And boy, did I lose.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Okay, so you’ve seen the title and by title alone, no doubt this article is going to cause a stir. Okay… that we know, but let’s see how we go. The following list is by no means definitive, but here are my top five cyberpunk films, based upon story, audience response and, for the interest of you, my dear reader, how they influenced the cybergoth fashion movement. Grab your laser gun and hack module, because we’re about to get started…
#1 The Matrix
Aside from the explosions, the fights, the mechanoids, the one thing that’s going to remain in your mind’s eye after the visual orgasm that is The Matrix is going to be the fashion. Even years after it’s 1999 release, The Matrix’s influence on the cyberpunk and cybergoth subculture was immense, bringing a corporate chic to the fore while maintaining that industrial edge. We’re talking shades, boots, jet-black hair and, of course, the trench coat.
Men in trenchcoats (known as 'trenchers' in some circles) became stylish once again thanks to this fashionable film. Fortunately the Columbine tragedy, and the associated 'trench coat mafia' had little effect on this recognizable style.
Who could forget the ballet-like prescision of Neo dodgy bullets and firing off round after round in that enigmatic jacket that fluttered behind him like a post-Apocalyptic superhero cape.
#2 Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Warning: this film is very graphic and we decided to only choose a tamer example to display here. Check it out on DVD if you want to do it justice.
No, I am not refering to your favourite brand of instant-Ramen. Tetsuo was the 1989 surreal-cyberpunk masterpiece from Shinya Tsukamoto. The antagonist, known only at ‘the metal fetishist’ descends into a world of insanity when he discovers that metal is growing from his very skin and he is caught between a disturbing realm between man and technology.
Utilizing pieces of metal and piping, a la Tetsuo is seen frequently in the CG underground.
This incredible and macabre film, although produced before the cybergoth culture we know today, has had a tremendous influence on both it’s aesthetics and ethics. Cyber fashion that pushes the man-machinery idea has clearly taken influence from this amazing film and one only has to turn to the world of talented contemporary cybergoth make-up artists to see that this film turned many heads (and gears).
#3 Ghost in the Shell
While this entry covers the seminal 1995 anime, it does in a way incorporate the entire GITS franchise based around the intensely groundbreaking manga from Shirow Masamune. It’s difficult to pinpoint which Japanese manga is the most influential, but let this be representative of them all, as GITS marked a massive trend of cyberpunk stories that effected our conciousness, and likely the very cybergoth movement in the western world. AI, cyborgs, cybernetic entities—not to mention a dropdead gorgeous hottie of a protagonist, whose liberated, strong characteristics brought science-fiction out of the boy’s only club and into the girl’s world.
#4 The Crow
Okay, okay, I haven’t even started this one and I know already I’m going to cop a lot of flack for this one… but The Crow, which had a huge impact on wannabe goths everywhere, is an important film and needs to be mentioned. Fashion and aesthetics wise, The Crow combines decaying Victorian architecture and clothing with a decaying, industrialized neighborhood of steel mills and batteries. Cybergoth isn’t always about artificial intelligence and the future—it’s also about the decay of the present, and there wouldn’t be a culture to be involved in without this film.
#5 Dark City
While the above post may have steered things to a more trad-goth focus, this film is important in a different way. While Dark City was also directed by Australian genre-master Alex Proyas, Dark City turned to a different aesthetic, influenced heavily by 50s noir and art-deco stylings whilst retaining that gritty gothic feel. As cyber changes and moves towards a rave-style paradigm, it could be said that the emerging steampunk subculture steers goth into a both a past and future build around a post-modernist worldview. Femme fatales, jazz fusion, black and white tiles and cigarette smoke all get their familiar appearances but lurking beneath the surface is a longing for a simpler time, fused with the complexity of the future, an abstract apparition of fanciful creative thought.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
If so, I've got four words for you: BAGGER TWO EIGHT EIGHT.
Gotta spend a couple of days away from the blog, as I have one final assignment due, then I'm gonna spend the weekend celebrating! Hope you got a big weekend planned. I know what I'll be doing!
Here are some pics from my night out the other weekend. Went to a new local club night in town called Ravenclaws, which was awesome, because unlike most other goth/punk/alternative clubs, they didn't just have DJs, but some live acts. There was music that attract people from all over the scene. Even though I don't really like punk and metal, I don't mind them playing it if it's gonna bring in extra crowds. There was a side room for the punks called SNOT and I gotta say that the warm-up act Thumper's Other Paw got me pogo-ing a little!
This was the dancefloor during the new Combichrist single, people really seemed to like it.
Ken having too much of a good time.
Dunno who she is but we talked about veganism for a little bit. I'm a veggo myself, and am all for animal welfare :)
Some freaky cross-dresser. Well, each to their own, I guess!
Check out these honeys. I tried to get their numbers but only got the digits for the one in the middle. Oh well ;)
LOL @ 'black t-shirt.' Gotta get one of these.
This was in the punk side room SNOT.
