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In 2016, based on Ulrich Beck’s book [[La Sociedad del Riesgo: Hacia una nueva Modernidad. Ulrich Beck, Paidos Iberica. 2006]] we analyzed the risks that modern development entailed (social, economic, political risks…) and was the perfect alibi for the consolidation of economic privatization politics and dismantling the social; the limitation of the freedom; the hijacking of privacy and greater control for the sake of greater security. All this potential is now real.
Fear, control, security was our editorial in February 2016 and it unfolded into different artistic projects that focus on the idea of control (Dora García, Hito Steyerl, Harun Farocki, Muntadas) and ended with a reflection on the instrumentalization of fear as a strategy for maintaining order in hyperconnected societies
Through associative concepts and games of literality-non-literality, these musical suggestions distill, complement, or enhance the theme developed in the editorial.
Digging through my records I find this gem by Richard H. Kirk, Virtual State, which like many of his works is ideal for me to illustrate, musically, the contagion of the information society and the technologies of control in artistic creation.
Richard H. Kirk, was a prolific English musician born in 1959 and passed away recently in 2021. He was known for forming the influential band Cabaret Voltaire alongside Chris Watson and Stephen Mallinder, in the early 70s. He was also known as one of the leading exponents, even in his solo career, of the significant wave of electronic music that proliferated in the UK during the 1990s. Thanks to his influential work, from his innumerable aliases, he fostered the exploration and development of sub-genres such as electro, IDM, ambient, house, and techno. From his beginnings, he was marked by transgression and experimentalism, the spirit of Do It Yourself (DIY), and rebellious Dadaism, characteristics inherited from punk, understood as a vital and artistic stance. His father was a radio enthusiast, this clearly influenced his interest in technology, and in the recording and transmission of information, which is reflected in his use of the electronic dissonances of radio transmissions, always very present in his work. This album, conceived to be listened to all at once, synthesizes the experiences, discoveries, and losses provoked by the technological and cultural changes of its historic context, that which, by the end of the 20th century, sees a new word materialize with new realities, where the states and entities of power deploy new systems of control. But it does seem to leave a space for hope or is it perhaps for the mere memory of that “feeling of warmth and beauty”, that our cold, hyper-technological evolution has eroded.