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Announcer on Sat, 15 Feb 2003 17:13:04 +0100 (CET)


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Table of Contents:

   OS 012                                                                          
     Bubblefish <bubblefish {AT} highintelligence.com>                                    

   correction on email address                                                     
     Csaba Polony <editor {AT} leftcurve.org>                                             

   Paul Virilio's Art and Fear                                                     
     J Armitage <j.armitage {AT} unn.ac.uk>                                               

   Open architecture and the Internet: What is after ICANN?                        
     ronda {AT} ais.org (Ronda Hauben)                                                    

   JoDI (V3i3): an innovative hypertext issue                                      
     Jill Walker <jill.walker {AT} uib.no>                                                

   Downloadcinema: Let's party on the volcano                                      
     "geert lovink" <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>                                                

   Logos <M&M> ensemble - broadcast tonight!                                       
     kristof lauwers <kristof.lauwers {AT} logosfoundation.org>                           

                                                                                   
     eduardo {AT} navasse.net                                                             

   en) *The Postanarchism Clearinghouse Webpage                                    
     dr.woooo {AT} nomasters.org                                                          

   F*CK NET.ART                                                                    
     "abraham linkoln" <abelinkoln {AT} hotmail.com>                                      

   Remixing The Matrix - Erik Davis and Paul D. Miller - a Dialog                  
     "Paul D. Miller" <anansi1 {AT} earthlink.net>                                        



------------------------------

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 11:36:26 -0800
From: Bubblefish <bubblefish {AT} highintelligence.com>
Subject: OS 012

A pyramid scheme for world peace?

A master meme to stop the war before it starts?


http://www.highintelligence.com


------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 00:53:21 -0800
From: Csaba Polony <editor {AT} leftcurve.org>
Subject: correction on email address

Dear Nettime,
Thank you for posting our announcement about our new URL, however, the
new email address is: editor {AT} leftcurve.org  NOT editor {AT} leftcurve.com

I apologize for the mistake.

New URL for the journal, Left Curve:t:

http://www.leftcurve.org

Please update.

Thanks very much,
Csaba Polony






------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 13:41:39 -0000
From: J Armitage <j.armitage {AT} unn.ac.uk>
Subject: Paul Virilio's Art and Fear

Hi nettimers,  I am really pleased to pass on the news that Paul Virilio's
_Art &
Fear_ (_La procedure silence_), translated by Julie Rose, has just been
published in English by the Continuum Publishing Group, London.
www.continuumbooks.com
I am especially pleased because I have written the introduction to the book.
The contents page, some blurb about the book and the ISBN are below.
I would be grateful if people would circulate this flyer around appropriate
e-lists.
Best wishes
John.
===========================
PAUL VIRILIO
_ART and FEAR_
Contents
Translator's preface ... vii
_Art and Fear: an introduction_ ... 1
John Armitage
_A Pitiless Art_ ... 25
Paul Virilio
_Silence on Trial_ ... 67
Paul Virilio
Notes ... 97
Bibliography ... 105
Index ... 109
======================
PAUL VIRILIO'S ART & FEAR
traces the twin development of art and science over the 20th Century, a
development that emerges as a nightmare dance of death. In Virilio's vision,
art and science vie with each other for the destruction of the human form as
we know it. At the start of the 21st century science has finally left art
behind as genetic engineers prepare to turn themselves into the worst of
expressionists, the Human Genome Project their godless manifesto, the human
being, the raw material for new and monstrous forms of life. Virilio makes
all the connections clear: between the way early 20th Century avant-gardes
twisted and tortured the human form before making it vanish in abstraction
and the blasting to bits of men who were no more than cannon fodder in the
trenches of the Great War; between the German Expressionists' hate-filled
portraits of the damned and the "medical" experiments of the Nazi
eugenicists; between the mangled messages of sensationalist advertising and
terrorism. A brutal logic rules this shattering of representation: our ways
of seeing are now fatally shaped by unprecedented "scientific" modes of
destruction.
ISBN: 0-8264-6080-1


------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 20:39:33 -0500 (EST)
From: ronda {AT} ais.org (Ronda Hauben)
Subject: Open architecture and the Internet: What is after ICANN?

"Forms grow out of principles and operate to continue the principles they
grow from" wrote Thomas Paine in "The Rights of Man"

The Internet and ICANN have grown out of different principles and
the forms they represent are incompatible.

The article "The Internet and Open Architecture: Determining How
to Replace ICANN" describes the principles of the "open architecture"
of the Internet in contrast to the closed architecture of ICANN.

It also describes the importance of the netizen in the development
of a form to replace ICANN, rather than substituting "vested interests"
or "stakeholder interests", as ICANN has tried to do.

Also the article looks at a recent article in the November-December 2002
issue of Foreign Affairs. where Zoe Baird describes the problem represented
by ICANN, but puts forward but another proposal for a new form based
on principles that are similarly incompatible with the "open architecture"
of the Internet.

See "The Internet and Open Architecture" http://www.circleid/articles/2567.asp/

Also see "Internet Governance" http://www.circleid.com/articles/2565.asp/
for a more detailed discussion of the Foreign Affairs article

A summary of the Foreign Affairs article can be found at:

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20021101facomment9989/zoe-baird/
governing-the-internet-engaging-government-business-and-nonprofits.html

Ronda
ronda {AT} panix.com


------------------------------

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 09:06:22 +0100
From: Jill Walker <jill.walker {AT} uib.no>
Subject: JoDI (V3i3): an innovative hypertext issue

We are pleased to announce a new issue of JoDI, which takes a slightly
different form to the usual issues.

Journal of Digital Information announces
A SPECIAL ISSUE on Hypertext Criticism: Writing about Hypertext
(Volume 3, issue 3, January 2003)
Special issue Editors: Susana Tosca (IT University, Copenhagen) and Jill
Walker (University of Bergen)

 From the special issue editorial:
"Rather than present a traditional collection of long papers, we decided to
attempt to rethink what an issue of an academic journal might be. We
invited submissions consisting of one or more brief nodes which we would
then link together to create a hypertextual journal issue: an
interconnected discussion of a topic rather than disconnected articles. We
also invited contributions from both scholars and artists, to assist in
bridging the gap that can appear between these groups. This diversity
characterises the collection of essays presented here.

"As editors, for us this has been a very exciting project. We think this
issue is innovative not only in content, but also in form, and we believe
it brings something interesting to the world of electronic publication.

"We hope that this issue can serve as a landmark in the way hypertext
criticism is perceived by authors, theorists and the general public alike.
The essays included succeed in relating hypertext criticism to a multitude
of humanities practices (print, visual and digital), so that hypertext
criticism is shown to be embedded in a rich context. In the light of these
contributions to the field, the picture becomes clearer than it has ever
been before."

Since this is a hypertext issue, we aren't listing the complete contents
with links to individual contributions. Instead go to the editorial and
start exploring
http://jodi.ecs.soton.ac.uk/Articles/v03/i03/editorial.html

You will find nearly 30 contributions from these authors: Mez Breeze,
Julianne Chatelain, Richard E. Higgason, Deena Larsen, Bill Marsh, Adrian
Miles and Jenny Weight.

A note on navigation. Each node stands alone but gains from being seen in
context, so each contribution includes a contents list linking to all other
contributions in this issue. Follow the links in the text to see connected
nodes, read the author details to see other nodes by the same author or use
the table of contents to choose another focus.

- -- 

The Journal of Digital Information is an electronic journal published only
via the Web. JoDI is currently free to users thanks to support from the
British Computer Society and Oxford University Press
http://jodi.ecs.soton.ac.uk/



------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 07:40:25 +1100
From: "geert lovink" <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Downloadcinema: Let's party on the volcano

From: "°dafna levy-langeveld" <davka {AT} dds.nl>
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 7:41 AM
Subject: Let's party on the volcano


Hola  folks, Wassssssup?

- -------we would have liked to remain silent-----
- ------------------but we can't!----------------

  Download-cinema on going project is quitting politics !

   Yes more then 60 movies streams all right at

T http://www.downloadcinema.org
T http://www.downloadcinema.net

   so we wanta  party&get the energy high TTT

   with cooperation:
Tbig F Winston
T http://www.feelslikefriday.tv
T http://www.mugezond.nl
T http://www.dancetrippin.tv

    spacial guests from Brixton/ London
    T http://www.3head.com  (stream music {AT} dlc.org)
    "both haunted and haunting 3head create a throbbing underworld of
    their won" time-out
   T more bit's and bytes  laptop Vj's
   T visual artists
   T dj set with live stuff interspersed Mc's
    T metal arm Robodoks ( E.Hobijn)

   sleep all day d/l and party all night

   -------please join --------


  17 Feb 2003
hotel Winston warmoesstraat 123
door open 8.30
food is served on tables 4 5Euro (vegi)
Entre 5Euro

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- -------------------------

Because of the worldwide anti-war demos in over 300 cities this Sat.
Feb. 15, including in Amsterdam (Dam Square, 13:00 CET), the joint Dutch
free radios will deliver a collective broadcast, with music, live
reports, backgrounds, live excerpts from other demos across the world,
etc. So bring your radios and cell phones and become a reporter
yourself. There will be a Dance For Peace in Paradiso afterwards
(15:30 -- 23:30 -- ??), which will also be broadcast both in video and
audio streams and on the radio if it all works out. You can tune in to
any of the following, in the free ether (no cable!) or on the web where
applicable:

Amsterdam:
Radio 100, 99.3 FM, http://www.radio100.nl/
De Vrije Keyser, 96.2 FM, http://www.vrijekeyser.nl/
Radio Patapoe, 97.2 FM, http://freeteam.nl/patapoe/
DFM RTV Int. (webcast only) http://dfm.nu/
Salto (cable radio) http://www.salto.nl/

Leiden:
Koekoeroe Reedio, 97.4 FM, http://squat.net/koekoeroe/

Den Haag:
Radio Tonka, 104.2 FM, http://www.radiotonka.nl/

And possibly more, see http://www.indymedia.nl/live/ for latest details.

The demo organizers are at Wereldcrisis http://www.wereldcrisis.nl/ ,
see also Vredessite http://vredessite.nl/ .
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
- -----------------------------------------------

Feb 16  Radio 100  benefit party in Melk-weg
  http://www.melkweg.nl




------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 11:53:05 +0100
From: kristof lauwers <kristof.lauwers {AT} logosfoundation.org>
Subject: Logos <M&M> ensemble - broadcast tonight!

<M&M>
today, Thursday 13th February, 20u00pm CET

live broadcast on http://live.montevideo.nl:7676/logos
for Quicktime users: icy://204.181.65.29:8000/icy_0


The Logos Foundation houses a unique ensemble, <M&M>, a group of 
professional musicians who focus on interaction between man and machine and 
explore the domain between composition, improvisation, music and technology.
Tonight's program includes:
Robot Garden by Moniek Darge and Kristof Lauwers
A real-time interactive music theatre work in several episodes. This time, 
Moniek Darge (e-violin) interacts with <Troms>, and <Springers>, the 
percussion automats of the robot orchestra .

Machines for Communication by Stefaan Smagghe
An interactive concerto for violin and robot orchestra.

Talking Flames by Godfried-Willem Raes
http://www.logosfoundation.org/scores_gwr/talkflam.html
and much more..

for more information see www.logosfoundation.org/m&m.html




------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 08:27:49 -0800
From: eduardo {AT} navasse.net

Announcing a new website specifically dedicated to net art projects featuring
daily net-art recommendations and net art criticism. We would like to invite
everyone to visit and contribute URLs whenever possible: http://www.netartreview.net

Net Art Review focuses on net art projects.

