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ERIC Number: EJ799169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
The Proteus Cabinet, or "We Are Here but Not Here"
Nield, Sophie
Research in Drama Education, v13 n2 p137-145 Jun 2008
In the early nineteenth century, there were three stage illusions in which a magician could cause a person to disappear. In one of these, the Proteus Cabinet, participants would enter a box, and simply vanish. As the designers of the Proteus Cabinet said of them, they were "Here, but not Here." My essay explores this concept in relation to contemporary border politics. The border is a place where you have to appear. To pass through, the border-crosser must simultaneously be both present and represented. That representation has historically taken the form of papers: passports, permits to travel, proofs of nationality, photographs, or verbal accounts of reasons for travel. More recently, this representation has been drawn from the body itself: fingerprints, retinal scans--what Agamben has called the "biometric tattoo." Drawing on the ideas of Giorgio Agamben and Ernst Kantorowicz, and addressing this new concern with the body part as passport, I will argue that the disaggregation of representation and the subject of representation makes it impossible for the border-crosser to appear--the border becomes a machine of disappearance, and makes a person vanish in plain sight. Here, but not Here. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A