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Sci-Fi Idle

William Gibson's Neuromancer Staged With Porn Star 204

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the are-you-familiar-with-her-work dept.
destinyland writes "Sunday night saw a reading of the William Gibson's classic cyberpunk novel featuring porn star Sasha Grey at a New York art museum, along with sculpture-props simulating virtual reality. Artist Brody Condon promised to combine 'Gibson's 1980s dystopian techno-fetishism with early twentieth-century abstraction,' but the editor of H+ magazine challenges that description. 'In a 1993 interview, Gibson himself told me: "I think my world looks dystopian if you're a middle class white guy doing reasonably well in 1993... There are so many places in the world today that are so much crappier than anything I'm writing about."' And earlier this month William Gibson shared his response to a blog post about the event. 'Gol' dang! It's news to me!'"
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William Gibson's Neuromancer Staged With Porn Star

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  • "The performance event... occurring at the new museum is a deadpan reading of Gibson's reading, not a theatre piece. "

    .

    Rats

    • Isn't that what books on tape are for?

      Oh well. I think it would be better as a movie than as a play anyway. Unfortunately the special effects department would probably get carried away when the characters jack in and suck up so much time that they'd forget to tell the story.
      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Well, it's probably more to do with the producer than the special effects team, as they're usually just following directors orders. It's kind of like theres both chocolate and vanilla ice creams, but it's possible to eat them together too and sometimes its even more delicious that way. Or you could also pour some chocolate dipping in to it, or cookie crunchs and m&m's on top.

        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          It's kind of like theres both chocolate and vanilla ice creams, but it's possible to eat them together too and sometimes its even more delicious that way.

          Yeah, I like interracial lesbian porn, too.

          Wait, what's this book stuff in my porn story?

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:21AM (#30202330) Homepage Journal

        I've staged War of the Worlds in my living room with my cats as the aliens, but it didn't make it onto Slashdot.

      • by residieu (577863)
        Have a look at Johnny Mnemonic if you want to know what Hollywood would do with a Gibson movie.
    • ...which puts it roughly on professional par with a Community Theater production of Guys and Dolls in Toledo, except you don't leave the theater humming any of the tunes.

      And I'm not just being snarky... I remember my last such show in SoHo: the second act began with the performer crawling out of a giant garbage bag (featuring real garbage), singing a song about former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick set to the tune of "Mr. Sandman" (that's Chordettes, not Metallica, as in "bung bung bung bung BUNG BUNG bung

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @10:38AM (#30201798)

    sculpture-props simulating virtual reality

    You get the sense that someone doesn't quite grasp the basic concepts.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      maybe they're too busy grasping something else?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      sculpture-props simulating virtual reality

      You get the sense that someone doesn't quite grasp the basic concepts.

      No, actually, they got it right. Something real styled after something that doesn't exist must be simulated.

      Thinking about any one of their props hard enough leads me to this train of thought: It's a real object, therefore it is real reality. So it can't be real virtual reality, it has to be simulated virtual reality which is what any real real reality made with real virtual reality in mind has to be, though since it's based on a cyberpunk novel it's really a simulated virtual fictional object, or a non-r

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @10:41AM (#30201836)

    But the world looks utopian if you're a middle class white guy doing Sasha Grey.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      But the world looks utopian if you're a middle class white guy doing Sasha Grey.

      Until the test results come back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        STD's are actually fairly uncommon in the mainstream porn industry. Some performers wear condoms (which if you wore during your little escapade with Ms Grey then you have little to worry about - it's not a 100% thing but it's close enough not to fret over it), and those who don't are constantly tested and essentially sign contracts explicitly stating that they'll only have sex with others in the porn industry who are subjected to the same tests. Generally they'll stick to that as, well, most people in por

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by raddan (519638) *
          I have a friend from college who is doing fairly well as a porn producer. He says that there's another factor preventing people in the porn industry from having sexual relationships with people outside of it: most people have tremendous hang ups about sex. As a result, it's very difficult to maintain a relationship with someone who is not a porn star when you yourself are, so people in the industry tend to date other people in the industry.
        • STD's are actually fairly uncommon in the mainstream porn industry. Some performers wear condoms

          Genital herpes [villagevoice.com] is endemic and ubiquitous [jupaman.com] in the mainstream porn industry.

