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Living in Technical LegalityScience Fiction and Law as Technology$
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Kieran Tranter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420891

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420891.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Xenogenesis and the Technical Legal Subject

Xenogenesis and the Technical Legal Subject

(p.109) 4 Xenogenesis and the Technical Legal Subject
Living in Technical Legality

Kieran Tranter

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter argues that a detailed reading of Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Xenogenesis’ series clarifies how, notwithstanding the challenges to its being and its agency by technical legality, responsibility to becoming can allow the technical legal subject to live well in the present. The technical legal subject is revealed as a node within the networks, a blob of natureculture, a nexus point for biopolitical operations. Through Butler’s narrative of Lilith and her monstrous, hybrid human-alien children possibilities for the technical legal subject to be ‘embodied’ within a ‘location’ and ‘navigate’ the networks of the present emerge. Not only is agency empowered, notwithstanding the weight of the technical networks and the inclination to automation, but so is a form of ethics. Butler’s afrofuturism present a powerful affirmation that knowing and acting well to nurture life remains ever present, even in technical legality.

Keywords:   Technical Legal Subject, ‘Life’, Responsibility to Becoming, Node in the Networks, Xenogenesis, Octavia E Butler

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