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Cyberpunk Redux: Dérives in the Rich Sight of Post-Anthropocentric Visuality

Liberal Arts Department, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberpunk in a Transnational Context)
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Abstract

Our future effects on the earth, in light of the Anthropocene, are all dire expressions of a depleted world left in piles of detritus and toxic ruin—including the diminished human as an assemblage of impoverished existence, yet adumbrating that handicapped existence with an ersatz advanced technology. In the cyberpunk films, these expressions are primarily visual expressions—whether through written prose thick with densely dark adjectives describing the world of cyberpunk, or more widely known, the comic books and films of cyberpunk, whose representations have become classically understood as SF canon. The new films of the cyberpunk redux however, represent an evolution in cyberpunk visuality. Despite these debatable issues around this term, it will provide this paper with its primary object of visuality, that of the “rich sight”, a further term that arose from the allure created in the late 19th century development of department stores that innovated the display of the goods laid out in a spectacular view, presenting the shopper with a fantasy of wealth and fetishized objects which excited shoppers to purchase, but more paradoxically, creating the desire to see a fantasy that was at the same time also a reality. This particular and enframed view—so deeply embedded and beloved in our commodity-obsessed culture—is what I suggest so profoundly typifies the initial cyberpunk postmodern representation in the Blade Runner films, and its continuing popularity in the early part of the 21st century. Both films are influenced by Ridley Scott’s initial vision of the cinematic cyberpunk universe and organized as sequential narratives. Consequently, they serve as excellent examples of the evolution of this visual spectacular. View Full-Text
Keywords: visuality; “rich sight”; Blade Runner; animatism; cinematism; flattened screens; collage; proscenium views; layers; detritus visuality; “rich sight”; Blade Runner; animatism; cinematism; flattened screens; collage; proscenium views; layers; detritus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Lunning, F. Cyberpunk Redux: Dérives in the Rich Sight of Post-Anthropocentric Visuality. Arts 2018, 7, 38.

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