An Oral History of the Internet

A series of video conversations.

The word Cyberpunk was coined in 1980 by Bruce Bethke, cyberspace came 1982 by William Gibson. 40 years later we think it is time to talk about how it felt when it all started: The promise of an utopian new age that would come through digital culture and the internet.

And now that we are living in that cyberspace with billions of people connected, what is left of it? What is there beyond our disillusionment, the culture of vanity and harassment, surveillance capitalism, cultural dominance, and precarious labour?

We want to work on something like an ‘Oral history of the Internet’. So we invited pioneers, artists, leading voices to tell us their story of the Net.

We talked with Douglas Rushkoff, Ruth Catlow, Bruce Sterling & Jasmina Tešanović, Ricardo Dominguez, Geert Lovink, Mendi & Keith Obadike, Jane Metcalfe, JR Carpenter, and more to come.

This program is initiated and hosted by Heather Dewey-Hagborg and myself, and sponsored by The NYUAD Art Gallery and the NYUAD Institute:

The conversations are currently transcribed, edited, and will be published as a book scheduled to come out 2025. Once the book is ready, the video recordings will be available, too. If you are interested in review copies or have specific questions, please send your inquiries to internethistory [at] f3c [dot] me.