ANIMAL’s feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their original “idea sketch” next to a finished piece. This week, New York artist Andrea Crespo talks about Cyborg Polka and how essentialized identities of gender play out in consumer electronics and “synthesized pop-icon characters like Hatsune Miku or servile personal assistants like Siri.”

The idea originated from my encounter with Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto, which is quoted within the piece. The project is actually a springboard for an installation I’m working on about the same topic. It’s for a class and the idea sketch was a mind map assignment.

Haraway’s seminal 1991 essay outlines the metaphor of the cyborg as a way to describe a feminist politics beyond essentialism and naturalism. She evokes a near future in which the essentialized identities of gender and sexuality we are familiar with are modularized and reconfigured in the same manner as the bodies of cyborgs.

I made a Powerpoint for another assignment. It’s not so polished or pretty but it elaborates on the idea.

Gender and Consumer Electronics.pptx excerpts:

Fast forward to the current moment, and her vision of the cyborg initially seems to be coming into fruition.

However, dyadic and antiquated notions of gender are reified through consumer technologies.

I am interested in exploring how this is done through synthesized pop-icon characters like Hatsune Miku or servile personal assistants like Siri.

 

Andrea Crespo, CYBORG POLKA (2013)

Previous Artist’s Notebook selects:

Artist’s Notebook: Genevieve Belleveau
Artist’s Notebook: Georges Jacotey
Artist’s Notebook: Saoirse Wall
Artist’s Notebook: Jesse Darling
Artist’s Notebook: Emilie Gervais
Artist’s Notebook: Addie Wagenknecht
Artist’s Notebook: Yoshi Sodeoka
Artist’s Notebook: Anthony Antonellis