On Being with Technology

Haven’t we always been cyborgs, using technology since we first discovered it? sticks to make fire? animal skins for clothing? stones and sticks for weapons?

Where do us, humans, stop and tools begin.
Haraway suggests a cyborg is a hybrid of technology(and machine) and organism, a mixture of the two with no start or end of each part. She suggests that  all of the experiences we have are shaped, enabled, informed and expressed by or through technology  (‘skipping the step of original unity’; Haraway 2000: 292). Experiences are sub-personal, or not all our own. We rely on tools for our everyday experiences.
She suggests that we all have a moral obligation to recognise and acknowledge our status as cyborgs (Haraway 2000: 292, 312) because it means we pay attention to the way we behave and notice injustice and speak out against it. Haraway’s theories come from an equality feminists angle. Haraway suggests art is a way we can change injustice, to challenge ideas and change things for the better.  Maybe this could be support for the value of indexical drawings essay – the value placed on aesthetics and visual beauty in todays age/ by today’s generation. 


Harmen suggests that tools are tools because they have an effect on something – the capacity of one thing to have an effect on an other. So tools are not tools because we as humans use them but because they have the capability to change something.

“THE TOOL ISNT USED IT IS ” -G. Harman (2002). Tool-Being, p. 20.

Both theories support the idea that we are cyborgs – we are not individual beings but always interacting with tools and technology therefore cyborgs.


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