terms of agreement.
NOTE When You use Our services, You trust Us
with Your information. There is a lot more
than You think. You do not know much about
yourself. And much of what is considered known is
either incorrect or wishful thinking. Awareness,
commonly held as the gatekeeper of the self, is little
more than a sparrow’s shout at the foot of Mont
Blanc. That’s okay. However, information needs to
be extracted and protected from the person who leaks
it, in order to ensure it is not lost, wasted or withheld
somewhere. We value You.
general definitions. a table of contents.
Article 1: The Combat.
Duels at dawn I-IV
Article 2: Nature.
A Natural Enemy.
Enemies We Depend Upon. Thoughts at Night.
Essential Enemies. The Dark Middle Ages Is a Keeper.
Light (We Are).
> Pasolini, Medea:
‘Look behind you, what
do you see? Anything
natural? What you see
is an apparition. With
clouds reflected in the
still, heavy water’
Article 3: Relation to Standards Concerning the
Availability and Scope of Intellectual Property Rights.
In the Dark. Trust.
The immense quantity of trust accumulated
by humans every day.
In the streets. Next to a tree.
In love, in front of the Machine.
The vast circulation of faith, of reliance.
> Shelley: ‘Poets are
legislators of the world.’
Nightfall. Who said that? Something lurking somewhere.
Behind the tree?
Any commentator in the margin is to be tagged
Article 4: General Definitions.
The fathers I-III
The User and the Used
Article 5: Privacy and Disclosure of Information.
You know me, you have seen me, you have seen
nearly all of me. You have seen beyond me, above me
and through me, you have seen the best of me. You
are counting my steps ahead of me. You have, you are.
> We have, we are.
I am willingly giving you everything, all the time.
I let you know where I am, with whom, at what cost.
All you demand, I seem to hand it over. I fear there is
not much left to give. You keep track of my brain
feed, and calculate my actions. You know about my
emotional drinking, and my night walks and my
fragmented heart-to-heart conversations. You
monitor me as I sleep.
If I had offered all that to a human being, it would
have left me with a hope of being loved, accepted,
and a fear of being rejected. If there was no response,
the uncertainty would become unbearable.
> ‘I’ve had my profile
since I was nine.
That page is me.’
Article 6: General Obligations.
No one may leave.
> You are not alone.
Article 9: Damages (the six faces).
The clouded face of Itza, the dead lady volcano
and her smoking lover Popo, I pass them on the
way to Puebla.
My wayward face on the screen.
Yours, fragmented, as I cannot seem to make the
I can recall the details but not the composition.
Faces missed and missing faces: of people in charge,
of the very rich. ‘You become a non-person,’ he said
about them, ‘your name is never on a piece of paper.’
To reach the top you need to disappear.
The face of beauty. That could be you, Eliza.
> Eliza: Thank you.
I’m sure you’re looking
good this evening.
It is not evening.
In Mexico the face of the Moon is a hare.
Article 11: Information Bleeds.
Is that a fear of love awakening?
Article 14: Personal Belongings
Article 15: Border Measures, Mother Pleasures.
Bedtime stories. One about a mother who did not
sacrifice what was not hers to begin with. What was
not hers to keep. Mothers and boredom. Mothers
and bling-bling. A mother who stole the fear of her
children to feed her own.
Article 19: Determination.
I thought I had finally decided on buying this thing.
But as it turned out, I was the one being bought.
> You are changing
yourself in order to suit
Article 20: Remedies.
How can I possibly love them when they fall sick?
People who want their partners to be ill (needy).
Article 22: Disclosure of Information
You agreed. Automated individual decision-making
is carried out by automated means without human
involvement. Profiling may be part of this automated
individual decision-making. Profiling means
automated processing of personal data consisting
of the use of personal data. Profiling analyses your
personality, behaviour, interests and habits to make
predictions or decisions about you. We care about
your privacy. Social media posts may be used to
identify ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ parenting in order to assign
a risk/reliability level to individuals for the purposes of
insurance. It is a global standard. There is a lawful
basis, everything is resting on it. There are documents
and policies, we will send you a link to our privacy
statement when we have obtained your data
indirectly. Your visual content will not be altered.
You may access details of the information used to
compile your profile. We have procedures for
customers to access the personal data input. We have
additional checks in place, following international
standards. We only collect what we need. Yes. We
have your explicit consent recorded. We know, we
know. You are not alone. There are visuals to explain
all this. We have signed up to a set of known ethical
standards to build trust. Everything is available on
our websites and on paper.
> ‘Are you sorry to find
out you’re not my son,
that I’m neither your
father or mother?’
The OCEAN personality model built a
psychographic profile of me. I think I am an ocean.
