I wanted to consider other perspectives of viewing the film, thus another analysis on ‘Motoko’s dilemma’ was taken into consideration for further understanding of identity and space. Two key philosophical ideas were generated:
‘I think therefore I am’ 我思故我在 Cogito ergo sum ——René Descartes
‘Even simulated experiences and dreams exist as information, and are simultaneously reality and fantasy.’
—— ‘Ghost in The Shell’ (1995)
The philosophy proposed by René Descartes is reflected through characters’ argument on their own existences as cyborgs. Anything could be reality or anything could never be true ‘the reality’ circles around my perception of what is real. As for so far, I’ve been trying to decipher the realness between virtual and physical, and whether the digitalisation of ourselves into virtual denies the existence of our online persona. However, if to say fantasy and reality co-exists and supposedly we are still who we are when digitalised, then the question is down to whether our physical form really encapsulates who we are? Or is the mind and body separated? To which does it define our existence, our minds or the body?
I was surprised that my exploration of this project lead to something I’ve investigated before during the Witness project. The idea of the mind being separated from the body has always been my area of interest, now that I am at this point of art creation I start to see a pattern in terms of ideas. Nevertheless, evident in the film, humans can be easily tricked and memories can be easily manipulated; Truth, perhaps, cannot be defined simply as events that had happened physically, but real in its existence within perceptions. In the end, what values do we take into account in order to deduce our physical existence more real than the other?
Taking the philosophy of body and mind as separate entities, it can serve my project in terms of manifesting the idea that the act of creating virtual identities online, is a way to temporarily separate our minds from our body;It is the act of revealing spirit itself, and technology simply becomes the collision in order for the chemical separation to happen.
2. Achieving dehumanisation
Inspired by the differences between body and minds, I decide to focus on ways in which through methods could perform this chemical separation. During the climax of the film, where a battle leads to protagonist’s physical destruction, it metaphorically showcases a crucial decision of her ghost overpowering her cyborg body.An image of a broken machine(previously her body) within the water imitates wastes in the canal. Abandoning the physical body, in the film, highlights its value on to the minds, as further on the protagonist acquired a new physical body with the same spirit. This destruction of the physical body releases the mind, thus perhaps, destruction of physical from in virtual realities will reveal the spirit part of our own. This idea will be further brought into an experiment, as this philosophy will be my main focus for contextualisation.