All Lockers Must Be Emptied and Unlocked

Ana Mafalda Henriques — The Degenerative Press

Material and dramatic gestures, such as burning a physical book, call for dramatic responses, but what happens when book censorship is no longer manifested in great fires, when books suppression is not signalled by the smell of smoke? The fundamental question is no longer if censorship exists but instead, what kind, and in which form.

This project explores the lack of visual brutality in digital censorship and its effectiveness; exposing the role of our behaviour in these platforms, as well as the forming precedents which will shape a shifting culture. Are we actively encouraging and creating conditions for censorship to evolve by not being rigorous and demanding enough about the quality of information available online? It is a strange moment we live in, where press freedom is compromised in over a third of the world, a world where information seems so easily accessible and yet so equally volatile.

How it works: An algorithm has been developed which hacks currently censored books across various cultures, altering their meaning and messages by repositioning their original words and constructing new narratives.