The love affair between humans and the machines that have made us faster and more powerful has expanded into cyberspace, where computer technology seems to offer both the promise of heightened erotic fulfillment and the threat of human obsolescence. In this pathfinding study, Claudia Springer explores the techno-erotic imagery in recent films, cyberpunk fiction, comic books, television, software, and writing on virtual reality and artificial intelligence to reveal how these futuristic images actually encode current debates concerning gender roles and sexuality.
Drawing on psychoanalytical and film theory, as well as the history of technology, Springer offers the first sustained analysis of eroticism and gender in such films as RoboCop, The Terminator, Eve of Destruction, and Lawnmower Man; cyberpunk books such as Neuromancer, Count Zero, Virtual Light, A Fire in the Sun, and Lady El; the comic books Cyberpunk and Interface, among others; and the television series Mann and Machine. Her analysis demonstrates that while new electronic technologies have inspired changes in some pop culture texts, others stubbornly recycle conventions from the past, refusing to come to terms with the new postmodern social order.
Written to be accessible and entertaining for students and general readers as well as scholars, Electronic Eros will be of interest to a wide interdisciplinary audience.
Claudia Springer is an Associate Professor in the English Department and Film Studies Program at Rhode Island College.
"Springer plumbs the dark depths of the Strangelove affair between human and machine in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Electronic Eros is essential reading for cybercritics, technofeminists, and anyone thinking seriously about culture and technology as the millennium approaches." —Mark Dery