New Communication TechnologyWeek 4: Cyberspace and Cyberpunk: William Gibson and Bladerunner
William Burroughs(1914-1997) Burroughs Adding Machine Corporation a "Beat" writer witha non-linearstyle the 50s-"Interzone" plus cut-up technique Paranoidlife inside a large, dysfuctioning machine, sci fi time as an insect exterminator was particularly influential predicted AIDS, the crack epidemic and liposuction. response to cybernetics and a forerunner of cyberpunk
More on Cyberspace Cyberspace as the collective imagination of internet users Cyberspace - Plato’s cave as a working product? Cyberspace as a meme Information Superhighway (Al Gore) -geographical metaphor Virtual Reality (Jaron Lanier)- an immersive reality Virtual Community (Howard Rheingold) –physical Social Networking –egocentric representation of personal connections what occurs between people and computers not some second order of reality but part of reality digital devices in everyday life = cyberspace more real.
Cybernetics study of communication, command and control in living organisms, machines and organisations from the Greek kybernetes = steersman, pilot WWII - systematic approach to complex issues breaking codes, communication systems, radar and anti-aircraft systems then managing computers/networks Human brain - neural networks - robotics Game theory/Shannon and Weaver feedback (positive and negative) action occurs not through choice but restricton the flow of information produces noise Think about the operations
Cyberpunk science fiction genre computers, genetics, body modifications and corporate developments near future CyberPUNK fast, loud, short rock music anarchist political philosophy DIY, anti-expert, "seize the day" approach Sex Pistols, Clash, Black Assassins and Pussy Riot. reaction against "space opera" - Asimovs Foundation trilogy/Lucass Star Wars.
Elements of Cyberpunk (DH) gritty aesthetic high technology questionable morality hybrid genre: hard-boiled detective fiction anti-hero protagonist, crime film noir (lust, money, power, seduction, murder) science fiction - technology, apocalyptic? multinational corps literary postmodernism (fragments, quick descriptions)
William GibsonCanadian writer – "cyberspace"/VRrealism uncomfortable in sci-fi genrenot fantasy – social criticism,dystopiabalance to boosterism/Bill Gatesnetworked computers – matrixglobal corporations eclipsegovernmentpower depends on informationthe "sprawl" is the jerry-built mega-citysim-stim (simulated stimulation)merging of organic&mechanicalbodiesmalleability of human identity
William Gibson Key Works The Sprawl Trilogy: Neuromancer(1984), Count Zero (1986), Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) The Bridge Trilogy: Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), All Tomorrow’s Parties (1999) The Blue Ant Trilogy: Pattern Recognition (2003), Spook Country (2007), Zero History (2010) Plus early short stories: Burning Chrome&"steampunk" nThe Difference Engine
Blade RunnerPK Dick Do AndroidsDream of Electric SheepRidley Scott – directorRetrofitted, neo-noirTitle from Burrough’streatment of Nourse bookReplicants are computersMore human than humanDirector’s cutIs Deckard a replicant?