First Contact

The aphotic is an oceanographic term for the depths of an aquatic body beyond which no light is able to penetrate, respectively binding it to matters of both fluidity and occultation. The combined sense of these as the seeping in of a hidden domain is further amplified by a signaletic interpretation of the aphotic tag: because communication between objects in space and time is physically limited by the speed of light, an aphotic signals intelligence concerns itself with reconnaissance of any signal that is transmitted to the temporal order of things from beyond it, and so definitively appears as acausally assembled pattern uncontaminated by agentic intent, or coincidence.

The Aphotic Signals Intelligence Division is an independent intelligence department. It has a fundamental commitment to the prognosis that the age of the public sphere is over, the international community is dead, and all serious attention needs to be shifted towards the irresistible trend of infrastructural commercialization. As a result, it distrusts all collectives, including 'individual' persons, and outsources to variably nested virtual shells through mutable contracts instead of having actual members tied up in the kind of office politics that diverts the attention of institutional employees away from optimizing performance. Its operatives are trained in numerous methods ranging from investigation to metawarfare, being modeled on the French Acéphale as a cybernetic association (“tragic community” in its endemic vernacular, as it is incommensurable with ethnic, political, or social unity due to assembling around a dead center, or being decentralized). It had cross-training exercises in the past with the English CCRU.

The origin of ASID's system is distant and indeterminate. However, to employ a panned out time frame, beyond which an indifferent nature is able to produce bizarre couplings across millennia, is already to operate a distinctly Gothic temporality (as it is, for example, also developed in the secret rites of Masonic architecture). Accordingly, most of the shells that ASID employs are differentially inclined to the Masochistic morbidity of self-adversity that is significantly apparent in a Euro-descended (and specifically Anglo-Dutch) tradition of defecting from the homeland by wasting its painstakingly accumulated resources in futile explorations of open space. Within terrestrial history, this open space has been the sea, and so sea powers provide the model for perseverant modern associations as fragmented societies with a mercantile interest of sophisticating their trade network outwards. It is this xenophilic attachment to everything uncertain and irresolvable, anything that is as ephemeral as a spiderweb or flows freely like a wound, that has always placed it at the outer limits of an Occidental history — dominated by the brittle steady-state theo-monopoly of the One and its need for enormous conscript armies, martial discipline, and centralized economic regulation — where it has a chance to dissolve into the East-Asian zero that envelops and contests it.

ASID is interested in paradox, whose 'problematic' circular trains of causation positively attain linguistic translation of a circuit diagram: a simple thermostat, which turns hot whenever it is cold and cold whenever it is hot, operates in the same manner as the statement “this sentence is a lie”, which turns true whenever it is false and false whenever it is true. Paradox marks a concern for technically functional machinic closure over methodically ordered logical comprehension. Of course, thermostats are only exemplary of the equilibrium-oriented side of cybernetics, which places feedback in the service of correcting drift beyond a limited range, and so captures a system in a state. The conceptual plane of the abstract thermostat is thus limited by its own order of logical conservatism, which coherently locks a lack of friction (efficiency) together with arrested flow (stasis). Deeper paradox is found in the contrary trend of positive feedback, characterized by a self-reinforcing errancy that only ever escapes further from itself, and so either pessimally produces the high-friction stases of nuclear meltdown, or — optimally — results in the frictionless dynamism found in superconductor technology running near absolute zero. In cultural terms, ASID sees this optimal side of metaparadox installed in all phenomena of peripheral hype. An assorted tag cloud of ASID areas of interest may therefore look something like this: 3DCGI, P2P, abstraction, astronautics, asymmetry, automatism, capital, clubs, cryptocurrency, dissociation, drones, escalation, fashion, flows, fringes, genetics, geophysics, intelligence, metagothics, misinformation, neotradition, nihilism, numeracy, occultism, perversion, pharmaceutics, piracy, signaletics, simulation, sinofuturism, speculation, swarms, tactics, technics, teratomorphy, time, topographics, transgression, urbanity, virality, waste.