Bilwet 1 Jan 1989

The Warrior and His Media

The Four Faces of the Bruiser

The Ramboids

The advent of Rambo comes with the disappearance of the locatable theatre of war in favour of the virtual war of acquiring or discarding arms. As an answer to the successful tactics of Ho chi Min's jungle commando he embodies the disintegration of the regular army. He declares war on the 19th century structure of commands that survives into the 20th century in the form of electronics. He replaces the army (no longer able to wage war because it exists purely as a deterrent) by becoming war himself. The combat soldier has lost his corporeality in the Materialschlacht and primeval electronics of rippling anabolic steroids of Rambo-man (the omnipotent). His plumage assumes museological forms and uses purloined from the tristes tropiques by the colonialism of anthropological conservation. The popularity of this attire is due to TV pundits and book clubs. The figure of Rambo combines the get-up of the pre-media warrior with the efficiency of the latest compact weapons. but his location in the consciousness of the bargain deal video consumer. bound to the imaginary reality of this empire of the senses, he is destined to become a media warrior. Unlike the guerilla, his task is not the liberation of oppressed peoples. He is simply concerned with revealing his own individuality in which the viewers find himself mirrored. In order to give form to his identity's subjectivity he must return to the front each time with no political or aggressive motives so that he can be reborn as a fully-flegdged individual. In this invisibility of the permanent state of war he acts as the disruptive element that gives vent to a new folksy fighting spirit. but within the context of peace on earth eh can be nothing more than the viewers' nostalgic identification with the actor's roles that are no longer accessible to them.

The Black Hand

Everything is recorded. Events are documented as evidence and used as weapons in the information war. This happens both at long arrange amidst military satellites and telezoom and over short distances with amateurish photo and videocameras. Yet even in this age of total transparency clans still exist that act as if they want to safeguard their privacy as something sacrosanct: the Mafia, soldiers in action, freewheeling troublemakers, royal families and other secret societies. They surround themselves with bodyguards that act as anti-media warriors who must function as black holes to suck in media matter so that the event may vanish altogether. But in reality they are press magnets who secretly enjoy having their privacy invaded while basking in the limelight. They put on a heroic fight in the no man's land between media and classical reality. We get to see them on the final reel where the hand pushes way the camera, the soldier aims his gun at the viewer and fires or where the order to stop filming is shown. this process appears to be a form of anti-publicity that fails because forbidden images represent the highest market prices for information distributors. Indeed it shows that on a global scale Glasnost is simply a work in progress. I t also demonstrates the media's right to exist. While there are people who suggest that the camera's omnipotence may still be curbed its omnipresence will actually increase. Avoiding publicity is the best publicity is the motto appropriate to every front where the media may capture as yet unrecorded events. that is until the time when due to lack of authentic regions the media must censor their own revelations and employ warriors in order to withhold certain images from the viewers.

The Signalers

In the universe of media networks there exists no vertical relationship between signs and reality, only horizontal ones between the signs themselves which create their able to penetrate this matrix. On the one hand there are data makers and makers launch their signs from beyond the media in order to achieve a public that information affects the mind. They fight racism, sexism and pollution by means of data manipulation and image defacement. In addition they prevent actual physical conflict with the police. They need the media for their blockades, break-ins, riots and pop concerts. Yet they go one step further than the critical generation that tried to challenge the might of the media by means of discussion. this oral culture has now been replaced by the spectacular images of media reality and hence the activists have become sign artists. Data travelers also depend on the media. Like tourists cruising at the speed of light, hackers can drop in on other parts of the world like greased lightening. In this sixth continent of no geographical limitations physical exertions is replaced by the sensation of gate-crashing security programs. Just as Grand Tour tourists carved their names in Florentine frescoes, these pioneers of the electronic midnight oil leave their numbers in forbidden regions of the planetary network. The transition from name to virus is the beginning of the emigration to this land of limitless possibilities. their Trojan horses are signs which produce a reality. They exist as effects as a result of the disruption of the arbitrary order of the electronic realm. The future will see cyberpunks living as outlaws in dataland. They will become signs themselves, surviving their physical death as flatline stored in the form of a hidden file. A future generation of action actors and apocalyptic cyberpunks will unleash and penetrate objectives beyond the media in order to realize the great beyond: total delete.

The Absentees

The invisible warriors must have been the mirror of fate. (Berlin saying). There is a rumour concerning those blissful beings who remain beyond the horizon of events, we hide behind history. They can observe the media in the way that we watch the screen. And they include in their number the extra-media warriors. Their concept of time and space runs parallel to our own and has no more than a few points of contact. Just like classical warriors they are able to enter emptiness so as to emerge in unexpected layers of reality. Their ways are invisible to the media eye because the act in a dimension which no more than cuts through the horizontal flows of signs. It is t these points of incision that disasters in media sign communications occur that appear to be terrorist actions from the other circuit. The goal of the media, beyond that of rendering the world visible, is to induce dialogue between the interfaces. But the warriors only reply to unspoken questions that silence the media. They present themselves as the snow that dissolves the image order. White noise is their ultimate information.