Past technology - future vision: Occult  illusion and  optical truth in the imaginary technology of Hexen 2039.




   Suzanne Treister's Hexen 2039 series is a highly complex, and at first sight, almost impenetrable  work, in which Treister claims to undertake an investigation of the historical links between the military/scientific and the occult. By amassing and manipulating historical sources from a wide time-frame, Treister can be seen as opening up the dialogue which surrounds contemporary technological innovation. Concepts such as State surveillance and mind alteration can be seen as central to Hexen, but equally Treister's decision referencing of occult devices ties to historical notions surrounding technological innovations, specifically within the field of optical devices.  The way in which Treister intertwines her research appears to  provoke a questioning of ideas relating to truth and illusion - whether we can actually believe our observations. This in turn begins to raise the question as to whether  this work is real about military-occult relationships, or whether a secondary motivation lies behind Hexen 2039.