The addition of any kind of technology to one’s body makes them a cyborg, if only temporarily, so whether it’s fashionable, medical or just a matter of convenience cyborgs are everywhere.
However, the existence of cyborgs makes us humans question what we are. What constitutes a body? Who has ownership over the body? Children don’t often get to make decisions like this so sometimes they end up in a body they are uncomfortable in the body the find themselves in later in life.
Prosthetics are ‘replacement’ limbs that are usually designed to make life easier, so that people can have a better quality of life, and have been around for as long as people have. Some, however, are designed to improve upon the leg of an ordinary person- legs with fins for a swimmer for example- or just as a fashion accessory. Victoria Modesta is a singer who had her leg amputated as a child for medical reasons, then decided to follow her creative vision and explore ‘human experience’.
This combination of different mediums – organic and synthetic- can often make people feel uncomfortable, and many books and stories have been imagined which question the fairness of enhancing one’s body, and how in doing so, do you become something else? Retaining one’s humanity seems to be on a lot of people’s minds, yet, no one questions it if someone is wearing glasses.
A lot of this discomfort, I believe, stems from an idealised, ‘complete’, body. Any visual sign of disability, be it hearing aids or even a guide dog leaves people unsure where they stand. They don’t fit the norm, so we end up ‘other’ing these people, or even putting them on a pedestal- Iron Man for example.