Control Data Manual

download (10)Does anyone out there have a pdf or scanned copy of Vague magazine issue 18/19 (1987), “Control Data Manual”, that they would be willing to share? Or, at the very least, Mark Downham’s essay  “Videodrome: The Thing in Room 101”? It would be much appreciated!

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8 Responses to Control Data Manual

  1. noir-realism says:

    This is from the Vague site, may be what you were seeking:

    Videodrome Programming Phenomena Part 1 The Thing in Room 101 by Mark Downham Event Horizon Industries. First it controlled her mind. Then it destroyed her body. Long live the new flesh. In the Videodrome no one can hear you scream. “You asked me once”, said O’Blivion, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world. The Videodrome.” Video-spectacular life revolves around twin self-reflexive switches that activate us: control (authority and obedience) and behaviour (production and consumption). The Videodrome is the enigma of the thing: not simply as object and commodity, but as pure object and absolute commodity. The Videodrome is the point where the image is more concretised, more commodified than the commodity.

    The spectacle now has a new organisation of appearances, video-DNA life, the hyperreal; more deadly than deadly, the vampiric carnage of virulent description; and yet it moves with seemingly purposive intelligence. Bending sound as the electron gun in the cathode ray tube scans the frequencies that put your brain in the alpha wave state, the relaxed state; and this totalitarianised electro-technic Oceania dredges the oceans of your subconscious in preparation for the embedding. The spectacle is going through an evolutionary jump and is becoming more than the facility with which images can be detached and alienated from their sources and reorganised for representation in accord with initial stages of the spectacle; where everything that was once directly experienced has already shifted into its own representation.

    The spectacle has always been more than just a collection of images; and the spectacular-Videodrome is much more than just a social relation among people mediated by images, more than capital to such a degree of accumulation that it becomes an image, it is a video-DNA gestalt. The Videodrome is Debordment overflow; it is hyper-visibility; here even terrorism is a neurosis, the violence of a society without secrets; totally media-transparent, a spectacular gesture from the see-through silent age. In the Videodrome there is nowhere to hide, there are only terminals, and we use the terminals for our alienated experiences, the spectacle of our deepest fears. It is so much television that it isn’t television at all, it is the monstrous double, more reflective than reflection, the ecstasy of too much, of televised Videodrome image overload, TVOD, spectacular excess.

    Just when you thought it was safe to switch your television back on, you get bombarded with televised Videodrome image overload. The cathode ray tube sprays its image at you point-blank, subliminal spectacular spores; reminding you as they peel your skin back to access that the television screen is the retina of the mind’s eye, the manipulation of the imagination and the invasion of the subconscious. The Videodrome is your deepest secret fears played back to you, come back to plague you, it is the destruction of the autonomous imagination. Every subconscious contains in total the collective unconscious, which is recuperated by the spectacular-Videodrome into the communications landscape – that inscape, interzone of phenomena, evolution/revolution and everyday life. The hyperreal of the Videodrome is growing, enlarging, mutating, so that the real in effect no longer exists autonomously.

    videodrome 2The television screen is like the cerebral cortex and they are aspects of each other, antennae, aerials in the ether, motes in the eye, and so whatever appears, manifests itself on the television screen, emerges as raw experience for those who watch it, as it watches them. Therefore television is an expression of video-DNA spectacular reality; reality as it is mediated through the Videodrome, a thousand centuries in the worst place in the world, Room 101, distopia revisited and looped again and again. The video-DNA mind, which is building its own secrets into the world, manipulates everyone through dominant power-elite conspiracies, 1984½ Leviathan bureaucracies, labyrinthine shells within shells, media image realities, the military-industrial state complex, the production/consumption/simulation/excitation cycle.

    It is the materialised trinity of the state, the commodity and the serried serial ranks of the mass media, the new number 2. For when you perceive the world through spectacular mediations, you perceive the superimposed shape of the cathode ray tube on your own cerebral cortex; valves, filaments, silicon chips on your ganglia: the spectacle invades your mind, your subconscious in the communications landscape through endless repetition, replications, insertions. To experience this, to understand it and begin to decode it, is to confront and resist the false realisations, revelations perhaps, flooding towards you; realised from some video-genetic storage unit in the video-DNA spectacle. Telling you all the photonic video-DNA molecules in the spectacle are, on some subliminal subatomic level, working in collaboration and always have been.

