Word Cyber goth was created in 1980’s by Games Workshop for their RPG game “Dark Future”.
Cyber goth subculture combines elements of industrial aesthetics with a style associated with “Gothic ravers”. Being Cyber Goth means to walk the fine line between Goth, Raver and Rivethead. This line is marked with all the subtle and not-so-subtle differences. Cyber Goths are more extreme than other (traditional) Goths regarding fashion, music and style. Cyber Gothic fashion and style derive inspiration from cyberpunk as preferred, but not exclusive science fiction genre and subculture. Main characteristics of Cybergoths (clothing, make up, hair style, shoes, accessories) reflect a specific stance toward the world. Cybergoths prefer techno/dance or industrial music (bands such as: Rammstein, Asphyxia or Angelspit), adore technology, internet and cyber reality.
What is Cyber goth subculture
Cyber gothic culture tries to make cyber reality Goth dark, while twisting Goth dark imprint towards lighter themes and embracing the new deity – Information.
Expressionists’ work present the world from an extremely subjective point of view, liberally distorting “reality” to imprint it with deeply personal and provisional, but powerful emotions. The deformation of realty is directly proportional to the intensity of emotion. We can see direct influences of expressionistic aesthetic in cybergoth style and fashion. Usage of bright, often neon and reflexive colors on typically black background is one of examples.
Cyber goths found inspiration for their aesthetic in paintings, short stories or films of German (not exclusively) expressionists of the third decade of the 20th century and cyberpunk genre of science fiction, best captured in works of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Dima Zales…
Goths and Cybergoths
Cybergoth is as far from Goth as possible, but still named – Goth. We can find differences between Goths and Cyber goths in almost all of major characteristics, but we must acknowledge the unity these groups so obviously share. The Cyber goth can be described as the younger and misinterpreted relative of a more popular, dark and deep, troubled and highly controversial – GOTH. Cyber goth looks up to its older role model, and yet loves partying, disco, techno, colors and – cyber: internet, tubes, viruses, matrix and the future. Cybergoth tries to be authentic regarding their cloths, music, behavior and overall lifestyle.
Cybergotic choice of music, fashion and scene is what draws the line not just between Goth and Cyber goth, but also between this ”Neuromancer” (hacker-inspired subculture) and the Raver with whom they share music choices and bright colors, and more military adjacent Rivetheads.
Cyber Goth fashion and style
Cyber Goth style is marked by specific usage of colors, materials, and specific approach to makeup and obligatory, widely recognizable – goggles. The basic colors are black or white combined with just one more color (bright, neon and black light friendly). This goes to-and-through: clothing, shoes, hair, makeup, accessories.
Cyber Goth fashion typically aims for an artificial or heavily-styled look. Since every cybergoth strives for originality and do-it-yourself the way-you-feel-like style usage of obviously not organic or appropriate materials is common. Attention to detail goes a long way and DIY principle makes the style renewable and rich.
It’s important to point out the androgyny of the style. It have roots in dystopian notion that gender differences no longer matter or utopian notion that gender equality is not just possible but already achieved.
Cybergoth hair and makeup
Hair is one of the main symbols of rebellion, and as such is given great attention in every subculture. Cybergoths dye their hair and decorate with elaborate extensions called simply cyber dreadlocks. Cyber dreadlocks can wary in materials, colors, shapes and lengths. They can be made from real or synthetic hair, plastic, yarn, but also from cables, foam strips, or tubular Crain. There are no boundaries concerning volume and length of hair and dreadlocks, only that hair remains big, colorful and overly artificial.
Make up is deliberately complex and color-coordinated with the rest of the outfit. Pale skin, as to resemble life spent inside (this is a trope from cyberpunk literature: it is assumed that in future the “outside” is toxic and deadly due to severe pollution…) demands a foundation few tones lighter than necessary, only to be exaggerated with unusual color of lipstick and eye shadow (black, blue, green, yellow…). Eyes are often heavily lined, and sometimes, this extreme eye makeup demands shaving of eyebrows and drawing them afterwards. Glittery elements and shiny beads and stickers are popular among females. Cybergoth make up has one of the most altering approaches and it is often stated that it resembles drag queen make up.
Cyber goth clothing
Revealing clothing, layered fabrics, neon colors, high platform boots, fishnet stockings (sleeves made from fishnet stockings also) and goggles. All this mixed with strong makeup, luxurious hair and improvised accessories. Preferred materials are plastic, latex, lycra, nylon to name just a few of the typically industrial, durable, futuristic materials, that can be freely combined to achieve futuristic punk look.
Clothing can often contain reflector panels or circuitry designs, but nothing of this can be set as a rule as this style is as open to imagination as its members.
As androgyny is common, body culture remains well in domain of Goth. Piercings and tattoos are preferred, but scarification is not that unusual. There are no rules when it comes to something as personal as body modification, although, ideas are drawn from popular culture: various symbols taken from signs of hazard, or other simple, recognizable and direct signals.
Cybergoth music, parties and festivals
As stated before, one of the major differences between Goth and Cybergoth subculture is music. Cyber goths listen to heavily electronic music in nature, very broad in range – from alternative electronic genres like EBM, future pop, industrial and power noise, through club-orineted dance music styles like trance and hard dance to other electronic genres including drum&bass, synthpop, gabber, and so on.
The most popular groups are VNV Nation, Icon of Coil, Combchrist, Ayria, Anglespit, Neurotic Fish and KMFDM.