Hypernormalization as a term was made known to the world through the work of Russian-born Berkeley professor -Alexei Yurchak, who used the term to describe the dying Soviet Union in the mid- 1970s, where both the people and the government jointly agreed to pretend normal in the face of a failing Communist system.
Adam Curtis, an unorthodox British documentarian and a former BBC employee, reintroduced the term through his post-modern, dysphoric, chancery driven cinematic disquisition – Hypernormalisation. Curtis who plays into the farrago of the chaotic ethos of the 21st century by using the cinematic technique of montage visualizes the dystopia of cyberspace and political manipulation in this era.
The narrative adopted by Curtis follow two timelines that incidentally coincide in the 1970’s, one in an almost dissolving – bankrupted and hippie driven, New york and the other is in the midst of a political chaos, exuberated in the Middle East by American diplomat – Henry Kissinger and his shoddy policies like – constructive ambiguity. 1970’s saw the ruinous bankruptcy in New York, which led to the almost complete transfer of power to the banks, allowing the real estate developers like Trump to transform New York city from a depleted art colony to a super -rich ghetto.
The Americans by creating this political upheaval in the Middle East forced the Syrian dictator Hafaz al-Assad, father of the current president Bashar, to desert his plan for a zion Arab world to state terrorism. By pioneering the use of suicide bombers to terrorize and drive out the Americans from the Middle East, Assad planted the deep roots of jihadist groups like Al- Qaeda and Islamic State.
Curtis through his narrative also touches on the fallacy of a generation that is leeched by huge corporations using techniques like data mining and Big Data to feed us with obsessions, habits and persona to play with. In the process of giving rebirth to each individual based on custom newsfeed and tapped information, the global technological companies try to increasingly normalize the behavior of our generation. The irony that is drawn from this sort of response is that it is fuelled by the anger, frustration and emotional being of individuals.
This increasing sense of powerlessness and disillusion in the modern world can be seen through the rise of demagogues, the creation of post truths- where any sort of manipulation and toothless political theatrics is downplayed and bedimmed, a disillusioned generation of millennials and through the vacuous narcissism of cyberspace.