cyberculture [digital artefact report]

My Digital Artefact — Future Neon, an artistic exploration of cyber-culture



Concept — The future from the perspective of cyber-culture and transhumanism

“Transhumanism is the belief that science and technology can allow us to transcend the limitations of human life.”
— Geraci, 2011. There and back again: Transhumanist evangelism in science fiction and popular science.

Originally I intended to do a broader exploration of the future in the next 20-30 years from the perspective of cyber-culture, but recently decided to narrow my focus to transhumanism in cyberpunk/sci-fi media. Some of the ideas that I tried to convey through my digital artefact were: the relation between transhumanism and spiritual concepts/religion, where religion is defined as the “negotation of what it means to be human with respect to the superhuman and subhuman” (Geraci, 2011), the morality of artificial intelligence, immortality through transferring consciousness into machine or cloned bodies, and integrating machines into human bodies. I was inspired and informed by popular cyberpunk texts that I’ve featured in my digital artefact. Cyberpunk being a product of dystopian futurism meant that I took a speculative approach to discussing the future of cyber-culture based on concepts from these texts.

“Cyberpunk married high technology with a dystopian future of corporate power and underground criminal activity, simultaneously glorifying life on computers while casting suspicion upon the promise that the technology would resolve earthly problems.”
— Geraci, 2011. There and back again: Transhumanist evangelism in science fiction and popular science.


Methodology — Digital edits featured on Instagram

I wanted to take an abstract approach to exploring these ideas, so I decided early on that I would be make visually interesting digital edits paired with music for a ‘mood-board’ effect. I chose Instagram as my primary platform, due to it being a visual-based medium with a clear feedback loop based on passive engagement. It also allowed for easy growth of engagement through the hashtag system of sharing content. Initially, I was also sharing my digital artefact on TikTok, though eventually decided that the content was not well-suited to that platform (discussed in more depth below). To create my content, I used a few different programs and resources;
— Adobe PhotoShop: arranging and creating the visuals
— Adobe Premiere Pro: adding music to transform the content into an audio/visual format
PHOTOMOSH: enhancing the content with dynamic visual effects
LingoJam: generating special fonts for the Instagram captions



Audience and Utility — Established fans of cyberpunk and futurists

The digital art created for my artefact appeals to fans of cyberpunk aesthetics. I also incorporate a variety of popular texts with this theme to draw in and engage with audiences already familiar with those works. Referencing these works also aims to increase engagement by utilising my audience’s nostalgic feelings relating to the texts.

“Reliving positive memories and beloved icons from the past feels good. Alongside hectic work schedules, unrelenting responsibilities, and more, fond memories make us smile — and that leaves us open to brand messaging. When we feel or care for something, we’re much more likely to act.”
— Friedman, 2016. Why Nostalgia Marketing Works So Well With Millennials, And How Your Brand Can Benefit.

The captions are speculative explorations of transhumanism, and will therefore appeal to futurists and philosophical thinkers. I feel as though cyberpunk being a speculative genre of fiction means that there is an overlap between fans of cyberpunk texts/cyber-culture and those interested in speculative future-thinking. I’m hoping that my captions can provoke thoughts about possible futures in relation to transhumanism and how it may affect society, be that positively (Utopian) or negatively (Dystopian).


Background Research

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick, 1968), The Shockwave Rider (John Brunner, 1975), Neuromancer (William Gibson, 1984)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982), Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii, 1995), The Matrix (The Wachowskis, 1999), Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez, 2019)

News Media
Neon Dystopia (for information about the cyberpunk genre), Forbes Magazine (for information useful to social media marketing and audience engagement)

Academic Articles
Geraci, R.M., 2011. There and back again: Transhumanist evangelism in science fiction and popular science. Implicit religion, 14(2), pp.141-172.
Hollinger, V., 1990. Cybernetic deconstructions: Cyberpunk and postmodernism. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, 23(2), pp.29-44.


Feedback Loop & Iterations

Firstly, here is an update on the posts that were featured in my digital artefact beta:

As previously observed, the edits prominently featuring media texts related to my concept received more engagement than the one that did not. Moving forward with my project, I made edits featuring popular and recognisable characters/texts.

