Pettman’s work on port-humanism explores the relationship between the human, animal and machine as an extended web of physical and cultural connections which inscribes and reinscribes the meaning of what i means to be human or nonhuman animal. His work poses a reconfiguring of the thresholds of the human and non-human animal player bodies, with the games technology into what has been referred to by Haraway as a figure (2008:4).
The opening chapter Pettman’s self described ‘crypto-deluzian’ analysis of the fluid distinctions between biological systems and man made systems is a fundamental ‘human-error’ in distinguishing the difference between humans, animals and media machines. The work investigates the cultural construction of the distinctions through a series of complex case studies but offers this study the humanimalchine as the connected nexus of animal, human and machines which could be constructed through inter-species digital play.
“obliging us to see the world is less as a Darwinian pecking order and more as a cybernetic web of distributed dependencies” (p1)
“from a culturally disembodied perspective of signals, no matter the real-world context, we are dealing with a humanimalchine.” (p6)
“For Agamben, the crucial component of the machine is the way in which its optics have been rigged (in both senses) to encourage self-reflection and nurture a sense of exceptionalism and superiority by virtue of one’s proper humanness.” (p8)