Machine codes, directives, and algorithms increasingly infiltrate and compromise the boundaries of the flesh and the horizons of consciousness, allowing these trespassers time to reconfigure and automate once-willful decisions and to colonize the imagination in order to guide its visions of the future. In conjunction, a profound erosion of certainty leads to perceived and real existential threats that radically reorganize real and virtual territories, often to the extent of creating reactionary regimes.

Entryway search and data collection station.

What Is To Be Done? investigates the logic of systems that frame and alter perception and control navigation in mediated worlds. We explore strange scripts that have a life of their own—those that control the gateways through which demented ghosts, nudged to death in digital behavioral experiments performed by legitimized associations of mad doctors, wander at their own peril.

Entryway search and data collection station.

How do we remove the occult protections of systems of control that affect the construction of pathways of thought, personal behavior, and social interaction? What might happen if we refuse to take the paths of least resistance, and instead militantly probe for obscurecognitive spells in a nervous system without end?

Entryway surveillance system.

This collaborative project analyzes informational structures and their directives in terms of their impact on human agency in social, political, and economic interaction. Using techniques of shared cultural intelligence practices, this initiative explores operative spaces and actionable models of “What Is To Be Done.”

Entryway warning signs

Cultural Intelligence Collective (CIC) is a transdisciplinary association exploring collaborative practices that develop and intensify critical cultural intelligence. CIC researches and uncovers hidden network systems in order to reveal their means and methods for colonizing the future. Moreover, the group pursues multidimensional investigations into deep information vectors, using any media necessary to best engage the social, political, and economic implications of digital technology. CAE worked on What is to be Done? as part of CIC.

CIC Banners
Digital Ghosts
Staging area

Note from CAE (this is not a CIC text, but one that solely represents an opinion of CAE)

When examining the question of What is to Be Done, CAE and CIC were looking back to the Chernyshevsky novel of the same name. This question seems to be a historically key question among the left, and continually emerges in different contexts, and is asked with different twists. We were bringing it up one more time in the context of Chernyshevsky’s utopian vision, but trying to look at its dark side rather than the more optimistic one contained in the novel. We wanted to do an exhibition about when the right asks this same question. What is its utopian vision? One of oligarchy in which the wealthy few rule the many, and the military, legal system, and media are all structured to suppress resistance against the overlords and turn people against one another. In this exhibition, we wanted to concentrate on the use of media for purposes of mind control, distraction, atomization, and alienation that together creates a docile public unable to conceive of the origins of its dissatisfaction and grievance, and if by chance some member should do so, they will find no space of contestation, no institution in which a grievance can be presented, and no means to develop a resistant movement. Rather as individuals we are vaporized into the virtual, becoming ghosts tricked and tormented into madness. We are in a time of regression where democracy slowly slips away, and reactionary uprisings become the politics to nowhere. 

The mentalist reads the minds of volunteers
The mentalist hypnotizes volunteers
Konrad Becker performs the CIC manifesto