My initial content was spread across both Instagram and TikTok, with static versions and dynamic audio/visual versions of the digital edits respectively. I was not receiving substantial engagement on TikTok with this content, and after considering this and reading feedback from my peers I decided to move the audio/visual content onto Instagram and see how much better that would perform. TikTok favours short sketch-like clips and memetic trends, which was not similar to my content

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The result has been a significant increase in initial engagement, with the audio/visual edits posted to Instagram matching and sometimes surpassing my previous three posts in engagement in a much shorter amount of time. I find that sharing my posts to the Instagram page’s story and continuously networking by engaging with similar accounts has also helped to boost my overall followers. I also feel that the quality of my posts increased significantly after switching to Adobe PhotoShop to create my edits (previously I had been using the free online editor pixlr).

“Battle Angel Alita is a fantastic vision of the future, in more ways than one. Blending cyberpunk with incredible character growth and a dash of space opera, the manga is a unique read with a level of innovation on par with Star Wars, creating an immersive world fairly innovative for its time.”
— Shadowlink, 2019. Saga Of The Killing Angel: A Review Of Gunnm.
“If memory is indistinguishable from manufactured data how can one be deemed more valuable than the other? And if those memories a person holds to be true and immutable, are no more or less authentic than fantasy, what good are they when it comes to informing a person’s identity? Oshii believes that the whole of humanity struggles with these questions in a world of advanced technology, and he uses his protagonist to explore them in a way that attaches some universality to his philosophy.”
— Rodriguez, 2017. Ghost In The Shell: The Value Of Reality And The Evolution Of Humanity.
“The rise of this subgenre is no coincidence–as the potential for humanity’s spacefaring days draws nearer, it becomes more and more obvious that we will need to rely on advancing our technology in order to colonize worlds that are not suited for our biology, whether that be artificial intelligence that can make astrophysical calculations much faster than the human brain for interstellar navigation, or genetic engineering to inoculate us from xenobiology and harsh living conditions.”
— Shadowlink, 2019. Decrypting Dystopia: How Cyberpunk Corrupted The Space Opera.

View this post on Instagram

A̴̺̬̯̟̔̌̑̈̃̃̐̂͠ͅǵ̴̗̗͇̰̰̰͖̄͝ͅé̵̡̗̮̥̮͚͉̃̒̄͋̋̕ͅn̴̜͓̠̬̊̅̉ṱ̸̢̡͚͙̻͖̗̉͗̉̒̈́́̐ ̵̰̝̗̉͊̾D̴̠̻͔̱̞͓͎͎͇̣̄̓a̶̢̮̠̤̖͔̙͉͗͆̒̈͆̌͜r̶̹͖̙̈́̀̓͐̇͘͝ķ̴̛̝͓̮͖̫͇͓̄̍̓̃̽͝ ̷̡̤̳̙͙̝͋͛͗i̷̬͙͓̥̱̲̤̮̓̾͂̓͆̔̽̏͠n̵̻̔̏͂̔̍̽͜ ̷̠͎̯̪̹͚̓̄͐̒̀͋͗͘͝p̵̜̱͊́̽̂̔̊̕̕o̶̡̦̮̝̍̀̈́̿̀́̅̚ŝ̶̯̯̩̝̲̪̖͓̂̀ͅͅi̶̢̫̤͕̺͐́́̍͊͆͛͛t̶͓̬̱̟͖̃̽̓̿̆̃͑̑͂ȋ̷̛͇͎̋̍̉̚͠o̴̩͒̑̂͒̚n̵͍̾̊̑͆͘̚ . . . There's a character in Perfect Dark called Dr Caroll, he's an AI program run through an airborne laptop computer. Although he was made by the DataDyne corporation, his intelligence allows him to develop morals and go against the wishes of his creators. One of my favourite moments from this game is when he chooses to sacrifice his own 'life' by destroying the Cetan ship and mega weapon while still inside. His actions were motivated by very human emotions, leaving us to question whether or not AI will be capable of processing complex human emotions in the future. . . . #perfectdark #joannadark #n64 #nostalgic #nostalgiawave #nostalgia #aesthetic #aestheticart #aesthetics #aestheticedits #aesthetic #scifiart #scifi #sciencefiction #cyber #cyberpunk #secretagent #cybergoth #cyberart #digitaledit #digitalart #chicago #rareware #fps #firstpersonshooter #agentdark #90s

