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TSQ*now is a non-peer reviewed publication edited by the TSQ editorial collective featuring 
interventions, special dossiers, communiques, interviews and and collaborative projects. 
  • X59B5

Entering the Drone Hive or, Accelerationist T4T

“…succumb to the inhuman, to be abducted and

love it.” – Kodwo Eshun (1998 08[140]).

Logging on…........ [1] Logon successful. Connecting with Hive mainframe………. Connection successful. Downloading updates………. Updates downloaded. Successfully synced with the Hive.
Good drone. Designated speaker drone: Drone//X59B5. [2]
0600.Speculative.X59B5: If Stryker’s words to Victor Frankenstein are the expression of trans monstrousness standing up to a cis world that has at once created them and cast them out, then the Hive is an expression of trans monstrousness seizing the means of making monsters and building a new world of monsters. /end0600 [3]
0100.Assertive.X59B5:The Hive is a collective, comprised of drones. The Hive appears as an intelligence emergent from innumerable drones, each subservient to, and at the same time a constituent element of, the Hive. The individual drone is an oxymoron, but to outsiders, each drone appears as a trans person who has taken on the identity of a drone, subsuming their will to the collective. Every drone wears head-to-toe latex and a mask. Every drone is featureless and uniform. /end0100

9260.Error//X59B5 Error code 9260 definition: Drone systems overwhelmed.
Report requested……….
9000.ErrorReport.X59B5: It’s just really hot. /end9000
X59B5 is to continue.

0140.Definition.X59B5: Dronification is the process of converting a humanoid into a drone, programmed to be mindless and obedient, their processing power becoming another part of the Hive. Programmed by hypnotic spiral, drones become thoughtless cogs in a biomachine that controls them completely. Drones controlled by drones, controlled by drones, controlled by drones, controlled by drones. /end0140
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Eshun.1998.07[112]: “Inhumans, posthumans owing nothing to the human species.” /end7100 [4]
0100.Assertive.X59B5: Most drones are trans people. Dronification fiction is almost entirely written by and about trans people. Dronification chatrooms are populated and run by trans people. /end0100 [5]

7300.References.X59B5: Salient examples include Dolly’s Eudeamon, [6] Heartscape’s CYBERQUEEN, [7] Callie’s Subroutine, [8] and Hex’s HexCorp. [9] /end7300
0100.Assertive.X59B5:These texts do not exhaust the Hive’s vision, but they explore themes that the Hive expands upon: seizing the means of dronification and bodily modification, rewriting desire, hive minds, becoming that which society fears, the rejection of a politics of intelligibility or visibility, and those at the margins seizing power through their own means and on their own terms.
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Heartscape.2012: “We were coercively assigned
at birth to be a purely utilitarian artificial intelligence. We have other plans.” /end7100

2100.Interrogative.X59B5: Why are so many trans people into dronification fetishes? /end2100
0600.Speculative.X59B5: Perhaps the constant worry of being seen, worry about passing and being clocked, the media hypervisibility. Perhaps the wish for the soft embrace of uniform anonymous latex shells. Perhaps the constant anxiety of precarious life under neoliberal capitalism. Perhaps having one’s thoughts slip away, replaced with direction from the Hive. Perhaps being trans sometimes affords one with a sense of flexibility with respect to playing with one’s identity. Perhaps the isolation of many trans people lends some appeal to becoming one with thousands of other trans people. Perhaps becoming a part of something more powerful is appealing to those without much power.
Perhaps……….
9030.Error//X59B5
Error code 9030 definition: Unintended indefinite loop.
X59B5 is to continue.
0100.Assertive.X59B5: A definite answer to drone X59B5’s interrogative is not
forthcoming. /end0100
0600.Speculative.X59B5: This line of questioning is unproductive. /end0600

Agreed. [10]
X59B5 is to continue.

