sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

Machines, the Human Body, and Technophobia in Hollywood Science Fiction

Abstract

This study focuses on images of the technological/bio-technological relationship between the human body and machines as a form of technophobia in Hollywood science fiction. It underlines the imagined antagonism between humans and their technological counterparts as the main technophobic element. Nevertheless, after a generation of simulation-oriented science fiction, particularly through the example of Surrogates, this study argues that technophobia has become the fear held by humans of the dangers imposed by the perfection of technological/bio-technological beings. The study also describes the social and governmental transformations that correspond to this change in the nature of technophobia. Methodologically, the popular science fiction movies discussed in the study are neither examined as self-sufficient realities nor evaluated as simple reflections of social and political transformations. In conclusion, despite the change in technophobia, the study evaluates the sanctity of the human body as a resilient feature of Hollywood science fiction. It is also argues that this situation implies that the central position of humanity in the universe will deteriorate further as bio-technological development continues.

Keywords: technophobia, instrumental reason, biopolitics, governmentality, body, machine, simulation, automat, cybernetics, discipline, control, cynicism.