ABSTRACT

A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.1

Haraway (1990)

Cities are constituted through dense networks of interwoven socio-

ecological processes that are simultaneously human, physical,

discursive, cultural, material, and organic. Circulatory conduits of

water, foodstuffs, cars, fumes, money, labour, etc., move in and out of

the city, transform the city, and produce the urban as a continuously

changing socio-ecological landscape. Imagine, for example,

standing on the corner of Piccadilly Circus in London, and consider

the socio-environmental metabolic relations that come together in

this global-local place: smells, tastes, and bodies from all nooks and

crannies of the world are floating by, consumed, displayed, narrated,

visualized and transformed. The “Rainforest” shop and restaurant

play to the tune of eco-sensitive shopping and the multi-billion pound

eco-industry while competing with McDonalds’ burgers and Dunkin’

Donuts, whose products-like burgers, coffee, orange juice, or cream

cheese-are equally the result of processes that fuse together and

interconnect social and biochemical relations from many places,

near and far away. Consider how human bodies-of migrants,

prostitutes, workers, capitalists-spices, clothes, foodstuffs, and

materials from all over the world whirl by. The neon lights are fed by

energy coming from nuclear power plants and from coal-, oil-, or gas-

burning electricity generators. Cars, taxis, and buses move on fuels

from oil-deposits (now again from Iraq) and pump CO2 into the air,

affecting peoples, forests and climates in places around the globe.