Black Transparency. A video about collectivity and togetherness in a police state.
VISUAL: CURSOR BLINKING
VISUAL: RIOTS IN GREECE
This is largely incoherent.
This is the blinking cursor of our silence.
And then there’s what protects democracy.
An irredeemable machine of mental murder.
A national security state-in-a-state. A Law of Silence.
Leaders assure us that all is well. That we do have the values of democracy, and that its weaponized protection keeps everybody safe and free.
But these protective operations are themselves secrets.
The executive means accrued to carry them out can be used to different ends.
The entities of weaponized protection care for their own survival before everything else.
They are just like humans.
Silence and invisibility are the principal currencies of our utopia.
Soon, everything will be a secret.
But what about ourselves? Aren’t we silent ourselves?
We haven’t said anything in a long time.
We throw Molotov cocktails, fight the police, and dance on the wings of a government airplane.
We look into our phones which look into our lives.
The bare possessions of a non-person living in a non-place.
A night with friends.
An on-and-off relationship.
A temporary job.
A trove of secrets.
We have a non-plan.
All we do is show that we still exist.
We are the opposite of blind. We have absolutely nothing left but our vision.
VISUAL: CUT to TELEPRESENCE MEETING, CORPORATE VIDEO
It seemed as if their material basis dissolved.
Wealth became an airplane routed around the world.
Value became a global architecture of tax havens and hedge funds.
The name of the perpetrator of this crime is technology, in the hands of someone.
Politics and technology together create ideology: that which seems inevitable.
That which is never followed by a question mark.
That which comes first after the blinking cursor:
VISUAL: CUT to MOLTEN LAVA
The internet both disintegrated and rejoined the structures of daily life.
The borders of the world gave in to shapelessness.
The old world began to loose it’s structure and a new world covered it like a second skin.
A network, a set of nodes that are equal.
A simple fact of life.
A new beginning. A public space.
A secret pocket world.
VISUAL: CUT to HORSES IN THE DESERT, RUNNING BACKWARDS
Together we fall.
Together we fall deeper.
Nothing is to end our ecstatic conquest.
Undoing all that was said and done before we came.
Unseeing everything with our eyes.
We do not live in the same place.
We weren’t introduced.
Please don’t send us flowers. Send secrets.
VISUAL: CUT TO GIRL ON THE SHORELINE, WAVING HER RED HAIR with DREADLOCKS
Once, governments were proud that they had secrets.
Secrets were the preserve of privilege and glamour.
The modern state claims to believe in transparency and openness.
This obliges the state to hide the fact that it has secrets.
Imagine what a whistleblower experiences, as she exposes the previously unseen interior of the state.
VISUAL: CUT TO WHISTLEBLOWERS CHELSEA (BRADLEY) MANNING, EDWARD SNOWDEN
Whistleblowers reveal not the excesses and the crimes of the system, even if what is revealed are plainly crimes.
Whistleblowers expose the system’s normal operations; the way it works everyday, and the way it agrees with itself in doing so.
As they expose the state’s interior, leakers are pathologized by the media as narcissistic egomaniacs, seeking attention for themselves.
Informing the public becomes aiding a foreign power.
The world turns around its axis into playback.
VISUAL: CUT to DATA CENTER
Plato’s Cave is now classified.
We shine light on the writings on the wall.
Paranoia is historically cast as the out-of-control frame of mind of a madman dictator.
The pathology of an individual authoritarian, imposing his ferocious will on subjects which must continuously be monitored for secret moves.
But paranoia is infrastructure.
It is logistics.
It is software and hardware.
It is uniformed guards.
It is mouse clicks and coffee mugs.
It is the framed photograph of a spouse.
VISUAL: CUT to COLLATERAL MURDER FRAGMENT; BAGHDAD APACHE AIRSTRIKE, 2007
Paranoia is the systematic and robust application of sheer technological possibility, lubricated by a melting empathy.
So that law indeed gets rewritten by those who oppose it.
Law in the hands of those who oppose it is just a piece of paper that says something.
A whistleblower in the eyes of those who oppose it is a mere stand-in-the-way of the inevitable.
Enthusiasm for the drone leads to enthusiasm for the drone that takes decisions.
Pattern recognition and algorithms are replacing ethics.
The capacity of our computers to store everything, makes us forget the question of whether anything should be stored at all.
VISUAL: CUT to IDEAL TRANSPARENT FAMILY
The simplest question becomes the most daring vision.
Paranoia prepares its own terrorist plots, which it then prevents.
In scanning the entire internet for who connects to who, paranoia sweeps up everyone.
Everyone is a suspect, and everyone is in everyone else’s social graph.
The internet’s cables are compliant with the infrastructure of paranoia.
VISUAL: CUT BACK to COLLATERAL MURDER FRAGMENT; BAGHDAD APACHE AIRSTRIKE, 2007
The answer, encryption of all communications, will provoke another backlash.
We will hear that those who encrypt are the terrorists.
Paranoia’s answer is always the same:
VISUAL: CUT to YOUNG WOMAN ON HILLTOP UNDRESSING as GUY SWEEPS IPHONE
VISUAL: CUT to NSA DATA CENTER UNDER CONSTRUCTION, BLUFFDALE, UTAH
No government, and no man indeed was ever seen voluntarily letting go of a technological possibility that was ready and available to him.
VISUAL: CUT to IPHONE 5 UNBOXING VIDEO
Computers, handheld devices and information networks keep us company night and day.
Paranoia wants to survive.
Institutions to protect others, become institutions to protect themselves.
VISUAL: CUT to KIM AND MONA DOTCOM CHILDREN on the BEACH CLAD in PIRATE T-SHIRTS
When cracks appear, alternatives to the dominant order can gain strength invisibly until they emerge onto the geopolitical stage with no apparent precedent.
VISUAL: CUT to GLASSWING BUTTERFLY
There is no transparency without enlightenment.
With the industrial revolution came the glass palaces.
Life without secrets found its form in architecture.
Under transparency the state looses the informational privilege that allows it to maintain itself.
Black transparency is involuntary transparency.
VISUAL: CUT to SABRE FENCERS
There is a curfew.
The statues, squares and monuments are no longer ours.
They are still as images.
All memory has been seized.
Our message is silence, our rage is mute.
VISUAL: CUT to DESERT, TENTS, SATELLITE DISH
The idea of cyberspace posed a line of separation between the internet and the real world.
Cyberspace would be a separate universe, created by people, enabled by technology and occupied by information.
Geopolitically, it would be like the sea once was.
An unregulated and fluid space where ordinary rules need not apply.
The internet and life are one.
A hot and dry desert wind.
This is our failed state.
All we do is show that we still exist.
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