Cyberculture Map

Photo by Maximalfocus on Unsplash

Cyberculture is a concept that defines a group of people who share a set of specific knowledge around the same concepts, the same customs and habits, which together trace an imaginary territory that emerged with computing personal, started in the 70s, of video games and convergence movements of the 80s, and of the Internet in the 90s, influencing scientific, artistic, literary and cinematographic production. In this article I make a brief outline of the profile of people (hardware and software) who contributed most to this movement.

Elliot Sharp:

Genius of the precursor music of the electronic style, influencing generations of musicians and performance artists who seek the fusion between sounds reproduced from electronic components, industrial machinery, mixing this with their performance on stages in video projections mapping the scenarios where it all comes together in one harmonic art. Multimedia, is not limited to the creation of music, expanding its limits for artistic installations, for the theater and operas.

William Gibson

Gibson is considered the forerunner of the literary style known as cyberpunk. It is dedicated to him the creation of several concepts related to the universe of cyberculture, elaborated in his stories of science fiction bringing his characters of anti-hero style almost always appearing among the class workers of the cyber industry that would still be emerging in our society. Mixing politics, technology, pop culture, and ethics in society, his novels among the protagonists of the counterculture interact with games, horror films, punk rock, and comics. Gibson created a new class of literature that inspires both the film industry and the digital industry itself.


Bizarre, the Swiss-born artist flirts with the cyborg, creating his biomechanical yet humanoid-looking figures, whether through his dark paintings inhabited by hybrid machine and meat beings, or by his scenarios where the metal that makes up the architecture of their environments seems alive, breathing and letting the viscous liquid run down the walls. Considered controversial by the mainstream, and a genius for lovers of cyberculture and lovers of science fiction, he is considered an icon in the cinematographic and artistic universe influencing the new generations until today. His work can be seen in music albums, movies, games, tattoos, and referenced by fans of body modification.

Mark Pauline

Precursor of current robot battles, in its extreme and apocalyptic version Mark Pauline is one of the mentors of SRL (Survival Research Laboratories) [ http: / /], an informal artistic organization formed by engineers who organize performances around the world of terrifying displays in battle arenas with a shrill sound where colossal robots battle among themselves directed by their ‘masters’, through remote control, in true gloomy marathons that last up to 48 hours, taking both man and machine to their limit, an essential issue of cyberculture.

Mike Saenz

Mike Seanz in the 1980s used the newly released Macintosh to create the illustrations for the comics “Shatter” [], creating in partnership with Marvel screenwriter Peter B. Gillis [] (creator of Doctor Strange) [], a story set in the ‘Blade Runner’ universe. In the early 90’s, it launched the game publisher Reactor, and launched games such as Spaceship Warlock, PC Games distributed on CD-Rom. interactive Virtual Valerie, one of the first to explore virtual sex. Mike is considered one of the main defenders of cybersex.

Eduardo Kac

He is a Brazilian pioneer of digital art and avant-garde of biotechnological art, in which Kac [ https: //] the international controversy was exposed by presenting his work known as GFP Bunny [] which, as explained on its website, is about “ creation, through genetic engineering, of a rabbit with GFP, or Green Fluorescent Protein “. The grafted protein in the rabbit is extracted from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria [] from the Pacific Ocean. The artist of “transgenic art”, presented his work “Genesis” [] at Ars Eletronica, in 1999, in Austria creating a synthetic gene that does not exist in nature. Two years earlier, in 1997, he implanted a microchip on his own heel during an installation event entitled “Time Capsule” [], broadcasting locally at the same time as on TV and TV. newborn web. Kac questions the insertion of electronic components in the human body and artificial memories stored in electronic systems.

Joseph M. Rosen

Professor and surgeon Joseph Rosen is a student of biotechnology and simulation of remote operations, working since the early 1980s interconnecting the human nervous system in machines, with the aid of computer-assisted surgery. His research includes bionics, the human-machine interface, artificial nerve implants, transplantation of extremities such as arms and hands, and neural chip implants. In the documentary “ Cyberpunk” (1990), by Marianne Trench, Joseph Rosen states that there is nothing that was written in “Neromancer”, by William Gibson, that could not be developed by science, without evaluating the ethical question. And in 1996, in the documentary The Brave New Body, together with other scientists, it predicts the trends of body modification in new generations nowadays.

Hans Moravec

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Hans Peter Moravec, futurist and professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University is the author of a series of works related to artificial intelligence, computer vision, transhumanism and robotics dedicates his career in the analysis of the impact of these technologies in our society. Moravec is also a co-founder of Seegrid Corporation, a company that develops autonomous robots designed to interact with social environments without human intervention, and is a member of the Extropy movement — a council formed by scientists and thinkers who believe it will be possible to carry consciousness in a computer, discarding the disposable human body and evolving the species into a new form of life: Superhuman.

Nicholas Negroponte

He is the co-founder and former president of the MIT Media Lab. The laboratory under his direction led the development of areas, now familiar, such as digital video, fax, and multimedia devices. Negroponte continues to explore scientific frontiers to focus on study, invention and the creative use of digital technologies, the means to enhance the way people think, express and communicate. He is also the author of the 1995 bestseller, Vida Digital — translated into more than 40 languages. Professor Negroponte is also on the board of directors of Motorola Inc, and has participated in more than 20 start-ups including wiReD Magazine. His current project is the “ One Laptop per Child “ which aims to spread access to technology and the internet, penetrating mainly in countries where poverty is its main social problem.

Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush was an American scientist who headed the government’s research department, including among the patents that included radar development. During World War II he participated in the Manhattan Project, where one of the projects was the atomic bomb. During the period in which he was part of the engineering department of MIT (1919 to 1932). His main contribution to cyberculture was when, in 1945, the physicist and mathematician Bush presented concepts about the future of hypertext in his legendary article “ As we may think”. In it, the central idea revolved around the links of associations, the way the human mind works. According to him, the traditional systems of indexing, organization and exchange of information, as they are founded on a hierarchical ordering, are not very efficient. He is the inventor of Memex (a machine prior to the computer) and the concept of associative links.

Douglas Engelbart

This one carried out research in the 60s to increase the human intellect. In his work, he cites the fundamental contributions of Vennevar Bush, and directs his work in perfecting Memex with the computer technology of the time. Based on this, Engelbart created a Groupware Hypermedia System, NLS (oN Line System), a project carried out in conjunction with the same team of researchers who developed the hypertext, and which had the presence of Bill English, with whom he developed another device which until today is considered one of the main computational components in the human-machine relationship, the mouse.

Ted Nelson

Ted Nelson during his Harvard studies started the “ Xanadu Project”. The main concept was to facilitate non-sequential writing by offering the reader a non-linear way of reading, and at the time his project was called “Zippered lists”. With the advent of computer networks, the project gained a new version using the concept of networks and the distribution of virtual copies, and renamed the project as “Docuverse”, referencing a universe of documents. And more than 5 years later, the project has undergone an evolution, which integrated an addressing system into the program which makes reference to different parts of the same file, called “Acrobats”. And in the early 1980s, Ted Nelson and his team went bankrupt, which made Nelson look for investing angels. In 1983, Nelson met with John Walker, the founder of Autodesk, and with financial support they started the “Xanadu” project — initially developing in C and then rewriting it in Smalltalk. In 1992, Autodesk gave up the Xanadu project, and Charles Smith, founder of Memex (Vannevar Bush’s hypertext system) hired the programmers for that project and licensed the technology, and they say Tim Berners-Lee was inspired by this concept for development from the Word Wide Web.

Bill Atkinson

Atkinson is the creator of HyperCard, a hypertext system with a graphical interface launched in 1987 and created to run on MacOS, Apple’s operating system. The HyperCard,a sort of precursor of the (defunct) Adobe Flash,is designed to create interactive applications, called “stacks”, and in order to be an easy development environment enough for common Macintosh users, mostly artists graphics. HyperCard is credited with popularizing hypertext.

Tim Berners-Lee

In 1989, this researcher, together with Anders Bergulund, both employees of CERN — the European particle physics laboratory — invented the world’s first browser (the graphical interface of the Internet), the first web server, defined HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) as the official communication protocol for exchanging files on the Internet, and the Uniforms Resources Locators (URLs). To name this inventive complex, Berners-Lee had first chosen the name TimNet. But the group of researchers involved, including Robert Caillau, suggested that the name “World Wide Web” would better define its purpose. In 1985, a standardization of GML appeared, the Standart Generalized Markup Language (SGML), a very complex and expensive code, but that in the future would give rise to a more compact and efficient version, the Berners-Lee HTML.

Habbo Hotel

In the mid-90s, during the same period that the Web appeared, it was born thePalace an environment with chat rooms that mixed scenarios with 3D characters that ended up giving the famous avatars “emoji” which at the time were only yellow faces (smiles) floating in the finite space. A precursor of social networks, this 3D environment inspired other companies to launch their competing products. Creating a more sophisticated graphic concept, the Finnish Sulake launched in 2000 Habbo Hotel, a website inspired by Mobiles Disco, and inhabited by habbos. This concept of three-dimensionality based on vector, disseminated by Sulake, emerged as a novelty in the face of environments created by polygons that Palace offered and was quickly adopted as a standard among some designers who sought to create this feeling of space and depth on their websites. The pinnacle of this trend was achieved by Second Life, which brought together the best of its competitors (at the time), which was to unite the chat room, personalization of avatars, the network of friends and the construction of their own environments, becoming a unique and global phenomenon when it started its own virtual economy by converting virtual money into currency, and even offering a classified job. Second Life is the evolution that sums up the cyber universe, making fiction and non-fiction a reality. It is possible to observe initiatives that seek to correct social flaws in real life, such as Open University on Second Life.



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