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DEF CON Hacking Conference

DC 26 Theme: 1983

Welcome to the counter-future.

The idea

One of the things that makes Orwell's '1984' scary is the way it uses technology. In Orwell’s dystopia, tech is a one-sided means of control. The powers that be use machines for pervasive surveillance, to weaken your sense of self and to make real change feel impossible. Humans deprived of any private space are uniquely vulnerable, and Big Brother knows it.

The thing is, none of this is inevitable.

Technology is sharp on both sides. The fruits of spying can be picked and exploited by any dedicated student of the method. Rule by algorithm is open to capture and subversion by the hacker who groks the formula. Ubiquitous communication unites and empowers the scattered masses.

There is a counter-future. A future where our technical understanding and enthusiasm make us strong. A future where we choose to engage the machine, to reshape it in our own radically open and boundlessly curious image.

1983, then, is about the counter-future we propose, and the better world that can spring from this one.

The aesthetic

With 8 luxurious months to go before we reconvene, we’re presenting you with a color palette, some font ideas and even some imagery for inspiration. Go crazy, hacker fam. We can’t wait to see where you take the idea.