Extreme Futurist Festival

I really hate to live on the wrong continent. Not because one can’t buy music is iTunes in Russia, but because I am missing all the meetings worth going to. I believe Extreme Future Festival, put together by Rachel Haywire and Michael Anissimov is one of those gatherings. I am sure alliances like underground culture plus academia could yield new creative thoughts and collaborations. In my opinion, transhumanism really lacks good design (seriously, 95% of the time) and better conversations with the artistic audience. So, I really enjoyed the story by Summerspeaker, who was lucky to witness all the great and less-than-great things at the Festival this weekend. His perception of the event reflects the admiration of the people and their ideas and simultaneous frustration with the movement as an organization. It’s too bad I didn’t have the chance to be part of the event and describe my own impression. I am sure though, that I will try to make it to the next one, because the whole idea of the Festival seems extremely attractive to me.


Filed under Transhumanism

3 responses to “Extreme Futurist Festival

  1. Extreme Futurist Festival of Transhumanism 2011 fronted by Rachel
    ‘Haywire’ Mendelson : A Review


    100$ for 20 minutes of Natasha Vita Moore (phoning her speech in with
    a webcam!) burbling her stale 20 year old unchanged gerbil noise? NO

    This event was total bullshit, and it was founded by a bullshit
    artist, thief and serial lying scumbag Rachel ‘Haywire’ Mendelson, who
    has the worst reputation imaginable for lying and systematic
    harassment in the industrial music community that completely rejected

    This event is only 1 centimeter away in importance from any old Star
    Trek or Comic Book Con, and it is comprised of and serves fantasy and
    the dorks/nerds/goths who have no other frame of reference but

    “Energy Through Crystals”? That is exactly the kind of bullshit the
    atheistic and rational majority of Singulatarians REJECT VEHEMENTLY.

    You paid 100$ to attend this nonsense? You should have bought yourself
    food. You wasted your time and money, this event is bourgeoisie,
    elitist and Ayn Rand Objectivist Libertarian to its core but with a
    weird and really inexplicable veneer of new age occultism.

    also, all the music and art with one sole exception was performed by
    unknown amateurs, friends of Rachel Haywire. And it was all juvenile
    and childish, with nothing of substance to it at all. And performed w/
    o even a stage! in a crappy little conference room with people sitting
    in chairs! I left and came back for Hanin Elias, but she is tired and
    worn out, stale now in her latter day state. This whole event was only
    the Extreme Future of 1992. Cyberpunk is bullshit and these people
    responsible for this non-event are complete bullshit artists, the sole
    medium in which they excel At All.

    P.S. ……… I snuck in w/o paying also. this crapfest wasn’t even
    worth 15$, needless to say 100$….!


    I write this post from the Starbucks at Union Station mere hours after
    the festivities ended. The experience has left me simultaneously
    hopeful about the possibilities of the transhumanist movement and
    overwhelmed by its absurdity. Our dreams of body and society
    transformed via technology become almost unintelligible when read
    through the lived realities of the present day – especially for those
    of us on the margins of capitalist industrial civilization. Torn jeans
    and toes peeking out of worn-out sneakers defined the bus ride here
    from the cozy conference hotel in Marina del Rey. Through the lens of
    inequality and impotence, I perceive a wealth of productive tensions
    in the ideological foundations and material dynamics in effect at
    Extreme Futurist Festival 2011.

    The event featured an eclectic mixture of themes, aesthetics, and
    political positions broadly united under the umbrella of culture and
    technology. Speaker topics ranged from the neuroscience of vision to
    polyamory. Ian Midgley‘s presentation on Open Source Ecology appealed
    the most to me. The decentralization and democratization of the means
    of production would prove a great boon to creating revolutionary
    autonomous communities. Here we find a point of convergence between
    the communist anarchism I advocate and the libertarianism that
    permeates the transhumanist scene. The interest in independence and
    innovation I encountered from XFF participants resonates with me and
    stands out as an site for collaboration. We can at least agree on the
    vast negative utility caused by state coercion and above all
    government collusion; the Occupy Wall Street movement made various
    appearances and received significant sympathy.

