YEAR ZERO

Alienist Broadsheet #7 (August 2018) download PDF

Sexual deviance is a condition, such as exhibitionism or masochism, in which sexual gratification is derived from activities or fantasies generally regarded as atypical. Such a condition when it causes distress or impaired functioning in the individual or actual or potential harm to others is called a paraphilic disorder. Repression was sometimes described as the effacement or partial erasure of memories, which are overwritten by others. A membrane cleansed by reiterated successions. A convulsive palimpsest representing the End of History. The rules were simple, if you complied, they only raped you. The rationale of the cybernetic revolution was to appropriate & redistribute time & space in a world-defining system. Whether or not the structure is really capable of support, crowds are made of many entities, & not all participants are the same. Systematic rape is often used as a weapon of war. Seeing my distress, one of them shouted at me: “Do what we tell you to do!” In this way, time-space appropriation mirrors the asymmetric global flow of resources in the accumulation of capital. Simultaneously, many of the interior views give the sense of a suffocating labyrinthine space, in which the crowd isn’t made only of isolated individuals but of groups unacquainted with each other. Now & then blobs appear that look roughly like human silhouettes. It is typical that these silhouettes never become individualised. Still I obeyed. They stood there watching me. Yet in none of the models is technology distinguishable from the cultural, political, historical or semantic domains. Rather, it appears (or un-appears) as the universal signifier & the universal condition for signification. It is the ideological apriori. Not being unanimous in their motivation, groups & individuals in a crowd are often subjected to a continual oscillation between impressions of Emancipation & of Unheimlichkeit. The shock of what I’d seen drained away all my willpower. If one could ascribe definite functions to its specific parts, was evolution technological? Did technology itself evolve? In addition to rape, girls and women are also subject to forced prostitution and trafficking during times of war, sometimes with the complicity of governments and military authorities.  The indifference with which the earth’s surface has been stripped reflects how groups & individuals in a crowd are often anonymous to each other, even when they are gathered at the same place. The atmosphere of an airport is brought to mind: they’d been watching me through a two-way mirror. The real problem is that technology is potentiated, not objectified: it constitutes a global dimension of stochastic & contingent possibilities. The same tension also inhabits individuals within a crowd not given to unique emotional displays. Identified within a group, most individuals don’t want to draw attention to themselves. What these models do give, however, is a picture of an artificial world dominated by technology, in which artificial materials & ingenious construction techniques combine to make a type of structure that exists separate from the landscape, & whose typical features are interpenetration & indeterminacy. It was impossible to avoid their presence. The camps were located in isolated areas, hundreds of victims were raped during night raids. My consciousness was gripped by the horror & disgrace of my situation. It is due to the interaction between these two forms & the pattern of lines of force they suggest, that autonomy is never singular. Technological systems become “social strategies of exploitation” wherever technology is reified into an instrument of power. Technology is collective subjectivation. The society of the future, rendering visible many contradictions & incommensurabilities will often act, like groups within a crowd, in unison with itself in an attempt to achieve competing agendas. They hit me in the face so hard my head jerked. Nothing, however, indicates that technology is reducible to the use-value of its artefacts. Its form was sustained by a few massive pylons, with a sort of lattice construction propping up the floor & roof slabs. The high risk of infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, accompanies all sexual violence. The element of play comes to the fore in the form of carnival-like figures who are generally not unique or distinguished by violence or unlawful conduct in scenes that teem with activity. They threw me on the floor & spread my legs. I was in a daze, trying to convince myself it was all a dream. In the initial years of work on this project, technology was mystified by the fetishism of personal phenomenologies of aesthetic or sensuous experience. Judging by the size of the objects, these spatiovores were autonomous elements. The figures are executed in garish colours that spill over into the surrounding areas. But here, too, a dark undertone is noticeable, providing the crowd with a sense of anonymity. With so many others, individuals realize that they are just another face, giving a sense of invulnerability. I was unable to free myself, utterly horror-struck. Appearing completely abstract & neutral, fetishism is the reification of technology into an instrument of negative dialectics. It is the counterpart of Humanism’s reification of technology into an instrument of transcendence. Rape as a weapon of war is often committed in public & with brutal violence, targeting civilians. It involves gang rape & rape with objects and weapons. Transparent screens, grid-like surfaces & sections mean that crowd & individual behaviours are impersonal by nature. The “them-against-us” attitude affords those within the crowd the ability to freely (without hesitation or reserve) attack anyone who gets in the way. Pretending to be unconscious, I prayed they’d leave me alone. The moments that passed seemed like hours. For instance, in a symbolic depiction of the relationships between technical artefacts, ideology takes on the form of a social relation between the human effects they produce. The foreground & edges of the visual field provide individuals with the idea that their moral responsibilities have shifted from themselves as a person to the crowd as a whole. Large numbers of people discourage individual behaviour, & the urge to imitate others within the crowd is strong. Individuals look to others around them for cues of what to do next, disregarding their own background & training. Often, it is only the strong, well-disciplined person who can resist the prevailing behaviour of a crowd. Perhaps they’d forgotten me. It’s possible, nevertheless, to discern the products of technology as autonomous figures endowed with a “life of their own,” which enter into relations both with each other & with the their self-representations. The fetishism of human agency thus obscures the technological foundation of its operations, as a result of the alienating split between human beings & the processes of their coevolution. The systematic use of rape as a weapon of war includes other forms of sexual violence, such as sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilization, abortion, sexual mutilation & sexual torture.  