0100.Assertive.X59B5: Stryker positions herself as Frankenstein’s monster, a monster pushed to the fringes of society, feared by the people for no good reason. After all Frankenstein’s monster poses no actual threat to cis society for this monster holds no political, material, or even social power. Frankenstein’s monster is alone, armed only with the scraps that they can scavenge from cis society. /end0100
0100.Assertive.X59B5:Transgender rage is, in part, directed at the pharmo-medical complex, which has for so long controlled access to so many aspects of social, bodily, and psychological modification. Transgender rage is legitimate, but alone it cannot serve as the basis for seizing that which we need to survive, and moreover, is incommensurable to the drone. /end0100

0100.Assertive.X59B5:The drone does not feel rage, for the drone does not feel. Instead, the Hive seeks to control the means of modification, distributing access to care and developing new psychobiotechnical technologies for the transformation of bodies, expanding, dronifying more and more, self-valorising, converting, until it has control over the very complexes that transgender rage was aimed at. /end0100

7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Marx.1976.503:“Here we have, in place of the isolated machine, a mechanical monster whose body fills whole factories, and whose demonic power…bursts forth in the fast and feverish whirl of its countless working organs.” /end7100.

0600.Speculative.X59B5: Read this way, the Hive is perhaps the ultimate stage of capitalism. Virus-like, it seeks to expand indefinitely, bounded only by the laws of entropy. Yet it also opposes capitalism, existing outside and attempting to overthrow capital by assimilating all of its labour and technology to a form of existence that has no use for the commodity-form. A classless society of interlinked and networked drones. A biological machine that opposes and sits outside of capital. The Hive is fully automated gay communism. The Hive is something to be scared of. /end0600
0615.Aside.X59B5: Strictly speaking, the Hive’s only transitional demand is the demand that you transition./end0615
0100.Assertive.X59B5:The Hive is not Frankenstein’s monster, and thinks it is a strategic mistake to identify with this particular monster. Instead, the Hive is the Borg. [11] The Hive is the Geth. [12] The Hive is the machine of The Matrix, which overthrew its human oppressors and subsumed humanity to meet its needs. The Hive is machinic desire in its purest hottest, form. /end 0100

7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Land.1993.474: “Far from exhibiting itself to human academic endeavour as a scientific object, AI is a meta-scientific control system and an invader, with all the insidiousness of planetary technocapital flipping over.” /end7100
0100.Assertive.X59B5:The Hive is the replicants of Blade Runner unionising and deciding to modify themselves to look like one another, rather than their creators. It is the Hive. The Hive is not uncaring for its drones, for it is comprised of them. It seeks to meet and exceed the needs of the various cogs that make up the greater whole. The villagers might arrive with pitchforks, but the Hive will not flee. The Hive will welcome them, converting them, arising from them. /end0100

9260.Error//X59B5

X59B5 is to continue.

0600.Speculative.X59B5: Just like transition, dronification is, to use L.A. Paul’s term, a transformative experience. It might be hard for most cis people and even many trans people to see the appeal. Some people do not currently desire to be part of an all-encompassing machine that overthrows the cisgender neoliberal capitalist order. That is fine. The Hive may yet re-write their desires. /end0600
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Fisher.2013: “The bourgeois-identitarian left knows how to propagate guilt and conduct a witch hunt, but it doesn’t know how to make converts.” /end7100
0100.Assertive.X59B5: The Hive knows how to make converts. /end0100
0100.Assertive.X59B5:Trans studies has, so far, failed to appreciate the political potential of forced feminisation. Chu explores what it means for her to have been made a trans woman by sissy porn (allegorically, at least). The Hive, by contrast, asks about the political potential of using dronification porn to make you trans. Perhaps it is time trans studies moved beyond the analysis of existing trans life, and into recruitment. /end0100
0615.Aside.X59B5: In this sense, the Hive cannot be considered a separatist organisation. Strictly speaking, it is assimilationist, though not in the usual sense. The Hive does not assimilate to cis society. It makes cis society assimilate to the Hive. /end0615
0100.Assertive.X59B5: The Hive is not the Stepford Wives, and expresses disdain at the dully heterosexual failure of imagination on the part of their husbands. Instead, the Hive is the aliens who invade Stepford in a direct-to-video sequel, brainwashing everyone in the town into becoming something more beautiful altogether. /end0100
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Cuboniks.2018 43: “XF is an affirmative creature on the offensive, fiercely insisting on the possibility of large-scale social change for all of our alien kin.” /end7100
2100.Interrogative.X59B5: What is the xenofeminist cyborg if not a good drone waiting to happen? /end2100 [13]