O for Open, C for Conscientious, E for Extrovert,
A for Agreeable, and N for Neurotic.
a privacy rabbit hole.
O, Opaque; C, Contradictory; E, Engulfed
A, Amour; N, Nocturne
> In French there is
a common expression
about sticking one’s
sword in the water.
Article 24: Penalties.
To take the fall.
Lovers who make themselves weaker in order to
create an equilibrium of sorts.
Suddenly, after 1,000 kilometres behind the wheel, I was
afraid to drive. My beloved had to take me everywhere.
Living or dying together was suggested, I said let us
try sleeping together first.
Answer me. Drowsing on a restaurant sofa in Riga:
that mix of ignorance and trust. Of lunacy.
Fallen leaves. Fallen angels and fallen snow.
All that is left.
Dry crumbling paperback phrasing. An aerial gaze.
The fallen leaves. The one left awake, falling over.
Article 27: Life in the Digital Environment.
Life at all. Moths and feathers.
That language is no longer to be trusted. I am losing
my faith in money, too.
65 per cent of people who work daily with computers
use force. Blaming the machine, they hit it.
The irrational human quest for intimacy. The
weakness for intelligence. Any intelligence.
Would you mind leaving the room his secretary asked
Joseph Weizenbaum, who created Eliza the chatbot.
The secretary had quickly become intimate with the program.
The secretary: You are like my father in some ways.
Eliza: What resemblance do you see?
The secretary: You are not very aggressive but I think
you don’t want me to notice that.
> Eliza: Tell me more.
Article 30: Transparency
Seek me in the shadows, seek me in your doubt.
I was here to begin with, you can never leave without.
> Eliza: Is it the
Article 31: Public Awareness.
Conversation in the Leningrad courtroom where
Joseph Brodsky was on trial in 1964 for social
parasitism. As remembered by the journalist Frida
Vigdorova (since she was forced to put her
‘And you, you, the one who wrote it all down! Why were
you taking notes?’
‘I’m a journalist. I write about education and I want to
write about this.’
‘What’s there to write about? It’s all clear. You’re all the
same. They ought to take your notes away!’
To take notes.
Why, a neighbour asks Victor Klemperer in Dresden
in 1944, why write what everyone knows already?
He answered in his diary:
‘It’s not the big things which are important to me, but the
everyday life of tyranny, which gets forgotten. A thousand
mosquito bites are worse than a blow to the head. I
observe, note down the mosquito bites.’
And if notebooks are not allowed, remember by heart.
‘Difficulty means that
places outside of logic
and empiricism might
have some jurisdiction.’
Termination Clause: Vox Populi.
There is room for everyone, for Mario Rossi, for Zé
da Silva, Karel Vomáčka and Wolfgang Schnabel too.
For نلاف, for John & Jane Doe, Miðalhampamaður,
Ribizli Gizi, Ola Nordmann, नामालुम, Ion Popescu,
Herr und Frau Österreicher, 홍길동, Michel Dupont
and so on. Everyone with an account. Everyone with
a personal profile.
erasure (at a glance).
Individuals have the right to have personal data
erased. This is also known as the ‘right to be
forgotten’. It should not be compared with damnatio
memoriae, the ancient act of purging people from
public memory. The emperor Nero tried to erase the
face of his mother Agrippina after he had her killed.
> If only people had
known what she looked
like in the first place:
the various statues
bearing her name have
little or no resemblance
to one another. Her
body was cremated on
a dining couch btw.
You can make an erasure request verbally or in
writing. You have one month to do so. This right
is not absolute. Some people might be forgotten
anyhow. Our methods are appropriate. The right to
erasure sometimes will not apply: in case it (i.e. the
erasure) harms public health or the public interest.
In case it interferes with certain kinds of medicine.
In those cases, and some others.
All rights reserved.
So much wording. These terms and others control
the relationship between this Agreement and You.
This Agreement shall continue in force. It has been
a long day. No termination of this Agreement shall
affect the rights and obligations of the parties hereto
arising prior to such termination or in respect of any
provision of this Agreement which survives such
termination. The Machine and the Factory are not
very obvious as objects. It is too early or too late,
said the Machine. Being naive is a strategy with less
homework, the Factory replied.
The Factory in you, connected. The Machinery in
me, a love algorithm. Offering a guided tour into
economisation. Into poor thinking, labelled
sensations. Calmer, less fuss, evened, glossy. I will
try not to follow the storyline, like an ant caught in a
drawn circle on a table of contents. I will name and
rename us again and again. Us?
The net muddled into a Maze,
flung over the Void. Darkness. Heat.
Silence, fade out. Or something, still.
> ‘Come on.
Sleep, be good.
Photograph © Jon W