Photography and Digital Art

Authored by: Grace Halden

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815351931
eBook ISBN: 9781351139885
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the cyberpunk image as a fusion of literary works and digital art. With the dystopian city as a central trope of exploration, this chapter discusses how different cyberpunk images portray fictional metropolises from original urban sites to popular literary locations like Blade Runner’s drenched and dreary Los Angeles. Halden conceives of three variations of cyberpunk image based on three broad creative processes: photography, digital art, and collage. These forms, described as cyberpunk-style, cyberpunk-art, and cyberpunk-mélange, are the manifestations of cyborg artists who use technology as artistic prosthesis. Halden’s chapter not only scrutinizes the work of leading concept artists like Andrée Wallin (Star Wars, Oblivion, Halo 4) and Jonas De Ro (Final Fantasy XV, Batman v Superman, Terminator Genisys), but also of amateur artists and hobbyist photographers who collectively contribute to a universally accepted cyberpunk vision of the city typified by rain, darkness, ruin, decay, blackened streets, and lofty high rises. With reference to the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard, Halden considers how artists who use contemporary cities in their cyberpunk images complicate notions of the ‘real’ city and blur our understanding of the present and future metropolis.

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