why this title? because after almost two weeks that i had spend in Romania I realized that somehow I'm "addicted " to the virtual realm In the same time I started asking myself questions about the Science fiction gendre and the turnaround that had happend in this kind of literature in the past few years .. From a spatial adventure like in Star trek or in Star Wars with aliens and all kids of creatures , androids and robots that all have a common plot in witch they fight against som kind of dark force from the universe , things turned around a little bit in the past years and with the end of the ninties and the begining of the new milennium , the science fiction gendre and the battle between the fantasctic enemyes it is given on a different scale , now the land skape of the action is more urban the teritory where the things take place is the City of the future divided trough gangs or the territory is divided between multinational companies that rule the economic landskape of the world . Te heroes of these kind of science fiction stories are different from the normal heroes they are antiheroes they are citizentz that live on the "borther " of the society , hackers that are living in this kind of tehno oriented society where tehnology is cheap and disposable and the lifestyle is posthuman like ..
So after the space adventure tipe of science fiction stories and movies of the ninties we are confronted with a new tipe of adventure , the cyberpunk gendre that is happenning in the not too distant future .
The first signs of the possibility that this kind of things can happen in reality is the fact that at the Egs(europeean graduates ) in belgium that is a europeean university focused on multidisciplynary aproach to things , there where lectures from the science fiction author Bruce Sterling . He is part of the cyberpunk 1980 movement together with Wiliam Gibson ,Pat Cadigan and Neil Stephenson .
The landskape of the novels is urban , artficial and full of interesting caracters with situations that can turnaround easily each moment .
My personal story related to this kind of world or world was obivious when I went from getting out of my personal and isolated mental and virtual space and landed in the real market ecomomy dominated capitalistic world of Romania where shoing off is like a first nature for the romanian cityzen ( not critical about it ) . It is quite a ride to get out from a more structure world of your own and get out and get bombarded with information that you do not need in a normal way .. so my question is related to realiy and perception is it that the new reality is the virtual one? the real world is becoming slover for our needs ( time is measured in distance as one of the russian constructivists said ) on the word wide web distance is measured in hiperlinks and in connexion speeds , the new gears are modems and different tipes of connexions you can reach any part of the world wit tehnology and the main hubs are the artificial landscapes of the cities what i find interesting about the teotries and the writings of Gibson and Sterling is the fact thet the landskapes where theyr adventures are happening allready exist , the tehnology with what t hack networks and outher things allready is in use therefore the scenarios are plausible . Gibson is leaving the things on a experimental level but Sterling in his blogs for the wired magazine , his novels and lectures goes a littloe bit further and makes you aware of the fact that these things exist and that culture and cyber culture are converging. The internet is a powerfull tool that produces new forms of ecomomical , advertising and social networking ways in the urban landskape .
The last architecture bienalle from Venice had the subject related to the contemporary city that is evolving making the new milenium an urban milenium , with two thirds of the global population living in cityes , in the same time the bienalle from Rotterdam 2007 had the same subject related to cityes making some interesting statististics and preditions related to the new age the age of the Urban . in the same time trends in fashion art and outher subsistem related to this kind of estetics has conected to it the word urban .
What is interesting to some level is what i expirienced after I got out of a normal sizie city like Amsterdam where in the everyday chaos you can find structure and groups of people of international roots with the same passions and the same taste in musique and visual culture . I do not call culture " culture " anymore I call it visual because I think that in today's societi the culture as we know it is becoming extinct we enter in a new fase where because f the shopping culture and advertising as a form of art and expression for designers is tahking over making every thing mixtup and coming directly at the individual thet is living in this kind of enviroment ,
som eof the people thet noticed this kind of mix and remix im some places are art professor Lev manovich that conected as fenomenon in his essays things like fashion , electrnic musique , software culture and human behiveour and explayned this kind of remix .
Anauther person that was inspired by popular culture is the designer Tom Fored that succeded trough his advertising campaings to stop the urban shopper and gto make him go into the store , in this case marketing senses and visual senses get together anticipateing where the popular culture will be in the next year . as he said the clues are allready here for the next season . Anauther thing is the fact that in the 70 ties the patron saint of the wired magasine the english literature teacher Marshall mcluhan said thet the last form of arhitecture is the highway and the car is the caracpache of the urban person , this i find a n interesting teory because is expanding the conceopt of architecture making it non static ,architecture is now a dynamic element not static anymore .
To end my post that is probably a little bit chaotic i thought about what a teacher from the europeean graduate academy said , beeing more specific Slavoj Zizek, he said that we cannot talk any more about virtual reality but instead we should think about the reality of the virtual .