Cyber Goth is a thing
The Whole Truth - When the Zillo interviewed me about Cyber-Gothic
Admittedly. The title of the article is a little exaggerated, one expects a tangible scandal or distortion of the facts when Zillo interviewed me for an article on the subject of "Cyber-Gothic". None of this happened. And yet there is a whole truth, because what was read in the July / August issue is not the full interview.
It began with a message from Daniel Dreßler, who works as an author for the Zillo. I admit that I was skeptical when I expected a superficial representation of the status quo of the cyber scene. I was teached a lesson. The questions that reached me by e-mail were tough and showed that someone here would like to deal seriously and critically with the topic. I answered all the questions and was curious to see how much of it and in what context Daniel would process in his article.
The result surprised me positively, because the article actually tries to get to the bottom of the “cyber” phenomenon objectively. Daniel gave supporters and opponents of the scene a chance to have their say and thus offered both sides of this "movement" a platform. The article shows a surprisingly high level that I did not initially expect. Sure, I disagree on some points, but I don't have to, because an article like this always leaves room for your own view of things.
I would like to close the topic of "Cyber Gothic" for myself with this article, because the phenomenon has been thoroughly examined in numerous discussions here on the blog. In the following interview and my conclusion, I show why I want to close the topic:
Daniel Dreßler: What do you think are the origins of the cyber movement?
Robert: In my opinion, the stylistic and musical origin of the cyber movement lies in the early 90s, when rave and techno attracted hundreds of thousands of people with neon puffs, face masks and welding goggles to the Love Parade in Berlin. Around the year 2000, the first "cyber-goths" appeared, combining the external stylistic features of ravers and goths. Technoid music styles, which were already being heard frequently in the scene at this point, provided the necessary musical parallels. It remains to be seen whether it was ravers who discovered Gothic for themselves or were Gothics who liked techno.
Daniel Dreßler: Cyber-Goths are downright scolded in the black scene because they have nothing to do with the basic ideas of the Goths. Can you understand this attitude, even though the black scene has always been very open to different directions from the beginning?
Robert: I can understand that. In principle, it is about defending one's own shelters. Here two things mix that cannot get along. Introvert meets extrovert. While the Gothic prefers to move with his eyes closed to the sounds and the text of his music on the almost dark dance floor, the Cyber, waving stick lights, wants to dance excessively, perform his "moves" and be in the limelight.
The musical openness of the scene was her undoing, because the cyber people used the technoid music styles that were emerging in the scene to gain a foothold. The cyber movement grew and for the club operators that was the bandwagon they had to jump on at the time to increase their sales. Under the term “Gothic” on flyers and party announcements, so many unsuitable styles of music have meanwhile been combined that the inclined Gothic can no longer find a place where he feels comfortable.
Daniel Dreßler: How do you rate the development of cybers? Will this movement get established, or will nobody talk about it after a few years?
Robert: I consider this movement to be a fad that may have already passed its zenith. The cybers still lacked a common ideology, a foundation that also worked beyond music and dance. Ideally, Cyber and Gothic will differentiate and develop further in their own scenes. Whether or not people will talk about it in a few years will depend on whether the cyber people manage to set up their own scene.
Daniel: Can't this development of cybers be seen as a logical consequence of a scene that has become more and more commercial since its inception?
Robert: In every splinter group of the scene there are people who only consume and those who make their own outfits and are creative. There are certainly also those in the cyber scene. That's why I wouldn't say that cyber, of all things, is a logical consequence of commercialization. In my opinion, they are rather a result of the fact that “Gothic” is mutating into a fashion trend and is joined by many groups that are neither interested in the origins of the black scene nor fit with it musically or in terms of lifestyle.
Daniel: What positive traits can cybers be attributed to?
Robert: I want to be honest. In terms of general appearance and behavior, I cannot attribute any positive characteristics to the cyber movement. On the contrary. On the dance floor I am afraid of being beaten to death, I usually find the music to which they move to be cruel and, moreover, they disturb my aesthetic sensibility.
Daniel: Can't you describe a culture that is reduced to an - admittedly diffuse - end-time aesthetic as subversive? In this movement I often see parallels to the New Romantic movement, which was also sharply criticized by the New Wavern.
Robert: I don't see the New Romantics or the cyber movement as subversive. Both movements failed to fill their form of self-expression with content. The only things that would correspond to an apocalyptic aesthetic in the cyber movement are a face mask with a “biohazard symbol” to protect against a poisoned atmosphere, the so-called “welding goggles”, which may protect the eyes from the light of a nuclear explosion and the colored contact lenses, which may allude to the mutation caused by radioactive radiation. For me, neon-colored hair extensions, colorful pompoms, platform shoes, vinyl corsages and trousers decorated with metal rings are not part of it.
A quick conclusion
As I said, I am pleasantly surprised. The article is really well done and also shows me some new perspectives on a scene that has been discussed lively for a long time. I would actually like to put the topic of "cyber scene" on hold, because in my opinion everything has been said about what there was to be said. Should future developments indicate a change, Spontis will of course report on it as usual. The intense discussion may have given some to pause for thought, time will tell whether cyber will establish itself or dissolve in favor. At the latest when the interest of the media subsides, it will become clear whether the fad becomes a scene, or whether it fades away as a colorful chapter of the Gothic movement. Recent observations at festivals and parties confirm my view that cyber and gothic are getting further and further apart. The visual presence of the “glow sticks” has clearly decreased, as many other scene members with whom I talked about it confirm to me.
Nevertheless, I cannot make friends with the Zillo, even if articles like this give me the hope that individual things will finally be examined more critically and objectively. My thanks go to Daniel Dreßler, who wrote an article on the subject that is really worth reading, and to Sascha Blach, the editor-in-chief of Zillo, who agreed to the publication of the interview.
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