This is a homunculus.
It’s a representation of the human model where size equals the amount of neuron activity/quantity of nerves.
I think it’s also a funny way to understand difference and representation. As well as some important concepts to do with the critical evaluation of the ‘Human Subject’ and an emergent ontology.
Such as; post/trans-humanism, Cyborg, deterritorialization, hyperreality, and the gothic flatline.
If only we could see how we are composed of difference, there’s something about our pattern-seeking evolved brains that obstructs us from trying to understand things beyond representation. We see repetition, and the differences between repetitions, but not difference itself.
“It’s a boy!“
Exclaims the excited parent, upon the sight of his newborn child’s phallic genitalia. They have seen a tiny pair of balls, and instantly associated a masculine gender from this.
Well, because there are many different layers of representation. Representation is sense being made out of nonsense. Associations made by connections. Repetitions.
In this case, a dick and balls = a male.
This is what we could call identity or ‘tautology’.
This = that
One thing comes to mean or represent another.
This represents that.
In this case, the phallus comes to represent masculine gender identity, this is due to a long history of biological essentialism. Which believes that there is a concrete connection between one’s biology and one’s relation or identity to that biology.
A mainstream form of biological essentialism is to recognise the phallus as representing the male. And the vulva representing the female. There are many factors and reasons for this.
Now however, let’s explore some difference.
This means that one thing isn’t necessarily just that, but also that and this and that.
Difference is essentially the + itself. Like the + in LGBT+. Which acts as a stand in for any identity which is ‘different’.
In this case, I mean the difference between things.
The difference in a series of repetitions and representations. This is that and that.
A dick and balls in the representative fields of biology is recognised as that which has been called ‘male’. But what about other fields?
Like psychology, culture, art, et cetera.
This = That + that + that…
We can imagine a dick and balls being something more than just representing maleness.
One can imagine a ‘gock’. A ‘girl-cock’. In this case, a dick and balls represents ‘femaleness‘.
Humans can be represented in many ways too.
In the same way a dick and balls (or gock) can!
What we picture when we hear the word ‘human’, i.e. the signified content of the signifier ‘human’, is one picture of many.
Chances are, your picture of a ‘human’ upon hearing the word probably wouldn’t be that of a homunculus. Or of some hot gock.
Yet, we can still create such an image. Such a model.
Such a representation.
Sense carved out of nonsense.
The rational carved out of the irrational.
Repetition carved out of difference.
One could also imagine something beyond ‘human’. Something akin to the androids, cyborgs, or human-like ‘synthetic’ robots belonging to science-fiction. Which has now been a part of actual science for many years.
A ‘human’ which can go beyond itself, which can represent itself beyond human.
Let us consider then this “beyond human” in more detail.