Statement: NEONOPOLIS

Work in Progress: Neonopolis, The Red Corporation & Other Chronicles.


I revisit my former home! Hong Kong. 20 years after the handover from British to Chinese rule, 20 years after I left, the city again fascinates me. For as I witness people dashing through pouring rain along wet congested Wan Chai streets, of pavements shimmering iridescent hues, scenes from Blade Runner flash through my mind.


The more I wander with my camera, ideas formulate. I think about the world of Chinese cyber espionage in the era of Xi Jinping, and ruminate on how mainland intelligence agents are in the territory gathering information for the State! How coercion and meddling in local politics from China is sowing confusion and fear. Encouraging mistrust. I ponder equally about the engineering marvel that is Hong Kong. A labyrinth imbued with dynamic energy flow. Commerce, logistics! Public transport that efficiently whisks cramped commuters from their cubicle homes to their cubicle offices. 


I witness legions of office workers oblivious to their predicament. Hypnotized by their smart phones. Commuters devouring social media piped into their brains via hand held devices!

I see around me towering skyscrapers, examples of extreme wealth. A realm strangely futuristic all the while rooted in the present. I consider the outlandish costs of rents and how buyers from China drive real estate prices into the stratosphere. Greed. Hong Kong, with its millions of people, thousands of tower blocks and a shortage of affordable homes. More thoughts of sci-fi/existential films such as Metropolis, Citizen Cane, 1984 crowd my mind. I see with clarity all around me a ‘film set’! A stage in which to try something I’ve not tried before.

Hence I begin Neonopolis The Red Corporation and Other Chronicles. The title of this street photography project is intentionally clunky. Alluding to humor. My intention is to tackle a variety of themes in a mildly amusing way. Topics such as the banality of commuting, our addiction to gadgets, social media, high rise living, big city life. The changing political landscape, and mainland China's meddling with Hong Kong politics and business.

I take the basic principle of street photography ie. capture reality as it happens, and then through captions that are misleading, warp that reality into a visual narrative more akin to a spoof of science fiction film. The buzzword here is fiction. I photography reality but choose locations and angles that allow me to concoct fantasy.


PLOT SUMMARY:

Planet Earth. Galactic Quadrant 45307. Year. 2080. NeoNopolis (N.Ns) also referred to as XianGang (X.G.) is officially called Neonopolis S.A.R. or (Socially Adhering Region) of The Red Corporation. It is classified as a U.M.C. (Ultra-Mega-Conurbation) with over 35 million inhabitants. A mixture of Human and HLR’s (Human Like Robots) called Republibots or RPLB’s.

The Red Corporation, also known as T.P.T.B. (The Powers That Be) is a gargantuan company rumoured to be the 4th largest on the planet. Controlling some 9,600,000 km2 of land, across 7 time zones, from the East Asiania Sea to the distant lands of Pantagia. The Red Corporation labeled, ‘the factory of the world’, has achieved great power and wealth through colossal economic output; by stringent control of its workers, enforcing complete loyalty to the Great Chairman and through imposing laws that forbid freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of travel. In effect their mission statement is one of ‘complete human mind and global economic domination and control’ and all aspects of collective living, commerce, physical competition between humans and droids called sport, speech, media, the arts, militarily and most importantly ideology. They have almost fully achieved this goal through massive global expansion programs, which include ‘giving for taking’ initiatives. A mutual understanding enforced upon the company in need of assistance that for monetary or infrastructure help, the Red Corporation can plunder that companies manpower or natural resources within its sphere of influence, as they deem fit. In addition they have used their massive currency reserves to ‘buy’ most other companies opposed to their tactics. Ideologies.

Neonopolis however is a thorn in The Red Corporations side! Formerly owned by a TPTOW (The Powers That Once Were), Brittanica Inc, a former global superpower, who for 150 years owned the 2,755 km2 enclave, abutting the South Asiania sea, via a concession negotiated after a rather gruesome trade war with the Red Corps. As the lease expiry date loomed large Brittanica Inc in all its infinite wisdom managed to mediate an agreement, dubbed the ‘One Company Two Systems’ initiative, which in effect dictated in no uncertain terms, that Neonopolis would be allowed to continue on its trajectory of accruing untold wealth for its minions without tampering or hindrance from it’s new owners, The Red Corps.