          • by MBGMorden (803437)

            While true, keep in mind that genital herpes in general is very prevalent in society as a whole. Depending on what stats you're looking at, estimates are between 10% and 25% of the adult population.

            http://www.herpes-coldsores.com/herpes_statistics.htm [herpes-coldsores.com]

            The realistic situation is that if you are sexually active at all herpes is out there. Condoms DO usually prevent outbreaks if the affected area is covered, and transmission of the disease is greatly reduced outside of an outbreak.

        • Sasha Grey has contracted both chlamydia and gonorrhea. Or so she claimed in her appearance on the Tyra Banks Show.

          I realize that both are easily treatable, but I'm not quite sure you can claim that "STD's are actually fairly uncommon in the mainstream porn industry".

        • by blueskies (525815)

          STD's are actually fairly uncommon in the mainstream porn industry.

          Not true. You are thinking about AIDS which is rare and tested for every 30 days. That doesn't stop the rampant herpes.

    • by Das Auge (597142)
      You're only as old as the woman you feel. - W. C. Fields
  • R.U. Sirius

    This can't be real????

  • by PortWineBoy (587071) on Monday November 23, 2009 @10:51AM (#30201956)
    I was at the reading yesterday as part of my sojourns around Performa 09. No one else recognized her (that I could tell) in the audience, but it was a durational piece and I was only there a half hour. I was almost positive it was her, but she had these huge sunglasses on and I couldn't be sure...and it didn't seem like a good question to just ask a random chick at a performance piece while I was there with my gf...
  • by russotto (537200) on Monday November 23, 2009 @10:51AM (#30201962) Journal

    The world of _1984_ would look great to someone from Somalia or some of the other hellholes of the world. _Brave New World_ even more so. Yet they're still both considered dystopian. Same goes for Neuromancer.

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      Agreed.... The fact that you can point to even worse situations or living conditions somewhere doesn't mean the fictional world being described in a book like 1984 or Brave New World is any less disturbing or "bad".

      In fact, one can often infer that even in those fictional worlds, there are probably still places where people have things worse off than in the cities they're describing.

    • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:31AM (#30202430)

      Yes, they're all considered dystopian in the context of the West, but I think his point is astute, that whether something is a dystopia is contextual. The people living in positions of privilege, i.e. the West, wring their hands over and work hard to prevent these various dystopias from occurring, even while they may be actually working against the interests of the majority of humanity.

      What we have now, if it wasn't reality, could be easily portrayed as a dystopia in a novel. Worse, the people with power to change things (the powered and moneyed people who are citizens in the first world) are unwilling to consider a lot of possibilities that may be on the table because they seem worse than their own privileged positions, without considering how badly off the majority of humanity is under their current system.

      • Yes, they're all considered dystopian in the context of the West, but I think his point is astute, that whether something is a dystopia is contextual.

        Since all utopian and dystopian fiction (they're both the same genre anyway) is social commentary as seen from the point of view of the author, then someone is going to completely disagree with it. For instance, I read about three random pages of More's Utopia before I decided that it was one of the worst dystopias I'd ever seen. Assuming those three pages were characteristic, if I was Catholic with absolutely no sense of modern equality, it probably would've seemed great to me. With inferiors like children

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except in 1984 if you were in Somalia, you were pretty much part of a slave caste and your conditions wouldn't have changed regardless of who owned you. You were worth less even than the proles. [Rant] I wonder how many people that reference 1984 actually have read it, much less remember it. People talk about heading into a 1984 society where everyone is monitored and having no freedom but by and large the majority of the population did not experience this in the book. The proles like you and I were just di

  • Where do you get jobs like this? First there's the "MIT artist-in-residence" job where you can send messages into space that will never be received. Now this one where you can prattle on about dystopian piffle hoo-ha and people with higher educations will nod and shake their heads knowingly because they don't want to look unhip, or however you kids describe the squares these days.

    Hey, I have some lovely post-post-post modern retro-reconstructionist works that would make a great display somewhere. They fract

    • Hey, I have some lovely post-post-post modern retro-reconstructionist works that would make a great display somewhere. They fractalize the repetitive nature of our increasingly vapid 21st century existences via surrealist digital sculpture and open mike poetry reads by fast fading reality TV pseduocelebrities.

      I have no mod points, but this made me laugh. Thanks. (former art major here!)

