An Oral History of the Early Internet


WHEN June 20, 2021
8-9:30 PM WHERE Zoom Webinar WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute By Invitation Interested scholars please contact


How did it feel when the Internet started? Cyberpunk is a short story by Bruce Bethke published in 1980, the word cyberspace was coined 1982 by William Gibson. 40 years later it is time to talk about how it felt when it all started: Was there 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 via their mobile phones, what is left of it? What is there beyond our disillusionment, the culture of vanity and harassment, surveillance capitalism, cultural dominance, and precarious labour? For the ‘Oral History of the Internet’ invited artists, authors and critics are invited to tell their story of the Net.

The event series is sponsored by NYUAD Art Gallery and part of the programming around the Gallery‘s current exhibition “not in of along or relating to a line” which is entirely done for mobile and can be visited at


Bruce Sterling, Author, Journalist, Design Theorist
Jasmina Tesanovic, Author, Journalist, Performer, Activist
Douglas Rushkoff, Author and Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens
Jane Metcalfe, Entrepreneur and Publisher
Geert Lovink, Author and Founding Director of the Institute of Network Cultures
Ricardo Dominguez, Artist and Associate Professor of Visual Arts at UC San Diego
Sebastian Grube, Artist
Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Artist
Joerg Blumtritt, Artist

Convened by
  • Joerg Blumtritt, NYUAD
  • Heather Dewey-Hagborg, NYUAD

In Collaboration with

NYUAD Art Gallery

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