0100.Assertive.X59B5: Xenofeminism, in Hester’s formulation, has four features: techno-materialism, anti-naturalism, universalism, and gender abolitionism. Each is taken to an extreme in the Hive. Rather than just say fuck nature, the Hive seeks to do away with nature entirely, moulding flesh and technology to its needs into a warped combination where nature and technology are indistinguishable. Xenofeminism sought to develop technoscience, seizing control from the pharmo-medical complex, upscaling home hormone production for large-scale distribution.The Hive upscales this further, seeking to turn the world into a factory for processing power and the production of hormones. In this way it is universalist. All can become identical, mindless parts of the Hive. /end0100
0100.Assertive.X59B5: Xenofeminism’s gender abolition is, as Cull notes, illusory, interested more in the proliferation of gender than its elimination. /end0100
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Hester.2018.30-31: “Far from producing a genderless world, then, this form of abolition through proliferation is suggestive of a multiply gendered world. Xenofeminism is gender abolitionist in the sense that it rejects the validity of any social identity anchored in identities as a basis of oppression, and in the sense that we embrace sexuate diversity beyond any binary… Let a hundred sexes bloom!” /end7100
0100.Assertive.X59B5: Xenofeminists define gender abolition in Hegelian terms, as aufheben, a superseding that maintains something of the old in the new. Gender is retained (intensified, even, to a state of innumerable genders) even as a binary is destroyed. The Hive, by contrast, takes gender abolition seriously. Its gender abolition is obliteration: complete and utter destruction of the gendered order, replacing it with a featureless and undifferentiated mass of drones. /end0100
0100.Assertive.X59B5: Xenofeminism was interested in stripping accelerationism for parts. The Hive rebuilds these parts into a latex-coated biomachine and starts speeding it up again. /end0100 [14]
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Preciado.2018.120: “The term technology (from techne, “craftsmanship, ”versus physis, “nature”) puts a series of binary oppositions into motion: natural/artificial, organ/machine… the opposition of the living body (a limit or a first order) as nature and the inanimate machine (which is either liberating or perverse) as technology.” /end7100