    However, the transhumanist emphasis on creating alternative systems
    rather than engaging in social struggle to dismantle the existing
    order comes hand in hand with a problematic conception of power. I
    suspect Michael Anissimov and company underestimate the importance of
    established oppressive hierarchies. Access to technology, information,
    and physical resources remains profoundly limited for almost all of
    us. The project of escaping inequality through personal empowerment
    and open-source entrepreneurship strikes me as primed for failure. I
    enthusiastically support the spread of knowledge and spirit of
    creativity but consider these things utterly insufficient to undo the
    nightmare of heteropatriarchal capitalism I walk through daily. How
    can we forge a parallel society when the bosses control the bulk of
    the world’s wealth and jealously defend their dominance with extreme
    force? In the absence of massive solidarity networks, seasteading
    seems doomed to either serve the interests of corporate and elite
    sponsors or succumb to violent repression at the first spark of

    The all-to-human details of XFF highlight the chasm between
    transhumanist visions of post-scarcity playgrounds and the our
    contemporary powerlessness. Unsurprisingly, in practice transhumanists
    function rather like anybody else. Michael doesn’t have comic-book
    superpowers just yet. When I walked to the location of the XFF VIP
    party on Friday morning, I performed the role of biological alarm
    clock for the event organizers. We made signs for merchandise that
    nobody bought with sharpies and sheets of paper ripped from notebooks.
    The plan to cook a meal for the pool party foundered for lack of
    funds. Because of student debt and arguably neurosis, I had to get by
    on the bags of walnuts and pecans I’d brought with me. My mind raced
    through the fascinating conversations I’d had at the party and my
    stomach growled as hoofed it the three miles back to the CouchSurfing
    host I was staying with.

    The fun last night concluded with a drunken romp through the Courtyard
    Marriott. We hummed in unison, channeled energy through crystals, and
    sang slurred Christmas songs in Michael’s room. Once an ultimatum came
    from hotel security, we scattered to the hot tub are only to be
    evicted again. Under the influence of alcohol, XFF attendees started
    to resemble the bro culture they earlier criticized. Despite the
    notable embrace of queerness and feminism, there’s still plenty of
    straight white dudeness to work on in the transhumanist scene. Our
    reliance on the labor of the hotel staff and unseen workers across the
    globe to make this sort of technological conference possible went
    completely unacknowledged and unexplored.

    Because CS hosts frown on surfers stumbling in at the wee hours of the
    night, I found myself without a place to sleep when the curtains
    finally closed. Thanks the generosity of fellow attendees, I ate and
    socialized until at an IHOP until about 4am. Only then did I trudge to
    bus stop and take a long trip back to downtown LA with a bunch of
    homeless folks. Here at Union Station, the driver hustled eir sleepy
    passengers out of the bus. What does transhumanism mean to people on
    the street and those toiling to facilitate our speculation? Apart from
    millionaires like Ray Kurzweil and Peter Thiel, does the movement have
    even a silver of the material power required to turn fantasies into

    I share this story and raise these questions with twin intentions of
    entertainment and constructive criticism. I thoroughly enjoyed XFF
    2011 and extend my appreciation to the organizers and performers. In
    an echo of Kim Solez’s goal to mass appeal, I encourage the
    transhumanist movement to engage more substantively with workers,
    local community, and social justice activism. Let’s continue to expand
    this compelling conversation.


    Electric Hellfire Club / Terrorfakt Responds To Nazi Allegations by
    Rachel ‘Haywire’ Mendelson

    posted May 18, 2010 at 12:44 PM by xFiruath. (1 Comment)

    Wilhelm Curse of The Electric Hellfire Club has checked in with the
    following statement about allegations that Terrofakt band mate Ben
    DeWalt is involved with Nazism:

    “For any of the fans of the EHC who are into rhythmic noise and
    hard industrial; some of you may have heard the escalating rumor
    that Ben DeWalt, my friend, co-conspirator, and the founder of
    Terrofakt, is a Nazi. This could not be further from the truth. Ben
    has been our close friend for nearly 15 years, and we know that he
    is anything but a white supremacist. For the last few years I have
    had the privilege to play with Ben, as a member of Terrorfakt.
    During this time, I have come to know Ben much better than I ever
    did during the years that he represented the EHC. He is my close
    friend, and comrade in arms. He is a proud patriotic American, who
    firmly believes in the values that this great nation was founded
    on… among those being that all of us are created equal.

    “My time with Terrorfakt has introduced me to many other associated
    acts and musicians, and to Terrorfakt’s fanatically loyal fan base,
    all being of various ethnic and even religious backgrounds.
    Accordingly, I can categorically deny that any of these accusations
    have any merit to them. This smear campaign against Ben is
    perpetuated by an Industrial music outcast named Rachel Mandelson.
    She is more ‘popularly’ known as the idiot behind ‘Experiment
    Haywire.’ She is an individual who has failed to garner any success
    on her own, and has taken to making slanderous and libelous
    accusations against a much more popular and successful act, in
    order to gain attention for herself.

