1.png

Cyberspace

Mustafa Demir

Published Apr 14, 2021

Rapid integration of automatic control systems due to Feedbacks to human daily life, and the relation of technology and the human body associated with cybernetic elements transform the space as physical and perceptual. The experience of space associated with technology reveals the concept of “cyberspace”. According to McLuhan, the tools which are used by people who live in every culture are an extension of the human body. In this context, the extension of the body causes different forms of perception and thinking in the individual, therefore transforms the culture in which people live in.

This association of technology and culture introduces the term “techno-culture”. This term emphasizes a strong bond between technology and culture, and remarks technologic can’t be separated from the human. Technology which is the extension of the body is sometimes necessary for humans such as medical technology and processed food, and sometimes humans are situated in it such as air conditioning controlled office areas. Sometimes this technology functions as a supplement or prosthesis like glasses, and it interacts with humans as mobile devices. And sometimes people working in mass production functions as a supplement for technology.

A new human being with techno-culture reminds the “cyborg” figure which is frequently used in science fiction. Cyborg created by the articulation of prostheses like contact lenses, cardiac pacemakers, cellphones, personal computers is a hybrid of cybernetic and organic in real terms and blurs the limits in between mechanic and organic or artificial and natural. According to Deleuze the new human actually is a “rhizome” in the relation of technology and body.

While modern human evolves to cyborg, on the other hand, brought a new dimension to techno culture by transforming new electronic media networks into an extension of the body. According to McLuhan, Gutenberg created a kind of perception (literacy) that feature linearity and visuality with the invention of the printing press, and this perception created a human which has weaker social sense. McLuhan predicted that new ways of thinking and interaction ways will emerge. Hypertext has been reconstructed due to cybernetic technologies and electronic media associated with other non textured visual audio media, thus worldwide web named internet which is a hypermedia environment where millions of users from all around the world experience simultaneously were developed.

This hypermedia environment which occurs with the conversion of access to information does not have a stable system, and its points relate to each other. This relation is not stable, and other relations are possible to occur.

Eco's concept of „„Open Work‟' includes hypermedia features such as it is not based on a fixed set-up and is experienced dynamically with new relational mechanisms each time. In The Open Work, it has been suggested that all artworks can be interpreted in different ways without disrupting their unique singularities through musical and literary works which give extraordinary freedom to their readers. Thus, these works of art are clearly or implicitly stated that they are open to contain an infinite chain of possible readings.

Hypermedia became a part of the human with the development of portable and wireless communication technologies, and it unifies the information and its environment. Common networks communicate with different environments and provide continuous information flow everywhere. This has led to human becoming a part of the ever-expanding, infinite data flow around him. The New Media turned from being an object consumed through common informatics and Augmented Reality Technologies to a cybernetic organism that is produced by everyone, shared, converted, articulated to a layer of the city, and permanently renewed (Figure 1). In the new media, we can mention now a subject that creates its own content instead of a passive subject that experiences only what is offered to it and makes sense of its own existence through cybernetic layers.

These new medias articulated to the body, as McLuhan predicted, led to a transformation of spatial perception and experience. Therefore common information Technologies cause to appearance “augmented space” phenomenon which is physical space wrapped with cybernetic elements. The space that is experienced as physically and perceptually in the relation of machine and body transforms into the cyberspace.

The first description of cyberspace is in Neuromancer;

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters, and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...” (Gibson, 2003).

The cyberspace phenomenon is actually hidden in the expansion of the concept of cybernetic; not only electronic environment or simulation of a real space but also space where interaction between creatures and creatures, creatures and machines, machines and machines. According to Sterling, cyberspace is the space where making a phone call between two phones like Matrix (1999) of Wachowski. In addition, cyberspace is a space that is, thanks to feedbacks, more resistant than the human body to entropy, and space where consisting of an infinite data flow.

The internet is the place where most of the experience of cyberspace with the opportunity of today’s technology. The perspective that was brought by Sterling extends the scope of the cyberspace concept that is thought to be only composed of the internet. Cyberspace is actually the place where the intellectual and physical interaction of between the screen in front of us, the keyboard, the mouse, and our body while we are typing a text on a computer; or it is a game all around the world come together using platform where a lot of gamers from cyber extensions at the same time (Figure 2).





References


Gibson, W. (2003). Neuromancer. (Translation by Petek Demir, İpek Demir). İstanbul: Altın Kitaplar Press