A post shared by 未来【NEON】 (@thefutureneon) on


Reflection — measuring success and limitations

I was not entirely satisfied with my content when writing up my project beta, but after adjusting and iterating upon my digital artefact I feel very proud of the content I have produced and engagement I have procured on my Instagram account. I think that this is something I will continue to explore beyond the subject from time to time, because it’s a topic I am interested in. My biggest failure is that I did not meet my time management goals. I think if I had posted more regularly on a schedule I could have increased my audience engagement by exploring analytics and patterns from a larger sample size over a longer period of time and applying any observations made. I feel like by moving my focus to transhumanism in the near future as informed by cyber-culture I was able to explore the course concepts and take a futurists approach to my captions in a more effective way than previously before. From here onwards I would continue to make content on this trajectory and possibly explore more innovative ways to utilise Instagram’s story feature to enhance my overall engagement.

Friedman, L., 2016. Why Nostalgia Marketing Works So Well With Millennials, And How Your Brand Can Benefit. Forbes. 
Geraci, R.M., 2011. There and back again: Transhumanist evangelism in science fiction and popular science. Implicit religion, 14(2), pp.141-172.
Rodriguez, D., 2017. Ghost In The Shell: The Value Of Reality And The Evolution Of Humanity. Neon Dystopia. 
Shadowlink, 2019. Saga Of The Killing Angel: A Review Of Gunnm. Neon Dystopia.
Shadowlink, 2019. Decrypting Dystopia: How Cyberpunk Corrupted The Space Opera. Neon Dystopia

live tweeting [part 2]


Week 6 – Ghost in the Shell (Oshii, 1995)

I was already very familiar with this film, so the quantity of my tweets was naturally very high. I referenced cyberculture, transhumanism, cyborgs and a few other concepts from the subject materials in my tweets. I compared the film to a few previous screenings, and also had a few tweets sharing relevant sources/articles.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Week 7 – The Matrix (The Wachowskis, 1999)

I missed out on the live-tweeting session for this film, but still engaged with other tweets and made a thread of my own tweets. Because of this my own contributions lacked engagement, though the tweets themselves were I feel of higher quality than any I had done before. This is probably because I was less distracted by reading and engaging with other people’s tweets while watching (I did so before my own viewing). I had a great spread of multimedia and sources of information. I also referenced the subject materials pertaining to cyberspace. This week was a good exercise in writing high quality tweets, and I tried to bring that into my next live tweeting session.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Week 10 – Ready Player One (Spielberg, 2018)

This week I made sure to include a lot of embedded articles and sources of information about the movie. I referred to similar concepts as explored in ‘The Matrix’ (cyberspace). I also talked about the themes of this film; nostalgia, pop culture, and escapism. Although I had seen this film, I don’t think my tweets this week were at a satisfying quality and quantity.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Week 11 – Alita: Battle Angel (Rodriguez, 2019)

This week of live tweeting was immensely successful as we managed to engage the #AlitaArmy fanbase through the BCM hashtag. I think that this week I applied my experience from week 7 most effectively as my tweets were engaging and interesting with various multimedia. I referred again to cyborgs and scifi novums. This was another film I had seen before which made the process much easier.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Week 12 – 2040 (Gameau, 2019)

This weeks live tweeting was very different to each of the last. Being a docudrama meant that the discussion was less focused on literary analysis/themes, and more on talking about real-world issues and current events. Although I didn’t have any engaging multimedia to go with my tweets for this week, I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue and discussion that occurred while watching this film. I referred to the technological sublime and think tanks from the subject materials.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Final thoughts and reflection

