|Cybernetic culture research unit|
Rabbi Loew, Frankenstein, Doctor Caligari, Rotwang and Ashpool the figure of the zombie maker has always haunted Gothic fictions. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is in many ways a cusp text, at once continuing the Gothic line occupied by golems and necromancers whilst also splitting it into the modern genres of SF and Horror. The production of SF and Horror as separate genres has depended upon the opposition of the supernatural and the scientific. But the Gothic has always eschewed both categories, following instead a hypernaturalist line which deletes superstitions such as knowledge, authority, subjectivity and the soul simply by allowing matter to investigate itself. According to cybergothic, the category of the supernatural is something imposed upon pre-modern cultures by a dualistic technoscience which itself is fraying into neuromantic schizophrenia. Like the Rabbi Loew, the ananimator of the Prague Golem, Frankenstein realises necromantic and alchemical ambition entirely through electrolibidinal means. Sorcery is vindicated at the same time that magical and scientific authority is dismantled.
... Doctor Oscar Sarkon's role in Crypt lore is to decode the whole lineage of mad scientists populating the dark catacombs of the Gothic. Sarkon functions not as the Promethean transgressor breaking natural laws but as himself a machine-part of the process through which all matter is integrated on the flatline where no laws apply K-Goth mesh. As Wiener hinted in God and Golem, from the point of view of the golem, god is just a way of escaping the box. The as yet unsubstantiated rumours of Sarkon's disintegration into madness suggest that Sarkon himself has reached such a revelation. Technonihilism shades into a cool acceptance of schizophrenia as the virtual but always inhibited destination of capitalism. From its very inception, Capital has made zombies - the proletarian factory worker is the living dead, and Sarkon has perfected the technique by developing catatonia as a libidinal commodity. The problem, from the point of view of the capitalist socius, is that the Cybergoths prefer becoming-unlife to being vital. Zombies demand more electronic voodoo and, given Sarkontinuum, there's no limit to what they can get...
- Dr Linda Trent (MVU)