This publication is a project I made at the University of Art and Design Braunschweig in 2008/09, and it’s about both ›cyberpunk‹, as well as cryptography & steganography. The magazine can be read, interpreted and understood in two different ways, once the reader gets to know the concept. On the first sight it seems like ›cyberpunk‹ is the main topic of the magazine. However this is just a façade to cover the actual theme: cryptography and steganography.
Cyberpunk is a science fiction subgenre noted for its focus on ›high tech and low life‹. Cyberpunk plots often center on a conflict among hackers, artificial intelligences, and megacorporations, and tend to be set in a near-future Earth – usually post-industrial dystopias –, rather than the far-future settings.
When it came to create the layout, I tried to avoid using cyberpunk-stereotypes and find a new, fresh and unconventional way to present this theme. I had several different attempts and concepts but I finally decided to use forms (as in tax-forms) as an inspirational guideline, that allowed me to hide small bits of secret information on the pages of the magazine, without the reader questioning their meaning or feeling to curious about them. In reality it’s those little pieces that tell the real story, once they are deciphered and connected. Throughout the whole magazine there is different encrypted or enciphered parts of a long text that can only be read in full, once every cipher has been solved.
I added a full solution at the end of the magazine, explaining each encryption step by step. The ciphers are some pretty old and common ones, and are all ordered chronologically. Some of them are quite famous and others are more obscure. I strongly suggest not to use them to encrypt sensible data. If you really want to hide your information behind a strong cipher you might want to take a look at PGP or something similar.
Title: ›8th magazine‹
Status: university project
University: HBK Braunschweig, MOME Budapest
Mentoring: Prof. Klaus Paul, Prof. Gosbert Adler
Layout: Klaas van Kreis
Fonts: PMN Caecilia, Minion Pro, Myriad Pro, Courier New
Format: DIN A4 (297 × 210 mm)
Pages: 140 pg
Printer: Papierflieger Verlag GmbH
Print: 4C digital laserprint
Binding: paperback, adhesive binding
Paper: 135 g/m² coated art paper, matte finish
Cover: 250 g/m² " , " , cello glazing
Edition: 1st edition, 2009. Printed in Germany.
Illustration: Klaas van Kreis
Photography: © Ana Pais Neves, 2008–2009.
Models: Eva Ravasz
Retouching: Klaas van Kreis
Texts: © by Bruce Bethke, Frank Hebben, Eric Hughes, Jürgen Olejok, Florian Roetzer, Max Weigl
Here you have the chance to read the whole magazine online for free. This service is provided by issuu.
The name of this genre is a portmanteau word of cybernetics and punk and was originally created by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story ›Cyberpunk‹, which can be found in my magazine. Bruce was so kind to let me use it for this project.
Here are some of the illustration series I made about famous cyberpunk-movies. There is some more of them in the magazine. I was amazed when I found out, how many famous actors where actually taking part in those movies. They are barely known and usually no box office hit, even though I have to admit, that some of them are really worth watching.
As I mentioned earlier, I decided to use forms as a creative guideline. This idea resulted out of the fact, that most cyberpunk stories are situated in dystopic worlds with an autocratic regime reigning over the population. That gave me the idea of creating my own logotype for a fictitious political party. The logotype had to look futuristic yet traditional, timeless and powerful. It’s three arrows represent the three powers of a state (judiciary, executive & legislative) united by a ribbon. This idea resulted out of the symbol fasces, which nowadays is a synonym for fascism. The upper part of the logo is a stylized trident; a typical weapon of gods (e.g. Poseidon), the lower is an emblematic coat of arms. ›Acta non verba‹ (Deeds, not words) is actually the slogan of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. I found it appropriate for my political party and adopted it, even though I’ve been told that the grammar is wrong.
The photographies were taken by a friend of mine (Ana Pais Neves) who is an extraordinary photographer and I’m glad that I had a chance to work with her. The girl with this huge eyes is a mutual friend (Eva Ravasz) who helped us out posing for the camera. You can find Ana when you take a closer look, holding the camera in some of the pictures. We all met at the University of Art and Design in Budapest, when we were making our Erasmus-stay abroad. I liked these pictures so much, that I asked Ana if I could add them to my magazine.