by Israel Martínez

I understand stealth as a condition, a state or a situation even that allows a mild flow of information that is intimate, vital, almost secret, regularly clear. I link it to the territories that legendary Mexican writer Juan Rulfo shared with us, portraying with unlimited clarity the noises of silence between death and life, thus breaking the (useless? conceited?) binary thinking between “noise” and “silence”, between what is and what’s not music that has been the basis of numerous essays, for example, on “the silent piece” by John Cage, and its many remakes and covers. Literature has, undoubtedly, a greater imaginative potential around sound than what has been developed by focusing on its physical production in several other fields. 

I conceive of stealth, quietness, as an “enabler” or “maximizer” of experiences and sensations: to listen and talk (the most logical conceptions), but also to get closer to literature, to cook, to taste food and drink, to smell with greater concentration, to wander and “get lost”, to be critical, to self-evaluate, to sharpen our sight, to encourage imagination, to rethink our relationship with time, to appease thoughts, to feel our bodies, to become sexier (as Einstürzende Neubauten proposed in its only concert in Mexico twenty years ago). This might sound banal and even somewhat new agey, but bear with me: It could be necessary in our grizzly present which is neither characterized by a rebellious nor a radical stridency, but trivialized by the extreme saturation we receive and partake in one way or another at all times, and that usually only flows towards the economic benefit of the big capital owners.

I intuit stealth as a political tool, as part of a resistance methodology, as a bridge to listen and share better, that allows us to act bluntly after that necessary pause, especially nowadays when we have no answers to more urgent questions, or citing the Chto Delat collective, that the questions have been changed when we thought we had the answers. I think about the Mexican March of Silence on September 13, 1968, or The Silent March of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) on December 21, 2012.

It is not true that silence only denotes apathy, repression or defeat, nor that megaphones, shouts and public demonstrations are the most effective forms of protest. Thinking that is falling into the “noise vs. silence” dichotomy. Stealth inserts those critical and often contradictory possibilities that we need to assume to deliver new ideas. Stealth can be an alternative to binary thinking: heterosexual or homosexual, white or black, capitalist or communist, good or bad, etc., criticized by Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado for wreaking havoc on the way we process any matter.

Stealth, I believe, is an option today.