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Gender and information technologies : exploring performing bodies Quenneville, Carmen

Abstract

This paper argues that since media or technologies are extensions or abstractions of ourselves, the technologies that we performatively produce simultaneously function to (re)produce us. Technologies are highly social spaces which have the performative power to (re)produce the very 'materiality' of that thing we call 'reality.' The performative powers of technologies manifest as the powerfully (re)productive meaningmaking paradigms and regulatory controls in operation in a given culture. After considering the predominant paradigms performed through typographic and computing technologies, this paper investigates 'gender' as a performative site of social interface (re)produced in relation to these predominating technological paradigms. This paper further argues that in the context of the cyborg, 'gender' is exposed to be a map with no territory: in a world increasingly exposed as simulation, the material reality of 'gender' is power's effect. Finally, this paper considers the theatre in relation to typographic and computing paradigms, arguing that 'play' and the imagination, in world that is all representation, are crucial sites of social practice. Indeed, 'performativity' provides a means for understanding the agency, subjectivity, materiality, and politics of construction (re)produced through this, our simulated world.

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