Shoot—The HEAD Era

visual writing/speculative fiction

read the full version here

A virtual exhibition of a time without police
but a citizen-patrol system with guns that fire camera-attached stickers.

keywords: surveillance, community policing, wearable device, transparency, data, private vs. public, pervasive computing

//Prompt: write and speculate a world without police

In the United States, the old police system would have been abandoned in The HEAD Era (2025—2030), owing to people’s growing hatred towards police brutalism and social injustice. At the same time, people would like to make sure that the society’s safety level is maintained, and believe that they would be able to do it themselves. Hence, what would come in replace is a citizen-patrol system for every citizen to be enrolled and be responsible for the society. However, 

“people wanted freedom but disliked responsibility; authority, but not bureaucracy.”

The writing speculates a world with this citizen-patrol system, where people are selected to be on patrol with a gun that does not fire bullets, but stickers with implanted cameras that are meant to “shoot you to
death of overwhelming surveillance.” And who would do the job surveilling on all the cameras? A government-created HEAD figure A.I. A patrol person’s duty with this sticker-camera is simply pulling the trigger at anyone “the person thinks” suspicious. There would be no standards, only consequences.

“people were very much invisible as they invisibly shot others with the invisible guns that fired invisible sticker-cameras. People became the police that they themselves abandoned.”

Soon, everyone would be covered by stickers from head to toe. Everyone would lose trust among each other. 

To better articulate the psychology of people during The HEAD Era, and better position the critical questions the different systems pose at the society, the writing transformed from several working logs of the patrolpersons into a more comprehensive exhibition that sits in 2061, three dacades in the future of the era, and more interestingly, when a new police system with zero arm would have been launched peacefully. Questions are raised if the real problem is the police or guns? Guns, or us?  

The exhibition text has become the main body of writing, while the working logs become a displayed artifact. The story builds up as one scrolls through the artifacts/virtually walks through the exhibition, to the very peak of everything that would mark the end of The HEAD Era—the INCIDENT (read it here). The “harmlessness” of the sticker-camera gun would cause people to be carelessness about their actions of “shooting.”

//The exhibition

At the door of the exhibition...



//Artifact #1: The working logs

//Artifact #2:  The sticker-camera gun

//Artifact #3: The HEAD