Book of the Day: Cyborg Subjects

Cyborg Subjects was/is a truly exceptional digital cultural theory online journal from which a selected book of essays has been crafted by editors Bonni Rambatan and Jacob Johanssen:

“In 2010, we set out to create a platform for two things we love and value: freedom of critical thought and digital culture. We wanted to create something that would testify of something major of our contemporary age. Having grown up with the Internet, we, the unknown digital kids, hoped to create a website that would be different from traditional academia: Cyborg Subjects was born. The major idea behind it was not only to freely publish articles that dealt with a broad range of themes and debates of the zeitgeist but to create a transparent and lively debate. We wanted to have an open review system where everything would be published and everyone could add their 2 virtual cents to an essay or artwork. This was an attack on the monopoly publishers in academia.

This anthology is a compilation of essays published in the online journal “Cyborg Subjects: Discourses on Digital Culture” circa 2010-2012. The journal started out as an experiment: curated works—artistic or essay—submitted to us via e-mail were posted online, free for anyone to review (with comments) and/or adapt (by creating new posts linking back to the original article).

A common thread that links all papers and ideas in this volume is that of the digital. The digital and with it the idea that something intangible and virtual has actual and radical impacts on our contemporary world. We wanted to explore this further and decided to focus on three major developments: digital subjectivity, or what we call the posthuman; how this subjectivity creates new political discourses, as exemplified in the Wikileaks polemic; and finally, how those discourses enable digital subjects to have strong, direct, real-world impacts, as exemplified in the 2011 revolutions.

Due to lack of interest, however, our open review system was quick to lose its mass. Although initial traction seemed to be good—many, like ourselves, hailed the Cyborg Subjects platform as a novel discourse-generating system in which “theoretical production will be able to keep up with the pace of technology”*—interaction was little, and kept decreasing (along with the number of quality submissions) through each subsequent call for papers.

This anthology gathers the top three articles submitted to our platform from each of our three calls of papers, additional articles from editors and guest writers, and one experimental article submission as a closing note. In addition, the cover of this book, submitted by Chinese artist Jung-Hua Liu, also serves a textual purpose, the statement of which can be read in this book’s appendix.”online xenical buy

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