Page 1

Entering The Terminal >A visual companion to the book, Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction. Which looks into the significance of science fiction in contemporary cultural studies. Looking into the nature of human identity in the information age, and the crisis of western culture as technology has become more and more invasive. I emailed the author Scott Bukatman during the process and asked how he felt about the same themes 25 years later; “The real question is, how does terminal identity work in the age of the smartphone? When we are no longer tethered to our desktop computers? Is the concept obsolete, or has it become more the case than ever before? *I* think it’s still relevant, but you don’t have to...” In celebration of his book, I have tried to visualise my thoughts focusing on the first chapter of the book Terminal Image, which focuses on the subjects interaction with technology,The first stage of becoming part of the terminal. Looking at both the themes, as well as experimenting with technology and my own practice.

Designed by Sam Williamson

our manchines are

and we ourselves frightengly inert...

David Cronenburg

Sexual gratification has evolved with technolgy. Crash.

Being one of canda’s most famous exports, his movies are both visceral and shocking, they touch on social issues both crash and videodrome. Crash focuses on the fetish of paraphillia, which is a sexual arousal of car crashes. It follows a couple that keep trying to push that fetish.

A key scene in videodrome features the main character with a VCR device on his head that creates hallucinations. These scenes create a fear of evolving technologies.

Max, it’s that time again. Time to slowly, painfully ease yourself back into consciousness. No, I’m not a dream, although I’ve been told I’m a vision of loveliness. I’m your faithful girl Friday, Bridey James, here with your wake-up call of today, Wednesday the 23rd. You got that? Wednesday the 23rd. And I have a message.


The 1983 body horror film by David Cronenburg. Focuses on Max Renn, A television executive who is after the next big sensationalist show. He stumbles upon the a tape called videodrome. When the extreme violence and sexualised torture infect his brain he starts to hallucinate and loses touch with reality. This perfectly sums up a lot of what is becoming a pressing issue in modern society and is more relevant now than during the time of release.

Scanning For Life An Exploration INTO Glitch Art

When researching into the book I was inspired by the film punch drunk love, by paul thomas anderson. It involves a man getting extorted for money after using a phone sex line. A relatively modern problem. The film features sequences of flashing colours and animations. I have tried to create similar patterns and crossovers of colour.

I use a technique called data-bending. Data-bending is changing and manipulating data in a different form. I used an audio editing software called audacity into opening images, photos I have take on my iphone. Then I manipulate the waves and at features like echo and re-verb, when this is then brought into photoshop you get a wonder full amount of variety.

The modern city is a hub for technological marvels. Cities like tokyo are bushing the boundaries of what is possible right now. Some people think that this influx of technology is too much too soon and that we are using it in the wrong areas.

...imaginary waves are actually breaking on an imaginary beach...

Science fiction is also still prevalent in modern society. TV shows like black mirror that pokes fun at society and especially about our obsession with social media, reality TV and how technology can be used in dystopian settings.

The variety you get in these outcomes is the main draw, using a few effects you can make vast changes that would take longer using the right software. This shows how even broken computer files could create such bizarre patterns and effects.

Some of the effects are quite spacey, like scan s of the galaxy, the patterns can resemble very digital tech like distortion and manipulation. These photos feel like the start of entering the terminal the electronical world.

When I took on the task of celebrating the book, I didn’t think I would be exploring ways of digital distortion, however I think my experiments created some interesting results.


Why do we waste time on screens?


Our modern culture is focused almost entirely about our interactions with technology especially smartphones, on a daily basis we spend hours at a time mindless scrolling one social media at a time like a zombie, going past the same thing you did five minuetes ago. All those wasted hours.

The ease at which we can contact each other now is incredible in the time since the books first release it is now a press off a screen away, this has made it easy for us to get distracted from what is right in front of us. It can also make us reliant on it to feel comfortable or even satisfied.

What does this book say about us!


>These are vaporwave inspired typography pieces based on a quote by the artist andy warhol i used the computer desktop as a way of giving his machine reality a relatable face.

>As you get further into the terminal the further you get from the real world. if there was no time spent away from technology you wouldn’t experience anything tangible, the moments are fleeting, as of yet there is no true alternate reality but the boundless possibilities with the internet lead to new break threw’s all the time.

Reality and the screen are starting to merge

>Since the original release of Terminal Identity technology has improved expinentially and is now a constast in our daily lives. My own experiences with technology have led to sleepness nights and a feeling of disconection from reality.

>This will be on my videotape >Thom Yorke

Disturbingly Lively  

A visual companion and personal response to the 1992 book Terminal Identity by Scott Bukatman

Disturbingly Lively  

A visual companion and personal response to the 1992 book Terminal Identity by Scott Bukatman