  • by zhrike (448699) on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:13AM (#30202238)

    That kind of uncritical asinine blather never ceases to tweak me. Middle class anyone, Gibson, you tool. It's amazing that people spout (and think) racist shit like this, and it is left bare, unchallenged, validated by silence thus tacit approval. Fuck that. The assumption is what? If you're middle class but not white that your perspective is different? GMAFB. If you're middle class and white, like me, you can't possibly know about destitution? (I came from it).

    Idiocy.

    • The middle class (Score:5, Insightful)

      by manekineko2 (1052430) on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:25AM (#30202378)

      I agree the race dropping was uncalled for, but he also was giving this response in an interview, where we can't always pick the perfect words for what we're trying to say. If he was just trying to draw a distinction between middle class in the privileged (and largely white) West versus the middle class in, say, India where by US standards you're still desperately poor, I don't think it's entirely illegitimate.

      • by stagg (1606187)
        If Gibson was implying that a lot of his readers are middle class, North American, white, and male, then I'd say he was probably right. ;)
    • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:48AM (#30202566) Homepage Journal

      the contrived outrage: well-played sir

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by m.ducharme (1082683)

      I would say that the world does look different to middle class black people, and even middle class white women, at least in North America. To pretend otherwise to to assume that we've successfully removed all race and gender barriers from our society. But we haven't. You can pretend that everything is all sweetness and light if you like, and that all the injustices of the past have been righted and anyone who says otherwise is just a whiner, but the facts simply don't bear that out. Despite affirmative acti

    • by stagg (1606187)
      I believe that Gibson was implying that middle class, white North Americans are relatively privileged. A member of the middle class who happened to be a woman or was of African or Middle Eastern descent might still suffer from racism and other things that the white man would not. Furthermore, I do agree that it's fair to say that the middle class is privileged and as a rule doesn't experience extreme poverty. Some do climb out of extreme poverty, but most don't. The average North American also has a rather
  • Molly Millions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:54AM (#30202664)

    When you take into account the mindless sex-doll career of the character Molly, Sasha Grey is an apt choice for the part.

    • Steppin Razor!. Sasha would be my choice for Molly/Sally.

      Mindless needs more clarification in the context of a meat puppet. Especially since Sally wasn't stupid (mindless) and worked as a meat puppet to make enough money to score her enhancements and then went off to be a private security consultant (merc).

  • Glad to see some celebrities finally appreciating Gibson's work.

    I mean - according to Wikipedia, roughly half of all famous people are porn stars, if you go by pagecount. There's something about that I haven't yet found words for.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:25PM (#30202982)

    When I was growing up porn stars were very rare.

    Today they are very common.

    The stigma is less but so is the cachet.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      Not all porn actresses are "stars", but the term has stuck and sounds much better than "boring meat sockets".

  • by flajann (658201) <flajann.linuxbloke@com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:27PM (#30203010) Homepage Journal
    "I think my world looks dystopian if you're a middle class white guy doing reasonably well in 1993..."

    How about if you are a middle class "black" guy doing reasonably well in 1993?

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      Cry about the term WASP next. "Wah, you don't have to be a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant to be bland and indistinguishable! Call the racism police!"
    • by mochan_s (536939)

      > "I think my world looks dystopian if you're a middle class white guy doing reasonably well in 1993..."
      > How about if you are a middle class "black" guy doing reasonably well in 1993?

      I think the white middle class joke comes from psychology. Most experiments that psychology professors did during the last few decades were done on undergraduate students who tended to be white middle class.

      So, all the psychology papers would sort of say, results on white middle class only.

      • by flajann (658201)

        > "I think my world looks dystopian if you're a middle class white guy doing reasonably well in 1993..." > How about if you are a middle class "black" guy doing reasonably well in 1993?

        I think the white middle class joke comes from psychology. Most experiments that psychology professors did during the last few decades were done on undergraduate students who tended to be white middle class.

        So, all the psychology papers would sort of say, results on white middle class only.

        Well, even more specific -- "white middle class college students." Hardly a random sample in the least.

        Well, I'll hold off on my spiel about what it is supposed to mean to be "white" or "black" -- to me, it all rather a bit silly, anyway!

  • I could stage a few events with Sasha Grey.. they would not be considered sci-fi (unless the props I were to use would be considered sci-fi... plasma powered "toys" anyone?)

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