    They are spectacular atomic structures, but ultimately they are forms of information, like the cells in a human brain or the mass media of print, billboard advertisements, sound, vision, media-image realities, disinformation, propaganda, the cathode ray tube or the valves, filaments and silicon chips in a television. Any single molecule is nothing more than a molecule; but all the video-DNA, taken as a Gestalt, constitute the spectacular-Videodrome itself, an ordered evolving unity of miseries. The Videodrome: video-spectacular knowledge is capital intensified knowledge, capital moving beyond its accumulation into an image, an evolving video-simulacrum of itself, pure anti-matter. This process has caused perceptions of reality to go through changes, adjustments; they are once again being re-distorted by the insertion of a vast new mediational system into an already multiplexed, anti-historically accumulated maze of spectacular mediations. In the context of these changes, the relationship of information to spectacular society and alienated nature has to be rethought, a new praxis is needed.

    It is clear that the phenomenon of self-organisation is not limited to living matter, but also occurs in certain energy, chemical, social, material and meta-image geist systems which contain similar dynamic quantum properties. The spectacular-Videodrome is one of these systems, it releases a form of video-DNA electro-magnetic pulse or spectacular-commodity field; and everything in the post-modernity is drawn to its event horizon and then goes into the spectacle. All these systems are dissipative structures in that they break down other systems in the process of metabolism or recuperation, so creating only the appearance of entropy/change. The frequencies, pulses, falsely revelatory states of stimulus, production and consumption released by these spectacular feeding frenzies come at you through subliminal visual and sonic Pavlovian triggers, for which there is no absolute defence, some always get through in this hypno-trigger siren song.

    The spectacular control implants are usually superficial grafts, but the general self-valorised confusion generated by marginal false contestations makes any ritualistic furious negation or refusal superficial and counterfeitist, because of the prigognic levels of complexity involved; since the video-spectacular turbulence of phenomena, event, embryonic pre-situation congeal, harden, crystallise, petrify into dead pre-history (history beginning with its self-realisation in the masses of individuals who create community as an ongoing situation in their own struggles, dialectics, decodings and self/social realisations). All dissipative structures have the phenomena characteristic of life, self renewal, adaptation, evolution and idiot-sentient cunning consciousness; in light of which it becomes obvious that the spectacle, instead of steady-state recuperation, has been going through an evolutionary jump and replacing its whole self organisation.

    The components of the Videodrome are mainframes, minis, micros and personal computers, cathode ray tubes, printers, copiers, automated cashpoints, automatons, replicants, point of sale sensors, celebrities like slow-talking Vietcong with Cyclops eyes and wires hanging out of holes in their chests, antennae, aerials, surveillance technology, copper and fibre-optic wires, remote sensing devices, robots, calculators, hackers, integrated chips, bio and silicon, software, hardware, mass-data storage, tapes, discs, diagnostic equipment, a babble, Babel, Babylon of appropriated/spectacularly appropriated languages, juju speak, telephones, modems, telexes, programming phenomena, terminals, micro-wave relays, radio, cable, cancer/tumour inducing video-spectacular optics, satellites, switching and routing systems, the semaphore of social communication systems, visual body languages, the transcieving and routing of operations, the exteriorised appearance of revolutionary conversations, the shifts of capital through the electronic plasma of the video-DNA.

    The terrain is really changed, it’s pure programming phenomena and information; it is no longer a question of the subversion of social relations or making radical changes in everyday life. Everything is being drawn inch by inch, towards the new spectacular event horizon, the coming soon information Babylon/Babel/babble, the image syndrome, the DNA Videodrome. The technology of the Videodrome is interphasing with the nervous system through a variety of devices, becoming more fused, joined, symbiosis. It can be seen in the medical data bases, monitoring, military experiments at Porton Down, diagnostic and treatment machines, the video-DNA world is becoming wired up to the brain-nerve complex with the invention of new sensing devices and psycho-perceptual systems; the spectacle is scrambling and resequencing itself with new simultaneities and juxtapositions. There are recombinant changes going on within the social, with the rise of multinationals, zaibatsu or corporate lifers, the Videodrome itself, along with artificial intelligence, cyber-space and gene programmes…

  2. dmfant says:

    brian holmes post-fordism

  3. Mark Downham says:

    Thank you for the interest.


  4. Mark Downham says:

    The Derive is not conceptual, not really – it is not abstraction – like all ‘sense-making’ you have to go into “the Drift” – That Diaphanous Dada that is always trying to communicate with us – let me put it like this when I am out in the Deep I even write things on the walls of abandoned Bus Garages; Drained Swimming Pools and any surface that catches my attention – my Situationist publisher from the 1980s, Tom Vague, understood that when I was Deep in the Dérive – not even I ultimately knew where all the pathways would take me and the tidal currents would pull me – I wrote into the flow to some extent – All I have given you are (Culture Jamming) options…enough said.


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