CYBERSPACE DETROIT – A Future Reality?
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Art: Matt Zabler
Worldview of Cyberpunk
"Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..."
- William Gibson, Neuromancer
The philosophical background of the Cyberpunk determines the worldview of the Cyberpunk culture. The understanding of reality, which is at the core of the philosophy of this culture, constitutes a framework for the Cyberpunk movement's attitude towards political developments and the way it expresses itself in art. Cyberpunk's worldview is expressed in general terms in Cyberpunk manifestos.
Essentials of Cyberpunk Manifesto Neuromancer, one of the first and most fundamental works of the Cyberpunk movement, is the first manifesto of Cyberpunk. Later, although many manifestos were written, they all draw their foundations from William Gibson's book. The Cyberpunk manifesto, which is linked to “hacker ethics”, put forward particular views in many areas of life. The Cyberpunk culture, which come up with specific behavior patterns and ideological assumptions in many fields such as sociology, politics, technology, freedom, has developed a worldview by adhering to these assumptions and behavior patterns. We can summarize these essential assumptions and behavior patterns as follows:
Technology is the adhesive that makes Cyberpunk the culture and holds like-minded people together. Technology keeps us up to date and prepares us for the future. Future wars will be fought not by armies but by computers.
Politics is a tool that big corporations use states like puppets. Big companies put pressure on people. Governments also want to keep people under control. We are people willing to fight big companies. Our political position is an anti-system one without rules.
Science fiction mentioned in history has now become life itself. Now we adapt to technology, technology adapts to us. Members of the Cyberpunk movement hold technology in their hands. This gives the Cyberpunk a role in shaping history.
In the Cyberpunk movement, freedom is unlimited. Freedom of opinion cannot be restricted in any way. No restrictions or limitations can be placed on the children of the cyberspace. They are vulnerabilities in the system. People's right to information cannot be taken away.
Detroit politics and Art in Cyberpunk Movement
The areas where the assumptions of Cyberpunk's worldview are best represented are politics and art. A city that best fits this mold is Detroit. A diamond in the ruff, MotorCity, birthplace of Jazz and Techno, Detroit has withstood the fall of the metropolis. Yet, has risen with flames of resilience, resulting in the renaissance. The Cyberpunk movement, which is dominated by a freedom-based understanding, also emerges as a form of political behavior. In the Cyberpunk movement, it is emphasized that people should not adapt to any group or community because everyone is alone at the end of the day. Politically, Cyberpunk is against any organization or structure where people's freedom is restricted. Therefore, it takes an anti-totalitarian political stance.
It is also against the systems that governments have developed today that enable tracking "citizens" from wherever there is the internet. In this respect, the Cyberpunk movement has an anti-system face. Cyberpunk members should highlight these contrasts with the use of hi-tech. If there is a political battleground, its environment is cyberspace. Cyberpunk members must exploit any vulnerability in this cyberspace in a pro-freedom way.
Art is another area where this political stance is reflected. Today, aesthetics and politics are intertwined. The Cyberpunk movement also expresses its worldview and political perspective in works of art dominated by neon colors. A dystopian environment and the rebellion against the system are depicted with underground spaces in works of art belonging to the Cyberpunk culture.
Bryan Jovan Cuello is a Director, Writer, and Cinematographer based in Detroit Michigan. Originally from NYC, Bryan has been published in Opium and Elegant Magazine. With keen interests in Neo-Noir and Dystopian societies; these have served as massive inspirations for his art projects and writings. Bryan has launched a Talent Agency and Multi-Media Company serving both NYC and Detroit.
Contributing writer: Enes Duro