A Better Dance and Better Prayers: Systems, Structures, and the Future Imaginary in Aboriginal New Media.

Lewis, Jason Edward

Gibson wrote the science fiction novel Mona Lisa Overdrive in 1988, when the new sea of cyberspace was so new that most of the world did not even realize it was forming. In Neuromancer, the first book of the Sprawl trilogy, Gibson coined the term “cyberspace,” and then, over the course of the three books, proceeded to envision a number of other technologies that we now take as commonplace. Mona Lisa Overdrive is the third book, and the one in which Gibson proposes that any true artificial intelligence would be much more than a linear extension of man. It would be of another order than humanity entirely, fundamentally unknowable and ineffable, and the only way we might understand such an entity would be through metaphor. The humans in the book struggle to come up with terms for describing their interactions with it; the artificial intelligence,in turn, employs the equivalent of the burning bush to act as an intermediary between itself and its creators.