It has to be mentioned that Neonopolis as one of many UMC’s found scattered across Asiania, is by far the wealthiest. A prosperity forged by its workforce, citizenry that comprise of human minions and human like androids or republibots.
It’s important to understand that republibots were originally designed, built and programmed by the science minded masters of Neonopolis to help serve the minions with their collective striving for money and a bigger living booth. The RPLB’s development program was unique to the enclave. The management directive; to supplement the human workforce, thereby extending ‘working hours’ so as to accrue as much money as is humanly or inhumanly possible within a 28 hour lunar cycle for the minions of Neonopolis. The rationale being, having minions striving for more money with the help of the Republibots, Britannica Inc would see substantial revenue flows to company coffers in the form of levies, duties and taxes.

It worked. Neonopolis became fabulously rich. What wasn’t planned for however was the way in which the masses became obsessed with money. A dreadful mental affliction called ‘money mindedness’ descended on the UMC. It’s minions afflicted with mild symptoms that include fatigue, burn out, eventually leading to a much worse or chronic condition called ZSS or Zombie State Syndrome. The affected walking with a strange gait, eyes that turn blood red, a skin palor that of candle wax, and a more worrying tendency to drop out of the workforce entirely, therefore creating a decline in company GDP (Gross Dedicated Performance). As a result Neonopolis as a UMC is in decline!
As a countermeasure to this ‘problem, specially elected agents or ‘Change Runners’or ACR’s patrol the commuter belts to weed out those showing symptoms of ZSS. They especially monitor the masses that utilize the purposely built MRT or Mass Republibot Transfer system. This elaborate transport facility installed by the former Brittanica Inc, whisks the majority of the working masses to and from their cubicle homes to their cubicle offices, and compliments the work of the ACR’s, by utilizing the purposely built-in IGCPs or ‘intelligence gathering commuter profiler’ system. In essence the IGCPs is a complex web of scanners, monitors, gamma ray particle accelerators and mind readers, placed at commuter choke nodal points which formerly allowed Britannica Inc to accurately monitor the mental wellbeing of the minion worker class. This system was later handed over to the current Management Class of UMC Neonopolis, a consortium of free thinking Elders who until recently vehemently strived to abide by the laws set out under the basic charter of the One Company Two Systems law. But the ethics of the Management Class are changing as ‘influence’ from across The Red Line is corrupting the establishment!!!

Yes exacerbating Neonopolis’s woes and of much graver concern to the ‘incorruptible’ Management Class and the law abiding human minions of Neonopolis is ‘meddling’ by The Red Corporation. Crossing the Red Line! The Red Line demarcating where Red Corporation jurisdiction ends and the grey zone begins. The grey zones are areas that are deemed not totally under Red Corps control and Neonopolis is one of them. Neonopolis Management are forced to play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, attempting to flush out ‘Red Corporation’ agents implanted to spy within management ranks, within the minion classes, all the while keeping the masses unalarmed. A gargantum task. How to stymie the Red Corps nefarious agenda, which includes disinformation campaigns, sowing pro Red Corps propaganda through corrupted media channels, cyber espionage, currency manipulation all the while ‘keeping the peace’? Preventing minion society from alarm and descending into a state of social disorder or SSD as they gather en-masse to show solidarity against weak company performance and therefore lower earning potential in the face of economic and managerial changes. A daunting task for the upper echelons of Neonopolis senior management indeed.

Coupled to this are the ‘underworld’ class that have grown in the labyrinthine areas that are to be found in heavily populated grids such as KZone/5.2543.8W. Habitat Sector 1456/H. Within these boroughs of lawlessness, Moguls of Manipulation prey upon the minions extracting ‘protection money’. Protection from the State. From The Red Corporation. These Moguls have become a law unto themselves. Generating huge sums of money from their illicit trade in RLPB trafficking, RLPB forgery, prostitution, and drugs. All the while squandering their fortunes in the gambling halls and dens of iniquity of nearby UMC’s such as Puntopia. How the Moguls of Manipulation are reigned in is another mammoth challenge for authorities. All the while the minions who work to serve the well oiled machine that is Neonopolis are been duped, conned and robbed by these nasty elements within a society that by and large are law abiding.

Furthermore regarding RPLB’s. Outwardly they resemble humans, with both male and female genders possessing differing physical features. However inwardly they are the same. An interior design that consists of a very large brain designed for crunching data and performing mundane tasks. Their electrical nervous system is simply recharged via what resembles a Hand Held Device or HHD. Called a RPLBHHD this gadget that is carried 24/7 to provide an external power source similar to a USB power bank, and with a display to provide moment by moment task updates sent from Company HQ. Humans carry a similar looking gadget but which serves a very different purpose. The human HHD is carried as a distraction device. By displaying a plethora of social media trivia it keeps the minion masses entertained and diverted from the mundaneness of living that goes with the territory. Life ultimately for both man and machine in Neonopolis is an existence. It’s all about money really!!!!