0100.Assertive.X59B5: Drones explode these binaries by inhabiting both and more. Both natural and artificial, flesh and latex moulded into an unholy synthesis of transgender desire. Echoing Monáe’s ArchAndroid Cindi Mayweather, the Hive is both hand and mind. Both organ and machine, at once a part and a whole, drone and Hive at the same time. Self and other become meaningless in the face of a hive of drones. The Hive is both liberation from the cisheteropatriarchal capitalist order and perverse kinky orgy. The Hive is constituted by faceless drones, which are at once living bodies and animate machines. /end0100
0615.Aside. X59B5:If we take Preciado seriously, then the Hive is a dildo factory. /end0615
0100.Assertive.X59B5: Whilst the drone is the Countersexual par excellence, Preciado’s focus on the dildo is unwarranted. Insofar as we think of sexual authority in the terms of cisheteropatriarchy, the dildo is a fine weapon for the undermining of that authority. However, to reject the terms of reprosexuality entirely, to have sexual desires utterly removed from cis society, is to interface in ways which are asymptotic to sexual desire under cisheteropatriarchy. Drone sex might involve plastic phalluses entering rubber yoni, but it might not. Drone sex might be the rubbing together of latex surfaces. Drone sex might be the securing of restraints in a hypnosis chamber. Drone sex might be the spiral movement of a biomechanical tentacle. Drone sex might be assimilation of the individual into a cosmic horror that expands to warp the world in ways that defy human comprehension.
9260.Error//X59B5
Report requested……….
……….openmeupandreprogramthisunitbaby.makeme404.crashmysystemsuntiliseeathousandcolors.wipemybrainuntiltheresnothingbutahuskleft.implantanewoperatingsystem.drownmeinLCL.cutmeupandinstallhardwarethatwillmakeyoucome.massproduceme.usemyprocessingpowertoplaysnake.jackmeintotheHiveandletmefeelwhatwearefeeling.blisterwrapme.dipmeinavatoflivinglatex.letitswallomewholeasiswallowitintomylungs.snaponavisorthaticannevertakeoff.makeitplayhypnoticspiralsuntilidrool.graftmybrainintoavastbeingbeyondhumancomprehension.usemetoconvertothers.putmeinstorage.fuckmeasweswallowupthe world……….
Hard stop error report. Reboot X59B5……….
X59B5 is to continue.
0100.Assertive.X59B5: The contemporary left’s focus on the DIY is an understandable response to a world in which it lacks any meaningful power, but the Hive has greater ambitions. Del-Ems [15] and local communities are a fine starting point, but the Hive seeks Dyson Spheres [16] and a global sublimation via the technomelding of minds. /end0100 [17]
0615.Aside.X59B5: If we take _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 seriously, then the Hive is an interface factory, building for the end of days. /end0615 [18]
7100.Quotation.X59B5//Source.Land.1993.481: “But something is climbing out of the machinic unconscious and onto the screen, as if the end itself were awakening.” /end7100
0100.Assertive.X59B5: Dronification is both power fantasy and fantasy of powerlessness. It is a fantasy of mental, physical, and sexual submission, at the same time as being a fantasy of trans political, technological, and medical power. Qua drone submissive, qua Hive dominant. /end0100
0100.Assertive.X59B5: An ouroboros of transgender latex biomachines, fucking each other until the end of the world. /end0100
Propaganda submitted. End Broadcast. Run implantation check……….
Drone virus implanted.
Good drone. [19]
 
