sf affecting rl

Blade-Runner street scene by Syd Mead, visual futurist

Concept art for “Blade Runner by Syd Mead, visual futurist.

There is a thread at williamgibsonboard collecting links to images, sounds, or texts related to or evocative of William Gibson’s work. RUR posted the above picture, accompanied by a snippet from an interview Lance Loud (1951-2001) made with Gibson because of “Blade Runner”‘s tenth anniversary [published in “Details” magazine, issue from October 1992]:

About ten minutes into Blade Runner, I reeled out of the theater in complete despair over its visual brilliance and its similarity to the “look” of Neuromancer [↵Gibson 1984], my [then] largely unwritten first novel. Not only had I been beaten to the semiotic punch, but this damned movie looked better than the images in my head! With time, as I got over that, I started to take a certain delight in the way the film began to affect the way the world looked. Club fashions, at first, then rock videos, finally even architecture. Amazing! A science fiction movie affecting reality!

What Gibson describes in the quote’s latter part exactly hints towards what I mean by interlocked feedbackloops, mutual influence and fertilization, the influence of cyberpunk artefacts on the shaping of technology and cyberculture and vice versa (↵bombenkrater fusion, ↵anthropology’s shades, ↵lo tek nexus). A hermeneutic circle of interpretation, the temporary results of which do not remain within the realm of thoughts and ideas, but manifest themselves in the empirical world in the form of artefacts and sociocultural practices to be thrown into the mill again. “Feedback” being a central concept within cybernetics of course is purely accidental …

Just as a sidenote to the quote’s first part, in the documentary “On the edge of ‘Blade Runner'” (Abbott 2000) it is related that, when Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was shown footage of the movie, he flabbergastedly said: “How can that be?” and explained that the visuals he just saw exactly matched the visions he had in front of his mind’s eye.

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