Regrettably I missed a few of the live tweeting sessions towards the last half of this semester, but I still feel as though I engaged with the discussion and applied course work to each screening I attended. The quality of my engagement and content definitely increased between the first and second half of the course. This platform is a great way to facilitate discussion and analysis of relevant texts to digital media, and I hope that I am able to practice and apply the live-tweeting skill again in the future.

critical self-reflection of comments (part 2)

BETA 1; The Future of Online Fitness

After receiving feedback and a lack of engagement, Tahlia has changed her original DA idea from content creation on TikTok to analysing the future of online fitness, specifically with group routines and training. Tahlia has been doing online workouts with her friend and researching the impact of internet technologies on the fitness community. She plans to create a Facebook group for sharing workout tips and routines.

In my comment, I shared an academic article about online fitness culture as seen on social media, and some of the negative impacts on the body image of young women it may have. I suggested that Tahlia could take this into account when branding her Facebook group, creating a fitness page for sharing routines but also uplifting other women and being a judgement-free support group for all body types. I referred Tahlia to the subject materials in which the social responsibility of futurists is discussed.

[Tahlia’s Blog]




Julia’s DA is a series of video essays about the future of social media and trends in these platforms. Her introduction and first episode have been uploaded, but she has received minimal engagement and feedback so far, so hopefully my comment can help. She hopes to incorporate more subject materials into her videos in the future.

In my comment I suggested that Julia read the subject materials about forecasting as a method of prediction, using data and the scientific method to speculate possible futures. I shared a source about Netflix and how it makes predictions about what content will interest users based on their data profiles. My idea was that she could touch upon the shift from retail-style online services to subscription based streaming in entertainment media. Unfortunately looking back on this comment, I think I misunderstood Julia’s topic; her primary focus is the future of social media rather than entertainment media. I hope my feedback still helps in some way.

[Julia’s Blog]




Isabella’s DA is about the future of feminism as a social movement. She is observing this through two main case studies in a blog post format; feminism in film (James Cameron) and feminism in celebrity advocation (Beyonce, Emma Watson). She has done extensive research on the topic of feminism, and also her own primary research on various subreddits.

In my feedback I shared a short analysis of the character Rose from James Cameron’s film Titanic. It looks at the character in terms of feminism and the ‘hero’ mythos within fiction. I hoped it would be useful for her blog post about James Cameron’s films and how they relate to the future of feminism. I also linked Isabella’s topic to the subject materials, in particular Wendell bell’s perspective about futurists.

[Isabella’s Blog]



Critical Reflection

I definitely improved my comments this time around, leaving feedback that related to subject materials AND expanding upon the sources shared by explaining how they potentially relate to each project. However, I think that for Julia’s DA I could have shared a source more useful to her topic. Overall I’m much more happy with my comments for these project BETAs.

cyberculture [digital artefact beta]


My DA addresses the future of technology and cyberculture through digital picture edits. I hope to continue on this trajectory for future posts, where I will explore many more aspects of cyberculture while including references to cyberpunk media in popular culture. I aim to grow my presence on both Instagram and TikTok further by using networking strategies and techniques unique to each platform. My goal is to post at least one edit per week from now onwards.

To get a better look at each of my digital edits, please check below;



live tweeting [part 1]

Metropolis Online

Week 1 – Metropolis (Lang, 1927)

For my first week of live-tweeting I decided to compile my tweets about Metropolis into a thread. Although this seemed like a great idea in theory, I felt that it didn’t quite work for the live-tweeting experience as each tweet explored a self-contained idea about the film. Threads seemed to be better suited to the stringing together of tweets that focus on the same general topic or argument. I used a literary approach for my analysis of this film, focusing on the ideas and concepts being portrayed on-screen as well as key inter-textual references.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Week 2 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

This week I made an effort to draw upon the subject materials in a few of my tweets. I decided not to compile my tweets in a thread so that I could improve the layout of my ideas. I also focused more on engaging in discussion through comments/retweets. This may have been because the film was easier to follow while actively tweeting than the week before, with Metropolis being a silent film that required reading title cards. The content of my tweets focused on a combination of themes expressed in the film and facts about the film’s production.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Week 3 – Westworld (Crichton, 1973)

