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The rise and fall of Cyberia

moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 8, 2015 15:45:03
There is something that I want to ask you about Cyberia, but before I do, I will write a sentence or two about what is Cyberia at all, just in case you never heard of it or you've simply forgotten what it was.

Cyberia was the word that described the hyperdimensional realm of technology, the emergent hacker and cyber milieu, the virtual reality, the high tech and the intelligent machines, the first synthesizers, the technoshamanism, the first ever written software, the fractal and chaos mathematics, the psychedelics, the neuro enhancement...

It was the cyberculture of the 80s and 90s, it was the place where the computer nerds grew up, it was the inspiration for house parties and later trance parties, but most of all, it was something that everybody involved in alternative culture knew well and had some kind of access to - either through technoshamanism, or through psychedelic explorations, or through chaos maths, or through the first theories of artificial intelligence and self composing music, or simply through programming software and hacking the system. Nowadays people mostly speak of Steve Jobs as one of those who were hanging around in ppsychedelic cyber realms back then, but as a matter of fact, most of the important software that we use today was written by freaks coming from Cyberia.

In the 90s I was a teenager and I grew up with the emergence of the internet, which was a very cyberia-like place back then. It has been 20 years since then, and I somehow find myself still in the realms of Cyberia in one way or another, still working in this field, at least the cyber part. But Cyberia itself, as a social place, is kind of abandoned. Well at least, this is how it feels in the place where I live - and actually I wonder if it ever existed anywhere else than in the Bay Area, in Sillicon Valley, even only in the internet of those days...or was it a part of our lives anywhere else??

If you want to read more about how the term was born, read the book of Douglas Rushkoff http://www.rushkoff.com/all-books/ (for less than a dollar in amazon). And believe me, if you are going to read it again after 20 years, it will seem to be a totally different approach in comparison to reading it back then. You have got wiser, the society has got wiser, or more cybernetically sophisticated, everything is completely changed. Cyberia is an utopian approach, if you observe it from the point of 2015 - it is pure nostalgia. However, as I said, may be it is still alive in the Bay Area - and if it is, it seems to be far from the trance culture of nowadays, because trance parties with virtual reality chill out floors are not very common there either.

And still, while reading, you will probably find a part of you which will want to ask, does Cyberia exist today? Where have they gone, where do the cyberians hide today?

It is really not a problem of age, because the cyberians from the nineties were even older than us today. So if you say, we are old and this is why it is dead - well we are not. Where did it go? Where are all those weird discussions of those days, which connected us all over the world?

Have you seen a sign of Cyberia? Do you link your life in any way to it any more?


moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 8, 2015 18:53
Here, before someone decides to illuminate me about the fact that these topics have nothing to do with trance and should be moved to the corner , and before I myself become frustrated because there is nobody interested in Cyberia although thousands and thousands of kids visit partys that they call trance, before that I want to post here an immortal passage of Cyberia. I think every person involved with trance should have read it, at least to know why he or she would probably never see us again in the gatherings of nowadays.

Quote:

To participate in this experience of resonance, each participant must feel like part of the source of the event. Where a traditional Christian ritual is dominated by a priest who dictates the ceremony to a crowd of followers, pagan rituals are free-for-alls created by a group of equals. For house events to provide the same kinds of experiences, they had to abandon even traditional rock and roll concert ethos, which pedestals a particular artist and falls into the duality of audience and performer, observer and object. The house scene liberates the dancers into total participation. Fraser, whose new club UFO opens tonight, explains the advantages of a no-star system:

Nobody is that much better than the next guy that he needs a whole stage and twenty thousand people fillin' up a stadium to see him. Nobody's that much better than the audience. We don't need that and people don't want it anymore. A lot of the music you'll hear tonight is never gonna be on a record. Kids just mix it the week before and play it that one night.''

