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Tactile PoeticsTouch and Contemporary Writing$
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Sarah Jackson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748685318

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748685318.001.0001

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Digital Technologies and Prosthetic Possibilities

Digital Technologies and Prosthetic Possibilities

(p.120) Chapter 7 Digital Technologies and Prosthetic Possibilities
Tactile Poetics

Sarah Jackson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter's examination of the non-human hand is informed by Jacques Derrida's challenge to the assumption that the hand is exclusive to the ‘humanual’. Recognising a growing interest in haptic technologies and the relationship between the screen and eye-contact, it addresses the role of the hand in the ‘hominizing process’, interrogating Derrida's refusal to neglect the non-human hand by considering prosthetic limb in the recently restored Fritz Lang film, Metropolis. Discussing the ways that the prosthetic supplement disrupts the opposition between the natural and the artificial, it draws attention to the co-implication of the human and the non-human that features in the film's defining handshake. Questioning the manipulations of the hand in haptic technologies and digital retouching, the chapter opens up questions regarding the virtual and spectral mediation of contact.

Keywords:   digital touch, hand, handshake, humanual, non-human, prosthesis, virtual touch, Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Fritz Lang

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