Cibernética y la Resbaladiza Concepción de Humanidad y Otredad drante la Guerra Fría: The Creation of the Humanoids (1962) and Who? (1973)
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This essay works with two forgotten films made in America during the Cold War era, years framed by the discussion of humans and others less human. Right from its title, The Creation of the Humanoids (Wesley Barry, 1962) already from the title, debates the possibility of creating something more or less human. In a post-holocaust society, robots take it upon themselves to help the dying human race by giving them android bodies. After humans die, the androids secretly transplant their minds into cybernetic bodies, thus ensuring humanity’s survival. Still, the humans do not realise that they are really robots with human minds. Thus, the distinction between humanity and robotics is blurred. Since the first cyborg projects were carried out during the early years of the Cold War, this preoccupation within America is not uncommon. The film speaks about a post world where the cyborg dismantles the biological categories of sex and gender. Following this idea, the film’s cyborgs are created by a father-mother machine, and the film ends with the possibility of cybernetic breeding, further breaching the frontiers between humanity and cybernetics. Meanwhile, in Who? (Jack Gold, 1973), an American scientist (Joseph Bova) is severely injured and scarred in a car crash on the East German border; he is captured by the East German military, and scientists use metal implants to save him. Back in the States, no one can tell if it is really him or a Communist spy. Again, boundaries become fuzzy when life-enhancing implants blur the subjects’ humanity.
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