    “Her entire issue with Terrorfakt stems from Ben’s refusal to
    peddle her merch at a music festival that she gained illegal entry
    to, thereby denying the performing bands (and promoter) their just
    compensation. She blames everyone but herself for her failure as a
    musician, and claiming that Ben has ruined her ‘career’ because of
    her Jewish heritage is her way of trying to garner sympathy through
    portraying herself as a victim, rather that simply a failure. I
    have long been a believer in the old show business saying of ‘There
    is no such thing as bad press,’ and to automatically confirm any
    rumor told about me (or the EHC) as being true. However, Ben finds
    the contention of his being a Nazi to be offensive, and clearing
    his name is of personal importance to him. To that end, I have felt
    the need to address the issue publicly, and to support my friend. I
    ask you, our fans, to help put a stop to this rumor, by correcting
    anyone that you hear repeating it, and to not support Rachel
    Mandelson or Experiment Haywire in any way.”

    Below is a repost from Kinetik Productions Inc.:

    Kinetik Productions Inc
    Montreal (Qc) Canada
    NEQ: 1164635469

    Object : Rachel Haywire / machineKUNT Records / Experiment

    Montréal, November 29th 2009,

    Kinetik Productions wishes to bring to your attention the
    continual attack from Ms. Haywire against the Kinetik Festival and
    Kinetik Productions company image. Over the past 3 years, we have
    asked several websites to remove her harmful and derogative
    comments concerning the Kinetik Festival and the musical acts
    present during the festival.

    Unfortunately, she had made a personal business to attack the
    festival and some bands performing during Kinetik festival, without
    investigating the alleged facts. She tried to put down the festival
    based on her statements. The severity and frequency of her false
    allegations gives us no choice but to warn you against Ms Rachel

    For the past three years, we had to get in touch with Ms
    Haywire in order to ask her to stop these repeated, intrusive and
    unwanted words, intended to adversely affect the reputation of the
    bands and the Kinetik festival. She, unfortunately, neglected to
    answer our demands and continued attacking the festival and its

    The Kinetik festival mission is to cultivate originality,
    innovation and diversity in the musical performance arena. During
    this event, several emerging and well-established artists gather in
    Montreal to celebrate. We have worked hard to bring together this
    dream and cannot tolerate Ms Haywire incessant and derogatory

    The Festival past editions have shown the audience, the
    industry and the musicians how professional, distinguish and well
    organized the festival is. In collaboration with the major labels,
    production companies and bands, Kinetik Festival is pleased to
    bring together the largest North American electro-Industrial

    With this letter, we wish to raise the concern and bring to
    your attention this abnormal situation, as some of you may have
    worked in collaboration with Ms. Haywire in the past.

    In many occasion, Ms Haywise made disparaging comments
    concerning the Kinetik Festival and among other, the band
    Terrorfakt. Erroneously giving them a Neo-Nazi / white power
    denominate. She opened numerous website and posted several comments
    in order to gain some visibility and credibility with these
    disparaging remarks and trying to affect the festival.

    Being officially recognized by the Canadian government and
    other governmental institutions, we cannot, under any circumstance,
    endorse this form of harassment. We trust that you will take
    similar action and no longer work with her on any level.

    Jean-Francois Fortin Gadoury
    Director Kinetik Productions

    Cc : Metropolis records, Out of Lines records, Blackrain
    records, Noitekk records, Artoffact Records, Pronoize, Storming the
    Base, Music None Stop, DSBP, Neuwerk management, Protain
    management, Soman, Blank, Caustic, Leaether Strip, XP8, Ambassador
    21, Grendel, Feindflug, Terrorfakt, Hocico, KMFDM, Kommor Komando,
    Autoclav 1.1, FGFC820, Noisex, Alter Der Ruine, Kiew,

    *Please feel free to forward this to anyone that may find it
    interesting and beneficial.
    over a year ago
    In my opinion Ms Haywire is one crazy person!
    over a year ago
    Well duh. The good thing is that everyone knows it……. 🙂
    over a year ago
    Thank’s for the official post. I’ll put on my group as well.
    over a year ago
    She’s definitely off her rocker! I’ve known Ben for 17 years,
    and a Nazi (or neo-Nazi) he’s not! Why does Ms. Haywire have to
    start stuff every year?
    over a year ago
    That not just your opinion Kent she has been pretty vocal about
    her “issues” on her personal page.

    Len I have noticed that people with chemical imbalances tend to
    peak seasonally in the spring and fall. I am not sure why (?)

    Ironically she came up in conversation just a few says before
    this most recent spontaneous combustion and I remarked that she was
    in some ways admirable. THIS nonsense is just a level of
    unnecessary crazy and I think she has done irreparable damage this
    time. I wish she could have funneled her energy more productively.

    It is rather tragic.

  2. hi,

    nice and interesting post!
    congratulations and happy holidays for all!


  3. I’m glad you liked it. Thank you!

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