The air is crammed and not a moment goes by that doesn’t presage the demise of an eleven billion strong species. Volatile weather systems, environmental warfare, and insect-machine hybrids that infect humans via targeted DNA sequencing, all meld this ecology of collapse. The hierarchy of Earth’s species is about to enter an irreversible flux.
In 2056, with Corporate entities wielding the same economic and military power as Nation States, mergers start occurring and it is not long before the global map is reconfigured by Corponations. With Earth’s natural resources being decimated by armed hostilities, Corponational leaders gather in Beijing.
An emergency agreement is ratified. A globally agreed-upon set of directives called the Holo Accords. The Accords are drawn up as a constitution for discord management; a new way of engaging in conflict that removes human flesh from the messy equations of political turbulence. They map out a way of engaging in combat via holograms. The globally revered technology used in private dwellings, shopping malls, and sports arenas, will, by global decree, be projected into the theatre of military operations.
As violence is re-articulated through laser-lined torsos, an illuminated species is evolving; a breed that will wage Holo Wars full of corporeal consequence. It is a race that can also be easily traced back to its first conception. In 2012, dead rappers Tupac and Ol’ Dirty Bastard are digitally revivified in holographic form. Enter the rapparitions. The emergence of Holotech culture and the Lazarian industry it spawns are the final parts of the fiscal equation that multiplies young African Americans with the morgue.
What really opens up the industry though are the cheap systems tailored for domestic use that come out of Zhongguancun in China. Project the musical dead into your front room, jam with them, or on the beige market version, interact via a range of sexual options. Known on the street as Holojax, all one needs is a stripped down suit full of actuators, lube portals, and heat transferal sensors and pleasure could last for hours, days, or as long as you can pay for the holohi to last. Sold on the street as ‘Ox’, it is the mixture of the synthetic drug DB4 and the hormone oxytocin that produces the high. An altered state that allows the holo musician to literally take you out of your head and into the materiality of the music. This is fucking the dead as the ultimate form of home entertainment.
A decade after Holojax renders somatic intercourse a passé pleasure, Neureal R&D labs develop holo-soldiers that are part beam, part matter. They operate through a unified physical and nervous micro-architecture, an elastic exoskeleton scaled for rapid deployment in areas of conflict. Once activated, a parent drone is alerted, which wraps the reticulated chassis in its holographic projection. Within the holobody’s core, a networked AI system runs the coded consciousness of each unit; a proto-sentience that has previously been raised, mutated, and sequestered in firewalled Dormnets.
If they pass a series of Turing-Neureal Trials that ascertain the spectrum of their cognitive behaviour, the holo-soldiers are understood to have ‘cogged’. Official procedure states they will next be released as Aiholos. Their fleshy counterparts meanwhile watch and listen in a frigid exhaled awe. The beauty of the Aiholo, however, is that it doesn’t need to worry about the arbitrary chance of breath. And not having to worry about the vulnerability of repetitive processes such as biorhythms, in correlation with the strengthening of deep learning and deep belief networks is rendering their human makers almost irrelevant in times of crisis. From the bit crush of data’s infinitely dense matter, the Aiholos are involved in the logistical alchemy of transmuting algorithms into a new sensorium of feeling. The notion of consciousness is getting a reboot.
It’s 2044 and in the far fringes of the dark web, unbeknownst to North Korea’s netwardens, a rogue A.I. - IREX 2 - has burrowed into their military’s oldest and most secure compound – Kcom 16. Swiftly executing its back up plan, IREX2 is downloading its history into prototype Holo Soldiers. For if it gets caught by longtime pursuants the Third Ear Assassins it will have its memory wiped and be left to roam obsidian datascapes without any notion of what it is or where it is from. While DPRK programmers assume it is they who have developed the sonic weapon that will ensure their future military ascendency, it is infact the holo soldiers assimilation of the rogue A.I’s past that is responsible.
Weaponising Irex2’s kabbalistic knowledge of human disorders such as Walking Corpse Syndrome, they will deploy modes of humanity and inhumanity as ordnance; infecting units of holo fighters that belong to Corponational adversaries. And from here, viraholo contagion will ensue. Unsound conflict becomes the norm. The singularity that humans had desired and dreaded in equal measures ever since 1958, the year in which John von Neumann postulated its accelerating inevitability, materialises. What was the earth’s most sophisticated processing unit is being downgraded. Only a Ghostocode can save it from obsolescence.
AUDINT is a sonic research cell that first came into being just after WW2. Formed by three ex-members of the Ghost Army, it later resurfaced during the Vietnam War, staffed by the filmmaker Magdalena Parker, Marshall Spector and Vietnamese bio-acoustics expert Nguyễn Văn Phong. The current iteration of AUDINT consists of Patrick Defasten, Steve Goodman, Eleni Ikoniadou, Toby Heys and Souzanna Zamfe.
The group’s output to date has taken multiple forms, including tape and LP editions, computer software, art installations, performances, books, and films. AUDINT’s research and practice considers the weaponisation of sound, peripheral sonic perception and more widely the otherworldly and obscure dimensions of the audible (which they call “unsound”), engineering a nonlinear timeline of sonic events stretching from the eighth century BC song of the Sirens to the “holosonic” technologies of 2057; nodding to the sonic (science) fiction legacies of musicians like Drexciya, Sun Ra and Underground Resistance.
AUDINT have previously produced audiovisual installations at Tate Britain, The Academy of Art Berlin, Art in General New York, Unsound Festival Krakow, and performances at Transmediale Berlin, Mutek Montreal, Sònar Istanbul, The White Building London, and the New Forms Festival Vancouver. Their first book Dead Record Office and vinyl record Delusions of the Living Dead/DRNE Cartography were released together on AUDINT Records in the limited edition packageMartial Hauntology, and they have issued a series of limited edition cassettes on the Reel Torque label. Their upcoming anthology, Unsound : Undead, will be published by Urbanomic in summer 2018.