Galatea and Golem: A fairy tale


Let me give you some background on this posting’s semiology. “Love [and work] is all you need.” Not that they are wholly distinct, they both involve attachment and exploration, but more on this another time. My iconic signifier for work is the suit and for love it is the body. The former being chosen because it fits over a Self and it is a socially uniform[ity]. The latter because it, too, fits over a Self and is biological necessity. Both are signifiers for the Self as well; its Persona any way; if I am allowed to add Jung into the Peirce Saussure pot. In this illustration the suit is empty and the body is naked. The Signifiers are isolated from their signifieds. The socio-biological self/Persona is deconstructed, leaving but a symbolic core, an eidolon.

“Thy body permanent, The body lurking there within thy body, The only purport
of the form thou art, the real I myself, An image, an eidolon.” — Walt Whitman

This little fairy tale began before the show when artist Pygmalion got his wish; His arbeit (work) becomes his amour (love).  But Galatea soon tires of the artist’s life. Artists are so self-centered, she says. Whereupon she does a little magical sculpting of her own; she makes her next husband.  Golem is a better husband; he gives her what she wants—wealth, strength, beauty and so on. They live happily ever after, maybe.

The curtain rises; the robots have begun to take over, but it won’t matter much. We were already owned and abused by our bodies and our societies. Our selves are just playgrounds where these two bullies worked; having a third bully there won’t make a real difference. We will be deceived by our false sense of free will as when there were just two.

In this scene, we see life after robots have taking control. Golem, who did well outsourcing, downsizing and off-laying for his mechanical masters, is ironically let go. He’s now on the street, nothing but a pest to his former masters. Galatea is on the street too, but as usual, she makes the best of the situation, she became a pet.

“We seeming solid wealth, strength, beauty build,
But really build eidolons.” —Walt Whitman