A Social Network
A Social Network (author unknown)

With a sense of serendipity, three events have aligned themselves recently suggesting an interesting connection between creativity, warfare, social networks and these supposedly widespread but ‘hidden’ parts of the terrorist internet. The first is a meeting that took place recently at the offices of the Scottish Government, between Wendy Wilkinson, deputy director of culture, and several people from the ‘creative industries’ (including illustrators, games designers and others), “to brainstorm/discuss how creativity can help in the study of terrorism and forensic science and in how the outcome or story from that is told.” 

The second is a lecture given yesterday, here at GSA, by Dr Mats Fridlund on ‘the terror of things’ (presumably alluding to the internet of things). Mats is interested in the design aspects of terrorism, from the distribution of bomb-making instructions through the ages, to the design of terror related paraphernalia.

The third is an upcoming seminar at Glasgow University, Thursday 22nd April, entitled ‘Influence through cyberspace‘ (which you can still book for) hosted by the ministry for defence and the Glasgow University innovation network. The invite blurb states;

“Success in modern conflicts is more than just the physical defeat of enemies; lasting success needs to win the “battle for hearts and minds” through influence and effect in the cognitive, rather than the physical, domain. This has traditionally been fought using personal interaction and broadcast media, but the increasingly ubiquitous nature of the online world as the communication medium of choice for many represents a new challenge and demands new thinking to be effective…”

Readers can drawn their own conclusions from these events, the hidden internet spaces they point towards, and the ways design, creativity and technology are being co-opted to various ends, but its also worth exploring the parallel efforts of anthropologists to avoid becoming part of a mechanism of control and paranoia.

Read more about Neil McGuire here.


Hidden Spaces – a month of blogs by members about their hidden space – whether they be real, imagined, unbuilt, cut-off from the public, demolished, spiritually significant or politically sublimated. Read more from the series.