Currently: Enjoy daily net art recommentations available on the main page.

Upcoming: Articles, critical essays, net-art and new media reviews.

Contribute: Become a Contributing Daily Reviewer and share net-art sites
that you find interesting. When visiting the site, please look over the
guidelines for more details. Or Send us an interesting link of your own
work to: info {AT} netartreview.net

Best,

Eduardo Navas




------------------------------

Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 17:09:04 +1100
From: dr.woooo {AT} nomasters.org
Subject: en) *The Postanarchism Clearinghouse Webpage 

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

- --bound1045116544
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

>From "AJ <ringfingers {AT} yahoo.com>" <ringfingers {AT} yahoo.com> 
To postanarchism {AT} yahoogroups.com 
Date Thu, 13 Feb 2003 05:55:13 -0000 
Subject The Postanarchism Clearinghouse Webpage 
 

I just put up the following webpage as an reference point for this 
listserv and for people interested in this stuff. It is also linked at 
the bottom of this page; let me know what you think of it and if 
you have any ideas for how to improve it either aesthetically or 
content-wise.

Jason

***

The Postanarchism Clearinghouse Webpage
http://www.geocities.com/ringfingers/postanarchism.html

what is "postanarchism"? 

in general, the term refers to a broad and heterogeneous array of 
anarchist and "anarchistic" theories that can no longer find a 
suitable home within the normalized doctrinarity of most of the 
classical anarchisms such as syndicalism, 
anarchocommunism, platformism, etc. in origin, it is a concept 
developed by saul newman in his book "from bakunin to lacan: 
antiauthoritarianism and the dislocation of power" where it refers 
to a theoretical move beyond classical anarchism into a more 
open and hybrid theory, achieved through a synthesis with key 
concepts and ideas from poststructuralist theory. in this sense it 
is quite similar to the "postmarxism" of ernesto lacalau and 
chantal mouffe in that while it is *post*anarchist it is also 
post*anarchist* - in other words it is not a complete rejection of 
classical anarchism but rather a step beyond the limits defined 
for it by enlightenment thought. yet this definition is contested 
and is now and probably always will be unstable - others have 
have chosen to define the term more broadly, including also 
ideas and concepts from critical theory, post-leftism, 
situationism, postcolonialism, autonomism, postmodernism, 
existentialism, postfeminism, zapatismo and other 
contemporary critical-theoretical tendencies. still others 
sympathetic to such a project yet skeptical of the urge to move 
beyond, explicitly reject the term "postanarchist" and argue that 
by keeping the term anarchist intact, but adding the adjective 
"poststructuralist" before it, anarchists preserve what they see as 
the historically continuous antimodernism that can be found 
even in classical theorists such as mikhail bakunin. 

who are the key thinkers?

there are no singular thinkers and there is no "canon" here as 
there might be in many ideologies - this is because 
postanarchism is largely a rejection of the bounded doctrinarity 
of ideology and an embrace of the unbounded multiplicity of 
theory. however, it is true that certain thinkers within classical 
and contemporary anarchist theory have more in common with 
the postanarchist turn than others do, just as certain 
poststructuralists and other contemporary critical theorists have 
more in common with an antiauthoritarian analysis than others 
do. potential classical and contemporary anarchist theorists of 
interest here might include todd may, mikhail bakunin, saul 
newman, emma goldman, luis gambone, max stirner, hakim 
bey, errico malatesta, wolfi landstreicher, and john zerzan just to 
name a few.   poststructuralist and other critical theorists that 
lean towards an antiauthoritarian analysis might include michel 
foucault, kathy ferguson, gilles deleuze, felix guattari, michael 
shapiro, guy debord, timothy luke, giorgio agamben, jean 
baudrillard, jens bartelson, manuel de landa, michael hardt, 
antonio negri, judith butler, chris hables gray, luce irigaray, 
james der derian, and donna haraway.   

what are the key sources for such theories?

the most obviously relevant publishing houses are semiotext(e) 
and autonomedia, though others such as university of 
minnesota press have published numerous relevant texts as 
well. relevant books would include ronaldo perez' "anarchy and 
schizoanalysis", todd may's "the political philosophy of 
poststructuralist anarchism", saul newman's "from bakunin to 
lacan", gilles deleuze and felix guattari's "a thousand plateaus" 
and "anti-oedipus", michel foucault's "power/knowledge", 
michael hardt and antonio negri's "empire", michael shapiro's 
"violent cartographies", max horkheimer and theodor adorno's 
"dialectic of enlightenment", richard day's "multiculturalism and 
the history of canadian diversity", guy debord's "society of the 
spectacle", kathy ferguson's "the man question", giorgio 
agamben's "means without end: notes on politics", jens 
bartelson's "the critique of the state", bob black's "anarchy after 
leftism", paul feyerabend's "against method", luce irigiraray's 
"why different?", friedrich nietzche's "the genealogy of morals", 
ian angus' "primal scenes of communication", manuel delanda's 
"war in the age of intelligent machines", jean baudrillard's 
"screened out", harry cleaver's "reading capital politically", 
jacques derrida's "spectres of marx", ernesto laclau and chantal 
mouffe's "hegemony and socialist strategy", james der derian's 
"virtuous war", paul virilio's "speed and politics" and chris hables 
gray's "postmodern war". periodicals might include anarchy 
magazine, anarchist studies, willful disobedience,aufheben, 
theory and event, theory and society, alternatives: local, global, 
political, new political science, and sometimes green anarchy. 
aside from these "realtime" sources there are dozens of 
websites and listservs that would be relevant, many of which are 
linked directly below. 



other postanarchist clearinghouses

the postanarchism listserv
infoshop's "poststructuralism and anarchism" bulletin board 

postanarchist audio links 

(((todd may speaking on postructuralist anarchism)))

postanarchist text links

((may's "poststructuralist anarchism"))
((cohn's "what is postanarchism 'post'?"))
((bey's "post-anarchism anarchy"))
((gambone's "toward postmodern anarchism"))
((joff's "anti-humanist anarchism"))
((moore's "anarchist maximalism"))
((vandiver's "anarchist epistemology"))
((aragorn!'s "non-european anarchism"))
((nettlau's "panarchism"))
((adams' "nonwestern anarchisms"))
((boucher's "a radicalization of postmarxism"))
((wun's "anarchism in the contemporary context"))
((gordon's "horizons of change"))
((spencer's "historicizing the spontaneous revolution"))
((fing's "post-foucaudian anarchism"))
((angus' "globalization versus social movements"))
((soren's "some personal thoughts on anarchism"))
((amster's "anarchism as moral theory"))
((newman's "on the future of radical politics"))
((radekker's "resistance to difference"))
((hylan's "refugee subjectivity"))
((dnyl's "the nomadology of anti-states"))
((hardt's "notes on deleuze and guattari"))
((joff's "nothing inhuman is alien to me"))

other links of interest 

anarchy magazine
autonomedia / semiotext(e)
interactivist info exchange
zero news data pool
spoon collectives' deleuze and guattari page
 


- --bound1045116544--


------------------------------

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 19:09:41 +0000
From: "abraham linkoln" <abelinkoln {AT} hotmail.com>
Subject: F*CK NET.ART

New exhibition opens this Friday February 14th
at Linkoln.net online gallery.

"FUCK NET.ART"

http://www.linkoln.net/FCK/


Abe Linkoln

http://www.linkoln.net



_________________________________________________________________
STOP MORE SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*  
http://join.msn.com/?page=features/junkmail


------------------------------

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 21:21:03 -0500
From: "Paul D. Miller" <anansi1 {AT} earthlink.net>
Subject: Remixing The Matrix - Erik Davis and Paul D. Miller - a Dialog

- --============_-1166846828==_ma============
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" ; format="flowed"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

here's the deal - this is a conversation me and Erik Davis (Author of 
the book  "Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of 
Information," URL www.techgnosis.com). Davis - sometimes editor of 
Wired and other journals of strange culture, sometimes journalist, 
and dabbler in what I like to call "consciousness retro-engineering 
modifiers," did the piece for Trip Magazine. It's about alot of 
different themes in contmeporary art and media - but most of all it's 
a dialog about the different worlds of aesthetics and techonology 
seen through the prism of psychedelic culture. Trip Magazine - a 
magazine that focuses on - yep, you guessed it - psychedelic culture, 
commisioned the piece: Trip magazine, the url: http://www.tripzine.com


pax,
Paul




Remixing the Matrix:

An Interview with Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky

By Erik Davis

	I first met Paul Miller over a decade ago, when we both 
scribbled for The Village Voice. At the time he was living in the Gas 
Station, an avant-garde ruin in the East Village's Alphabet City that 
was heavy on metal assemblages, rodents, and chaotic all-night 
affairs. I recognized a voodoo symbol on one of the DJ Spooky that 
Subliminal Kid stickers he had plastered around the office as a veve 
belonging to the loa Legba. So we got into a heady conversation about 
tricksters and messengers, LSD and Marshall McLuhan. Over the years 
I've seen his own trickster messages reach a widening range of 
audiences, from hip-hop kids to European media snobs to Afro-futurist 
artistes. His latest music reflects this scramble: Optometry, a 
jazzbo outing where Miller's turntables and sampled upright bass 
round out the amazing sounds of Matthew Shipp and William Parker; 
Modern Mantra, a scratchy-fuzzy-mystic-beat-void DJ mix; and Standard 
Time, a limited edition video/music CD about time zones that came out 
of an artistic collaboration between Miller and Julian LaVerdiere, 
the one of the artists responsible for the World Trade Center 
memorial sculpture.
  	Besides Miller's most visible (and lucrative) career as a 
musician and DJ, he also wears the hats of a media theorist, painter, 
sculptor, SF writer, and all-around everywhere man. In addition to 
his current music projects, which include the score for an 
independent film about Latino drag racing, Miller is looking forward 
to two book releases: Sound Unbound, a collection of articles he 
edited about music and media, as well as Rhythm Science, a book of 
his own essays that will come out on MIT Press. The web component of 
his recent Marcel Duchamp remixology project can be seen at 
http://www.moca.org/museum/dg_detail.php?dgDetail=pmiller.  He also 
shows up occasionally to present bits of a large work in progress: a 
video and audio remix of D.W.Griffith's Birth of a Nation.
	Some might say that Miller stretches himself too thin, and 
that his work can be more dabbling that definitive. But classic 
definition is not what he's after. His is a genuinely multi-tasking 
consciousness, and he does what he does in the spirit of the global 
mix, of trying something new, of constantly rewiring our planet's mad 
cultural networks. Like all tricksters, the dude cannot be boxed in, 
and he's fast on his feet (though he always claims he wants to slow 
down). I caught up with him in San Francisco, where he was in town to 
DJ a gathering of Creative Commons, a group developing novel systems 
of copyright that encourage collaboration rather than corporate 
control. He had just flown in from Monaco, and radiated his usual 
friendly energy and hectic enthusiasm.

***

TRIP: Tell me about what Creative Commons is about and why you got 
hooked up with them.

PM: Creative Commons is a public domain archive basically.  It's 
chaired by Lawrence Lessig, a cyberlawyer who argued the Eldred vs. 
Ashcroft case in front of the Supreme Court [a failed attempt to 
overturn the nefarious Sonny Bono act, which extends the rights of 
big copyright holders like Disney]. There's a debate ranging on the 
Internet and among people involved in sampling culture in general 
over ownership issues. Today Mickey Mouse is being used to push this 
whole notion of extended copyright to the point of drying up any 
sense of collective use. That's not what creates new objects; that 
just controls the idea of content and limits it.

