cyberculture


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cyberculture

the cultural sphere arising from the advent of high technology, quasi-instantaneous communication networks, and virtual reality. Against this background, the 1980s saw William Gibson emerge as the author of cyberpunk (promoting self-direction and opposition to central control). His key novel, Neuromancer (1984), became the first work of the science fiction genre to respond to the changing technological environment. Akin to other, later, cyberpunk writers such as Bruce Sterling, Gibson's work explored the possibilities for the evolution of humanity through the medium of cyber-technology. Following the cyberpunk genre and the earlier work of the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, this question of human evolution has also been taken further by various social and cultural commentators, most notably thinkers such as Arthur and Marilouise KROKER, whose Ctheory journal remains one of the premier cyber-sites dedicated to the analysis of technology and culture, Pierre Levy whose texts Collective Intelligence (1997) and Becoming Virtual (1998) should be regarded as key books on humanity and emergence of cyber-consciousness, and Donna HARAWAY, whose work on the cyborg as the bio-technological body Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (1991), addresses the issues raised by Gibson in his early cyber fiction. For B. Kennedy (D. Bell and B. Kennedy eds, The Cybercultures Reader, 2000) ‘cyberculture marks the current state of… twenty-first century experience… a convergence of man, mind and technologies’. See also INTERNET.