thereby achieving immortality as information (Davis !!"'. En the other hand there are those driven by (hanatos toward the death of 7the human9 in the full recognition that 7it is impossible to die one time, to die once and for all9 (/nsell Aearson !!#a$ &;' and who seek annihilation as a means of overcoming the human (?and !!;B ?and !!<'. )oth are seeking an escape from the human, but are they e>uivalentH

Aost-humanism

(ime to get off this stinking, cop-ridden planet ()urroughs @**@$ back cover'

1n his study of J5 techno-culture at the end of the twentieth century, 2ark Dery characterises the technophilic e8cesses of the post-humanists as a 7theology of the ejector seat9 (Dery !!&'. (aking )urroughs9 oft-cited 7(his is the space age, and we are here to go9 ()urroughs$ !!*' as emblematic of this new religion, Dery, like 3ric Davis ( !!"', points to the suggestive links between posthumanism and the ascetic ideal of Gnosticism where the body is a prison to be escaped and denied in favour of the immaterial and eternal life of the soul. 4onverted to pure information, the profane world of matter can be left behind and transcendence is assured. (his take on the post-human is >uite clearly anthropomorphic. 1t offers transcendence, permanence and an unchanging ever-after. Cather than heralding change, this is the end of evolution as )audrillard characterises it in The Vital Illusion (@** '. (he end of the human is embraced as the end of becoming, the end of death and the end of all change in favour of an eternity of the same - pure being. /nything but a transformation, the post-human is the perfection of human-being and an end to change. (his figure of the posthuman is surprisingly like the ideal liberal-humanist subject. 4ompletely disembodied and obscenely rational it is a pure will that has finally cut itself free from its puppet strings to become a self-contained master. Ef course one parado8 of this transcendence and liberation is that it is entirely dependent upon a massive social and technical infrastructure. / second problem with this conception is the version of evolution that provides its justification. )ased in a neo-Darwinism that anthropomorphically deifies 7evolution9 as seeking either 7the fittest9 or more recently 7the most comple89 (/nsell Aearson$ !!#a', evolution for the post-humanists is a competition in which the human is threatened by more comple8 and efficient technologies. (his human essence is then what needs to be defended against this perceived threat,

however much this involves mutation and cyborging (=arwick$ !!#'. 0ot only is the =estern neo-liberal model of capitalism taken as the model for this neo-Darwinian evolution, but it is then reinserted as the goal of social evolution. 2achines are more efficient at producing goods and processing information (a >uantitative evaluation' therefore they will and should displace humans.

(rans-humanism
/n alternative to post-humanism then seems to lie in a recognition that 7we have never been human9, to paraphrase ?atour ( !!<B cf. Davis !!"$ *'. /s 4hallenger9s lesson teaches us, there is no human essence just assemblage so the dream of post-human transcendence is just that$ a dream, or perhaps better, a nightmare (/nsell Aearson @**@'. 1n contrast to this, and following Deleuze, another reading of the 7beyond9 of the human condition is possible. /fter 0ietzsche we can look to the idea of the overman as that which may come out of the human as an immanent potential, but also that which overcomes the human as a limited straitjacket$ as that which destratifies the anthropomorphic stratum and releases its constitutive flows. 1n reading the trans-human as a cyborganic becoming through an anti-oedipal journey up river that improvises on a science-fictional reworking of Apocalypse Now, 0ick ?and rejects the limits of theatrical representation to see what might be produced in the shadows of hypercapitalism$ the cyborg gravediggers whose birth is immanent to the deterritorialising flows of capital. (his cyborganic subject is >uite distinct from the 2ar8ian return of the repressed proletarian subject however (?and !!;'. 1t is not privileged because it is replication, simulation and forgery, without origin (2urphy !!#'. 1t is for this reason that ?and suggests that the revolutionary figure par e8cellence is the replicant (?and !!<' with no father left to kill and no mother to love$

(he =illard skin is coming away in ragged scraps, e8posing something beyond masculinity, beyond humanity, beyond life. Aatches of mottled technoderm woven with electronics are emerging. Daddy and mummy means nothing anymore. Mou scrape away your face and step into the darkK (?and !!;$ @*%'

Eh 4hristK Mear Lero


1n the seventh of their Thousand Plateus, Year ero! "aciality, Deleuze and Guattari consider the importance of the face to the idea of the human. =hen discussing the human we have spoken of the mind:body dualism, but to speak correctly, the human doesn9t have a body. Cecalling the face of God in the clouds, or the shadows on the (urin shroud (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ &#', it is this face of the father that overcodes primitive heads and bodies to become faces$

(he head, even the human head, is not necessarily a face. (he face is produced only when the head ceases to be a part of the body, when it ceases to be coded by the body, when it ceases to have a multidimensional, polyvocal corporeal code - when the body, head included, has been decoded and has to be overcoded by something we shall call the Dace. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ #*'

