Any action pertaining to the technological milieu must remain on the fringes because this milieu is extraordinarily enveloping and, I might say, extraordinarily seductive. While crowds of people adopt all the technological developments, we can act only on individual levels. Hence, this is a true artisan’s work.

Nonetheless I am fully convinced that my slow labor, involving small numbers of people, is actually a point of departure for an internal change in society. To use big words, confronted with the technological phenomenon and the new milieu we live in, we must have “mutants.” Not the mutants of science fiction—the technological human being with a robot’s brain—but quite the opposite.

To be a mutant a person needs to become someone who can use the technologies and at the same time not be used by, assimilated by, or subordinated to them. This implies a development of the intellect and a development of consciousness which can come about only for individuals, but it is the only development possible.
— Jacques Ellul

The Spectacle is based on the lives and works of many artists, activists, scholars, visionaries, prophets, and patriots: the “few among us” from The Fable of the Poison Grain. These are people who not only sought escapes from our technocratic prison, but also risked their reputations, careers, and sometimes even lives to throw a rope back to break us out with them.

Prophets AND Patriots

These modern-day prophets and patriots are, for well-known reasons, often ignored, scorned, and attacked during their lives, usually in that order, directly proportional to their influence. Regardless of their individual fates, their truths follow a remarkably consistent trajectory:

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
— Unknown*


In accordance with Jacques Ellul’s framework as set out above and in The Spectacle Manifesto, I consider my major influences “mutants” and use the term as the highest form of praise: a designation for those rare, courageous truth-tellers who remain human in a dehumanized world. Click below to read about each inductee into the Spectacle Pantheon. 




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The Fable of the Poison Grain

The Spectacle Manifesto

Lewis Mumford


Jacques Ellul, Perspectives on Our Age

* The “stages of truth” quote is often attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer, but has yet to be discovered in his works. The sentiment, however, rings true in regard to the usual treatment of dissenting ideas.