Cyborg Activism: Exploring the Reconfigurations of Democratic Subjectivity in Anonymous

Hans Asenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article develops the concept of cyborg activism as novel configuration of democratic subjectivity in the Information Age by exploring the online collectivity Anonymous as a prototype. By fusing elements of human/machine and organic/digital, the cyborg disrupts modern logics of binary thinking. Cyborg activism emerges as the reconfiguration of equality/hierarchy, reason/emotion and nihilism/idealism. Anonymous demonstrates how through the use of contingent and ephemeral digital personae hierarchies in cyborg activism prove more volatile than in face-to-face settings. Emotions appear as an essential part of a politics of passion, which enables pursuing laughter and joy, expressing anger and experiencing empowerment as part of a reasoned, strategic politics. Anonymous’ political content reconfigures nihilist sentiments, frustration and political disenchantment, on one hand, with idealist world views, on the other. This enables the cohabitation and partial integration of a great diversity of political claims rooted in various ideologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1563
Number of pages21
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

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