5o what is the human face-to-face, the authenticity of unmediated communication or communion, between faces that a humanist romanticism harks back to and sees contaminated by the new technologies of communicationH 71 too would like to know the warm heart beating at the centre of all human activity K 1 want to have my finger on its pulse, its hand in mine and our eyes meeting9 (Aarker @***$ "%'. 4ertainly, 7the face is produced in humanity9, and yet$

(he inhuman in human beings$ that is what the face is from the start. 1t is by nature a close-up with its inanimate white surfaces, its shining black holes, its emptiness and boredom. )unkerface. (o the point that if human beings have a destiny, it is rather to escape the face, to dismantle the face and facializations. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ # '

=hilst a centrepoint of humanist sentimentality, the face, and what ten )os and 6aulingfreks (@**@' have called the 7interfacial hothouse9, (the heat between faces of an authentic human encounter like the idealised one alluded to by Aarker' cannot help but point to an inhuman in the human. ?ike the stony face and impenetrable gaze of a 0azi prison camp administrator (Dinkielkraut @** $ ', the overcoding of the human face is always colonial. 1t measure and compares to a transcendent model of humanity and in judging, finds wanting. (he face of the human has the inhuman, the horrors of the in>uisition and the holocaust as its counterpoint. 1t is Ianus faced and, like a mask, inanimate. Di8ed by ideals and the purity of separation it has no movement, just a fi8ed gaze staring blankly. )ut even with this overcoding, the human is already departing from the anthropomorphic stratum. =hilst the hand was a relative deterritorialisation of the locomotive paw, in association with a tool (for e8ample a club as a deterritorialised branch' the face is an absolute deterritorialisation that rises up along with language and signifiance, to connect to all of the other strata$

Kthe face represents a far more intense, if slower, deterritorialization. =e could say that it is an a#solute deterritorialization$ it is no longer relative because it removes the head from the stratum of the organism, human or animal, and connects it to other strata, such as signifiance and subjectification. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ #@'

Ef course, it is not just technology, but language which is central to these overcodings and deterritorialisations (cf. 5Nrensen, forthcoming'. (he mouth is emptied of food and in a bulimic movement, fills itself with words to vomit out. 1n this sense the movement of faciality and the blackhole of the mouth has always already departed from the organic or anthropomorphic stratum. (here is no purity and language spreads out to effectuate codings (genetic, technical, linguistic' on the other strata. 2an is constituted by an illusion, by the purity of separation, but the abstract machine producing that illusion, and by e8tension 2an, is not illusory. (he distributions of content and e8pression really are changing, and reaching out across the strata$ 2an has always been transhuman.

Aause
5o where does this leave usH Ene on hand it seems as though the posthuman is a reterritorialisation back onto the human. En the other we are forced into a recognition that the human, as faciality, always had in it something of the inhuman as a fascistic deterritorialisation. 5o what might it mean to overcome the human when its face is already spreading out across the strataH Here there is no contradiction. (he human is fascistic and imperial. 1t colonises all Ethers into its representation and judges them as more or less deviant from its norm, more or less civilised precisely insofar as it is caught up in its faciality. 1n contrast Deleuze and Guattari suggest something else, a movement that escapes the fascism of faciality and refuses a return to the more thoroughly territorialised, pre-facial body$ becoming probe-head.

)eyond the face lies an altogether different inhumanity$ no longer that of the primitive head, but of +probe-heads,B here, cutting edges of deterritorialization become operative and lines of deterrirorialization positive and absolute, forming strange new becomings, new

polyvocalities. )ecome clandestine, make rhizome everywhere, for the wonder of a nonhuman life yet to be created. "ace$ my love, you have finally become a probe-headK (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ !*- '

Here then is =illard scraping away his face and stepping into an unknown dark, revealing a 7mottled technoderm9 beneath that is decidedly nonhuman and yet escapes the inhuman reterritorialisation of faciality. 1n both cases we are left with an ending and an inconclusion. /s an air strike is called into the jungle the battle between bodies and faces ends in death and a return of something >uite different. Dor Deleuze and Guattari the ending is left hanging with probe-heads reaching out and multiplying. 1n neither case there is a clear image of the post-human. 1t is >uite simply beyond representation. )ut far from being a limitation, this is a crucial feature of change. )ecoming is not simple mimesis, a hylomorphic stamping of the face of the future onto that of the (human' past. 1t is itself a tenuous probing of becoming as mutation and multiplication$ the capture of a segment of code by all means, but always to bring it into another assemblage, to make it do something.

