An author who's perhaps shrouded in as much mystery as JD Salinger, John Twelve Hawks has now surprisingly surfaced (somewhat) to express himself and help promote his new book, Dark River. To abet his cause, the scribe chose Special Ops Media, which constructed an immersive 3D site that reflects Hawks' fascination with two seemingly disparate themes: surveillance and Tibetan Buddhism.
Divided into six "realms," which are directly inspired by scripture found within The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Realm 1 features a safe sitting amongst decimated buildings. Open it with a mouse click and the contents within reveal quotes from George Orwell and the Dalai Lama along with links to organizations that emphasize "compassion" and "resistance"—Doctors without Borders and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines for instance.
Other realms include a newsstand that features daily updated articles highlighting surveillance-themed issues, a section that focuses on imagery and text pertaining to Dark River and The Traveler, one that streams video taken by Hawks and there's even a realm rendered as a dim-lit bar. Here, fans of the author can participate in a message board, send questions to the author himself and play videos from the jukebox, which includes archived YouTube clips from artists like James Brown, Arcade Fire and Bright Eyes—all perhaps chosen by Hawks himself.
While we still don't have a clue as to what he looks like, where he comes from or where he dwells, Special Ops at least scratched the surface of the enigma that is John Twelve Hawks. He's still uninhibited when it comes to spouting that Big Brother is watching. Good thing to know that Hawks is watching right back.