"Max Headroom was one of the most innovative science fiction series ever produced for American television, an ambitious attempt to build upon the cyberpunk movement in science fiction literature. The character of Max Headroom, the series's unlikely cybernetic protagonist, was originally introduced in a 1984 British television movie, produced by Peter Wagg, and starring Canadian actor Matt Frewer. ABC brought the series to American television in March 1987, refilming the original movie as a pilot but recasting most of the secondary roles. The ABC series attracted critical acclaim and a cult following, but only lasted for fourteen episodes. The anarchic and irreverent Max went on to become an advertising spokesman for Coca-Cola and to host his own talk show on the Cinemax cable network."
(The Museum of Broadcast Communications)
"Some pioneers of VR technology, including Brenda Laurel and Jaron Lanier, have been among its principal exponents, suggesting that the creation of virtual worlds and of shared cyberspaces will have revolutionary social consequences and allow hitherto unimagined forms of human expression. Such a view is echoed in the work of academic theorists like Donna Haraway and Alluquere Rosanne Stone, who believe that advanced information technologies may have radical political consequences, an idea which they pursue through the image of cyborgs which blur the distinction between humans and machines. These ideas can also be found in the use of VR as a theme in youth culture, for example the cyberpunk nightclubs and cafes in London and San Francisco. Here too, we find an agenda for cultural and political change, in this case, again, premised on innovations in human-machine interface technologies."
(Ralph Schroeder, 1994, pp.519-528)
2). Ralph Schroeder (1994). "Cyberculture, cyborg post-modernism and the sociology of virtual reality technologies: surfing the soul in the information age", Futures 1994 26(5) 519-528 (from a reading list created by Beau Sievers for the lecture series titled "Irony and Utopia: History of Computer Art" at the Bruce High Quality Foundation University).
"Cyberpunk' is a 60-minute documentary, the ad for which states: 'What started as a book became a literary movement. What was a literary movement became a subculture'.
And that's one of the major flaws of this film. It perpetuates the general myth that everything 'cyberpunk' expanded out of 'Neuromancer' and Gibson's vision. In truth, most of the stuff covered here (virtual reality, hacking, industrial music, cybernetics, designer drugs, anarchy) was already developing quite nicely before Lord Gibson, Chairman Bruce, and the rest (Shirley, Rucker, Shiner) were kind enough to provide a fictional universe in which to fuse these disparate explorations.
The production of 'Cyberpunk' is very inconsistent, too -- some parts are professional documentary, while other parts have the odor of quick-cash opportunism. The breathy women narrator is ultimately aggravating, oh-ing and ah-ing over all this stuff.
But there is some good material here, including interviews with Gibson, Leary, Scott Fisher (of NASA/Ames), Brenda Laurel, Vernon Reed (Living Color), Bill Leeb (Front Line Assembly) and others. There's also some cool computer graphics (circa 1989) and an industrial soundtrack with Front Line Assembly, Ministry, and Severed Heads.
'Cyberpunk' is still a must-see since it's the only documentary about cyberpunk that we have."
Fig.1 Produced and Directed by Marianne Trench and Peter von Brandenberg, Intercon Productions, 1990.
"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.
it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.
the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."
(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)
"Manhattan-based 1stAveMachine produces lush, hyperreal short videos that glisten with bleeding-edge CGI. The clip above, a music video for Alias made in 2006, is considered their breakout masterpiece: a succulent garden of bio-electronic cyberflora. Describing the clip, director Arvind Palep told CGISociety, 'we were looking at a merge between synthetic biology, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and what could spawn from them.'"