We have had so many articles of late on Steampunk, and the design elements that make a good Steampunk piece. So I figured I’d take a step further back into my life and showcase another design aesthetic / culture, cyberpunk. Back in the mid 90’s I was introduced to a certain sub-genre of science fiction now know as Cyberpunk, through one of the forerunners of the genre William Gibson‘s Nueromancer. Take the essence of punk music and the futureistic world of Issac Asimov and when you meld them together you get a bright and shining future of technolust with society degrading around it. A despair and a wonder all wrapped up in the same story. Who is William Gibson? He invented the term Cyberspace, spawned a sub genre of fiction and started to build the framework for the cyberpunk aesthetic. He is also probably one of my favorite authors.
Cyberpunk is more than Gibson, Sterling, or any other author. It is however an ever changing world built on the concept of entropy and advancing technology. It takes the hacker subcultures and gives them a voice though art, music, and literature. The chandelier pictures above is just one of the many pieces that hearken back to this culture as a genesis for their inspiration. I must say that I love this genre, the literature is visceral and the
Much like Jules Verne predicted technology that was not conceptualized any place else during his lifetime, Gibson coined the term cyberspace to explain the place between, the “city of lights at night” that people refer to explain the cloud of the net. Between Gibson and Marshall McLuhan the theoretical groundwork for the net was lain long before the first website was ever posted. Its funny to note however that Gibson didn’t own a computer for years, conceptualized the world without ever looking into it.
I hope I’ve been able to give you a good enough peek inside what this term means, the works attributed to it and armed you all so that your now better able to discuss, and understand the culture. Now if you excuse me I’m going to go reread the Nueromancer.
You know I love the cyberpunk. Just finished reading Snow Crash which got me back on a cyberpunk kick.
The movie Pi has one of the most cyberpunk looking computers that I have ever seen. I especially like how the processor just seems to hang in mid air
BTW I hear that there’s a Neuromancer movie scheduled to come out in 2007.