– Spring/Summer 2016

Naisho Wave Manifesto (Secrecy Wave Manifesto)

Terre Thaemlitz

Image by Terre Thaemlitz, 2014, pencil on A4 printer paper. Courtesy the artist

As of 1 May 2013, several uploads of my tracks on YouTube were removed, and replaced with a statement that they are ‘no longer available due to a copyright claim by Terre Thaemlitz’. I did, in fact, file the take-down requests. However, my reasons had nothing to do with the implied legal reassertion of authorship rights, nor typical fears of lost royalties. It was about the necessity in some cultural arenas for silence. Silence as an active form of communication. Silence as a part of our consumer relationships to music. A silence not unlike the one described by Susan Sontag in a 1979 interview in Rolling Stone magazine:

the nature of modern communication systems is that anything can be said, any context is equivalent to any other context, so that things can be placed in many different contexts at the same time, like photography. But there’s something profoundly compromising about that situation. Of course, there’s also a great advantage to it because it allows for a liberty of action and consciousness that people have never had before. But it means that you can’t keep original or profound meanings intact because inevitably they’re disappointed, adulterated, transformed and transmuted – it’s a world in which everything

  1. Jonathan Cott, Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013, pp.121–22.

  2. ‘Women “birthing machines” says Japan’s health minister’, The Scotsman, 29 January 2007, available at http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/women-birthing-machines-says-japan-s-health-minister-1-679904 (last accessed on 24 November 2015).

  3. Masahiro Tsuchiya, speaking in Real Scenes Tokyo, available at http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?1983 (last accessed on 24 November 2015).

  4. Conversation with author, 2014; speaker wishes to remain anonymous.

  5. Sadly, as I was preparing this text, someone uploaded the complete videos to Soulnessless onto YouTube, forcing me to immediately ‘push the reset button’ for a second time before 1 May 2014 could even come around. While I was at it, I also requested that YouTube remove additional pages – some including complete full-length albums –which had been uploaded since the first ‘reset’, just ten months earlier. It’s a pity these ‘fans’ who least understand the themes behind my projects determine so much of my online visibility. It is a pity they will never see the irony behind their performance of the very cultural tendencies I actively oppose through my projects. And most of all, it is a pity that their actions are never surprising. Only predictable.