When the “Spanner” case was dismissed at the European Court of Human Rights this February a great blow was dealt to freedom of expression. It was hoped that the judgement against the Spanner defendants for consensual sado-masochistic activities made here by the repressive courts in the U.K. would be overturned in the more liberal Europe. Instead, alternative sexualities suffered an even greater setback through the European Court’s rejection of sado-masochistic sexuality and the individual’s right to do whatever she or he wants with their body. This ruling highlights what is becoming increasingly true, that the “private” in your “private life” is now just a figure of speech which can be interpreted to suit the acts that are performed within it, even if they are completely consensual and harm no one outside. [Read more →]
I.the revised boy scout manual
I have in the first issue of datacide discussed a few views on the concept of random assassinations, by on the one hand suggesting that “accidental” killings by the police force actually follow a strategy of intimidation/terror, and pointing to the crimes of the Manson Family supporting the view that random assassinations are the ones that spread the most terror. I will here as a post script briefly review The Revised Boy Scout Manual by William S. Burroughs, and then go on to two cases of killings that were not random at all but fall into a category of surgical strikes against insurrectionists, political assassinations as performed by the state. [Read more →]
A DARK 70s AMERIKA:
(Decoy) Politics has always been practiced by means of various techniques of deception. From the writings of Machievelli to the stage-managed Labour election victory the pursuit of power is that which is only ostensibly visible. What it shows is not necessarily what it is and, concomitant with this, the commonly assumed concept of power is itself a strategic decoy: the state may administer and manage capitalism, it may promote throughout society a notion of individual control through the guise of a primeminister or president, but, as speeches blur into journalism and the surface rituals move into docu-drama, power thrives through a process of inter-locking practices that, in themselves, are never perceived as being powerful at all. Not knowing power as a social-practice can mean that those who seek to make tangible its gradients are always in the thrall of a power that takes on occult and ever receding dimensions. This in turn is incohately communicated to the less powerful as the disappearance of power as a social-fact, a practice, a technique which they can also wield. The business of politics takes place behind such screens and makes buggings, law-breaking and assassinations a sanctifiable means of maintaining an unsuspected status quo when all other institutional means of silencing, deflection, removal and quietism have failed. [Read more →]
Having a natter with a couple of members of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) one of the first things we get to talking about is the unusual structure of the group. Many collectives function on the basis of similarity, a bunch of people with the same talents and interests working in parallel. The five-person Ensemble functions kind of like a techno label. Working across a slew of different media and artforms they operate on a system of a floating hierarchy. Whoever has the most experience in a certain area: text, photography, performance, whatever, takes the lead. As they say, “Under professional circumstances this kind of structure can be very alienating, but in a cellular structure that is really grounded in friendship and trust it’s not a problem.” [Read more →]
is a incorporeal being with a love of the severe and disturbing. Possessing immense strength, it has a mind as sharp as a scalpel, ever ready to dissect what comes its way. THE ASSESSOR assesses from afar and sometimes communicates to humans, yet it is rarely reduced to using words as it is now. If provoked it is lethal.
[Read more →]