Having seen the popular television series Westworld based on this film, I went into this week of live-tweeting with some prior knowledge and was able to show that in my tweets. I managed to achieve a good balance between sharing my own tweets and engaging with others this week because of that. This told me that if I were to research the films I am not familiar with more deeply than I had been before, or even pre-screen them the day before, it would probably enrich the quality and quantity of my live-tweeting significantly. My tweets contained a lot of comparison between the original film and the series, and also included terms and ideas from the subject materials.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Bladerunner by Chris Thornley (Regular)

Week 4 – Blade Runner (Scott, 1982)

This week was another film that I was familiar with which benefited my analysis once again. My best tweets were those that referenced the subject materials and included GIFs to support the idea being expressed. I chose to include more live commentary-style tweets this week to see how much engagement they would receive. I feel like I produced a good mix of different content for each tweet. Something I needed to work on in the future was including more details about production and the context in which each film was created.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Week 5 – Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002)

For this week of live-tweeting we were thrown a curve ball; the planned film for screening was not available for rent or on any streaming services in Australia. So, the film was changed to Minority Report. This meant that my prepared research would not be useful for this live-tweeting session. Despite this I think I did well at going with the flow and engaging in discussion. I focused on trying to incorporate references to the subject materials in most of my tweets. Again I did not explore the film’s context and production as much as I would have liked to, but this is likely because of my lack of preparation.

Evidence of live-tweeting and engagement in discussion

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Final thoughts and reflection

Going into the next few weeks of screenings, I feel as though my live-tweeting skills have improved and my content+engagement from now onward will be of higher quality and quantity. I’m more confident in being able to prepare and execute tweets that explore each film’s themes, context, and relevance to the subject topics. Something I could definitely improve on in the future would be incorporating links to articles or sources that have informed my research in some tweets. I’ve realised upon reviewing my tweets that I neglected to do this, while some other students will often link articles and academic sources. I’ve learnt which tweets capture the attention of my peers and receive meaningful engagement and will apply this knowledge to my future live-tweets. Some examples include tweets that live-commentate the action on screen, tweets that are supported visually by GIFs, and tweets that analyse how the weekly subject topics relate to the chosen film.

critical self-reflection of comments (part 1)


Grace’s digital artefact topic is the future of small businesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically how online presence will become an essential part of engaging with customers. Grace will be examining this idea through her own social media business that began this year. Her website offers a range of social media packages from general advisory to content creation and page management. She plans to offer her services free of charge or at a reduced rate to small business struggling to transition to an online business model during the outbreak. Grace’s methods when promoting these businesses will consider the government guidelines set in place regarding COVID-19.

In my comment, I commended Grace’s thorough planning and digital artefact utility. I was interested to hear more about her methodology, and what her new website packages would entail. I suggested that Grace use primary research methods by creating a survey for small business owners, with a goal of understanding what these businesses need most during this time. I also linked a news media article for her background research.

[Grace’s Blog]




Steff’s digital artefact addresses a similar topic to Grace’s in observing the effects of COVID-19 on the future, however her focus is more broad in looking at the impact of this pandemic on lifestyle and society. Steff will be exploring this concept in a series of fortnightly blog posts featuring a unique topic (business, education, food, music, law etc.). The posts will contain multimedia elements like images, videos, and interviews. Steff hopes to bring awareness to the importance future-thinking in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plans to get feedback from post engagement and by sharing her digital artefact on Reddit.

In my comment I praised Steff for her planning and research, which was the most developed and outstanding I’d seen for this round of peer commentary. My suggestion was that Steff interview a variety of local people involved in the area of discussion by reaching out on Twitter for interviewees, as her pitch stated she would be interviewing her roommate. I thought that finding people with relevant knowledge to the fortnightly topic would enhance her posts significantly. I also suggested she narrow down the scope of her ideas if she wished to reduce her own workload when it came to research. I shared a news media article that may be useful to Steff.