I'm fascinated with pushing that envelope, with this idea of 
collective memory.  Part of my whole vibe is creating a sense of 
irreverence towards how memories are contained in objects, software, 
and the net.

How do you approach this issue in your own work? How do you deal with 
people who appropriate your own stuff?

There's a middle ground.  The term on the internet is "creative 
co-authorship." So as long as it's interesting and done in an 
intriguing way, and at the same time at least partly acknowledges the 
music as the original vector for itŠ it's a transitional area.  So 
part of me is like, yeah, probably get in touch, just drop me a quick 
line. I don't go crazy over it.  It's just making sure things are 
clear and cool.

Creative Commons isn't interested in a totally "free" environment, 
but in coming up with ways to balance certain kinds of controlled 
copyright with loose distribution and use.

You have two extremes. One is copyright anarchy, where you just run 
with whatever. The other extreme is you have lawyers looking to 
control aspects of almost everything that could possibly be in a 
song, like a breath of air, or a snare drum, or a high hatŠ If they 
had their way, you'd be clearing every tiny discrete sound on a 
track, which doesn't make any sense. It's an immense amount of 
paperwork.

I'm dealing with this on the scale of an indie kind of scene.  But as 
the scale gets bigger, like with Madonna sampling stuff, then you 
need to be reasonable. If someone's going to make a fortune, maybe it 
should be a percentage.  It's looking at the creative act as a 
reasonable dialogue in pop culture instead of an irrational, 
litigious kind of thing.

You just flew in from Monaco. Why were you there?

In Monaco, I did a collaboration with Gaetan Morletti, the Principal 
Dancer of the Royal Ballet of Monaco.  They commissioned a work and 
we did a live piece at the Royal Ballet Showcase.

How much do you prepare for something like that?

I send them elements in advance and say, basically you're going to 
hear a remix of this. It's kind of the basic template, and then I put 
it together live.

Are the things you sent them samples of other people, or your own stuff?

It's mostly my own stuff, 98%.  If there's other stuff, it's very 
discreteŠ small sounds, nothing like a drum beat. These days everyone 
and their mother is DJing, so you don't want to just send a basic 
loop.  You've got to give people a sense of total context and 
environment, and that means you've got to be a lot more creative, and 
really open up some new space with your material. It's a lesson 
learned, because it's part of the creative act to actually make new 
stuff. The whole scene now is saturated.

Do you feel in some ways the saturation is forcing another kind of 
creativity to emerge? You can't just keep using samples and remixing 
found sounds. Even turntablism sometimes seems like a museum piece 
now, a sort of fetish for an earlier gesture of recombination.

It's archive fever.  We're in a delirium of saturation.  We're never 
going to remember anything exactly the way it happened.  It's all 
subjective. Because of that, you're looking at an eruption of, for 
lack of a better word, a dyslexic thinking process. Do you want to 
have a bored delirium or a more exciting one?

In some ways, this oversaturated sampling process seems analogous to 
the eruption of excess and delirium that psychedelics produce. In the 
1960s, McLuhan talked about LSD as a preparation for the electronic 
age.  Do you think there's some kind of connection there?

Yeah. Most drugs come out of either military or biological or 
pharmaceutical research. They're like military applications to 
condition troops for different environments. A lot of research into 
painkillers was done in World War II -- imagine the kind of pain you 
feel when there are bullets flying over your head and your leg gets 
shattered. Or what kind of speed you need if you are in an airplane 
and need to stay awake. Drugs are definitely looking at the idea of 
man/machine interface and conditioning the meat to be able to deal 
with the machines.

At the end of the day, it's all on the screen. Drugs are like a 
graphical user interface. I can almost tell what substances people 
are on depending on what mix they're doing. There's the herb mix, 
there's the acid mix, there's the Ecstasy-style mix. Each of them 
gives a certain kind of interface quality.  They summon up different 
kinds of psychological projections when you hear them.  Depending on 
what kind of substances you've done yourself, the sounds might evoke 
those same memories. Or they might even be able to give a 
foreground/background kind of thing, where you're looking at the 
psychology of the listener being bounced back off the environment 
that the creator has made.

You can think of it as a subtle psychology of industrial culture -- 
what I like to call the archaeology of the subconscious.  Somehow the 
technology has conditioned the very way we communicate. It's like a 
different kind of language.  A lot of times people use dead words, so 
to speak, and that's when a mix doesn't work.  What you do as a DJ is 
to breathe new life into it and see what happens, and that's what 
sampling's about. It's speaking with the voices of the dead, playing 
with that sense of presence and absence. If the mix doesn't evoke 
something, it doesn't work.

Your music doesn't sound "trippy" the way a psychedelic band does, 
but there is a sense of constantly flowing through different 
structures without having a fixed sense of ground. Have your own 
experiences with psychedelics helped you deal with all those multiple 
levels happening at once?

I can't say there's one formula to the structure of my sound, but 
there's definitely this sense of a syncopation of all these different 
layers of culture that move at different rhythms and tempos: 
African-American culture, academic culture, digital media.  I love 
the word "syncopation." Syncope means a small gap in consciousness, 
and when you play with those gaps and make a mesh out of those 
presences and absences, that's a beat. Everything is about pulling 
together these disparate fragments.  If there was one thing that 
African-American experience is about, it's pulling together these 
tasty fragments of the shattered culture.

I feel like psychedelic culture flows through white America and black 
American culture along different vectors. I'm a product of Washington 
D.C., and African-American culture in D.C. is highly segregated. When 
I did my first series of psychedelic interventions, I was a teenager, 
college age. Some of my weirder experiences were staying up all night 
and just walking around Washington, D.C., and seeing all the weird 
monuments. Class and social hierarchy issues are just etched like a 
rubber stamp on the whole zone.  Seeing African-American kids playing 
plastic buckets in front of the White House, weird shit like that, 
that's what D.C. is about. There's more Haitians and vodoun kind of 
scenes in D.C. than in the South.

What kind of area did you grow up in?  Was it predominantly black or 
was it more of a mix?

It was more like an academic community, and also sort of a cultural 
scene.  My Mom had a store called Toast and Strawberries right off of 
Dupont Circle. Also a lot of the punk rock scene was going on, a lot 
of the conceptual political art scene. Fugazi was coming out, Minor 
Threat, Bad Brains. A lot of experimental culture in general, but at 
the same time, in the black culture scene, a lot of poetry was going 
on.

To me it was much easier to jump between zones and scenes.
It's amazing, to this day, if somebody gets into a beat, there's a 
whole structure that goes into that rhythm to the point where you can 
actually see exactly what people's tastes are, what weird niche they 
inhabit.Your taste and preferences become mapped onto the specific 
structure of the rhythm.  So hip hop is a lifestyle, like a clothing 
or a line of cars.  J.Lo just did a song about the Cadillac Escalade, 
so all of a sudden they're saying, "As in the J.Lo songŠ" People will 
rhyme about being in their Lexus going to go buy some Möet and have a 
good time. It's an entire lifestyle.  But that's the end result of 
advertising as the American dream.

Beats form certain mnemonics, like sonic logos that carry whole 
lifestyle connotations.  But remix culture gestures towards the 
possibility of not getting stuck in any one groove. DJ Spooky is 
certainly a brand, but at the same time you're this curious 
multi-tasking guy, grabbing from lots of things and just going 
forward and making it work without being too focussed or careerist. 
Some people accuse you of being a dabbler, but you are connecting 
between lots of different spaces.

I've never felt like I should be a careerist. It's like the summer I 
first did this liquid acid, walking through D.C. A good friend of 
mine committed suicide that summer and put me into this weird 
depression thing. I was actually studying to be a diplomat. That's 
when I said: Do I want to do this? Seeing these weird monuments, and 
people rushing around, going through the office doors like in 
Koyaanisqatsi or MetropolisŠ It gave me this weird sinking feeling, a 
haunted feeling. I can't deal with that.

We're living in a world of absolute standards of identity, time, 
regulation. It's a highly regimented culture, but it's so subtle that 
it's almost totalitarian, far more than anything the Soviets could 
have ever achieved.

Where is the real heart of the control, of the regimentation?

Personally I think it's about living in a culture of highly 
structured time -- seconds, minutes, days. You have to fit all 
aspects of life into that interface, the same as you would a 
graphical user interface like Pro Tools, putting all of your 
expression into these different tracks and layers and making a mesh 
of it so it's synchronized and syncopated.

It's like the way people fill out their datebooks, with those little slots.

In the '60s, with psychedelic culture, you saw this first burst of 
trying to break out of that.  The drugs shattered people. They took 
acid and said, Holy shit! Psychedelic culture disrupted all the 
regimentation and let all this new energy out.  Now you have 
multiculturalism, you have respect for diversity of sexual 
orientation, of women's rights, all these things. After the '60s, 
mainstream America viewed that as a problem or a mistake, whereas 
it's just about being human instead of being some weird, programmed 
android.

When you look at Ginsberg and all those 1960s and 1950s guys, they 
were like neo-Romantics.  But in literary or musical circles these 
days, there's just a deep confusion about how to break out of the 
system and really be outside of it.  The Matrix - that's one of my 
favorite parables around. It's the whole Plato's cave thing, where 
you see the shadow of the projection of reality and you take that as 
the basic rhythm of what's going on.

Do you think there are ways in which drugs can help illuminate that 
trap or are they just another dimension of it? In The Matrix, Neo 
takes the red pill.  Is there still something in psychedelic 
consciousness that enables people to break out?

With drugs, there is no one answer. It's all dualities, paradoxes, 
twisted involutions. In a way, it's healthy, but as human beings we 
also seek standardization. It's like a hive thing. We're more insects 
than the insects perhaps.  I remember reading the other day that they 
found a huge ant colony that stretched for like 3000 miles. You could 
say the same thing of the East Coast megalopolis - stretching from 
Boston down to Atlanta... We're the same thing.

I don't think the drugs clarify anything.  I think they just diffuse 
the interface a little bit and allow you to see the cracks in the 
system. But unless you can walk through those cracks, or think out of 
the cracks, you don't know if it's just another illusion.

Do you think there's any way out of that loop?

You'd have to make some sort of intense cognitive break with the 
psychological/perceptual architecture of what makes you a normal 
human.  In the Robert Heinlein book Stranger in a Strange Land, the 
kid's raised by aliens, and his whole perceptual architecture is 
conditioned differently by them. Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delaney, all 
these science fiction writers were engaging with standardization, 
with trying to figure out how to think outside the box. The tragedy 
is that there is no outside the box.  You're just in another box, in 
another box, like a Russian matroyshka doll.

Have you ever felt close to some kind of radical cognitive break like that?

You just never know. It's a hall of mirrors.  Unless there's some 
scientific way to get proof.  It's like the H.P. Lovecraft story 
["From Beyond"] where this guy can see in different dimensions and 
then he gets hunted by this one creature who notices him. We do live 
in many dimensions. That's actually the physics, the scientific 
reality.

Speaking of multiple dimensions, do you have a very rich dream life?

I dream all the time. Around March or April this year, I was in some 
kind of weird mood or humor, and my dreams went geometric. Lines and 
points and structures. All kind of vectors. Nowadays my dreams are 
more narrative. I've done a lot of exercises to try to remember 
dreams. Dreaming is reflective. You are taking a step back and 
looking at your own trajectory.

