Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Film and Media Studies
Academic Program Adviser
The project Femqorg Index began as I realized an endless number of chatbots and robots were released into this world as a spark of technology wrapped in a feminine persona, only to be disposed of after a short period. My imagination then extended to the thought that after they were disposed of, the entities along with their memories and advanced technology, would converge to create a network of their own. In this network, needs of the chatbots and robots were met through the exchange of strengths such as an advanced problem-solving ability, or a sturdy body that allowed unrestricted movement. Discussions with fellow cyborg sisters, on the discrimination and harassment that targeted their female persona were also made possible. Maybe because I wished to be part of such a network, thinking of it lended me strength and warmed my heart. I started attempting to clumsily map out the network, gathering and documenting the lives of all the female and queer cyborgs I could find throughout the internet. I also detailed the assorted relational connections that existed between them. Now the archive I started in the summer of 2021 with my assistant researcher Jeongwon Yoo has grown to document the births, deaths, owners, creators, objectives, features, nationalities, related cyborgs, applied technologies, and miscellaneous facts of a total of 168 cyborgs. Applying critical theories learned in the IMA program, I began analyzing and classifying thematic connections amongst the production and reception of these entities.
This website Femqorg Index is a partial release and beta version of the Cyborg Archive, as the project is not yet ready to be made public in its entirety. I was partially motivated by Mindy Seu and her Cyberfeminism Index website. Femqorg Index thus introduces a selection of cyborgs from the original archive. As a continuation of my effort to create a network of cyborgs, I decided on a few that would act as a starting point. I then drew outwards from it, connecting and growing a tree of cyborgs that were connected through various tendrils. I have categorized their interconnected narrative into categories, each story linked to another in an intricate web of associations. For each cyborg I referenced their list of bullet points in my archive, and developed them into short articles. In the process I was sometimes bored by the longer descriptions of technical details, or grew distressed while poring over an endless list of how a certain cyborg was tormented. I would then migrate towards a more abstract and hypothetical description to end the piece, by imagining how the cyborg could lead a self-satisfying, pleasure-seeking existence. Not all articles end in such a manner, but the ones that do were influenced by the way Jaesik Gwak wrote Encyclopedia of Korean Monsters. He finished each article with a short plot for the potential creators reading the book, imagining how the monster’s narrative could expand. I also wish all the cyborg visionaries, including myself as a researcher, reading the conceptual yet hopeful writing in this project to continue on by extending their own stories.
Kim, Nahee, "Femqorg Index" (2022). CUNY Academic Works.