So the house movement is determined to have no stars. It is in the face'' of a recording industry that needs egos and idolatry in order to survive. It depends, instead, on a community in resonance. The fractal equation must be kept in balance. If one star were to rise above the crowd, the spontaneous feedback creating the fractal would be obliterated. The kids don't want to dance even facing their partners, much less a stage. Everyone in the room must become "one.'' This means no performers, no audience, no leaders, no egos. For the fractal rule of self-similarity to hold, this also means that every house club must share in the cooperative spirit of all clubs. Even a club must resist the temptation to become a star.'' Every club and every rave must establish itself as part of one community, or what Fraser calls "the posse.''

It looks sort of like a tribe, but a tribe is somehow geographically separate from the main culture.'' Fraser finishes his cigarette and feeds his dog some leftover Indian food from dinner. "A posse is very definitely an urban thing. It's just a group of people, sharing technology, sharing all the raves and music as an organization. We even call them `posses putting on raves.' I really don't think there's such a thing as personal illumination anymore. Either everybody gets it or nobody gets it. I really think that's the truth.''

UFO, a collective effort of Fraser's posse, opens in an abandoned set of train tunnels at Camden Lock market. This English party is not at all like a San Francisco or even a New York club. It is an indoor version of the old-style massive outdoor raves. The clothing is reminiscent of a Dead show, but maybe slightly less grungy. Batik drawstring pants, jerseys with fractal patches, love beads, dredlocks, yin-yang T-shirts, and colorful ski caps abound. In the first tunnel, kids sit in small clusters on the dirt floor, smoking hash out of Turkish metal pipes, sharing freshly squeezed orange juice, and shouting above the din of the house music. In one corner, sharply contrasting the medieval attire, ancient stone, and general filth, are a set of brain machines for rent. In the second tunnel, dozens of kids dance to the throbbing house beat. Even though we're in a dungeon, there's nothing down'' about the dancing. With every one of the 120 beats per minute, the dancers articulate another optimistic pulse. Up up up up. The hands explode upward again and again and again. No one dances sexy or cool. They just pulse with the rhythm, smile, and make eye contact with their friends. No need for partners or even groups. This is a free-for-all.




Taken from http://www.voidspace.org.uk/cyberpunk/cyberia.shtml

But the book is available for 0.01 dollar in amazon too.

moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 8, 2015 22:53
Okey, you will excuse me, I wrote this post in a total mental flashback while reading the roman for a second time so many years after the first time. I just had to shout loud in excitement.

But I am finishing it now and can't wait to get over the last few pages and FORGET about it. It makes me even paranoid to remember Cyberia and what happened to it with the years. To me, Cyberia nowadays is not the techno paganism or technoshamanism and not the psychedelics at all any more. It is only the technology and the software what still interests me truely: the artificial intelligence, the Kurzweil Story of synthesizer invention and pattern recognition, the software and the programming. My own Cyberia has never been more alive. And who knows, may be there has NEVER been a social cyberia, it was just a fiction dream.

I simply wanted to tell you that it is impossible to experience Cyberia without the technology freaks - never forget that the artists and the techies were very interconnected back then and may be this is why it worked that well. However, today, only musicians, artists, djs, partys, whatever it is, are to be seen on the horizon. The techies are gone somewhere else. May be you will find a minute to think about it once. And if not , never mind. Thanks for making at least a flashback possible.
Login
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  65
Posts :  1704
Posted : Mar 9, 2015 21:34
Cyberia is turning in to the distopia nobody wanted: 1984, brave new world, blade runner, etc.

I am quite pessimistic, the direction the world is going is not good at all and each day it only seems to get worse and worse.

          "The dedication to repetition the search for nirvana in a single held tone or an endlessly cycling rhythm is one of electronic music's noblest gestures."
Yidam
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  144
Posts :  3171
Posted : Mar 11, 2015 10:44
Geeks and programmers have become the alphas and CEOs of today. another example that unbounded power and money corrupts.

On a positive note i think there will be split soon between mainstream cyberculture that are inherently lazy and self-absorbed social network sheep VS. a more active diy/life-hacker/3D-VR/gamer cyber-culture that is around the corner.

moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 12, 2015 13:07
Quote:

On 2015-03-09 21:34, Login wrote:
I am quite pessimistic, the direction the world is going is not good at all and each day it only seems to get worse and worse.



