William Gibson: No Maps for These Territories

Thanks to Lance Olsen for drawing my attention to this on Facebook. There is a pretty minimal blog describing these videos, which I quote from below, and some fragments of video on YouTube, two of which are featured here. I hope to get hold of the whole movie.

On an overcast morning in 1999, William Gibson, father of cyberpunk and author of the cult-classic novel Neuromancer, stepped into a limousine and set off on a road trip around North America. The limo was rigged with digital cameras, a computer, a television, a stereo, and a cell phone.
Generated entirely by this four-wheeled media machine, No Maps for These Territories is both an account of Gibson’s life and work and a commentary on the world outside the car windows. Here, the man who coined the word “cyberspace” offers a unique perspective on Western culture at the edge of the new millennium, and in the throes of convulsive, tech – driven change.

During the documentary Gibson muses both on his past and the circumstances that led him to write what he wrote, as well as our present which, accordingly, is starting to resemble in many particulars the futures he has variously penned.
He speculates on topics as wide-ranging as post-human society and mechanics, nanotechnology, drugs and drug culture, the effect of Neuromancer on his fans and his later writing career, and the normalisation of technology (that is, the ways in which we have justified the use of technology to the point that it is invisible to us, a concept similar to the “sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” concept of Arthur C. Clarke.)

The documentary is extremely free-flowing and also highly personal, in that it allows one to gain an extremely close understanding of both the thought processes and internal psychological triggers of William Gibson. Occasionally prompted by an unseen Driver figure (female in voice) and sometimes communicating with outside figures (specifically, Jack Womack and Bono, who was also being filmed at the time, the final product being superimposed on an electronic billboard).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.