Emergent Robotic ‘Beast’

May 27, 2007 - cyberculture / cyborg / emergence / star trek / temple of cyborgism

The following quote from Tiitsman’s article on destabilized spectatorship and the creative potential of chaos in Blade Runner suggests another cognitive space in which a Temple of Cyborgism emerges.

“Replicant identity can only be unequivocally determined by a test of involuntary pupil dilation in emotional response. However the viability of this test is thrown in to question as the replicants spontaneously develop human emotions on their own after a few years. For the genetic designers, this ability signals a facet of replicant development exceeding the control of their design — the emerging life of the robotic beast.”

As Tiitsman points out, the genetic designers see the development of ‘their creation’ exceeding the control, or original intention of their design. This is clearly a similar reaction to that seen in human parents when their children pursue a path that diverges from the expected. However, in this case, the replicants aren’t ‘getting a piercing’ they are getting ‘humanness,’ rising to a ‘higher’ level of sentience. This suggests they are a kind of emergent life form, they are coalescing in the way that microbial life may have become more than it was by “adding the uniqueness” of other life forms to its own (the quotes here indicate the borrowing of this phrase from Roddenberry’s ‘Borg’ concept).

Emergent, yes, but what kind of beast is this? The beast that swims the moat around the “territory of creation?”


Quote From: Tiitsman, Jenna. “If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen with Your Eyes: Destabilized Spectatorship and Creation’s Chaos in Blade Runner.” Cross Currents. 54 (1): 32-47. 2004 Spring.