American Cyborg Manifesto

March 2015

Computers were human, at first. The term originated in the 1800s as a job description for one who performs mathematical computations on paper. In Alan Turing's 1950 essay Computing Machinery and Intelligence, he explains digital computers by way of their oft-female ancestors. Both have a means of storing information, a means of calculation, and a book of rules.

Technology means humanity no harm, just like the White Whale. They're both following their book of rules. The Cyborg is a hybrid animal-human-robot, summoned by Donna Haraway in her 1985 essay A Cyborg Manifesto, where she explores the sociopolitical advantage of incorporating technology into feminist intersectionality.

American Cyborg is a descendant creature of our own invention – a beast of burden to help us explore our country's virtual landscape. It's a yoke of oxen and a Conestoga wagon and a pioneer family combined. We're looking at how economics and politics and religion has shaped our media, how fear has shaped our media. We seek media that is brave and true, that clarifies rather than obfuscates.

We embrace Modernism – the aesthetic philosophy of constructing systems for better understanding. We admire Immanuel Kant (b. Prussia, 1724), Michel Eugène Chevruel (b. France, 1786), Elizabeth Bishop (b. Massachusetts, 1911), Marshall McLuhan (b. Alberta, 1911), Anne Truitt (b. Maryland, 1921), Kenneth Noland (b. North Carolina, 1924).

We're angry about the how the Young British Artists screwed over the generation of artists growing up in their wake. We're angry at Charles Saatchi and all his forms of misogyny.

We're thankful to Canada for hockey and to Mexico for margaritas. We're angry about Canadian pop music and Mexican drug cartels.

We're angry at the American educational system, which continues to cull teacher autonomy and increase standardized testing, despite the proven detriment. We reject STEMism – the educational philosophy of science and technology as divorced from art and literature. We're thankful for the American hobbyist system, which gave us the computers and Internet to help us rise above.

We're angry at the American news media, because we consider it the key to true transparency in government and a more progressive form of democracy, and we see them failing us over and over again. We're thankful for N.P.R., The Daily Show, and Al Jazeera.

We ask you to join us across all social media. Give us your stories, your folk music, your hyperlinks; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.