Cyberpunk is an expression for the times we are living in. The genre itself is almost six decades old and has its roots in new wave science fiction, which is an extravagant mash-up of punk subculture and technology, hence the name. It’s the depiction of a future that cinema lovers have become all too familiar with thanks to films like Blade Runner, The Matrix Trilogy, Ghost in a Shell, and many more that focus on a dystopian future where technology has penetrated every aspect of human life. While these films had a hopeful end, it remains to be seen what the future holds for cyberpunk itself. Here’s Italy’s top visual artist, Dangiuz, sharing his insights on what the future holds for Cyberpunk.
Dangiuz has been drawing for as long as he can remember. As a passionate, 25-year-old, he found Cyberpunk the perfect portal for him to express how he views the world. He has extensively studied works of some of the most famous Cyberpunk authors like Philip K. Dick, whose story Blade Runner has inspired Dangiuz to create a similar dark kaleidoscopic vision of the future. He believes that “cyberpunk is an imagined future, but the best kind of imagination has its roots in reality. It’s just that it’s hard to find and harder to express the nuances of this reality except in the raw and provocative imagery of Cyberpunk.”
Dangiuz is optimistic about the future of Cyberpunk. Undeterred by the recent lockdown and the unknown perils it has brought upon businesses, Dangiuz says, “The future is what we make it. Look around you. All you see are smartphones, smart homes, computers, gamers, and more – these ideas have taken hold of life. I consider myself a chronicler of the times, and like any honest artist, hope to create an image of the future that links the different broken parts of today.”
With robotics, machine learning and AI entering the mainstream landscape at the speed of a bullet, it’s not hard to imagine that the future that has for so many years graced the realm of fiction, is coming into its own. “Everything is automated. What isn’t, is on its way to acquire automation. Boredom and isolation are driving people towards excessive dependency on technology. This is exactly what people like the British author George Orwell, whose book 1984 popularized the term Orwellian world, and many others have been predicting since the early sixties. As their predictions come true, the world of cyberpunk will gain speed. While I attempt to secure my place in the future, I also hope to point out the sense of loneliness and a sense of separation that our affinity with technology can bring about.”
The future of cyberpunk is an offshoot of the choices we make today. ‘Technology”, he says, “will be at the heart of life. Cyberpunk is a mirror to that future.” Needless to say, the work of artists like Dangiuz is poised to depict crude realities that seem to belong to a museum of tomorrow.