How do you condition yourself to deal with things through your dreams 
and aspirations and ideas of how you can be? There's an old KRS rhyme 
where he's like, "You want to be rich? Picture wealth and put 
yourself in the picture. Health is your mental wealth." I like the 
idea of mental wealth. It's not about having a big car. It's the idea 
that you are your currency. If you hold yourself high, you will be 
able to attract all sorts of different exchange rates. Lots of 
people's imaginations are so conditioned by the consumer thing, 
that's their dream. That's the picture they want to put themselves 
in. Pretty standard and boring picture. That's what I like about 
Burning Man. It's a different dream.

You first attended Burning Man in 1995. What do you think about the festival?

I consider Burning Man to be the near future, like you're living six 
months to two years into the future. There will be what I call 
Burning Man moments where you are walking down a street in New York 
and there's an accident, or a car flies by, or there's an awkward 
intervention of something into the fabric of normal urbanism, like 
when a homeless guy walks by mumbling to himself wearing a fedora. 
That's a Burning Man moment.

I look at Burning Man as a postmodern carnival. I'm one of these 
kinds of guys who likes breaking down words, and carnival means 
- -"carni-vale" - throwing the flesh, you know, being able to wear all 
these different masks and being able to switch identities. 
Afro-Caribbean culture and a lot of southern European culture is 
fascinated with carnival, with the festival of the saints. These are 
all neo-pagan eruptions that Christianity somehow absorbed.  But when 
you apply that Dionysian  search for some eruption of irrationality 
into a very regimented worldŠ it's madness by normal standards.

How does Burning Man compare to raves?

To me, raves are trying to balance some kind of madness with 
standardization, which is the beats. The people dancing and hanging 
out, and the Ecstasy and acid and all that, is just a psychological 
buffer between seeing the shadow on the wall and realizing you can't 
get around it.  There's an existential quality when you go to really 
big events. I've seen a whole arena chanting "Who Let The Dogs Out" 
in unison. It's like Albert Speer, like Hitler using TV to get 
propaganda messages out during WWII - "Triumph of the Will." Etc etc. 
The whole thing is intense psychological compartmentalization, and 
when you look at that gestalt mentality, yeah, DJing is part of the 
science of regimentation.  Is it an avant-garde thing?  No, it's just 
part of the fabricŠ

What's your personal attitude towards psychedelics now?

I've kind of distanced myself from the psychology of psychedelic 
culture. I DJ'd at Burning Man last year and took some DMT. I felt 
much more disassociated than before.  At the end of the day, that's 
what it's all about: the logic of things, you do A thus B happens or 
C happens.  But psychedelic culture breaks those associative chains, 
and makes you feel like everything's without cause and just floating. 
When I did that heavy psychedelic at Burning Man, I actually felt 
like my brain had gone past the point of no return. I mean, 
everything's already fragmented, but it feels like if I touch this 
stuff ever again, my brain will just fly to pieces.

In general, I haven't done anything over the last year or so - I've 
had some coffee, some wine. The more I've actually pulled back from 
stuff, the more it feels like the entire planet is psychedelic -- 
like the geometry of a city seen from above, or seeing ocean waves 
just near the Mediterranean.  Monaco looked like a Walt Disney 
recreation, but then you realize that Disney is just recreating that 
weird palace vibe. We live in a culture of relentless quotation.  You 
see something, you absorb it, and it pops up unconsciously in your 
next thing. After the last time I did DMT at Burning Man, I felt like 
my brain became Time Square, a kind of boring, rushing collage of 
conflicting images and ideas, each one demanding its own time and 
space in my brain.

I think a lot of this stuff is psychologically corrosive. To get any 
work done, you can't think like that, because you're just outside of 
any notion of normal language and being able to communicate and deal 
with things.  It takes a lot of psychological integrity to be able to 
balance between psychedelic culture and being able to maintain and 
build a normal world and still have that sense of overview. When you 
talk to some executive guy, they've got just a one-track mentality, 
because that's what allows them to do their thing.  Anybody who wants 
to do something has to compress.

Once you've done X amount of some substance it actually remodels your 
perceptions, the architecture of how you experience stuff. You do the 
drugs and then the drugs do you.  When you look at a computer screen, 
synaesthesia is just there on the surface, like when you touch it and 
you see little waves bubble away.  There are special effects at every 
level and from every angle.

As an artist, I'm at a paradox, because part of me has that urge to 
trip. But there's always the sense that once you go past that point 
of no return, you're in a universe of one, because you're your own 
language structure, your own mentality.  At the peak of any trip you 
sometimes feel this inability to have any sense of real language. 
That's what Burning Man felt like: that sense of linguistic loss, of 
not being able to enunciate normal words or the flows of how you 
would normally put sentences together.  It's post-linguistic or 
something.

You've mentioned how psychedelics in white culture and black culture 
are really different.  In general, you don't see too much evidence of 
black psychedelia, but then you have something like 
Parliament/Funkadelic, which is like the most insanely flipped out 
thing that happened in the mid-'70s.  What's going on there?

I think white American culture is kind of fragmented in a way that 
black American culture isn't. In black America, the pressure to 
conform is really intense. All the kids will all of a sudden start 
wearing new Fila gear or the new Nike. In white American culture, the 
point is to actually to stand out, to be able to cut against the 
grain of things.

In terms of lifestyle issues, it's fascinating when people start 
rhyming stuff. That means it's truly attained. When you hear Missy 
Elliott rhyme about taking Ecstasy and drinking Möet, you know.  Or 
like, "Yo, I'm the dealer man, pusher man, herb guy." Whatever. They 
always externalize it in a way that leaves you with these paradoxes, 
because to rhyme about the experience kind of takes away any sense of 
the magic of individualism .  So you are left with this sense of a 
pre-conditioned emotion.

That's been a real intense trope in black culture for a long time, 
because you have this sense that, if you leave the crowd, then that 
means you've left the sense of struggle, and you're supposed to 
always be in tune with the sense of dynamic struggle and change.  I 
think that makes Afro-American culture an inherently revolutionary 
culture, but at the same time, it leaves you in stasis, because no 
one goes outside of it.

Have you felt kind of torn between the pressure of this group 
identity and your own desire to discover your own unusual way of 
dealing with all these different cultures and scenes?

Yeah, I get it all the time, and I'm pretty mellow. I can only 
imagine what somebody like Hendrix must have felt.  George Clinton 
was able to be both psychedelic and still in the normal fold.  But 
when you hear Snoop Dogg talking about psychedelic culture -- he's 
always talking about being a freak and freak out -- that almost feels 
very conservative to me.  Dr. Dre always talks about Mary Jane, 
cheeba, but I don't think they engage this kind of psychedelic 
culture or pot culture that tries to break free of things.

In my music, it's much more about paradox. I mean when you look at 
the Platonic myth of the shadow on the cave, it could just as easily 
be perceptual breakdown or something. There's the uncertainty of the 
box within the box, the Cartesian demon of doubt. To really face that 
is to say, "Look, we live in a world where you just don't fucking 
know, and there is no certainty, and so you just make it up as you go 
and see what happens." But we're not conditioned to want that sense 
of "the certainty of uncertainty."  That's what I try to evoke with 
my stuff.

In terms of black culture, again, you can't think of things in terms 
of monolithic styles. It's far more nuanced and bizarre than that. 
These days the drug of choice for a lot of MCs -- at least that you 
hear rhyming about -- is Ecstasy.  And if you listen to Timbaland's 
beats and styles, there was a sharp change about four years ago, when 
he all of a sudden starting doing what they call the acid sound. One 
time Donatella Versace threw this after-New Years party and she had 
me fly out to DJ. Missy Elliott was backstage hanging and they were 
just chilling but it didn't feel psychedelic.  There's times when 
you're backstage and everything is completely out of whack and you 
get that feeling, yo, anything could go off.  In the last couple 
years, I've just felt a sense of calmness.

You've encountered a lot of weird places and situations across the 
planet.  What's the weirdest scene you've been in?

One of the more intriguing parties I've been to was in Iceland. Björk 
was having this New Year's Eve party, and all these Icelandic people 
were just rocking out.  That was a couple of years ago, outside of 
Reykjavik. People were on these glaciersŠ

The party was on the ice?

Yeah.

Wasn't it terribly cold?

Yeah, but they get used to it, man.

People were outside?

Yeah, the sound system and stuff was outside, on the ice fields. It 
was dark, this kind of surreal, gray, dawn aura kind of thing, and 
that was weird.  They like hard techno and trance. They have all 
these mixtures of culture, Inuit and European, and they are also just 
a really open and friendly people, a fishing culture, a small island. 
When I got back from that party, I cut all my hair off.

Another bizarre scene was when I was living at the Gas Station on 
Avenue B. I used to throw these after hours parties, and we'd just 
leave the door open, and homeless people, crazy people would come 
through. For one party we put up these TVs, and every TV had static, 
and they were hanging from these industrial chains on the ceiling. 
People were coming in off the street, I had no idea who the fuck they 
were, but they would jump onto the TVs and swing around. The 
televisions were the only light in the room, and there was crazy 
music, and then you'd look out and see all this melted metal and 
burned up sculpture and stuff. Those were weird parties.  But that 
was a different time.

You live a life that would run most people ragged: you sleep five 
hours a night, you travel all the time, you're always working on a 
gazillion projects and collaborations. You don't seem based in any 
particular spacetime because you're moving around, dealing with 
different layers of society, all the time. What drives you?

It's just fun.  The world is such a fucking weird place.  It's an 
exquisitely bizarre thing.  I'm just happy to be alive in this era. 
It's truly exciting to travel around just checking out how strange it 
all is. I'd say this is going to be a century of hyper-acceleration, 
and I just get a kick out of seeing it. One of my favorite phrases 
from William Gibson is: "The future is already here, it's just 
unevenly distributed."

That hyper-acceleration can be tough to take. When you start to get 
the feeling that there's too much stuff going on, how do you get 
grounded?

You don't.  There's always something popping up, something that needs 
to get done on the phone or email.  It's 24/7. But when I really want 
to chill out, I just take a long bath and put some music on and just 
sit in the hot water.  Actually my plan next year is to decelerate a 
little bit and take some time off  [note to reader: Miller has been 
saying this as long as I have known him]. I'd like to do more 
soundtrack work, so I don't do have my economics derived so much from 
DJing and traveling.  Plus I've got a house up in the countryside, so 
I can just come to New York strictly when necessary. I really want to 
finish my fiction by early summer, because I've been working on that 
book forever.

What's it called?

It's called Flow My Blood The DJ Said. It's this whole involution of 
what I call control themes, and science fiction, and music and sound.

How experimental is the writing?

It started out very experimental, and then I realized, wait a second 
here, I've got to fine-tune it. Then I brought it back to more of a 
narrative thing.  There's chapters where it's just these rushes of 
phrases from advertising, weird advertising lingo. I'm fascinated 
with this catchphrase thing. You see enough of certain phrases, and 
then the city itself spells a big sentence.  Times Square is like 
that. If you selectively edit between all the information flowing 
through your mind, the sentence built is like some kind of Finnegans 
Wake James Joyce-type stuff, but it still has some resonance for me. 
My fiction's like stream of consciousness mixed with media streaming.

At this point in your career, do you mostly DJ because it's a nice 
cash flow, or do you still have an investment in being a pop culture 
figure who throws good parties?