Cobo-cop$ 4yborg Dascism


=e should be wary then of calls to a return to human values where they seek to arrest change and development, returning to a facial and fascistic overcoding in the name of the father. Iust as ?innaeus9 ta8onomy separated hu:men:minds from women:animal:bodies, a separation overcoded by racial anatomy in the nineteenth century (5chiebinger @***', so contemporary discourse calls for a return of the (same' privilege of the imperial white males face$

=hy the lament for a lost humanity which since the evolutionary epics of the 3nlightenment has been habitually defined in the male term to the e8clusion of all othersH /ll that is lost is what we could refer to as the =estern =hite 2ale will. /ny pretentious eulogy for its timely death is merely a call for more negation, more misogyny, more racism, an e8terior to dominate$ the revivalist frenzy of fascism, for the dead end of humanism. (2etcalf !!"$ %'

1n this sense a deterritorialisation of the human is an e8plicitly political move in two ways$ rejecting the Ethering process that enables the domination and overcoding of faciality on the human sideB resisting the apparent depoliticisation of technological progress and post-humanism on the other. 1n the face of a homogenising globalisation operating often in the name of 7universal9 human rights to spread liberalism9s twin faces of representative democracy and free-markets, the transhuman cyborg is a figure of resistance. /s Deleuze and Guattari write, prefiguring the fallout of the terrorist attacks on the J5 on 5eptember
th

by over twenty years$

Doubtless, the present situation is highly discouraging. =e have watched the war machine grow steadily stronger and stronger, as in a science fiction storyB we have seen it assign as its objective a peace still more terrifying than fascist deathB we have seen it maintain or instigate the most terrible of local wars as parts of itselfB we have seen it set its sights on a new type of enemy, no longer another 5tate, or even another regime, but the Ounspecified enemyOB we have seen it put its counterguerrilla elements into place, so that it can be caught by surprise once, but not twice. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ %@@'

1n the face of this apparent totalisation of power and control, it is unsurprising that more conventional humanist scholars, however radical, have trouble conceptualising resistance

((hompson and /ckroyd !!;B /ckroyd and (hompson !!!'. )ut rather than calling for a return to human values from some position e8ternal to the technical evolution of the anthropomorphic stratum, the suggestion from Deleuze and Guattari is to recognise that there is no position outside technics or outside power. /ny attempt to legislate such a position necessarily involves a return to the fascism of the linguistic universal God-comple8. /s 6laus (heweleit puts it$

(he more terrible mistake of the nineteenth century$ the abandonment of creation theory was based on a biological rather than a technical-artificial foundation. =e are the children of the conse>uences of this mistake. 1nstead of technical practices, we inherited the master race as our God-function. /s good children of the master-race elders, +we, believe ( green as we are' - still - that we can protect ourselves against fascism with +nature, (instead of realizing that only technics can abolish fascism'. ((heweleit !!@$ @&*'

1n the absence of a transcendent human:nature, it is artifice and technics that hold out the key to the non-fascist life. 0ot a reterritorialisation back onto the face of 2an, but rather a deterritorialised, becoming probe-head of the trans-human replicant. 1n this respect the technics of late capitalism produces its grave-diggers not as a dialectical contradiction but because of the spaces and cracks that open up in between.

F(Ghe very conditions that make the 5tate or =orld war machine possible, in other words, constant capital (resources and e>uipment' and human variable capital, continually recreate une8pected possibilities for counterattack, unforeseen initiatives determining revolutionary, popular, minority, mutant machines. (Deleuze and Guattari !"#$ %@@'

Er in more science fictional terms$

=ith all prospects of moderate reform buried forever, true revolution brews up in the biotechmutant underclass. Piruses are getting creepier, and no one really knows what cyberspace is up to. =3?4E23 (E 6/A1(/? J(EA1/ aerosoled on the dead heart of the near future. (?and !!;$ @* '

(his is a long way from the all-too-human, hyper-masculine cyborgs of contemporary Hollywood cinema (see Cushing and Drentz !!;' with their Dreikorps imagery, impenetrable steel surfaces and relentless, emotionless determination (Aarker and 4ooper !!"'. 1t is also a long way from

suggesting that all technological change should be un>uestioningly embraced. =hat it does mean however is that power is far from absolute and we should be wary of tales of complete technological domination (=eiss !!!'. 1t also means that we should be careful of a pre-emptive ?uddism however. /s the human has its roots in an originary technics, so we should be wary of fascistic discourses of purification that seek to hold life in a straitjacket. (his is precisely the response of humanist approaches to the >uestion of technology, whether in the form of a 2ar8ist humanist rejection of new technology as deskilling ()raverman !#%B 0oble !!!' or in terms of human-centred design. 1n two senses then, this trans-human position is distinct from posthumanism. 1t doesn9t return (eternally the same' to the idea(l' of homo-sapiens. 0or does it reinscribe a Iudeo-4hristian theology of transcendence onto the mechanosphere.

(he transhuman condition is not about the transcendence of the human being, but concerns its non-teleological becoming in an immanent process of 7anthropological deregulation9. (/nsell Aearson !!#a$ &<'

1ndeed, according to Deleuze the issue is not achieving escape velocity at all$

0ot leaving 3arth, at all - but becoming all the more earthly by inventing laws of li>uids and gases on which the 3arth depends. (Deleuze !!@$ @!<'

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