ROBOTRONIKA - hypermatic:automagic
19 - 23 June 1998 Museumsquartier, Vienna/Austria

Prof. Heidi J. Figueroa Sarriera, University of Puerto Rico, Department of Psychology, PR

"Pygmalion Strikes Back: Stories of Robots, Love and Betrayal at the End of the Millennium"

Pygmalion, king of Cyprus and a well known misogynist nonetheless fell in love with the ivory image of a woman that he himself had carved. The ancient Greek myth tells that Aphrodite acceded to his request that she vivify his creation. Pygmalion married his now animated creation and they had a child. Through out this paper I examine some metaphors used in "popular scientific" discourses about the future of robotic that relaunch some basic mythic figures that have survived over centuries mutating at the postmodern edge. Two are the axis of this discussion : the return of the living dead and the bio-sexual politics of "the final frontier".

Heidi J. Figueroa-Sarriera is Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Río Piedras Campus, University of Puerto Rico. As a transdisciplinary social psychologist she is involved in research on cultural representations of high-tech designs and human-machines interfaces. She teaches Social Psychology at graduate and undergraduate level as well as graduate seminars on new technology and emerging subjectivities. She is assistant editor with Steven Mentor and Chris Hables Gray (Editor) of The Cyborg Handbook (1995) and co-edited with Madeline Román and María Milagros López (1994) Más allá de la bella (in)diferencia: Revisión Postfeminista y otras escrituras posibles.