Ben Vickers

  • Ian Cheng, Emissary in the Squat of Gods, 2015, live simulation, sound, indefinite duration.

    HERMETIC ENGINEERING: THE ART OF IAN CHENG

    Our best machines are made of sunshine; they are all light and clean because they are nothing but signals, electromagnetic waves, a section of a spectrum, and these machines are eminently portable, mobile—a matter of immense human pain in Detroit and Singapore. People are nowhere near so fluid, being both material and opaque. Cyborgs are ether, quintessence.

    —Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto” (1985)

    UNKNOWABLE SIGILS litter the landscape. This is the territory of an ancient community, a culture that drifts in a state of preconsciousness, the shamanic schizoid oblivion that was once

  • Rendering of 3-D-printable “Liberator” single-shot firearm. Photo: Defense Distributed/Wikicommons.

    Ben Vickers

    IF 2013 WAS THE YEAR the Internet lost its innocence, 2014 may be remembered as the year the backlash began. Now, it seems, the hacker body politic has found new resolve in its opposition to the nation-state, deeming it a wholly unacceptable organizational and social form for the aspirations of the twenty-first century—not least because of its colonization of the Internet and insinuation into our everyday lives.

    The year commenced in the wake of Edward Snowden’s heartbreaking revelations about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program. The gravest of state-orchestrated