Theorizing the Body

The Vitruvian Man

by Casey Sloan

We rely on images of the human body in advertising, in art, in visual arguments, and, quite simply, in navigating everyday social life. Over the years, many philosophers and theorists have grappled with questions like: What constitutes the body? Can the body think? How is the body produced? Why are some bodies more socially acceptable or desirable than others?

The Uncanny Valley


Image Credit: Retrolicious via Bioephemera

Inspired by Elizabeth’s close reading earlier this week, I thought I’d attempt to make sense of my attraction to the digital image above, which has been adorning my desktop for the past month or so. Pictured are Japanese inventor Yasutaro Mitsui and his steel humanoid, circa 1932. Why is this duo so appealing—and arresting? A few speculations after the jump.

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