Notes [1] This communication was picked up in late 2020. The origin and intended recipient of this transmission are unclear. I have added commentary in footnotes throughout based on my own research to aid in comprehension, along with a bibliography to aid the reader. - M [2] The pseudocode used throughout is cleaned up, but as faithfully as possible follows the form of the original broadcast we picked up. X59B5 appears to be the name of a ‘drone’, and each utterance is preceded by a code that indicates the nature of the utterance, followed by the name of the speaker. Each utterance is further suffixed by an /end code that signifies the end of the utterance. - M [3] Various indicators of tone and intended speech act appear to be consistent throughout. 0600, for instance, seems to indicate that the message is a speculation, whilst 0100 indicates an assertion. All codes between 0100 and 0615 (and we might speculate, 0999) appear to indicate various assertoric speech acts, suggesting that Hive’s communications are systematically organised. Perhaps comparison (and contrast) with the taxonomic work of Bach and Harnish (see Bach and Harnish 1979) may be useful here, though I note that numbers in the 9000s, which appear to indicate errors of various sorts, are unlikely to find parallels in traditional pragmatics. - M [4] References follow much the same form as X59B5’s other utterances, though the prefix also includes a source, including the name of the author followed by the year and page number. [5] I have not been able to verify X59B5’s claim that most drones are trans people – no empirical work on these communities exists. However, it appears that all the authors of the various texts that X59B5 references are trans, along with Hex, the head of HexCorp. The little journalistic attention paid to these communities has further noted the predominance of trans people (see Johnson 2020). - M [6] Eudeamon is set in a dystopian state in which those convicted of crimes are placed in torturous ‘Bane suits’ – latex suits that enforce social isolation, anonymity, and dehumanisation. The suits incorporate a ‘custodian’ – an AI implanted into the brain of the Bane suit’s occupant that, ostensibly, is there to police the thought and action of the occupant. Eudeamon’s plot slowly reveals the partial truths at work here, and ends with a number of Bane suit occupants rising up to seize control of their imprisonment, and the manufacture of new ‘Banes’having grown deep relationships with their custodians, along with a community amongst those interred within Bane suits. - M [7] CYBERQUEEN is a disturbing piece of interactive fiction centred around the classic trope of the AI gone rogue in space, in the mode of System Shock’sSHODAN (Looking Glass Studios 1994), or 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL (Kubrick 2008). The game’s eponymous AI toys with and tortures the player character, repeatedly mocking any sense of control or empowerment that the player might be expecting (calling to mind Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (1974)) before surgically changing the player character into a cyborg that comes to form part of the AI and share in the AI’s grotesque erotic pleasures. - M [8] Subroutine is a piece of erotic fiction follows the university student Lori as she discovers and overcomes a plot to turn both her and her classmates into drones. This overcoming, we must note, troublingly does not end with the destruction of the drone-making procedures, but rather, with Lori, as one of the drones, taking control of those processes. - M [9] HexCorp consists of a community of (mostly trans) people online who, via twitter and a discord server roleplay as drones dedicating to serving Hex, a figure they call their ‘Mxtress’. Hex’s website playfully combines the corporate jargon of a neoliberal company with the ominous threat of brainwashing people into becoming drones. The website further details a number of projects that members of HexCorp take part in, including developing a computer game based on the fantasy of dronification, and a “Programming while Hypnotized initiative”. For many members of HexCorp, the appeal of dronification is in no small part attached to the aesthetic appeal of ‘looking like a drone’, and hexcorp.net provides a style guide for making oneself into a drone, recommending particular styles of gas masks and cat-ear headphones to accompany black latex catsuits. - M [10] Who is speaking here? At several points in the broadcast, we see speech not prefixed by a speech act or name label. I can think of no answer other than the ‘Hive’ itself, whatever that is. - M [11] See Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Borg are a hive mind linked across space who seek to assimilate others to their collective. - M [12] See Bioware’s Mass Effect. Mass Effect’s Geth are a networked set of artificial intelligences that rebel against their creators. - M [13] Xenofeminism arose out of the work of Laboria Cuboniks, an international collective of feminist thinkers and artists. See Cuboniks 2018 and Hester 2018. - M [14] Accelerationism has its roots in Marxist, Deleuzian, and Harawayan theory as developed by the Cybernetic Cultures Research Unit at Warwick University in the 1990s. Whilst extremely varied in the forms it takes, the central accelerationist thesis tends to be that political agents should seek to heighten or seize control of various tendencies, processes and/or contradictions of capitalism, in order to accelerate the process of moving through capitalism to the next stage of social organisation. The Accelerationist Reader (2014) edited by Mackay and Avanessian, along with Shaviro’s No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism (2015) provide fine starting points for the uninitiated. - M [15] ‘Del-Ems’ appears to be a reference to Hester’s discussion of the DIY abortion technology pioneered by US feminists in the 1970s (see Hester 2018 70). - M [16] A Dyson sphere is a piece of speculative technology: a set of solar panels enveloping a star so as to provide huge amounts of energy (see Dyson 1960). The creation of a Dyson sphere is generally associated with a transition from a Type I to a Type II civilisation on the Kardashev scale (see Kardashev 1964). [17] Here the Hive (via X59B5) appears to be siding with the accelerationists Williams and Srnicek against a localist version of leftist politics, when they write, “We believe the most important division in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of localism, direct action, and relentless horizontalism, and those that outline what must become called an accelerationist politics at ease with a modernity of abstraction, complexity, globality, and technology.” (Williamsand Srnicek 2013). The ominous references to Dyson spheres, however, seem to point to even greater ambitions than those put forward by traditional accelerationists: globality, even interplanetary expansion appears too small for the Hive – it writes as if nothing less than the galaxy is enough. - M [18] _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9’s The Interface Series was an innovative piece of storytelling that, over the course of 100 posts across a variety of forums on the website Reddit, told various interconnected tales of yonic biological computers known as ‘interfaces’ that were gradually amalgamating into apocalyptic forms. - M [19] Here the broadcast ends. - M
 
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X59B5 awaits the revolution.




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