CyberArt – An Eclectic Approach
by PD Dr. Martina Claus-Bachmann

(page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Let's start with a visual impulse from the movie-industry:

=> Movie_1

This excerpt of the movie Blade Runner by Ridley Scott in 1982 shows, long time before the term became representative for a whole genre and subculture, some main features of what is referred to as „cyber“ recently. But let us start with a short view into history.

1. Short History of CyberArt

The movie Blade Runner and the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984) are considered as the earliest sources of cyber, be it cyber culture, art or the genre or subculture Cyberpunk itself.

Early influences came from literature sources, for example the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, which has been the model for Blade Runner and other literary works from the 1960ies up to 1980. The topics were dystopic science fiction-environments, controlled by corporatist governments, which use the hightech only for monitoring and tuning of living organisms, who have lost completely their independency and their safety. Protagonists of cyberpunk narratives are often the losers of this development, adventurers, who fight against the power of the mighty companies, often also as computer-hackers.
„Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body“ (Person, Lawrence, October 8, 1999: „Notes Toward a Postcyberpunk Manifesto". Originally published in Nova Express, issue 16, 1998).
Artistically the Japanese Manga art played an important role with referring to topics like 'human mind in an artificial body' in Ghost in the Shell (1989) by Masamune Shirow or postapocalyptic scenarios and societies, controlled by scrupulous military and underground-gangs in Akira (1982) von Katsuhiro Otomo.

=> Movie_2 (Excerpt of Ghost in the Shell, 1989 by Masamune Shirow, new version in 2017 with Scarlett Johansson =>)