December 2018

Metahaven: Black Transparency

In Search of a Recuperative Aesthetics

Preceding their book of the same title, design collective Metahaven’s Black Transparency” argues that the possibilities that the internet offers for self-organization and the sharing of information are undermined by often hidden power structures of economics. Image and voice-over meditate on ideas of collectivity and togetherness in a police state. The video opens with what the narrator terms “the blinking cursor of our silence,” a metaphor for political immobilization. Over footage depicting a violent police response at a demonstration, the voice levels an accusation: “Aren’t we silent ourselves? All we do is show that we still exist”— how can we expect to challenge state secrecy and silence by following suit?. While the work serves as a foundational address, I find the two works that follow (Lyric” and Club”) to be interjections in this dystopia: experiments in resistant existence.

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