an excerpt from their 1997 book Street Trends
(published by HarperBusiness), Janine Lopiano-Miscom
and Joanne De Luca, the principals of New York-based
youth marketing firm Sputnik, examine "technorganics,"
a segment of today's youth culture which centers
around the creation of a lifestyle that incorporates
both the modern and the primitive.So has Technorganic
Travis Somerville is thinking about going underground.
But unlike his '60s predecessors, who ran off
to communes to become independent from mainstream
society, the 26-year-old computer programmer intends
to do it in a different way: He's not going to
drop out; instead, he'll link up.
goal is to live a minimalist lifestyle in a self-created
"community," one that is eco-friendly and techno-progressive,
yet located physically within mainstream society.
How is this possible? Along with other local programmers,
he is setting up a movement, a cooperative community
that can sustain itself and have enough power
(by linking up as a virtual community) to lobby
the government or spread whatever the movement's
message will be.
he have a name for this community or movement?
No name. Just a symbol to get it going.
"It would be peace and autonomy," Somerville said,
making a V with his fingers and then crossing
them into a closed fist.
What exists today, and will grow even stronger
tomorrow, is a new generation of young people
not unlike Somerville who are utilizing technology
to create traditions, customs and a sense of family
Unlike their counterparts in the '60s, who challenged
everybody to drop out, the youth of the '90s will
go down in history as challenging everyone to
link up. The basis of this new counterculture
is raving, netting and moving together as a community.
This is the technorganic movement.
concept of community--the way we perceive it today
as well as in the nostalgic sense--is expanding
because of technological advances. The new communities
that exist in cyberspace are strong, global and
growing larger every day. They are propelling
creativity, entrepreneurial endeavors, and political
and social debate.
thing needs to be stressed: although technology
is key, it is not the driving force of this movement;
the knowledge gained through technology is what
empowers these new communities. Technology serves
as the conduit, it gives access to those who want
knowledge and a forum for those who carry the
Internet helps traverse time and space, and thus
fills the younger generation's need to expand
and connect into a communal-like consciousness.
Learning to tap into technology will pull those
from different cultures together into Internet
communities consisting of citizens with a unified
purpose of developing new forms of networking
technorganic movement is fueled by free thinkers
who believe it is time to seize the power and
change what they perceive as wrong. Hackers/cyberpunks
are the underground messengers of new thought.
With technology as their vehicle, these electronic
philosophers operate quietly in the shadows, their
messages pirated over the wire or posted on a
BBS. In essence, technorganics are a hybrid of
old school hippie, New Age traveler and ecstatic
raver. They are equally at one with nature and
computer: The generation that grew up with computers
in its classrooms and Gameboys in its pockets
naturally has a much higher comfort level with
technology than its predecessors. To them, the
familiar computer is an organic tool: a basic,
natural means of communication.
use their analytical side to work with technology--the
computer--and inject into it their sense of spirituality.
They use this approach in business and in their
personal lives. By day, they may look like pacifists,
and work within the mainstream; but by night,
they are existentialists, hacking into the latest
programs and creating their own virtual communities,
such as Wellnet.
ideas of the technorganics may seem alien to some
of their peers and other segments of the population,
but their creations and impact will likely create
a real benefit for all who spend time online.
designed and run by these young entrepreneurs
will center around the idea that interaction with
the computer should be more personal.
In the future, we can expect to experience more
of the online concepts pioneered by [technorganics]:
calming sounds, sensory stimulation and meditational
"karma" screen savers programmed to give users
periodic breaks. As we spend more and more hours
in front of our machines, these types of virtual
therapeutic devices will become a necessity in
keeping us "fit."
ARTICLE: SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
is a futuristic concept that revolves around the
idea of merging one's spiritual self with everyday
technological advances. The movement does not
discourage individuality, nor is it about rejecting
the powerful advances of technology and taking
up a Unabomber-type mentality. The idea is to
bring the whole human being (body, mind and spirit)
into the technological age.
of today's youth culture are moving toward techno
music in search of an altered consciousness and
communal sense, and they are embracing computers
and new-found information. Yet, as a result of
society's lust for self gratification, they are
reliant on alternative substances (ecstacy, mushrooms,
pot, etc.) to reach those spiritual, enlightened
heights. Levannah, lead singer of South African
group Qkumba Zoo, believes this dependence on
outside stimuli to reach enlightenment is only
a transitional phase--in true technoshamanism,
a higher level of consciousness is reached organically
(i.e., without drugs) through the celebration
of technology, such as the electronically fused
tribal beats her band practices.