But you agree that the world is not a completely deterministic predictable place and that we have a free will to act in this world however we think is right? Or does your pessimism result from a belief that we can change nothing at all?


Quote:

On 2015-03-09 21:34, Login wrote:
Cyberia is turning in to the distopia nobody wanted: 1984, brave new world, blade runner, etc.



It is interesting that ideas like the positive technoshamanic Cyberia actually appeared after the cyberpunk authors like William Gibson who described a more nihilistic dark side of underground electronics and prophesied that information technology and cybernetics were leading to social decay and somehow to the end of humanity as a community of loving, dreaming, emotional creatures. Cyberia was the answer to that - it put the technology on a more positive path of development than the cyberpunk stated it to be. So Cyberia became the world of "intelligent machines" who are not going to destroy our society but to guide us to the next evolutionary stage. And exactly this approach is what is missing today most.

Quote:

On 2015-03-09 21:34, Yidam wrote:
Geeks and programmers have become the alphas and CEOs of today. another example that unbounded power and money corrupts.



Yes, some of the DJs and artists of Cyberia became very rich too...This is because Cyberia was really strong with marketing itself and the artists were in the heart of the cyclone. But it was the "geeks" who took them down of their pedestal by simply making everything available for free and destroying the production business in general. Today, I guess the geeks are on the better side, at least financially. But also the power seems to be with them more than ever.

Quote:

On a positive note i think there will be split soon between mainstream cyberculture that are inherently lazy and self-absorbed social network sheep VS. a more active diy/life-hacker/3D-VR/gamer cyber-culture that is around the corner.



Well, yes, it is around the corner, actually a lot of things are happening with VR and games right now, humanity making great progress, but it is all just business at the end of the day. I asked already this question, but who will own the future at the end?? Google Glasses and Microsoft VR? The nanotechnology and the technology that would make it possible for us to upload our intelligence into Cyberia and become transhumans? To me there is a serios split of cyberculture of geeks and a kind of cyberculture of electronic music. The first is the business of the big players, the second is the decay of wrongly used neuro enhancements. However, none of them will survive alone.
full_on
IsraTrance Team

Started Topics :  278
Posts :  5467
Posted : Mar 13, 2015 03:33
You are fighting human nature, you lose already.

That cyberia you paint in exciting colors was just another intangible dream like many others before. An illusion fed by the collective, which includes you, until human nature milk it and spoil it, allowing you to start to see it as it always really was, something that you never truly touched, so you kinda stop feeding it, but you still have the idea in your memory, and lustfully dream to have it back again somehow, although you know you never had it, because it's a phantasy.

The only piece of it I would prescribe to you is the red pill.

Welcome to the desert of the real.
Respect!

          .
...Be gentle with the earth...
...Dance like nobody's watching...
.
...I don't mind not going to Heaven, as long as they've got Coffee in Hell...
moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 13, 2015 13:37
So the moral of the story is to face "reality" and to forget about alternative cybercultural phantasies... Watch all available cyberpunk movies, read all cybernetic books, make "cyber" art, but forget that any of it can be a socially relevant or a political statement that could change society?


This probably means that the right way to devote yourself to a cyberian vision is to devote your life to a corporation involved with high tech, virtual reality, 3D printing or whatever other field of interest on the edge of technology. Of course, being a part of a "corporation", working one's butt off, following the market needs more than following a vision, could be called the blue pill too.

Or may be the right way is to take all pills possible at once and to juggle between them like a sinus wave , never going out of balance Because one color is never enough...


The only thing that makes Cyberia more real than a phantasy is that if you read at least the first part, the cyber technie part, all names involved are real people in the Bay area, who can be googled and even talked to in certain conferences....

p.s. Here a small reality check for the afternoon coffee :
http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us


moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 13, 2015 17:15
BUT to be honest, my problem has been the same for years and years : I just have this feeling or belief that dedicating a life to the festivals and the parties would mean taking the blue pill in the matrix. The wrong pill. But thanks a lot for reminding me about this big dilemma, I guess it is a deeply personal thing and is the reason why I could never experience myself as a part of a trance community or whatever. I simply do not know what am I part of then.

Login
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  65
Posts :  1704
Posted : Mar 13, 2015 19:58
You are part of everything

          "The dedication to repetition the search for nirvana in a single held tone or an endlessly cycling rhythm is one of electronic music's noblest gestures."
full_on
IsraTrance Team

Started Topics :  278
Posts :  5467
Posted : Mar 13, 2015 21:30
Change society is something very complex, unpredictable, borderline impossible.
All this technology change life locally, but globally, in the big picture, we know it will be used to make money.

The same logic applies to psytrance parties and many other things.

That beautiful and original spark that made us believe that a lot could be achieved if we kept cultivating it (the beginning of the dream/illusion) usually gets warped and distorted when money starts to talk.

The only way around it, as far as I know, is to keep things really small, with people that are really connected and touched by it.
Respect!
          .
...Be gentle with the earth...
...Dance like nobody's watching...
.
...I don't mind not going to Heaven, as long as they've got Coffee in Hell...
Upavas
Upavas

Started Topics :  150
Posts :  3315
Posted : Mar 16, 2015 07:28
Haven't you heard? Mr Chill's back           Upavas - Here And Now (Sangoma Rec.) new EP out Oct.29th, get it here:
http://timecode.bandcamp.com
http://upavas.com
http://soundcloud.com/upavas-1/
moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : Mar 18, 2015 14:42
Quote:

On 2015-03-13 21:30, full_on wrote:
Change society is something very complex, unpredictable, borderline impossible.
All this technology change life locally, but globally, in the big picture, we know it will be used to make money.

The same logic applies to psytrance parties and many other things.

That beautiful and original spark that made us believe that a lot could be achieved if we kept cultivating it (the beginning of the dream/illusion) usually gets warped and distorted when money starts to talk.

The only way around it, as far as I know, is to keep things really small, with people that are really connected and touched by it.
Respect!





There is only one problem to me with keeping things really small. In the last few years, I noticed that keeping things small and concentrate on partner, friends and family makes me more happy than the 15 years before that, trying to build websites and make events for social purposes or whatever it was. However, I noticed too, that I am on the privileged side of life - if I'd close my eyes I would not even notice people in the third worlds living in poverty or others living in war situations or third ones devastating their lives with drugs. But isn't there a moral inner voice that obliges the privileged ones to take care to change things? To gather power and resources and use them properly? To infiltrate technology and make the best of it? To have a plan just in order not to become a part of somebody else's plan?

Hm, but somehow I know you are right. If there is a way to change anything, then it must be to stay humble, learn as much as you can, never miss an opportunity to embrace a change that would matter,and stay emotionally intact in a small group of ppl. If I learned something in my life, it is that society won't thank you. So think twice if it is worth.

At the moment I use my free days to learn and read a lot about artificial intelligence and I stumbled onto the story of Kurzweil, who invented self composing music as a teenager, then invented a reader for blind ppl (pattern regognition at its best) , then a new generation of synthesizers and many other things. His story is truely inspiring and not of this world, probably compared only with the astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who came back to earth from a moon mission and had a deep transformation of his perspective on human technology and the meaning of it all. I really want to find out, if Kurzweil is at the side of the good, or if he is a deputy of the dark force behind technology which is going to erase humanity from the face of the earth sooner or later.

But I must confess, it is a kind of lonely to not have much people to talk to about these issues. If only Cyberia existed...





In case someone does not know who is Kurzweil:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun07/articles/raykurzweil.htm

http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-age-of-intelligent-machines-a-personal-postscript

http://www.kurzweilai.net/ray-kurzweils-music-tech-breakthroughs-the-inside-story




and Edgar Mitchell http://www.noetic.org/






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