The impact of fiction on synthetic reality
It is no longer the case that conversations around prosthesis begin and end with the question of deficiency. But this was not always the case. To stress this, David Wills, for instance, in a forthcoming article entitled ‘Preambles: Disability as Prosthesis’ points to ways in which the genealogy of prosthesis is so often conceived of as a discourse of deficiency. Here Wills argues that the matter of identity in disability studies as well as the identity of Disability Studies itself, along with the place of prosthesis within these discourses, has previously been organised, unlike most other ‘minority studies’, around ‘lack or deficiency’.
There are many possible ways of beginning my contribution but I think I will relate to you when Marq Smith and I last met. This was at a conference he co-organised at the ICA, London in 2000 on Prosthetics and Cultural Theory. I was the only person speaking about phantom limbs rather than the main topic which was prosthetics in cultural studies and art.