Well, that depends.  My parties and my music are really outside of 
normal DJ currents.  I don't spin at the same rave as a Paul 
Oakenfold.  But at the same time, I love DJing as a hobby.  It was 
never really meant to be my main thing. DJing was meant to be an art 
project. Imagine having one project take over like that!

Over the next year or so I'm going to be doing a series of conceptual 
art projects, and migrating out of DJing. I used to pass out stickers 
saying, "Who is DJ Spooky?" and cassettes that had stories on them. 
I'm still doing that. But these days it's much more informal and just 
kind of fun.  So DJ Spooky was a project, and now Paul D. Miller is a 
project of DJ Spooky, and I'm slowly remixing out of that.

On your new record Optometry, you play some acoustic bass. What's up with that?

I started studying bass in college.  For my senior year recital, I 
had to do this kind of waltz, and I completely flubbed it.  Now when 
I play stuff , I just sample it.  Optometry is all samples.  I wasn't 
in the same room as anyone; everyone just gave me elements.  Being 
able to synchronize and put that meshwork together was a really fun 
kind of thing, but it sounds live. I've got to figure this out, 
though, because next year I'm going to do more stuff with a band. 
We're going to take Optometry on the road live.

Bass playing is one of those calm kinds of things I do to try and 
stop thinking.  You just play, you hear the sound, and that's it. 
Everybody has their little gestures that they tune in to and repeat. 
Like some people have prayer beads. For a couple years playing bass 
was my mellow activity, usually playing alone.

I've always loved jazz too, so Optometry is the jazz record I've 
wanted to make for a while.  A lot of people say it sounds happier 
than the rest of my music.  If you actually heard the original stuff, 
it was chaos -- you just had someone squawking their horn for like 
five minutes, like really aggro free jazz, while someone else's 
playing crazy drums. The sense of finessing that, of being able to 
figure out even what tempos or what arrangements to make things 
around, was fascinating.  Free jazz is totally out of the normal DJ 
beat, pulse, range, style.  Optometry was a good exercise in 
structural silence. Most free jazz bands are maximalists, they go and 
bombard you with all of these heavy sounds. So pulling silence out of 
that was a really interesting exercise.

One of the things you've been doing lately is taking the DJ 
performance and putting it into places where you don't usually see DJ 
decks, like in art galleries. Do people get what you're trying to do?

Well, some people love it, some people hate it.  I've gotten vicious, 
bitter reviews by critics.  But that's all just fluff.  As an artist 
and writer, I do what I enjoy.  If I didn't like it, I wouldn't do 
it. I think if you follow through with whatever you're into, you can 
do it. It doesn't matter if it's not consistent, there's a market or 
niche for every possible endeavor under the sun at this point.

I'm actually at a crossroads myself in terms of trying to figure out 
the writing stuff, especially this idea of writing as total text.

What do you mean by total text?

I'm in the process of editing my first two nonfiction anthologies, 
Sound Unbound and Rhythm Science. I'm going to have multimedia, I'm 
going to have web, I'm going to do a limited edition CD, I might want 
to do some performances around them. That's what Wagner was trying to 
do with the whole idea of the Gesamptkunstwerk ["total artwork"]. But 
that approach is actually more of an African kind of thing in 
general. In Europe, because of the specialization trip, you had to 
specialize and just do one thing. But why? I guess I'm just 
deprogramming out of the specialization thing.  Why not have a book 
that can be HTML code, or a building that's a symphony, or whatever?

You first got on the map doing music and DJing. You've done sound 
art, installation, sculpture, painting. You've been working lately 
with video remixing and getting into the mixology of images.  But in 
many ways you still define yourself primarily as a writer.  Why is it 
important for you to stay tied to the world of writing?

At the end of the day, you still want to communicate with your fellow 
human beings.  Otherwise it becomes a subjective implosion.

Yeah, but some people would say that images are now a better form of 
communication, that text isn't a very good form anymore. It's too 
slow, for one thing.

It is, it's all that. In fact it's kind of retro. But that's cool, 
too.  That's why people wear bell bottom jeans.  You can always 
squeeze something out of the past and make it become new.

But for you, it is about communication.

It's a puzzle you set for yourself.  Being at a crossroads like this, 
and being uncertain which direction to move, is actually a good 
thing, because it makes me question everything a lot more.  Why do I 
want to write, why do I want to make a track, why do I want to do 
this installation?  They're all hobbies, which keeps the fun.  If I 
were a dead serious artist guy, who wanted to just strictly be in all 
the right collections, and network the gallery scene, that's easily 
done.  Same with the DJ circuit.  But by being a hobbyist, a kind of 
flaneur or somebody who jumps around, it keeps things fresh and new. 
I can only imagine what kind of mentality most people must  have 
doing one thing all their lives.  But I guess because I grew up with 
books, I've always wanted to write one, to add my own book to the 
bookshelf in my mind or something.

How do you feel about writing?  You've written almost two booksŠ

It keeps me sane. I like dabbling in multimedia or doing performance, 
and I like speaking before audiences a lot.  But there's something 
about the labor or writing and the sense of being part of the 
continuum of writing that goes back thousands of years. It is a retro 
form, and in some ways it doesn't quite fit what's happening. The 
challenge then is to describe or characterize what it feels like to 
be alive now in the midst of it, but using this other kind of form. 
My consciousness is still partly in the Gutenberg world.  I know 
people who are totally electronic and it's fascinating to see them, 
but in some ways their consciousness works differently.  There's a 
reflexivity that comes with having to compose and letting language 
come through you.  It's a different speed, there's a slowness there. 
And the way language is infectious, the way you pick up language from 
other writers. It's kind of my home base.

Writing becomes your own temple and you just move in and make sure 
everything flows and the right divinities are in effect.

Nowadays writing just looks like one more technology, with its pluses 
and minuses. What have you been thinking about lately in terms of the 
future?

These days I've been thinking a lot about universal computing, and 
how that's going to affect us. It's going to just be psychological 
after a certain point.  Your mind will be the software or whatever. 
Once you have that density of information in terabytes, and 
everything's just kind of in the air, what happens after that? 
That's just around the corner.

Last night, Larry Lessig and I were talking about this idea of 
artificial scarcity. If you're in a digital world, where anyone can 
make a copy of anything, what you then need to do is to pull stuff 
out of the loop and make it become more scarce.  That's one of the 
new economies of scale that he thinks will be going on.  It's already 
started and will slowly evolve.

Give me an example.

There are some artists who will only make five copies of a DVD.  If 
they're in the conventional art world, they'll be able to sell them 
for like $75,000 each.  They're still dealing with the digital 
medium, but it works: people with the collecting mentality will pick 
up on that. Another example of artificial scarcity is where Bill 
Gates is buying up all these images and charging people X amount just 
to use the images. He set up a bunker and put millions of images in 
this one place.

Oh, you mean the paintings, the photographs, the actual physical objects?

Yeah - the original photos of the objects. It's this bunker in 
Pennsylvania, buried underground, in this secure 
thermostatically-controlled, humidity-controlled environment. It has 
guards and stuff like that.  So a bunker of images.  That's 
artificial scarcity.

You have to imagine a world where, on the one hand, basic resources 
like water and oil are becoming more scarce. That's a real scarcity. 
Digital culture's blossoming like an artificial desert being made 
over again, because people are actually making more copies of 
everything. There's more cities in Sim City than have ever existed in 
human history.

But you can't eat that.  You can't flush it and you can't drink it, 
so it's an artificial thing. It's this weird kind of information 
environment. But how do you sustain the architecture in your own 
mind?  I'm fascinated with the idea of being able to be in a world 
where it's not how much information that bombards you, but how little 
you have. That's going to be your wealth. Less is more.

What's scares you the most about our moment now?

Well, I think if we don't play our cards right in this century, we'll 
be extinct. I think we'll just play our deck, have a wild party and 
just wrap up and make room for the next species.  There's too much 
pollution, too much tinkering with DNA, weird biotech weapons, 
control systems, computer stuffŠ I don't think there's any real sense 
of responsible growth or engagement. We're already messing up the 
oceans, we're already killing off the dolphins and all these 
different species. Statistically speaking I think we're just around 
the corner from some mass, twisted thing. Somebody will just get in 
their airplane with some new biotech weapon and spread it around, or 
somebody's going to splash a whole city full of some virus. Today 
huge devastation can be brought about just by a couple of bugged-out 
people. And there are a lot of bugged-out people.

You're in the special position of going around the world and meeting 
lots of interesting and very different people. Despite cultural 
diversity, are you getting the feeling that everyone is starting to 
feel the same way about the state of things?

Yeah, I definitely think that anyone who's watching the world knows 
that, yo, shit is mega fucked up.  You can't walk down the street 
without feeling this sense of empathy or pain for some crazy person. 
You catch their eye, and you realize this is a shattered psychology, 
somebody who just got fucked by the zone they grew up in.  I think 
humans are building systems that are psychologically devastating to 
ourselves, far more pervasively than at any other time in history. 
And that's just our own psychology. Forget about the environment or 
the air we breathe or the ocean we're swimming in.  I think that most 
people who are even vaguely aware feel this giddy sense that 
something's wrong and things are really fucked up. It's pretty hard 
to miss the signs. Unless you're Bush.

Erik Davis is a contributing editor to Trip.





============================================================================
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe 
they are free...."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Port:status>OPEN
wildstyle access: www.djspooky.com

Paul D. Miller a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid

Office Mailing Address:

Subliminal Kid Inc.
101 W. 23rd St. #2463
New York, NY 10011
- --============_-1166846828==_ma============
Content-Type: text/enriched; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<fontfamily><param>Geneva</param>here's the deal - this is a
conversation me and Erik Davis (Author of the book  "Techgnosis: Myth,
Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information," URL
www.techgnosis.com). Davis - sometimes editor of Wired and other
journals of strange culture, sometimes journalist, and dabbler in what
I like to call "consciousness retro-engineering modifiers," did the
piece for Trip Magazine. It's about alot of different themes in
contmeporary art and media - but most of all it's a dialog about the
different worlds of aesthetics and techonology seen through the prism
of psychedelic culture. Trip Magazine - a magazine that focuses on -
yep, you guessed it - psychedelic culture, commisioned the piece: Trip
magazine, the url: http://www.tripzine.com



pax,

Paul





Remixing the Matrix:


An Interview with Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky


By Erik Davis


	I first met Paul Miller over a decade ago, when we both scribbled for
<italic>The Village Voice</italic>. At the time he was living in the
Gas Station, an avant-garde ruin in the East Village's Alphabet City
that was heavy on metal assemblages, rodents, and chaotic all-night
affairs. I recognized a voodoo symbol on one of the DJ Spooky that
Subliminal Kid stickers he had plastered around the office as a
<italic>veve</italic> belonging to the<italic> loa</italic> Legba. So
we got into a heady conversation about tricksters and messengers, LSD
and Marshall McLuhan. Over the years I've seen his own trickster
messages reach a widening range of audiences, from hip-hop kids to
European media snobs to Afro-futurist artistes. His latest music
reflects this scramble:<italic> Optometry,</italic> a jazzbo outing
where Miller's turntables and sampled upright bass round out the
amazing sounds of Matthew Shipp and William Parker;<italic> Modern
Mantra</italic>, a scratchy-fuzzy-mystic-beat-void DJ mix; and<italic>
Standard Time</italic>, a limited edition video/music CD about time
zones that came out of an artistic collaboration between Miller and
Julian LaVerdiere, the one of the artists responsible for the World
Trade Center memorial sculpture.

 	Besides Miller's most visible (and lucrative) career as a musician
and DJ, he also wears the hats of a media theorist, painter, sculptor,
SF writer, and all-around everywhere man. In addition to his current
music projects, which include the score for an independent film about
Latino drag racing, Miller is looking forward to two book
releases:<italic> Sound Unbound</italic>, a collection of articles he
edited about music and media, as well as <italic>Rhythm Science,
</italic>a book of his own essays that will come out on MIT Press. The
web component of his recent Marcel Duchamp remixology project can be
seen at<underline>
http://www.moca.org/museum/dg_detail.php?dgDetail=pmiller</underline>. 
He also shows up occasionally to present bits of a large work in
progress: a video and audio remix of D.W.Griffith's<italic> Birth of a
Nation.

	</italic>Some might say that Miller stretches himself too thin, and
that his work can be more dabbling that definitive. But classic
definition is not what he's after. His is a genuinely multi-tasking
consciousness, and he does what he does in the spirit of the global
mix, of trying something new, of constantly rewiring our planet's mad
cultural networks. Like all tricksters, the dude cannot be boxed in,
and he's fast on his feet (though he always claims he wants to slow
down). I caught up with him in San Francisco, where he was in town to
DJ a gathering of Creative Commons, a group developing novel systems of
copyright that encourage collaboration rather than corporate control.
He had just flown in from Monaco, and radiated his usual friendly
energy and hectic enthusiasm.


<bold>***


TRIP: Tell me about what Creative Commons is about and why you got
hooked up with them.


</bold>PM: Creative Commons is a public domain archive basically.  It's
chaired by Lawrence Lessig, a cyberlawyer who argued the Eldred vs.
Ashcroft case in front of the Supreme Court [a failed attempt to
overturn the nefarious Sonny Bono act, which extends the rights of big
copyright holders like Disney]. There's a debate ranging on the
Internet and among people involved in sampling culture in general over
ownership issues. Today Mickey Mouse is being used to push this whole
notion of extended copyright to the point of drying up any sense of
collective use. That's not what creates new objects; that just controls
the idea of content and limits it. 


I'm fascinated with pushing that envelope, with this idea of collective
memory.  Part of my whole vibe is creating a sense of irreverence
towards how memories are contained in objects, software, and the net.


<bold>How do you approach this issue in your own work? How do you deal
with people who appropriate your own stuff?


</bold>There's a middle ground.  The term on the internet is "creative
co-authorship." So as long as it's interesting and done in an
intriguing way, and at the same time at least partly acknowledges the
music as the original vector for itŠ it's a transitional area.  So part
of me is like, yeah, probably get in touch, just drop me a quick line.
I don't go crazy over it.  It's just making sure things are clear and
cool.


<bold>Creative Commons isn't interested in a totally "free"
environment, but in coming up with ways to balance certain kinds of
controlled copyright with loose distribution and use.


</bold>You have two extremes. One is copyright anarchy, where you just
run with whatever. The other extreme is you have lawyers looking to
control aspects of almost everything that could possibly be in a song,
like a breath of air, or a snare drum, or a high hatŠ If they had their
way, you'd be clearing every tiny discrete sound on a track, which
doesn't make any sense. It's an immense amount of paperwork. 


I'm dealing with this on the scale of an indie kind of scene.  But as
the scale gets bigger, like with Madonna sampling stuff, then you need
to be reasonable. If someone's going to make a fortune, maybe it should
be a percentage.  It's looking at the creative act as a reasonable
dialogue in pop culture instead of an irrational, litigious kind of
thing.


<bold>You just flew in from Monaco. Why were you there?


</bold>In Monaco, I did a collaboration with Gaetan Morletti, the
Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet of Monaco.  They commissioned a
work and we did a live piece at the Royal Ballet Showcase.


<bold>How much do you prepare for something like that?


</bold>I send them elements in advance and say, basically you're going
to hear a remix of this. It's kind of the basic template, and then I
put it together live.  


<bold>Are the things you sent them samples of other people, or your own
stuff?


</bold>It's mostly my own stuff, 98%.  If there's other stuff, it's
very discreteŠ small sounds, nothing like a drum beat. These days
everyone and their mother is DJing, so you don't want to just send a
basic loop.  You've got to give people a sense of total context and
environment, and that means you've got to be a lot more creative, and
really open up some new space with your material. It's a lesson
learned, because it's part of the creative act to actually make new
stuff. The whole scene now is saturated.


<bold>Do you feel in some ways the saturation is forcing another kind
of creativity to emerge? You can't just keep using samples and remixing
found sounds. Even turntablism sometimes seems like a museum piece now,
a sort of fetish for an earlier gesture of recombination.


</bold>It's archive fever.  We're in a delirium of saturation.  We're
never going to remember anything exactly the way it happened.  It's all
subjective. Because of that, you're looking at an eruption of, for lack
of a better word, a dyslexic thinking process. Do you want to have a
bored delirium or a more exciting one?


<bold>In some ways, this oversaturated sampling process seems analogous
to the eruption of excess and delirium that psychedelics produce. In
the 1960s, McLuhan talked about LSD as a preparation for the electronic
age.  Do you think there's some kind of connection there?


</bold>Yeah. Most drugs come out of either military or biological or
pharmaceutical research. They're like military applications to
condition troops for different environments. A lot of research into
painkillers was done in World War II -- imagine the kind of pain you
feel when there are bullets flying over your head and your leg gets
shattered. Or what kind of speed you need if you are in an airplane and
need to stay awake. Drugs are definitely looking at the idea of
man/machine interface and conditioning the meat to be able to deal with
the machines.  


At the end of the day, it's all on the screen. Drugs are like a
graphical user interface. I can almost tell what substances people are
on depending on what mix they're doing. There's the herb mix, there's
the acid mix, there's the Ecstasy-style mix. Each of them gives a
certain kind of interface quality.  They summon up different kinds of
psychological projections when you hear them.  Depending on what kind
of substances you've done yourself, the sounds might evoke those same
memories. Or they might even be able to give a foreground/background
kind of thing, where you're looking at the psychology of the listener
being bounced back off the environment that the creator has made.  


You can think of it as a subtle psychology of industrial culture --
what I like to call the archaeology of the subconscious.  Somehow the
technology has conditioned the very way we communicate. It's like a
different kind of language.  A lot of times people use dead words, so
to speak, and that's when a mix doesn't work.  What you do as a DJ is
to breathe new life into it and see what happens, and that's what
sampling's about. It's speaking with the voices of the dead, playing
with that sense of presence and absence. If the mix doesn't evoke
something, it doesn't work. 


<bold>Your music doesn't sound "trippy" the way a psychedelic band
does, but there is a sense of constantly flowing through different
structures without having a fixed sense of ground. Have your own
experiences with psychedelics helped you deal with all those multiple
levels happening at once?


</bold>I can't say there's one formula to the structure of my sound,
but there's definitely this sense of a syncopation of all these
different layers of culture that move at different rhythms and tempos:
African-American culture, academic culture, digital media.  I love the
word "syncopation." <italic>Syncope</italic> means a small gap in
consciousness, and when you play with those gaps and make a mesh out of
those presences and absences, that's a beat. Everything is about
pulling together these disparate fragments.  If there was one thing
that African-American experience is about, it's pulling together these
tasty fragments of the shattered culture.  


I feel like psychedelic culture flows through white America and black
American culture along different vectors. I'm a product of Washington
D.C., and African-American culture in D.C. is highly segregated. When I
did my first series of psychedelic interventions, I was a teenager,
college age. Some of my weirder experiences were staying up all night
and just walking around Washington, D.C., and seeing all the weird
monuments. Class and social hierarchy issues are just etched like a
rubber stamp on the whole zone.  Seeing African-American kids playing
plastic buckets in front of the White House, weird shit like that,
that's what D.C. is about. There's more Haitians and
<italic>vodoun</italic> kind of scenes in D.C. than in the South.


<bold>What kind of area did you grow up in?  Was it predominantly black
or was it more of a mix? 


</bold>It was more like an academic community, and also sort of a
cultural scene.  My Mom had a store called Toast and Strawberries right
off of Dupont Circle. Also a lot of the punk rock scene was going on, a
lot of the conceptual political art scene. Fugazi was coming out, Minor
Threat, Bad Brains. A lot of experimental culture in general, but at
the same time, in the black culture scene, a lot of poetry was going
on.  


To me it was much easier to jump between zones and scenes. 

It's amazing, to this day, if somebody gets into a beat, there's a
whole structure that goes into that rhythm to the point where you can
actually see exactly what people's tastes are, what weird niche they
inhabit.Your taste and preferences become mapped onto the specific
structure of the rhythm.  So hip hop is a lifestyle, like a clothing or
a line of cars.  J.Lo just did a song about the Cadillac Escalade, so
all of a sudden they're saying, "As in the J.Lo songŠ" People will
rhyme about being in their Lexus going to go buy some Möet and have a
good time. It's an entire lifestyle.  But that's the end result of
advertising as the American dream.


<bold>Beats form certain mnemonics, like sonic logos that carry whole
lifestyle connotations.  But remix culture gestures towards the
possibility of not getting stuck in any one groove. DJ Spooky is
certainly a brand, but at the same time you're this curious
multi-tasking guy, grabbing from lots of things and just going forward
and making it work without being too focussed or careerist. Some people
accuse you of being a dabbler, but you are connecting between lots of
different spaces.


</bold>I've never felt like I should be a careerist. It's like the
summer I first did this liquid acid, walking through D.C. A good friend
of mine committed suicide that summer and put me into this weird
depression thing. I was actually studying to be a diplomat. That's when
I said: Do I want to do this? Seeing these weird monuments, and people
rushing around, going through the office doors like in
<italic>Koyaanisqatsi</italic> or <italic>Metropolis</italic>Š It gave
me this weird sinking feeling, a haunted feeling. I can't deal with
that. 


We're living in a world of absolute standards of identity, time,
regulation. It's a highly regimented culture, but it's so subtle that
it's almost totalitarian, far more than anything the Soviets could have
ever achieved.


<bold>Where is the real heart of the control, of the regimentation? 


</bold>Personally I think it's about living in a culture of highly
structured time -- seconds, minutes, days. You have to fit all aspects
of life into that interface, the same as you would a graphical user
interface like Pro Tools, putting all of your expression into these
different tracks and layers and making a mesh of it so it's
synchronized and syncopated.


<bold>It's like the way people fill out their datebooks, with those
little slots.  


</bold>In the '60s, with psychedelic culture, you saw this first burst
of trying to break out of that.  The drugs shattered people. They took
acid and said, Holy shit! Psychedelic culture disrupted all the
regimentation and let all this new energy out.  Now you have
multiculturalism, you have respect for diversity of sexual orientation,
of women's rights, all these things. After the '60s, mainstream America
viewed that as a problem or a mistake, whereas it's just about being
human instead of being some weird, programmed android.  


When you look at Ginsberg and all those 1960s and 1950s guys, they were
like neo-Romantics.  But in literary or musical circles these days,
there's just a deep confusion about how to break out of the system and
really be outside of it.  <italic>The Matrix</italic> - that's one of
my favorite parables around. It's the whole Plato's cave thing, where
you see the shadow of the projection of reality and you take that as
the basic rhythm of what's going on.


<bold>Do you think there are ways in which drugs can help illuminate
that trap or are they just another dimension of it? In <italic>The
Matrix</italic>, Neo takes the red pill.  Is there still something in
psychedelic consciousness that enables people to break out?


</bold>With drugs, there is no one answer. It's all dualities,
paradoxes, twisted involutions. In a way, it's healthy, but as human
beings we also seek standardization. It's like a hive thing. We're more
insects than the insects perhaps.  I remember reading the other day
that they found a huge ant colony that stretched for like 3000 miles.
You could say the same thing of the East Coast megalopolis - stretching
from Boston down to Atlanta... We're the same thing. 


I don't think the drugs clarify anything.  I think they just diffuse
the interface a little bit and allow you to see the cracks in the
system. But unless you can walk through those cracks, or think out of
the cracks, you don't know if it's just another illusion.


<bold>Do you think there's any way out of that loop?


</bold>You'd have to make some sort of intense cognitive break with the
psychological/perceptual architecture of what makes you a normal human.
 In the Robert Heinlein book <italic>Stranger in a Strange
Land,</italic> the kid's raised by aliens, and his whole perceptual
architecture is conditioned differently by them. Philip K. Dick, Samuel
Delaney, all these science fiction writers were engaging with
standardization, with trying to figure out how to think outside the
box. The tragedy is that there is no outside the box.  You're just in
another box, in another box, like a Russian matroyshka doll.  


<bold>Have you ever felt close to some kind of radical cognitive break
like that?


</bold>You just never know. It's a hall of mirrors.  Unless there's
some scientific way to get proof.  It's like the H.P. Lovecraft story
["From Beyond"] where this guy can see in different dimensions and then
he gets hunted by this one creature who notices him. We do live in many
dimensions. That's actually the physics, the scientific reality.


<bold>Speaking of multiple dimensions, do you have a very rich dream
life?


</bold>I dream all the time. Around March or April this year, I was in
some kind of weird mood or humor, and my dreams went geometric. Lines
and points and structures. All kind of vectors. Nowadays my dreams are
more narrative. I've done a lot of exercises to try to remember dreams.
Dreaming is reflective. You are taking a step back and looking at your
own trajectory. 


How do you condition yourself to deal with things through your dreams
and aspirations and ideas of how you can be? There's an old KRS rhyme
where he's like, "You want to be rich? Picture wealth and put yourself
in the picture. Health is your mental wealth." I like the idea of
mental wealth. It's not about having a big car. It's the idea that you
are your currency. If you hold yourself high, you will be able to
attract all sorts of different exchange rates. Lots of people's
imaginations are so conditioned by the consumer thing, that's their
dream. That's the picture they want to put themselves in. Pretty
standard and boring picture. That's what I like about Burning Man. It's
a different dream.


<bold>You first attended Burning Man in 1995. What do you think about
the festival?


</bold>I consider Burning Man to be the near future, like you're living
six months to two years into the future. There will be what I call
Burning Man moments where you are walking down a street in New York and
there's an accident, or a car flies by, or there's an awkward
intervention of something into the fabric of normal urbanism, like when
a homeless guy walks by mumbling to himself wearing a fedora. That's a
Burning Man moment.


I look at Burning Man as a postmodern carnival. I'm one of these kinds
of guys who likes breaking down words, and carnival means -"carni-vale"
- - throwing the flesh, you know, being able to wear all these different
masks and being able to switch identities. Afro-Caribbean culture and a
lot of southern European culture is fascinated with carnival, with the
festival of the saints. These are all neo-pagan eruptions that
Christianity somehow absorbed.  But when you apply that Dionysian 
search for some eruption of irrationality into a very regimented worldŠ
it's madness by normal standards.  


<bold>How does Burning Man compare to raves?


</bold>To me, raves are trying to balance some kind of madness with
standardization, which is the beats. The people dancing and hanging
out, and the Ecstasy and acid and all that, is just a psychological
buffer between seeing the shadow on the wall and realizing you can't
get around it.  There's an existential quality when you go to really
big events. I've seen a whole arena chanting "Who Let The Dogs Out" in
unison. It's like Albert Speer, like Hitler using TV to get propaganda
messages out during WWII - "Triumph of the Will." Etc etc. The whole
thing is intense psychological compartmentalization, and when you look
at that gestalt mentality, yeah, DJing is part of the science of
regimentation.  Is it an avant-garde thing?  No, it's just part of the
fabricŠ


<bold>What's your personal attitude towards psychedelics now?


</bold>I've kind of distanced myself from the psychology of psychedelic
culture. I DJ'd at Burning Man last year and took some DMT. I felt much
more disassociated than before.  At the end of the day, that's what
it's all about: the logic of things, you do A thus B happens or C
happens.  But psychedelic culture breaks those associative chains, and
makes you feel like everything's without cause and just floating.  When
I did that heavy psychedelic at Burning Man, I actually felt like my
brain had gone past the point of no return. I mean, everything's
already fragmented, but it feels like if I touch this stuff ever again,
my brain will just fly to pieces.  


In general, I haven't done anything over the last year or so - I've had
some coffee, some wine. The more I've actually pulled back from stuff,
the more it feels like the entire planet is psychedelic --  like the
geometry of a city seen from above, or seeing ocean waves just near the
Mediterranean.  Monaco looked like a Walt Disney recreation, but then
you realize that Disney is just recreating that weird palace vibe. We
live in a culture of relentless quotation.  You see something, you
absorb it, and it pops up unconsciously in your next thing. After the
last time I did DMT at Burning Man, I felt like my brain became Time
Square, a kind of boring, rushing collage of conflicting images and
ideas, each one demanding its own time and space in my brain. 


I think a lot of this stuff is psychologically corrosive. To get any
work done, you can't think like that, because you're just outside of
any notion of normal language and being able to communicate and deal
with things.  It takes a lot of psychological integrity to be able to
balance between psychedelic culture and being able to maintain and
build a normal world and still have that sense of overview. When you
talk to some executive guy, they've got just a one-track mentality,
because that's what allows them to do their thing.  Anybody who wants
to do something has to compress.


Once you've done X amount of some substance it actually remodels your
perceptions, the architecture of how you experience stuff. You do the
drugs and then the drugs do you.  When you look at a computer screen,
synaesthesia is just there on the surface, like when you touch it and
you see little waves bubble away.  There are special effects at every
level and from every angle. 


As an artist, I'm at a paradox, because part of me has that urge to
trip. But there's always the sense that once you go past that point of
no return, you're in a universe of one, because you're your own
language structure, your own mentality.  At the peak of any trip you
sometimes feel this inability to have any sense of real language.
That's what Burning Man felt like: that sense of linguistic loss, of
not being able to enunciate normal words or the flows of how you would
normally put sentences together.  It's post-linguistic or something.


<bold>You've mentioned how psychedelics in white culture and black
culture are really different.  In general, you don't see too much
evidence of black psychedelia, but then you have something like
Parliament/Funkadelic, which is like the most insanely flipped out
thing that happened in the mid-'70s.  What's going on there?


</bold>I think white American culture is kind of fragmented in a way
that black American culture isn't. In black America, the pressure to
conform is really intense. All the kids will all of a sudden start
wearing new Fila gear or the new Nike. In white American culture, the
point is to actually to stand out, to be able to cut against the grain
of things.


In terms of lifestyle issues, it's fascinating when people start
rhyming stuff. That means it's truly attained. When you hear Missy
Elliott rhyme about taking Ecstasy and drinking Möet, you know.  Or
like, "Yo, I'm the dealer man, pusher man, herb guy." Whatever. They
always externalize it in a way that leaves you with these paradoxes,
because to rhyme about the experience kind of takes away any sense of
the magic of individualism .  So you are left with this sense of a
pre-conditioned emotion.  


That's been a real intense trope in black culture for a long time,
because you have this sense that, if you leave the crowd, then that
means you've left the sense of struggle, and you're supposed to always
be in tune with the sense of dynamic struggle and change.  I think that
makes Afro-American culture an inherently revolutionary culture, but at
the same time, it leaves you in stasis, because no one goes outside of
it.


<bold>Have you felt kind of torn between the pressure of this group
identity and your own desire to discover your own unusual way of
dealing with all these different cultures and scenes?


</bold>Yeah, I get it all the time, and I'm pretty mellow. I can only
imagine what somebody like Hendrix must have felt.  George Clinton was
able to be both psychedelic and still in the normal fold.  But when you
hear Snoop Dogg talking about psychedelic culture -- he's always
talking about being a freak and freak out -- that almost feels very
conservative to me.  Dr. Dre always talks about Mary Jane, cheeba, but
I don't think they engage this kind of psychedelic culture or pot
culture that tries to break free of things.  


In my music, it's much more about paradox. I mean when you look at the
Platonic myth of the shadow on the cave, it could just as easily be
perceptual breakdown or something. There's the uncertainty of the box
within the box, the Cartesian demon of doubt. To really face that is to
say, "Look, we live in a world where you just don't fucking know, and
there is no certainty, and so you just make it up as you go and see
what happens." But we're not conditioned to want that sense of "the
certainty of uncertainty."  That's what I try to evoke with my stuff. 


In terms of black culture, again, you can't think of things in terms of
monolithic styles. It's far more nuanced and bizarre than that.  These
days the drug of choice for a lot of MCs -- at least that you hear
rhyming about -- is Ecstasy.  And if you listen to Timbaland's beats
and styles, there was a sharp change about four years ago, when he all
of a sudden starting doing what they call the acid sound. One time
Donatella Versace threw this after-New Years party and she had me fly
out to DJ. Missy Elliott was backstage hanging and they were just
chilling but it didn't feel psychedelic.  There's times when you're
backstage and everything is completely out of whack and you get that
feeling, yo, anything could go off.  In the last couple years, I've
just felt a sense of calmness.  


<bold>You've encountered a lot of weird places and situations across
the planet.  What's the weirdest scene you've been in?  


</bold>One of the more intriguing parties I've been to was in Iceland.
Björk was having this New Year's Eve party, and all these Icelandic
people were just rocking out.  That was a couple of years ago, outside
of Reykjavik. People were on these glaciersŠ


<bold>The party was on the ice?


</bold>Yeah.


<bold>Wasn't it terribly cold?


</bold>Yeah, but they get used to it, man.


<bold>People were outside?


</bold>Yeah, the sound system and stuff was outside, on the ice fields.
It was dark, this kind of surreal, gray, dawn aura kind of thing, and
that was weird.  They like hard techno and trance. They have all these
mixtures of culture, Inuit and European, and they are also just a
really open and friendly people, a fishing culture, a small island.
When I got back from that party, I cut all my hair off.


Another bizarre scene was when I was living at the Gas Station on
Avenue B. I used to throw these after hours parties, and we'd just
leave the door open, and homeless people, crazy people would come
through. For one party we put up these TVs, and every TV had static,
and they were hanging from these industrial chains on the ceiling.
People were coming in off the street, I had no idea who the fuck they
were, but they would jump onto the TVs and swing around. The
televisions were the only light in the room, and there was crazy music,
and then you'd look out and see all this melted metal and burned up
sculpture and stuff. Those were weird parties.  But that was a
different time.


<bold>You live a life that would run most people ragged: you sleep five
hours a night, you travel all the time, you're always working on a
gazillion projects and collaborations. You don't seem based in any
particular spacetime because you're moving around, dealing with
different layers of society, all the time. What drives you?  


</bold>It's just fun.  The world is such a fucking weird place.  It's
an exquisitely bizarre thing.  I'm just happy to be alive in this era.
It's truly exciting to travel around just checking out how strange it
all is. I'd say this is going to be a century of hyper-acceleration,
and I just get a kick out of seeing it. One of my favorite phrases from
William Gibson is: "The future is already here, it's just unevenly
distributed." 


