Guest Book as Drama
The pages are printed with a data protection pattern like that on salary check stubs and the envelopes of bank statements. Colleagues are not supposed to know what eachother earns; the bank is caught in the conflict between automation and data protection. Among the many names for this practice -3cancellation pattern,3 “discretion masking,3 etx. – “personalization techniques3 is probably the most bizarre. But why should thank-you notes be protected from the unauthorized gaze, even if they are nothing more than dissimulation, blabber for buying one´s freedom, the occasional-pathos as ransom for the host as hostage-taker? Admittedly, this all-occupying, truly `forbearing´ paper entices to uninhibited honesty. But be careful: the security is deceptive. The ink used for the opaque masking is temperature sensitive. Upon skin contact, body temperature causes the color value to change to transparency. Entries otherwise hidden behind the data cover become readable. The embarrassment of disclosure threatens, the impossible situation of being unmasked, the feelings of guilt on account of sweat stains that are suddenly visible to all. The shrewd observation that the host, in his presumptuousness, has provoked the calumny himself, is of no help anymore.
Gerrit Confurius in Daidalos, no. 63