Sophia Oppel

Sophia Oppel / message to a cyborg
This work takes the form of a hyper-textual love letter to address the decentering of the humanist subject through digital networks and the insidious exertion of power online.
The narrator yearns to be like a cyborg; a non-binary, trans-human identity. They refer to the cyborg as an emancipated figure able to exist outside of grand narratives and binary opposition. But by the end, the speaker realises their own attempts to be a post-human being as contradictory due to their reliance on a corporatized language of dominance. “Things were already having a sour afterglow,” they lament “because my contradiction was inherent. But… if I was like you we could just fix everything in post-production.” This last line is damning, rendering the emancipatory potential of the decentered self a façade; It has already been colonized by software and logic. The notion that the digital self is an escape is an illusion, and turns out to re-affirm the same privileges as physical living.
I wanted the piece to function as both criticism and narrative, I like the idea of writing in a hypertextual way that democratizes all kinds of linguistic nuances. Semiotics and architecture are used as metaphors for the exertion of hegemonic dominance, they are placed alongside quotations from critical theory (Haraway, Deleuze and Guattari), corporate jargon, software terminology and personal poetics in order to best address cybernetic inter-reliance. The aesthetic of pop-up windows is also employed to denote the displacement of a singular narrative.


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