<bold>That hyper-acceleration can be tough to take. When you start to
get the feeling that there's too much stuff going on, how do you get
grounded?


</bold>You don't.  There's always something popping up, something that
needs to get done on the phone or email.  It's 24/7. But when I really
want to chill out, I just take a long bath and put some music on and
just sit in the hot water.  Actually my plan next year is to decelerate
a little bit and take some time off  [note to reader: Miller has been
saying this as long as I have known him]. I'd like to do more
soundtrack work, so I don't do have my economics derived so much from
DJing and traveling.  Plus I've got a house up in the countryside, so I
can just come to New York strictly when necessary. I really want to
finish my fiction by early summer, because I've been working on that
book forever.


<bold>What's it called?


</bold>It's called <italic>Flow My Blood The DJ Said.</italic> It's
this whole involution of what I call control themes, and science
fiction, and music and sound.


<bold>How experimental is the writing?


</bold>It started out very experimental, and then I realized, wait a
second here, I've got to fine-tune it. Then I brought it back to more
of a narrative thing.  There's chapters where it's just these rushes of
phrases from advertising, weird advertising lingo. I'm fascinated with
this catchphrase thing. You see enough of certain phrases, and then the
city itself spells a big sentence.  Times Square is like that. If you
selectively edit between all the information flowing through your mind,
the sentence built is like some kind of <italic>Finnegans Wake</italic>
James Joyce-type stuff, but it still has some resonance for me.  My
fiction's like stream of consciousness mixed with media streaming.


<bold>At this point in your career, do you mostly DJ because it's a
nice cash flow, or do you still have an investment in being a pop
culture figure who throws good parties?


</bold>Well, that depends.  My parties and my music are really outside
of normal DJ currents.  I don't spin at the same rave as a Paul
Oakenfold.  But at the same time, I love DJing as a hobby.  It was
never really meant to be my main thing. DJing was meant to be an art
project. Imagine having one project take over like that! 


Over the next year or so I'm going to be doing a series of conceptual
art projects, and migrating out of DJing. I used to pass out stickers
saying, "Who is DJ Spooky?" and cassettes that had stories on them. I'm
still doing that. But these days it's much more informal and just kind
of fun.  So DJ Spooky was a project, and now Paul D. Miller is a
project of DJ Spooky, and I'm slowly remixing out of that.


<bold>On your new record <italic>Optometry,</italic> you play some
acoustic bass. What's up with that?


</bold>I started studying bass in college.  For my senior year recital,
I had to do this kind of waltz, and I completely flubbed it.  Now when
I play stuff , I just sample it.  <italic>Optometry</italic> is all
samples.  I wasn't in the same room as anyone; everyone just gave me
elements.  Being able to synchronize and put that meshwork together was
a really fun kind of thing, but it sounds live. I've got to figure this
out, though, because next year I'm going to do more stuff with a band.
We're going to take <italic>Optometry</italic> on the road live.


Bass playing is one of those calm kinds of things I do to try and stop
thinking.  You just play, you hear the sound, and that's it. Everybody
has their little gestures that they tune in to and repeat. Like some
people have prayer beads. For a couple years playing bass was my mellow
activity, usually playing alone.  


I've always loved jazz too, so <italic>Optometry</italic> is the jazz
record I've wanted to make for a while.  A lot of people say it sounds
happier than the rest of my music.  If you actually heard the original
stuff, it was chaos -- you just had someone squawking their horn for
like five minutes, like really aggro free jazz, while someone else's
playing crazy drums. The sense of finessing that, of being able to
figure out even what tempos or what arrangements to make things around,
was fascinating.  Free jazz is totally out of the normal DJ beat,
pulse, range, style.  <italic>Optometry</italic> was a good exercise in
structural silence. Most free jazz bands are maximalists, they go and
bombard you with all of these heavy sounds. So pulling silence out of
that was a really interesting exercise. 


<bold>One of the things you've been doing lately is taking the DJ
performance and putting it into places where you don't usually see DJ
decks, like in art galleries. Do people get what you're trying to do? 


</bold>Well, some people love it, some people hate it.  I've gotten
vicious, bitter reviews by critics.  But that's all just fluff.  As an
artist and writer, I do what I enjoy.  If I didn't like it, I wouldn't
do it. I think if you follow through with whatever you're into, you can
do it. It doesn't matter if it's not consistent, there's a market or
niche for every possible endeavor under the sun at this point.  


I'm actually at a crossroads myself in terms of trying to figure out
the writing stuff, especially this idea of writing as total text.


<bold>What do you mean by total text?


</bold>I'm in the process of editing my first two nonfiction
anthologies, <italic>Sound Unbound</italic> and <italic>Rhythm
Science</italic>. I'm going to have multimedia, I'm going to have web,
I'm going to do a limited edition CD, I might want to do some
performances around them. That's what Wagner was trying to do with the
whole idea of the <italic>Gesamptkunstwerk</italic> ["total artwork"].
But that approach is actually more of an African kind of thing in
general. In Europe, because of the specialization trip, you had to
specialize and just do one thing. But why? I guess I'm just
deprogramming out of the specialization thing.  Why not have a book
that can be HTML code, or a building that's a symphony, or whatever?  


<bold>You first got on the map doing music and DJing. You've done sound
art, installation, sculpture, painting. You've been working lately with
video remixing and getting into the mixology of images.  But in many
ways you still define yourself primarily as a writer.  Why is it
important for you to stay tied to the world of writing?  


</bold>At the end of the day, you still want to communicate with your
fellow human beings.  Otherwise it becomes a subjective implosion.


<bold>Yeah, but some people would say that images are now a better form
of communication, that text isn't a very good form anymore. It's too
slow, for one thing.


</bold>It is, it's all that. In fact it's kind of retro. But that's
cool, too.  That's why people wear bell bottom jeans.  You can always
squeeze something out of the past and make it become new.


<bold>But for you, it is about communication.


</bold>It's a puzzle you set for yourself.  Being at a crossroads like
this, and being uncertain which direction to move, is actually a good
thing, because it makes me question everything a lot more.  Why do I
want to write, why do I want to make a track, why do I want to do this
installation?  They're all hobbies, which keeps the fun.  If I were a
dead serious artist guy, who wanted to just strictly be in all the
right collections, and network the gallery scene, that's easily done. 
Same with the DJ circuit.  But by being a hobbyist, a kind of
<italic>flaneur</italic> or somebody who jumps around, it keeps things
fresh and new.  I can only imagine what kind of mentality most people
must  have doing one thing all their lives.  But I guess because I grew
up with books, I've always wanted to write one, to add my own book to
the bookshelf in my mind or something.  


How do you feel about writing?  You've written almost two booksŠ


<bold>It keeps me sane. I like dabbling in multimedia or doing
performance, and I like speaking before audiences a lot.  But there's
something about the labor or writing and the sense of being part of the
continuum of writing that goes back thousands of years. It is a retro
form, and in some ways it doesn't quite fit what's happening. The
challenge then is to describe or characterize what it feels like to be
alive now in the midst of it, but using this other kind of form. My
consciousness is still partly in the Gutenberg world.  I know people
who are totally electronic and it's fascinating to see them, but in
some ways their consciousness works differently.  There's a reflexivity
that comes with having to compose and letting language come through
you.  It's a different speed, there's a slowness there.  And the way
language is infectious, the way you pick up language from other
writers. It's kind of my home base.


</bold>Writing becomes your own temple and you just move in and make
sure everything flows and the right divinities are in effect.  


<bold>Nowadays writing just looks like one more technology, with its
pluses and minuses. What have you been thinking about lately in terms
of the future?


</bold>These days I've been thinking a lot about universal computing,
and how that's going to affect us. It's going to just be psychological
after a certain point.  Your mind will be the software or whatever. 
Once you have that density of information in terabytes, and
everything's just kind of in the air, what happens after that?  That's
just around the corner.


Last night, Larry Lessig and I were talking about this idea of
artificial scarcity. If you're in a digital world, where anyone can
make a copy of anything, what you then need to do is to pull stuff out
of the loop and make it become more scarce.  That's one of the new
economies of scale that he thinks will be going on.  It's already
started and will slowly evolve.


<bold>Give me an example.


</bold>There are some artists who will only make five copies of a DVD. 
If they're in the conventional art world, they'll be able to sell them
for like $75,000 each.  They're still dealing with the digital medium,
but it works: people with the collecting mentality will pick up on
that. Another example of artificial scarcity is where Bill Gates is
buying up all these images and charging people X amount just to use the
images. He set up a bunker and put millions of images in this one
place.


<bold>Oh, you mean the paintings, the photographs, the actual physical
objects?


</bold>Yeah - the original photos of the objects. It's this bunker in
Pennsylvania, buried underground, in this secure
thermostatically-controlled, humidity-controlled environment. It has
guards and stuff like that.  So a bunker of images.  That's artificial
scarcity.


You have to imagine a world where, on the one hand, basic resources
like water and oil are becoming more scarce. That's a
<italic>real</italic> scarcity.  Digital culture's blossoming like an
artificial desert being made over again, because people are actually
making more copies of everything. There's more cities in <italic>Sim
City</italic> than have ever existed in human history.


But you can't eat that.  You can't flush it and you can't drink it, so
it's an artificial thing. It's this weird kind of information
environment. But how do you sustain the architecture in your own mind? 
I'm fascinated with the idea of being able to be in a world where it's
not how much information that bombards you, but how little you have.
<italic>That's</italic> going to be your wealth. Less is more.


<bold>What's scares you the most about our moment now?  


</bold>Well, I think if we don't play our cards right in this century,
we'll be extinct. I think we'll just play our deck, have a wild party
and just wrap up and make room for the next species.  There's too much
pollution, too much tinkering with DNA, weird biotech weapons, control
systems, computer stuffŠ I don't think there's any real sense of
responsible growth or engagement. We're already messing up the oceans,
we're already killing off the dolphins and all these different species.
Statistically speaking I think we're just around the corner from some
mass, twisted thing. Somebody will just get in their airplane with some
new biotech weapon and spread it around, or somebody's going to splash
a whole city full of some virus. Today huge devastation can be brought
about just by a couple of bugged-out people. And there are a lot of
bugged-out people.


<bold>You're in the special position of going around the world and
meeting lots of interesting and very different people. Despite cultural
diversity, are you getting the feeling that everyone is starting to
feel the same way about the state of things? 


</bold>Yeah, I definitely think that anyone who's watching the world
knows that, yo, shit is mega fucked up.  You can't walk down the street
without feeling this sense of empathy or pain for some crazy person.
You catch their eye, and you realize this is a shattered psychology,
somebody who just got fucked by the zone they grew up in.  I think
humans are building systems that are psychologically devastating to
ourselves, far more pervasively than at any other time in history.  And
that's just our own psychology. Forget about the environment or the air
we breathe or the ocean we're swimming in.  I think that most people
who are even vaguely aware feel this giddy sense that something's wrong
and things are really fucked up. It's pretty hard to miss the signs.
Unless you're Bush.


<italic>Erik Davis is a contributing editor to </italic>Trip.


</fontfamily>




============================================================================

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free...."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Port:status>OPEN

wildstyle access: www.djspooky.com


Paul D. Miller a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid


Office Mailing Address:


Subliminal Kid Inc.

101 W. 23rd St. #2463

New York, NY 10011

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