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Cyborgs, Hombres y Drag Queens

Maite Cajaraville
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“In the near future we will be able to choose our own stage, our own entertainment and our own roles; we will be able to think, according to our personal situation and preferences, about directing the course of history.

This video replaced Cajaraville’s presence at a conference in the Festival Atlántico. On screen three characters recite the thoughts of various theoreticians about the development of communication and the consequences of this for the body and its limits.”

Playing with dress, make up and attitude, Cajaraville generates in this video performance a selection of masks for the virtual era. When we relate the title of the piece to its order, we can assume ironic ambiguities in the introduction of the various roles. At first, a man (the artist cross-dressed, and with someone else’s voice) recites a monologue about bodies, communities and conference delegates in cyberspace. His appearance is that of a computer engineer, an executive or a digital technocrat. According to the title of the video, he would be the “cyborg”. Next we watch and hear a character out of cyberpunk culture, who expounds a feminist take on the cybernetic phenomenon. The title of this second section is “hombre” (man), but it is her who hides behind this indeterminate sophistication. And, at last, the third role is represented by a cyberchoni, who, with a bit of an extremeño accent, explains the eroticism of virtual simulations. The title of this last piece is “drag queen” and it is also performed by Cajaraville. Everything else is accessory and its appearance is covered in playback contents.

Digital life involves a neverending identity mutation, conditioned by the messianic discourses of the icons of cyberspace. The desire and need to be admitted and respected in a cybercommunity is the driving force of this discourse, just like chameleonic subjects and social groups transform in order to present a “politically correct” image of their ghetto. Beings made of virtuality and amalgamated theories.

Cajaraville ironically adopts different physical appearances according to the context of the video, always falsely virtual, which introduces her. Appearances which proclaim, parallelly to camouflage, speculative quotes from texts from the 1990s about identity, gender and cybernetics. Individual thinking is denied beyond the creation of cyberidentities.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Cyborgs, Hombres y Drag Queens
  • Direction: Maite Cajaraville
  • Production: Maite Cajaraville. 1997.
  • Duration: 00:13:25
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Original format: Betacam SP
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright