The metaphors cyberpunk employed to explore our increasingly intimate relationship with technology, meanwhile, are as apt as ever. Our smartphones function as pseudo-cybernetic attachments, as artificial memory, GPS system, and dopamine deliverer. “Cyberpunk is a genre that said new technologies will colonise our bodies and interpenetrate our lives, like Molly in Neuromancer with her sunglasses literally inset into her face,” says Adam Roberts, science fiction writer and professor at Royal Holloway. “The reality is that technology has colonised not so much our bodies as our social interactions, with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on – with far-reaching consequences.”


Why is it that cyberpunk still looks like it did in the 80s? Perhaps there has been no need for it to change: it continues to resonate with us because the world it depicts is the one we live in. The genre was formed as a response to a world where corporate power was proliferating and expanding across the globe, inequality was growing, and AI, computers, and other new forms of technology offered both the promise of liberation and the potential for new and dangerous forms of domination.

w.a.s.t.e collective