“In the realm of cyberspace, everyone wears a mask.”
– Adam Kyle, Netwerk Zero
These words of award-winning documentary film-maker Adam Kyle hold a bitter-sweet irony, probably only palatable to the few individuals who really know what happened at the end of his meteoric career. They are as relevant today as they are in the era where Kyle delivered such prominent and hard-hitting content.
This image by the superbly talented Benjamin Von Wong (with supportive work from Wollstone Crafts, Digital Jess, Michael Rosner, Akiko Yama) is an early original, but has since become a sublime example of the fusion between art and virt engineering. Wong’s work is the basis of the online enigma known only as Miss Dagon. Part entertainer, with her impromptu virt performances and part cracker, where she ascends to giddy heights of skill and technique – and sheer blunt power – pushing the boundaries of the technology in her hands, and the applications it has in the immediate sphere around her (online) presence. It is her hallmark of blurring the lines between public cyberspace and private online assets, and between digitalspace and realspace. Many have called her a magician. Others have labelled her a nuisance, a vandal and a miscreant. And some have even labelled her an occultist because of the unusual nature of the visuals, sounds and feelings she brings into any virt space she targets. Whatever you think of Miss Dagon you have to concede she is both beautiful and frightening, wrapped in layers of delicate mystery that are so deep they are perhaps unfathomable.
In her wake is an entire industry, swirling through the eddies and undertow of public and private reaction to the very real, synthetic world now emerging through the higher realm of the Internet. Whether you’re a total-immersion freak who has gone through socket surgery or you prefer the less-intrusive mode of experiencing cyberspace through ‘trodes, goggles or a screen, the inherent concepts of anonymity and parallel identity, have never had such potential for power and beauty. Thank you Mr Wong for your visionary talents.
Of course, there is a darker side to this visceral tricking of the Self, that bundle of bio-chemistry and electrical impulse that defines the ego, ID and soul. And it harks back to the question I always ask myself when I encounter Miss Dagon at work: what is her ultimate goal, when blurring the boundaries? (Or is she bringing down the boundaries!) What else is out there that wishes to step through? Not everything outside our realm of physical experience is based purely on the digital. Nascent Virm have been fighting off scandal since rumours of violent side-effects to their Flinch implant. Zendori and Borgendrill have likewise been fire-fighting in the PR department, with Borgendrill apparently losing control of a key part of the core computer system controlling their space-based machines. It is certainly an interesting time to be a voyeur at the cross-roads of magic, biology and technology.
See more posts like this – click