Advertisement

Rewind, Remix, Rewrite: Digital and Virtual Memory in Cyberpunk Cinema

  • Sidney Eve Matrix
Chapter

Abstract

In Blade Runner mastermind Dr Eldon Tyrell of TYRELL Corporation builds replicants that are virtually indistinguishable from humans. There are a few notable exceptions however; replicants are restricted to a four-year lifespan, and the configuration of their neural processors is limited so that they have no ability to process or express human-like emotions. However, perhaps as a result of aLife evolution, as Dr Tyrell and his associates closely monitor their replicants, looking for signs of sentience, he admits that they ‘began to notice in them a strange obsession.’ The replicants become increasingly agitated and subsequently difficult to manage, something that Tyrell hypothesises might be connected to a programming issue. Their four-year shelf life means that the replicants come into existence mimicking mature adults, yet they have very limited life experience on which to base decisions. The artificial human-like beings are suffering from a lack of history, and their personality constructs require more psychological depth. TYRELL Corporation laboratories develop a patch for this system weakness, inserting a neural implant filled with synthetic historical data that operates as a ‘cushion or pillow’ for the replicants’ nascent emotions. After the replicants are outfitted with this soothing bolster of fabricated memories, Tyrell admits, ‘We can control them better.’

Keywords

Memory Work Science Fiction Digital Archive Virtual Memory Digital Memory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Alison Landsberg, Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Richard Coyne, Technoromanticism: Digital Narrative, Holism, and the Romance of the Real, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    William Gibson, Neuromancer, New York: Ace Science Fiction, 1984. Also seeGoogle Scholar
  4. Steven Levy Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, New York: Penguin, 1984.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Daniel Rosenberg, ‘Electronic Memory’ in Daniel Rosenberg and Susan Harding (eds) Histories of the Future, Durham, N.C., and London: Duke University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Jean Baudrillard, ‘The Perfect Crime’ Wired. Issue 1.02 (June 1995) Online at http://www.yoz.com/wired/1.02/if/perfect_crime.html. Accessed 20 June 2007. Also see Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York: Vintage, 1975.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Annette Kuhn, ‘A Journey Through Memory’ in Memory and Methodology, Ed Susan Radstone. Oxford and New York: Berg Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    Katharine Hodgkin and Susannah Radstone. Regimes of Memory, New York: Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Tarleton Gillespie, ‘The Stories Digital Tools Tell’, In John Caldwell and Anna Everett (eds) New Media: Theses on Convergence, Media, and Digital Reproduction, New York: Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  10. 20.
    Kieron O’Hara, Richard Morris, Nigel Shadbolt, Graham J. Hitch, Wendy Hall and Neil Beagrie, ‘Memories for Life: A Review of the Science and Technology’, Interface: Journal of the Royal Society, 3, (2006): 351–65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sidney Eve Matrix 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney Eve Matrix

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations