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Re: <nettime> EXPLICIT TEXT
Quim Gil on Mon, 28 Feb 2000 06:16:07 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> EXPLICIT TEXT


Hi Tom (& colleagues)


I love writing and reading. I agree that quite often you are in a hurry
and you need brief and explicit texts. But I think people who always are
in a hurry when it's time to read are loosing a basic human skill: to
decode external messages and reconstruct them internally with pleasure.  

There is another basic human skill that people living in a hurry are
loosing: (re)creative sex (to decode external sensations and reconstruct
them internally with pleasure).  

The comparisson between TEXT and SEX was irresistible. Tom, I hope you
will excuse me but I've been changed just few words of your text to
argue the comparisson.  :) 

Keys are:

text = sex
read = have/do it 
reader/author = lover
written = made
audience = beloved
word = kiss
sentence = caress
information/meaning = pleasure
message/content = orgasm
books = orgies
literature = erotism


EXPLICIT SEX

People don't have the time to contemplate sex anymore.  They figure
they know how to have and want sex that deliver their orgasms quickly,
directly, efficiently.  They want to have sex the way a laser-scanner
have a bar code.  They want sex to have a single, fixed orgasm that
jumps
off the page at first attempt.  Today complex, circuitous sex are either
considered to be unresolved or made by sadists.  Sex that are
difficult and unyielding are perceived to be alphanumeric torture
chambers.

Having it used to be seeing and thinking.  The sex object was rigidly
fixed, like a drawing, placed in waiting for someone to stumble upon it,
to pour over it, to decode it with multiple passes.  The lover would
potentially lock onto the cluster of kisses and caress and scan them for
pleasure, eyes passing back and forth in silence, line after line in a
groove, while the lover's thinking emerged as a whisper, the recovered
sounds of the lover thinking, literally in a transference of utterances
coming from the back of the throat to the tip of the tongue.  Often one
begun doing it silently but ended up doing it outloud, in an essential
multi-sensory representation, the image AND sound of sex.  Sex was
thus absorbed by the body, entering the mind through the eyes, and
ending
up with a flick of the tongue.  The disembodied kisses, deposited in the
out-of-body sex, found a new home for the length of time the lover's
body and mind was occupied.

But now sex is rarely left behind to stand alone.  Sure there is
erotism.  Serious orgies.  Volumes of sex to escape within.  But sex
outside erotism must now be contextualized by image, either still or
photographic, or by moving images.  Television and video, and now the
computer networks that feature so much sex today, networks that will
ultimately deliver television and video, are peppered with sex.  Moving
image demands explicit sex, sex as data, as informative texture.

Cinema, the movies, like the live stage before it, is sex-free zone.  
The script is brought to life by actors, but other than the title
sequences and credits, made sex is as scarce in movies as photographs
are in novels.  But in television and video, beloveds are expected to,
and seem to enjoy having sex set against the flow of moving, changing,
continuously updated images combined with and enhanced by sound and
music
and voice.  Having sex within the context or flow of moving images and
sound is now preferable to doing it, contemplating stand-alone, fixed,
black-on-white sex.

We were once expected to approach sex for plasure.  We would forage
until we found something of interest, become still and done.  Then
television and video captured our stationary, contemplative time, and
pushed us back into ourselves.  As our bodies were transfixed into our
postures, television and video and alphanumeric sex was poured
into us.  First we were moving to and through the plasure.  Then the
pleasure was moving through us.

As this fundamental change occurred, where the pleasure was aggressively
fired at and through the lover, the sex no longer carried the thoughts
of a distant lover.  Sex was no longer an object of thought left behind
by a lover for a beloved.  The sex of television and video (and
digital multimedia) was made explicitly for the beloved, to seduce and
influence a beloved in mind and body.  It catered to the beloved.  
Sex were made to help the beloved negotiate the multimedia
environment of moving images, sounds and music and voice and data.  Sex
in this context had to be explicit and functional.  It must be as clear
and unambiguous as bar code, scannable in an instant and absolutely
explicit.

:)

Quim Gil
http://www.putput.demon.co.uk

Tom Sherman wrote:
> 
> EXPLICIT TEXT
> 
> People don't have the time to contemplate a text anymore.  They figure
> they know how to read and want texts that deliver their contents quickly,
> directly, efficiently.  They want to read texts the way a laser-scanner
> reads bar code.  They want texts to have a single, fixed message that jumps
> off the page at first reading.  Today complex, circuitous texts are either
> considered to be unresolved or written by sadists.  Texts that are
> difficult and unyielding are perceived to be alphanumeric torture
> chambers.
> 
> Reading used to be seeing and thinking.  The text object was rigidly
> fixed, like a drawing, placed in waiting for someone to stumble upon it,
> to pour over it, to decode it with multiple passes.  The reader would
> potentially lock onto the cluster of words and sentences and scan them for
> meaning, eyes passing back and forth in silence, line after line in a
> groove, while the reader's thinking emerged as a whisper, the recovered
> sounds of the author thinking, literally in a transference of utterances
> coming from the back of the throat to the tip of the tongue.  Often one
> begun reading silently but ended up reading outloud, in an essential
> multi-sensory representation, the image AND sound of a text.  Text was
> thus absorbed by the body, entering the mind through the eyes, and ending
> up with a flick of the tongue.  The disembodied words, deposited in the
> out-of-body text, found a new home for the length of time the reader's
> body and mind was occupied.
> 
> But now a text is rarely left behind to stand alone.  Sure there is
> literature.  Serious books.  Volumes of text to escape within.  But text
> outside literature must now be contextualized by image, either still or
> photographic, or by moving images.  Television and video, and now the
> computer networks that feature so much text today, networks that will
> ultimately deliver television and video, are peppered with text.  Moving
> image demands explicit text, text as data, as informative texture.
> 
> Cinema, the movies, like the live stage before it, is a text-free zone.
> The script is brought to life by actors, but other than the title
> sequences and credits, written text is as scarce in movies as photographs
> are in novels.  But in television and video, audiences are expected to,
> and seem to enjoy reading texts set against the flow of moving, changing,
> continuously updated images combined with and enhanced by sound and music
> and voice.  Reading texts within the context or flow of moving images and
> sound is now preferable to reading, contemplating stand-alone, fixed,
> black-on-white text.
> 
> We were once expected to approach texts for information.  We would forage
> until we found something of interest, become still and read.  Then
> television and video captured our stationary, contemplative time, and
> pushed us back into ourselves.  As our bodies were transfixed into our
> reading postures, television and video and alphanumeric text was poured
> into us.  First we were moving to and through the information.  Then the
> information was moving through us.
> 
> As this fundamental change occurred, where the information was aggressively
> fired at and through the reader, the text no longer carried the thoughts
> of a distant author.  Text was no longer an object of thought left behind
> by an author for an audience.  The text of television and video (and
> digital multimedia) was written explicitly for the audience, to seduce and
> influence an audience in mind and body.  It catered to the audience.
> Texts were written to help the audience negotiate the multimedia
> environment of moving images, sounds and music and voice and data.  Text
> in this context had to be explicit and functional.  It must be as clear
> and unambiguous as bar code, scannable in an instant and absolutely
> explicit.
> 
> Tom Sherman

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