An invitation to conspire
“To conspire means to breathe together.” This statement was made by Simon Asencio, who heard it from Eleanor Ivory Weber, who saw it on an Andy Warhol poster.
Therefore ‘conspire’ also means to let each other breathe.
‘Conspiratorial’ gameplay engages players without automatically antagonizing them. They col-lude, which means they play together, against the game itself, which makes them Accomplices.
The notion of the Accomplice is similar to that of the trickster but it implies the relation to another. Their belonging is not necessarily based on likeness or next of kin but bound by a common goal or condition that outlaws them.
It proposes an interaction with other objects and beings from onsidedness to a relationship that is based on reciprocity and
accountability for one another. It is a self critical engagement with that role we take within such a relationship.
This is also an exploration of CRITICAL EMPATHY
“A concept that emphasizes the limitations and complications of empathy from reflexive perspectives. It does not only refer to the process of imaging another person’s point of view or emotional state, but also to an awareness of the limitations and complications of empathy.”
— DeStigter, Todd.(1999)
Which also relates directly to Haraways insights:
“If you take anybody seriously, one of the things you learn is not knowing. That’s one thing I learned from Cayenne and my other dogs. Not knowing is a quasi-Buddhist value. And the appreciation of not knowing and letting that be is something you learn in a serious relationship. It’s a kind of letting go. Not knowing and being with each other not knowing.”
Accomplices have an enduring mutual relatedness that carries consequences.
This can also be said about objects, especially daily objects whose lives and deaths are in fact deeply intertwined with our own lives and even deaths.
LIFE AND DEATH OF THE ACCOMPLICE
Planned obsolescence and the meantime
The concept of ‘The Accomplice’ considers technological tools, as counterparts rather than obedient objects. The screen - has become our best and worst accomplice. Impossible to deny it’s influence over us. Some might even call it agency. Dead locking our gaze. Right now.
But as it silently caters to our needs, we begin to see right through it. Designing tools as obedient servants like Siri, we hurt ourselves in casting us the role of the master. There is no lack of anthropomorphizing.
And yet our relentless consummation of raw materials creates inhumane suffering. Planned obsolescence is obliteration. A criminal forgetting of all the lives that are connected to the materials we touch. You can watch anything being destroyed on YouTube. Stop your eyes on its surface.
Do things need to break for us to value them?
The screen is a portal...but it also works as a shield. We have become used to its magic. We are desensitized to the images flickering over the screen. They can even make our own bodies seem like a distant world.
A backdrop for some sci-fi film.
The screen itself is a body. It is material. So is electricity.
Lightenings leave lightening shaped scars on our body.
Liquid crystals are a material that is in between liquid and solid. An inbetween state, that the screen produces perpetually.
Plastic is basically dead plankton and glas is molten sand. As you watch this video on the prehistoric ocean, you may stand by while the screen reflects its distant origins.