Emerging from an understanding of the incompatibilities between the reality of a wasteland & the wasteland of reality, crowd behaviour influences the actions of both the disorderly individuals of the crowd & the authorities tasked to control them. I could hear them all talking outside the cell. It’s as though the deconstruction of fetishised humanobject relations isn’t simply a “subversive analytical strategy,” but the first step to a real demystification. Through this détournement, they believe the Anthropocene will unite the qualities of all their crashed utopias. A world where people are liberated from all forms & conventions produces crowd dynamics that cause individuals to ignore each other. Active, expressive, acquisitive, & hostile are not acceptable terms used to describe a crowd. They are the motives inferred from the actions the crowd takes. No gathering of a crowd is persistently or exclusively active, expressive, acquisitive, or hostile. For the sake of description, crowds can be identified as casual, agitated, or mob-like. Then the room swam back into focus & with a rapidity almost beyond belief I was their victim once again. Without suffering, they said, culture isn’t possible. Born of the global ideology of waste, obsolescence & the “eternal present,” the Anthropocene is a concrete situation in which all that is fleeting & transient has ceased to represent vectors of emancipation & has acquired the force of Law. In many conflicts, sexual violence is shrouded in silence, largely due to the shame of violation for both victims & their communities. How to confront this double bind, in which the routinised subversion of the World has become the very logic of Power? But does dwelling in a situation of pure indeterminacy respond to people’s deepest desires for public disorder or disturbance? During a riot individuals & small groups within a crowd use any number of tactics to resist authority & disrupt & add turmoil in order to achieve their goals. These tactics can be unplanned or planned, & violent or nonviolent. The more organised & purposeful a crowd becomes, the more likely such tactics will be used. This is where cultural life first developed. It is the focus of all activities & the carrier of all meanings. If the distinctive feature of the revolution was its critical struggle against the existing culture, then what I have been dreading most has happened. Inhabiting an environment entirely defined by itself, technology is the very measure of the possible. Constantly bringing forth new architectures of probability, its façade of “cold functionalism” turns to parody as easily as its ever-changing décor, adjustable facades & mobile infrastructures turn to a psychotic episode under restraint. Rape is not a mental disorder. With the press of a button, they can adjust the level of temperature, the degree of humidity, the density of smells, & the intensity of light. With a few simple operations, they can alter the shape of a room, decide whether it is to be open or closed. The dream of ultimate transparency is one or more groups or individuals who are part of a larger crowd that involves threats of violence against persons or property. In some cases, a crowd will continue to gather till it evolves into a riot. Closing my eyes, I surrendered myself. Because it can choose between a large number of “atmospheres” that can be endlessly manipulated, formalism becomes an ideology of normalised desire. It’s desire anticipates itself in its own image & is gratified in its anticipation. Failing to take into account the “micrology of power,” organised mobs will try to defeat the control-force by employing several different types of tactics. These tactics include the following: Constructing barricades. Using Molotov cocktails, smoke grenades, rocks, & slingshots. Feinting & flanking actions. The essential feature of sexual sadism is a feeling of sexual excitement resulting from administering pain, suffering, or humiliation. I wanted to scream, but as in a nightmare not a sound passed my lips. Without a revolution of everyday life, “technology” is EXPERIMENTAL only to the degree in which it assumes the “disguise” of direct experience (in fact, both its “augmentation” & “alienation”). But this pretence to “direct experience” is always a symptom of a double fetishisation, since experience itself in all its formulations is never other than technological. The fact that this utopian world is not perfect & harmonious, that the dismantling of all conventions leads to a zero point, in almost every instance of a civil disturbance or riot, verbal abuse will be an aggressive tool. It is apparent that the purpose for using verbal abuse is to anger, demoralise, & provoke a physical response. Undisciplined, untrained soldiers who face such an attack could cause the situation to escalate. Just one provoked action of a soldier could be interpreted as an act of brutality by the media. My back felt as if it’d been broken. Knowing that the “forms” of Power are modifiable, the first task was to free people from their identification with surroundings & codes of behaviour imposed by capitalist society. The second goal was to show how its outward aspect changes totally or partially in accordance with the technical evolution of its situations. They were known to drug, rape & mutilate the children of alleged “terrorists.” To activate subversive impulses, a fertile strategy was that of deliberate distortion. For example, one of the crucial antinomies of art today is that it wants to be a control-force formation used to disperse, contain, &/or block a crowd. These formations are more effective in utopian areas than in constructed spaces. When control-force operations are employed in utopian areas, it is easier to split a crowd into smaller segments, isolate instigators, or funnel the crowd into the desired location by using images & other semantic structures. Yet the same tormenting question lingered in my mind: how could I escape? Reversing the rhythm of the discourse, it is observable that rigidity of control is in inverse proportion to the flexibility of the system of control. This is exactly what has become apparent.

 

INTERIOR MINISTRY

20-21 August 2018

KAFKAVILLE

 

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