For this Sci-Friday, let’s enjoy an interview with William Gibson and the origin of the ‘cyberspace’ term. Take a look at what he says, and then we’ll double-click into some other details.
So did William Gibson invent the word ‘cyberspace?’ Not necessarily. According to Wikipedia, the term “cyberspace” first appeared in the visual arts in the late 1960s, when Danish artist Susanne Ussing (1940-1998) and her partner architect Carsten Hoff (b. 1934) constituted themselves as Atelier Cyberspace. However, the term ‘cyberpunk’ *does* come from Gibson, among other artists as we discussed in Sci-Friday #184.
Interestingly, if you look up the Wiki article on cyberspace, you get a stack of other articles related to cyborgs: Bionics, Biomimicry, Biomedical engineering, Brain–computer interface, and Cybernetics to name a few.
These discussions about cyberspace and cyberpunk are part of what is known as ‘semiotics,’ the systematic study of sign processes (semiosis) and meaning making. Given that every cultural phenomenon may be studied as communication, it’s always valuable to understand what you’re part of and what that communicates about you.
I hope you enjoyed this moment of scifi semiotics! Please feel welcomed to dive down the rabbit hole of every other Sci-Friday I’ve published in the past couple years. Have a great weekend! 🙂