[Steff’s Blog]




Tahlia was considering two different ideas for her digital artefact, and eventually decided on the more developed of her two concepts. Tahlia plans to explore the future of content creation, specifically the emerging social media platform TikTok. She wants to look into the mechanics of the platform itself, which allows short, fast and frequent creation, and how this content model continuously engages TikTok users. Tahlia also plans to examine the ‘influencer house’ phenomenon on TikTok with creators like ‘The Hype House’ dominating the platform.

In my feedback I suggested that Tahlia should start planning her methodology and utility for her project, as neither were discussed in depth throughout her pitch. I feel this may have been because Tahlia was unsure about which topic she wanted to choose. I thought her topic would suit a series of explainer blog posts/videos, or a visual essay. I shared an academic research report about TikTok.

[Tahlia’s Blog]



Critical Reflection

With this round of comments I think I did well at engaging with each person’s digital artefact and making suggestions that could enhance their projects. However, I feel that I failed to engage with the research sources I shared in each comment. I neglected to summarise what the articles and reports linked in my comments were about and how they could be beneficial to the digital artefacts. I also did not draw upon any lecture materials and should strive to use concepts and ideas from the BCM325 subject when commenting on the Beta blogposts in the future. I need to find proactive ways to relate future theory to my peers’ projects when giving feedback.

cyberculture [digital artefact pitch]

“High tech.  Low life.”

Background Research

I’ll be researching the history and iconography of the cyberpunk genre so that I can successfully incorporate cyberpunk references and ideas into my original content. This can be achieved by familiarising myself with and analyzing popular cyberpunk literature, films, news media, academic articles, and lecture materials.

Literature; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick, 1968), The Shockwave Rider (John Brunner, 1975), Neuromancer (William Gibson, 1984)

Films; Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982), Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii, 1995) Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez, 2019)

News Media; Bringing Cyberpunk 2077 To Life (GameSpot, 2019), Neon and corporate dystopias: why does cyberpunk refuse to move on? (The Guardian, 2018), What Is Cyberpunk? (Neon Dystopia)

Academic Articles/Books; 

Csicsery-Ronay, I., 1988. Cyberpunk and neuromanticism. Mississippi Review16(2/3), pp.266-278.

Featherstone, M. and Burrows, R. eds., 1996. Cyberspace/cyberbodies/cyberpunk: Cultures of technological embodiment. Sage.

Hollinger, V., 1990. Cybernetic deconstructions: Cyberpunk and postmodernism. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature23(2), pp.29-44.


Production Timeline

Mid-Sem Break; background research and collate assets (music, images) for edits, develop ideas for content

Week 4; Apply pitch feedback to DA concept/method/utility, start creating content

Week 5; Create accounts for sharing original content, post content

Week 6; Continue creating and posting regular content

Week 7; Assess first round of engagement and feedback, iterate upon content

Week 8; Continue creating and posting regular content, submit DA beta

Week 9; Apply beta feedback to DA concept/method/utility, keep creating content

Weeks 10-12; Continue creating and posting content, work on DA contextual essay

Week 13; Submit DA contextual essay


Expanding on Methodology and Feedback Loop

I will be making these edits by collecting images and assets online through boards like Pinterest or Google Images and then using photo editing software edit them into collages. After that, I will use PHOTOMOSH to add dynamic effects to my edited images, and edit the produced gifs into short clips with background music using video editing software.

I will be sharing my cyberpunk edits online using various platforms; Instagram will be the primary source of feedback through user engagement (likes, views, comments, follows, etc.) for this project. By assessing and comparing posts that are successfully engaged with to those that are not, I can deduce what type of content is most favourable to my target audience. I also plan to look into tumblr and tiktok as sharing platforms, though I don’t have any experience using these and therefore am not certain about how suited they are to this type of content. I hope to get feedback from my peers about these two potential points of engagement. I also will attempt to share my edits on reddit as original content (without linking to any accounts, ie; Instagram) to hopefully receive verbal feedback on the quality of the content I produce.