Ends.

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

The white car could often be seen in the city late at night, cruising slowly like a shark, or simply stopped, watching, waiting. It glowed softly through the neon soup. It had no number plate or ID. Did it even have a driver? It flowed along with the bright red corpuscles of the taxis through sclerotic lanes. Was it a white blood cell, fighting some unseen infection? Or was it a new virus?
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Red Corporation HQ 'over the border' is an austere place. Where 'operatives' deep underground are briefed on spy-craft techniques.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS
2017
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

The white car could often be seen in the city late at night, cruising slowly like a shark, or simply stopped, watching, waiting. It glowed softly through the neon soup. It had no number plate or ID. Did it even have a driver? It flowed along with the bright red corpuscles of the taxis through sclerotic lanes. Was it a white blood cell, fighting some unseen infection? Or was it a new virus?
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

The white car could often be seen in the city late at night, cruising slowly like a shark, or simply stopped, watching, waiting. It glowed softly through the neon soup. It had no number plate or ID. Did it even have a driver? It flowed along with the bright red corpuscles of the taxis through sclerotic lanes. Was it a white blood cell, fighting some unseen infection? Or was it a new virus?
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP
Minder Xi
2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Red Corporation Blade Runner, monitor the commuter masses, via hand held devices, coupled to spectral chargers (brain scanners) strategically placed at choke points along the MRT (Mass Replicant Transfer) System.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Big Brother is watching! Big Brother is listening! Big Brother is reading your thoughts. Your thoughts are not your own.......
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

On the 1850th floor of Kowloon's Sky-Tower II, a meeting takes place between The Informant and The Receiver.....or for a better word, The Giver and The Taker!
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

时间。 22:40。地点。温德姆街。传入信息:Bleep Bleep;这是郑代理。前往14号Swatow街。拦截和收集“颠覆”邓。继续前进区总部 Shíjiān. 22:40. Dìdiǎn. Wēn dé mǔ jiē. Chuán rù xìnxī:Bleep Bleep; zhè shì zhèng dàilǐ. Qiánwǎng 14 hào Swatow jiē. Lánjié hé shōují “diānfù” dèng. Jìxù qiánjìn qū zǒngbù. Time. 22:40. Place. Wyndham Street. Incoming Message: Bleep Bleep; this is agent Zheng. Proceed to 14 Swatow Street. Intercept and collect 'subversive' Deng. Proceed to forward zone HQ.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

時間。 23:00。地點。斯瓦圖街外發消息:這是Cong。我在大理石休息室外。黑色梅賽德斯鄧小姐你在哪裡? Shíjiān. 23:00. Dìdiǎn. Sī wǎ tú jiē wài fā xiāoxī: Zhè shì Cong. Wǒ zài dàlǐshí xiūxí shìwài. Hēisè méi sài dé sī dèng xiǎojiě nǐ zài nǎlǐ?
Time. 23:00. Place. Swatow Street. Outgoing Message: This is Cong. I am outside the Marble Lounge. Black sMercedes. Where are you agent Deng?
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Swiftly in tunnels, beneath murky waters, stainless steel tubes, hurtle from the island to the mainland station, carrying within the commuter masses, impregnated with ever attentive 'Replicants', listening in, gathering information for 'The Red Corporation'.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

At ZUBZ-Station Z-344W, a lone 'REPLICANT' lost in mind chatter walks the East-West feeder corridor, from Cubicle No 9988766 to waiting Zootropolis peripheral shuttle buses, as part of her daily commuter regimen...
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Down Wing On street West, the elusive HK mobster, Yip Tsz-Keung works his illegal online gambling syndicate from an encrypted Galaxy SZ8 and his bullet proof Black Cayenne sportster.......
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Down Wing On street West, the elusive HK mobster, Yip Tsz-Keung works his illegal online gambling syndicate from an encrypted Galaxy SZ8 and his bullet proof Black Cayenne sportster.......
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

