Uncanny bodies: queer subjects, artificial surrogates, and ambiguous robotics

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This paper discusses the thesis that artificial bodies are often used as representatives of queer subjects and their embodiment in exhibition contexts. Therefore, it exemplifies the entanglement of queer, and simultaneously artificial, bodies by means of the artwork (Female Figure) by Jordan Wolfson from 2014. This approach becomes relevant as the representation of queer subjects through artificial bodies is almost unaddressed in art studies. This research gap is caused by the fact that primarily heteronormative constructions of the body are problematized. But there are other markers of the corporeal being that require attention: For example, the artificial, as a form of expression of the technical, currently also shapes the bodies and thus also the embodiments of queer subjects. In response to this, the paper focusses its discussion of works on queer moments of reception, to bring the aesthetic of ambiguity into the focus of the investigation of queer practices of representation. The chapter therefore follows the concept of the robot, a main point of reference of (Female Figure) that is closely intertwined with systems of artificial intelligence (AI). A specifically queer interpretation of this artistic work is taken, which takes mainly ambivalences and ambiguities into consideration and aims to break down stereotypes that are intertwined with systems of AI.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueer Reflections on AI
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, London
Number of pages28
VolumeQueer Reflections on AI: Uncertain Intelligences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023