Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Nano/Splatter: Disintegrating the Postbiological Body.

Milburn, Colin

Journal Information:
New Literary History
Vol. 36, Num. 2


Nanobiology is the frontier of scientific development and may redefine what is known as life. The act of imagining a future of completely controllable matter -- of assembling and disassembling molecular machines -- inscribes a future of disintegration on the present. The machines of the not-too-distant-future make us believe that we can and should assess life with a mechanistic eye. Life is simply a series of processes and codes and systems. Milburn references Deleuze and Guatarria on the kind of disintengration that is a variant of control. Splatter, in horror films, is the moment of final (anticipated) bodily disintigration -- a victim is had. Writers of fiction using nanotechnology for the purposes of horror get extra mileage out of splatter, since it happens at the level of every single molecule. They also rebuild their characters into a new "technogenic" life. Milburn discusses an array of popular fiction using nanotechnology (Blood Music, Prey, Bloom, Nano) Nanotechnology, in one sense, makes victims of all of us --all of us are splattered into bits of processes, into splatter technology Nanotechnology also proposes that life is everywhere, in everything, in every system and process. There is no other, and as such, everything is love. Milburn writes, "Nanofiction too projects a technogenic future from within the zone of self-alienation, or love, that it bodies forth."