The white car could often be seen in the city late at night, cruising slowly like a shark, or simply stopped, watching, waiting. It glowed softly through the neon soup. It had no number plate or ID. Did it even have a driver? It flowed along with the bright red corpuscles of the taxis through sclerotic lanes. Was it a white blood cell, fighting some unseen infection? Or was it a new virus?
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Meanwhile at 4:00am down Wing Lok street, Sheung Wan, shop fronts are shuttered and only the pimps and the prostitutes prowl....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Meanwhile at 4:00am down Wing Lok street, Sheung Wan, shop fronts are shuttered and only the pimps and the prostitutes prowl....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

ZS, or Zombie Sydrome is a neurotic condition that affects a staggering 80% of ALL the social classes in Zootropolis. Causes the state believes are cramped living conditions, exaggerated use of smart devices, fixation on money and wealth, over consumption of endangered NON replicant species, contaminated O2, including sulfuric rain and by-products of plastic leaching into the food chain. Physical symptoms include slurred speech, a strange walking gait, a general disinterest in the world around them, and a bizarre reddening of the eyes.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Rules down in the overpopulated MRT (Mass Replicant Transfer System) are such that the commuter masses are ordered not to speak to one another, should avoid eye contact with other commuters, fully discouraged to look around and be aware of the reality that surrounds them. Their directive is ultimately to give 100% attention to the social-propaganda piped into their brains via their personal Ddevices, which are fused permanently to the fingers of their dominant hand.....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Rules down in the overpopulated MRT (Mass Replicant Transfer System) are such that the commuter masses are ordered not to speak to one another, should avoid eye contact with other commuters, fully discouraged to look around and be aware of the reality that surrounds them. Their directive is ultimately to give 100% attention to the social-propaganda piped into their brains via their personal Ddevices, which are fused permanently to the fingers of their dominant hand.....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Zootropolis. Zung Fu House (nerve centre of forward mission control REDCORPS). Spy chief Chen Jian Guo glances at his US$5,000,000 Hublot Big Bang! His main interest besides the acquisition of fine time pieces is keeping track and neutralizing “enemies” of the RED CORPORATION.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Red Corporation agents undercover in the 'zone', are equipped with a plethora of high tech weaponry. For women, that can include poison tipped umbrellas, carried to compliment standard issue spiked high heels, anthrax lased eau de cologne, and a lethal miniaturized version of the Chinese made pistol. The QSZ-92.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Deep in the bowels of Mong Kok.....a genetically engineered 'Replicant' jumps aboard a waiting taxi....to flee her pursuing Blade Runner.....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

Edition 9 + 2 AP
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Zootropolis. KZone/5.2543.8W. Habitat Sector 1456/H.
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

INT: KRYPTON.
Ho Laquan glances in his rear view mirror. Jabs his foot down hard on the voltage pedal increasing speed. As he does, his belt wraps around him, automatically of course.

EXT. STREET.
As the sun glances off glass and fragments into shards of lights Ho's white Krypton accelerates towards a bend in the road. Pedestrians see the rushing vehicle with glowing red headlamps and know not to look. Know not to question. They understand that this is a RCCOO (Red Corps Civil Obedience Officer) conducting a RCCOOSAAOPS (Red Corps Civil Obedience Officer Seek and Arrest Operation)

INT: KRYPTON.
With one hand Ho clicks the Autopilot-CHASE switch on the 'INTELLIGENT' console, all the while unfastening the safety clip on his PHASER with the other we hear the swoosh of his brushless electron motors rising and he begins to speak softly into the mic of his communicator.....

"目標獲得沿皇后大道西向西英屯。截取和終止等17:45。

Mùbiāo huòdé yán huánghòu dàdào xīxiàng xī yīng tún. Jiéqǔ hé zhōngzhǐ děng 17:45.

Target acquired. In pursuit along Queen's road West towards Sai Ying Poon. Interception & termination ETC. 17:45"
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Zootropolis hoodster Jacky Lee of the Bamboo Spear Union Mob (with bodyguard) caught on camera playing candy crush on the MRT Southern Sector S15467 line.....
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Street Photography-Neo Noire-NEONOPOLIS Edition 9 + 2 AP

2017
Edition 9 + 2 AP

Intelligence gathering adopted by the Red Corporation is exemplified by the three main methods, which often overlap. One is “human-wave” or “mosaic” collection, which involves assigning or dispatching thousands of assets to gather a massive amount of available information.....another is recruiting and periodically debriefing residents of other countries in order to gather a deeper level of intelligence on more specific subjects. The third method is patiently cultivating foreign assets of influence for long-term leverage, insight and espionage.....
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