All in all, it Ravenclaws was a pretty good night and was just what I needed to tie me over until the next Cybergoth/EBM/industrial night. I can't party as hard as I used to, and pyked pretty early (went home at about 1.30am) but had a lot of fun. If they played the Terrorfakt or Frontline Assembly tracks I requested, I'd be there 'til dawn!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Today I worked on my latest DIY project. I've had access to a bunch of old computers and circuits, knowing that they're the best resource for finding cool little parts to add to cyber clothing and accessories. I put some circuits onto a pair of goggles that I bought cheap at a market recently. The goggles weren't anything special, I didn't like the colour, so thought I would make some additional changes.
Here are the goggles, being modelled by my good friend Elsie (my first DIY fashion sale, too!). What do you think?
Anyway, this post isn't exactly about the goggles, but the other horrors we found inside the old computers. Going through old hardware can be fun but it doesn't come without some nasty surprises. . Maybe you should just see for yourself. Here are the pics from when I opened the first PC box a few days ago...
The computer was from a high school that was refurbishing one of its IT rooms with new gear, and I was able to get some extra gear that would otherwise be chucked in the dumpster. Maybe it should have stayed there. My friend Ken (who works in the IT department at the school) promised me I could take all I wanted. I did, and I got more than I bargained for...
By now I was coughing and sneezing because of the dust. Also, the smell was beyond belief. It smelled like a cross between singed human hair and a gravel pit. The worst part was the fluff on the fan, as if the computer had a life of it's own, and that organic lifeforms were infesting on its insides, becoming one with the computer!
Here's the front panel, right after I took it off. What the hell were they doing with these computers?!
Well, I walked away with a few cool pieces but mostly I was put off by what I had seen. Man, I love making my own cyber gear but that was almost too much for me, so I think I'll let others do the hard work from now on. There were a few leftover pieces and I made these cute little wristbands (after I washed every usable piece thoroughly by soaking them on a tub of hot soapy water!).
It was so gross, I thought I might wake up with robot parts growing out of me like in Testuo: The Iron man or something. Sheesh...
Sunday, November 7, 2010
We all know the influence cyberpunk and industrial design has on cybergoth fashion. Computer circuits, post-humanism, trans-humanism, robotics… but did you know that these mere fashion accessories just may herald the first wave of cyborgs?
Hot topics: dressing mechanical is a big part of the cyber goth fashion, but how long before the rest of humanity takes the next step and become the future?
I recently read about the artist and musician Neil Harbisson –the man considered by many to be the world’s first officially recognised cyborg. No, Neil does not wear artificial limbs or battery-powered prosthetics, but something far more exotic—an eyeborg! The eyeborg is a device that allows him to—get this—experience colours through soundwaves! Neil is unable to see colours as he suffers from sonochromatopsia, a condition that limits his vision to black and white. Neil wears the eyeborg frequently, and even features the piece in his official passport photo, thus deeming this technology as a legitimate mechanical extension of the human body.
I, Robot: Neil with his Eyeborg on.
Incredible stuff, huh. So next time you’re playing make believe and walking down the street with some cool, but ultimately fake, cybergoth head-piece, you might just bump into someone who’s the real deal. Maybe cyber goths are paving the way towards a cyber future, but sooner or later our numbers will grow as the technology progresses and the cybers you see might not be part of a subculture, but an emerging mainstream ready to plunge head-first into real life transhumanism...
This ain't no dream: the eyeborg component on a quartz head
You can read more about Neil and his Eyeborg at his official website here.
PS. What do you guys think about all this? Is Neil just another Internet crackpot or does he really represent the first of a new generation? If the future's already here, what kind of robotic component will you wear? And what needs to be made commercially available next?
Goths are a serious bunch, I know that for sure. But we do have a sense of humour, just like everyone else. Things have been getting pret-ty serious here, so let’s take this post to chill out and have a laugh at ourselves. I present to you the first (of hopefully several more to come) goth fail pics, photos that show goths might not be the fashionable freaks they make themselves out to be. Hell, everyone makes fashion faux paus once in a while, especially those on the dark side. Welcome to the circus...
We've already covered the falls and gas masks, staples of the cybergoth fashion world, but it goes without saying that a little tact can go a long way, otherwise you join the world of muppets and toilet brush heads.
DIY or die. But not necessarily when it means raiding Dad's backyard shed.
This one's more of an observation than a joke, but being cyber means looking the part 24/7. Returning to the real world means you may as well hang out with those in the cancer ward.
Remember when Mother dearest used to dress you in the 'finest threads' complete with comb-over and spit-wiping your face? And how much you hated it, especially when it was in front of the school gates? Well spare a thought for the children of goths. Yep, their parents vaccuum the house to Sisters of Mercy, have blood-drinking sessions instead of Sunday afternoon BBQs, buy you your first PVC corset when you're 13 (boys not excluded) and decorate the house like it's Hallween every day. A world of white picket fences, golden retrievers and Abercrombie and Fitch is a world away, but a destination they just one day may reach.
This is just bat-shit crazy. Points for the effort, though.
The Mortal Kombat's Sub Zero influence is not lost on us.
...and if anyone of the above examples weren't enough for you, then let me make this clear: Goth expression is limitless and can cover clothing, acessories and hell, even furniture (provided you don't do the full Ed Gein) but for Satan's sake, stay away from the god damn car!