‘No-one wants to be entirely organic. No-one wants to get sick, or old, or die. My only choice was to enhance.’ In the future-world of True Skin, synthetic enhancement is normal, and the boundary between human and machinic body has been erased.
Warning: this film has some mild sexual content around the 2 minute mark.
Where Robbie and Gumdrop look at the human in the robot, True Skin considers the robotic in the human. In particular, you might want to think about the final scene of the movie in which another core sci-fi fantasy – memory backup – is drawn on.
The film is based on a future where it is possible to replace all body parts with enhanced synthetic ones. Wholly biological humans beg on the streets. They get sick, old and die. The enhanced humans replace their body parts and can back up their memory to be reinstalled in a new body should something happen to the old one. It is a very well made film with some excellent effects. Quite disturbing.
What does this notion say about the nature of mind, memory and learning, and the ways in which technological mediation is positioned in relation to it?
It looks at human memory in the same was as a computer’s memory. The idea is that the memories can be digitised and kept in a digital format. The biological part of memory can be captured through the electronic signals.
Learning in this film is not a process that one needs to concentrate on. It is a matter of inserting the right chip or loading the right program. If you can backup memory then you would be able to install different memories or knowledge in the same way that backups are restored.