The 5000 Fingers of Digital Horror, And Even The Cypherpunks Are Cringing!

5000T_11xx

Coming Soon !

work-in-progress

In the only feature film ever written by Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953), the lead character – Bart Collins – is trapped at the surreal Terwilliker Institute, where the piano teacher is now a madman dictator who has imprisoned non-piano-playing musicians. There DR. T. has constructed a piano ( device) so large that it requires 500 child slaves to perform it.

A rather fitting analogy to today’s labor-capturing scenarios of the internet, social networks… and the new strange data-driven empire. A machine-logic culture whereby everyone has been led to believe they are producing something akin to soothing music for social well-being, when in fact the agendas at work have so little to do with music (or social progress).

Following up on our CiTiZEN KiNO#19: Naked Net Lunch program last week, we continue to mash up the images, the themes, the found clips, reports and discussions to assess where we are at in the realms of the digital transmutations.

Digging up an old BBC2 interview with David Cronenberg from 1997, and revisiting his pioneering plunge into media analysis via the horror genre… he certainly hit a major nerve with Videodrome (1983), which still resonates sharply when transposed to these internet days, now reaching 3 decades later. I.e. “Long Live The New Flesh!”, has even more meaning in relation to people and their screens today.

ANd we couldn’t help but point out during our show, that if one wanted to make an artwork on The Digital Age, something as weak as Fincher’s Social Network, which avoids the true underbelly of a corporation like Fbook, will hardly do! Art will not do. We are living in a Digital Horror Show… painting any less of a picture, any less of an alarm…  anything less than a blood-curdling scream … would be completely out of touch with the sinister realities.

Some media bits we are currently analyzing for our “5000 Fingers” theme:

Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State

Fred Turner on Burning Man as the Cultural Infrastructure for Commons-Based Peer Production ( via McKenzie Wark )

Some Alan Watts – inspired videos…  #1, #2, #3

We can get really dark here. And while we can accept there are some very positive innovations in digital communications, we think it’s a crucial moment to illuminate where things are going horribly wrong, or we may not find our way out…

cypherpunk

Assange and friends to the rescue… Cause we ourselves haven’t had time to articulate this digital darkness adequately…

From the introduction of his new book along with Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn, and Jérémie Zimmermann, the cypherpunks are now on the same page … FINALLY ; )

” The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.

These transformations have come about silently, because those who know what is going on work in the global surveillance industry and have no incentives to speak out. Left to its own trajectory, within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there.”

Excerpt from the introduction, written from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Oct. 2012 … Why, u can read it all yourself, Right Now, as a downloadable pdf, thx to the quik-on-the-draw Monoskop-ers. Of course support the authors if you can… directly. ( bitcoin? at justiceforassange, etc. ).  ANd having the book in the hand is still a pleasure that cannot be compared to owning bits, so go grab one from a local bookstore today.

( be quick, not sure if this will stay online indefinitely. )

more XLt analysis coming soon !

Leave a Reply