Up at La Furia Umana: a new essay, departing from Joseph Losey’s Figures in a landscape toward condominiums, Bourne, raptors, choppers, reverse shots, death from above, and on from there.
“The panic is well-warranted, though, at least for the squires of state might. Industry analysts have started to compile a sort of quiet doomsday scenario: not the tsunami or the quake, the nuke or the plague, but the everyday, lived-with objects of the built world, as antagonists to a nation, land, or social order find ways to make flamingly evident how the apparently neutral landscape of capital has long been wired to blow. In one of the more striking examples, a security flaw in Hewlett Packard printers, coupled with the fact of remote access, allows one to make a printer catch fire, through simply sending instructions to continuously heat its fuser unit.10 In other words, one can commit arson, with no matches, gasoline, or triggers, from anywhere in the world, leaving no trace other than an apparent accident of faulty office equipment. Echoing the collapse of the divide between civilian and combatant, the landscape comes to bare itself, joining warzone and workplace, convention center and battle ground. Not simply because printers are flammable, but because commodities can be activated to commit sabotage against the ends for which they were designed. One can see from within their own inhuman sight, make routers into spies, sprinklers into the death of server farms. Through their non-eyes, one can take a fresh look, from inwards on out, at the innate hostility of what certainly does not escape the total vision of capital and military, but which, all the same, it didn’t think worth noticing. What it couldn’t process as threat, as tool, as heat to exterminated.”