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Minds of Concern: Breaking News (Knowbotic Research), 2002

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us to discover our instinctive subconscious. With Benjamin's definition of the optical unconscious, one might today refer to the existence of a 'postoptical unconscious', usually hidden by a graphical interface in computers, which must be made visible using suitable equipment. [51] This 'postoptical unconscious' could be considered in terms of program code that surfaces/interfaces are based on and which, with its coded performativity, algorithmic genotext and deep structure, generates the surfaces/interfaces that are visible to us, while the code itself remains invisible to the human eye.

Focus on an invisible performativity

Many artistic and net activist projects that have dealt with the politics of electronic data space (such as the Internet) since the late 1990s aim specifically at code and seek to remove the transparency of these technical structures. Artists and net activists have drawn attention to the existence of the hotly contested data sphere on the Internet (Toywar platform), built private ECHELON systems (Makrolab by Projekt Atol/Marko Peljhan), developed tools to


blur one’s own traces on the Internet (Tracenoizer. by LAN), and thematised the increasing restriction of public space through the privatisation of telecommunications infrastructure (Minds of Concern: Breaking News [52] by Knowbotic Research. ). [53] While the everyday understanding of 'transparency' is usually clearness and controllability through visibility, it means exactly the opposite in IT, namely that something can be seen through, can be invisible, and that information is hidden. If a system (for example, a surface or graphical user interface) is 'transparent', it is neither recognisable or perceptible to the user. Although information hiding is often useful in terms of reducing complexity, it can also lend the user a false sense of security, as it suggests a direct view of something through its invisibility, a transparency disturbed by nothing, which one would be absurd to believe: "Far from being a transparent window into the data inside a computer, the interface brings with it strong messages of its own." [54] In order to make these messages visible, one has to direct one’s attention to the 'transparent window'. Just as transparent glass-fronted buildings can be transformed into milky, semi-transparent surfaces in

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