Cyborg Theory of Mariko Mori

By: Andrew

Mariko Mori was born in Tokyo in 1967 and became a Japanese outstanding photographic and video artist. When she studied at Bunka Fashion College, Mariko Mori worked as a model and this fact influenced her early works greatly. One of such her works is "Play with me". Her work operates the most recent technologies and frequently is rather expensive to produce. The main topic of her masterpieces was presented by the combination of the Western influence and Eastern traditions with the widespread exploitation of digital imaging and photography.
Among her most famous and earliest works can be stressed "The Birth of a Star" in which Mori describes herself as a schoolgirl in vinyl costume with big headphones on her head. She looks so carefree and playful, and there are multi-colored balloons floating around her. She stares at everything that surrounds her through blue eye-lenses and smiles in a charming way. However, in this apparently pop-culture motivated work, the artist creates a technology-inspired, contemporary type of cyborg. If a cyborg of traditional type presented by a mixture of a living being and a mechanism, a creature of the real life and creature of fiction at the same moment, Mori's cyborg version is a hybrid of contemporary conceptions of femininity and fiction and it is inspired by the current pop-culture in Japan.

Also this image contradicts the general idea of a common Japanese woman and depicts her as a perfect combination of the Western influence and Eastern beliefs.
During one of the interviews, when Mariko Mori was asked about the constant happiness of women depicted in her works, she underlined that they are cyborgs, not women and that's why they are happy. Continuing the topic of cyborgs and women, that blended the controversial and traditional approaches, Mariko Mori created "Subway", "Play with Me" and "Tea Ceremony III".
Untraditional elements were added to habitual roles of women in the present society in order to evaluate and analyze the position of women in the traditional Japanese society. For instance, in "Tea Ceremony III" Mariko Mori is wearing a white wig and a blue dress offering some tea to the men passing by in the middle of a full of activity street.
The theme of cyborgs is quite evident in other numerous Mori's works. For instance in her Empty Dream, Mariko Moris describes four figures of herself. the background is digitally composed of biggest indoor man-made beach of Japan. Evidently, in the real life such a situation would be simply impossible, and that bears the idea of cyborg.
In Mori's creation entitled "Beginning of the End" we can found one more cyborg. There a human-being is placed inside a capsule which is located in the centre of a busy street in Tokyo. The person is floating within a technological device which represents either a secure place to conceal from the around world, or a way of transportation. At any rate, this cyborg is a symbol of hi-tech life of Tokyo.
Right through the whole range of her work, Mariko Mori widely uses self-portraits and the cyborg digital images to concentrate the attention on the way the technology transmits to the identity and its role in the modern hi-tech society. She observes the position of women in the relation to society on the whole and new opportunities and technologies in particular.

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