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<nettime> two essays on memory and annihilation
Alan Sondheim on Tue, 7 Feb 2012 00:19:51 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> two essays on memory and annihilation



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From performance with Monika Weiss, text written over six hours, at
Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, Feb 6, 2012:


flying blind means working without network or planning
this is flying blind. this is a broken network.
what collapses is the software, the timing, the indication
that things aren't going to continue in this fashion, that what
is here is irretrievable
skies don't last forever
pain is what happens when the network collapses.
then there is nothing but bangu, the drum
there's nothing else but absence, exhaustion
there's no inscription, emptiness or depletion
depletion is what happens when the words disappear
when the words disappear, there is nothing more to be said.
there are no hearers, no listeners. there is the blank wall.
i am living in the blank wall.
software collapses. these pilots are dead. these pilots have all died. they died NOW when the film was shot.
these people can't stand up.
these people are in the network.
these people are out of the network, these people are the ends of it. if you want to know where the internet goes, it goes here, it ends here.
it ends with these people HERE.
it ends with their dance-distortion, their ecstatic dance-distortion
but the network, the network is gone
so they fly apart
if we knew what to say we wouldn't be so numb with pain
get your stem cells today! get your stem cells today!
do you know your skin is your largest organ?
MEN< YOUR SKIN IS YOUR LARGEST ORGAN>
we apologize for that intrusion.
you see, when you talk about your SKIN, you're talking about inscription, what can be said here, what's going on here, what's your history, you're still talking or at least you're yelling, you're doing something, you're not silent. but then -
you're not just music either, you're something else
if you could hear me -
I'd go so far as to make the claim that art has nothing to do with pain, at least abject pain, that pain from which there is no return. at that point, form and structure, inscription and discourse, disappear: so this presentation is an anomaly, senseless, this presentation cannot touch the subject AT HAND, it can only avoid the subject by necessity, it steers you elsewhere, as if there were something other than pain, as if there were AN OTHER. it's certainly not located in the virtual, no matter how distorted the bodies appear. they're appearances. they don't have the flesh, the interiority, tissues
they don't live where you expect them to
virtuality always gets a black eye.
the image always already disappears, it's this disappearance that permits the onset of pain. pain is the disappearance of the image; pain is welcomed by the disappearance. time seems to find its way into errors, give time enough time, and errors will appear. the errors are the first harbinger of pain, when time disappears; when you die, when you disappear, you will not know it, you will think your last thoughts, projects, that there is something in the corner of the room
god has commanded your stem cells
god has commended your stem cells
pray to god. your stem cells pray to god.
"that requires a doing, not a speaking only"
tenacity! determination! it's what ERIKA IS ABOUT!
she has sons and daughters!
sometimes we take a deep breath and organize
and then we are ready to begin again, but we find ourselves
without limbs, we find outselves silenced by God and our mouths
are stuff with some unknown substance, we cannot breathe, we can only whisper, our whispers take us nowhere, there is a moment
when we begin to know, just for a second, that our lives are ending,
that we are on the way out, and that second is extended, as is the
universe itself, until matter is blown apart, until nothing is left,
perhaps isolated protons or electrons, memory will be gone when data
is gone and data will be gone when the bases are goneI WILL END YOU I WILL FINISH YOU OFF I WILL ANNIHILATE YOU I WILL DESTROY YOU I WILL KILL YOU I WILL WOUND YOU I WILL CAUSE YOU UNUTTERABLE PAIN I WILL CREATE WOUNDS AMONG YOU AND PESTILENCE I WILL MURDER YOU AT MY WILL AND UNTOWARD DESIRE I WILL PERMIT MY WAYWARD BALANCE TO GET THE BETTER OF ME I WILL TURN AGAINST MYSELF I WILL TURN AGAINST ALL BELIEFS I WILL KILL YOU I WILL GIVE YOU UNUTTERABLE PAIN I WILL CREATE PESTILENCE AMONG YOU YOU SEE WHEN ONE DISAPPEARS ANOTHER APPEARS. THE SERIES IS FINITE, CONTROLLED BY ENERGY, BY CAPITAL, BY MATERIAL WEARING-OUT, DISSOLUTION
THIS IS MY BODY IN REAL LIFE. THIS IS ALL THERE IS.
IT CAN'T TALK AND IT CAN'T THINK. ITS PAIN WILL KILL IT IN THE END.
NOW WE HAVE a new topic, one of the plague, of viral connections, memes gone wild, girls gone meme, language is a virus, we'll all make bacteria at eyebeam, the old animals and plants are disappearing but they're not patented (for the most part) and there's little room for them, they have to make way for newer models. so many shows to see!

Anja in preparation for performance, a performance in itself, in other words, a tuning (temporary) for something active later on. but this is the performance that most interested me, this presentation which was not a presentation, this inscription which was not an inscription. these figures appear from injury, they appear from twisted programs capturing healthy bodies and turning them, detourning them, into their own unrecoverable other. so you see, as long as you can see, as long as your interest is held, something that might be described as an injury, one not so permanent, just there, held in abeyance for you, for your viewing pleasure, no worry, nothing is happening, but the virtual is always the real deferred.
Anja again and I think Daniela, I am not sure.
this is where intelligence comes in, the forgetting of names
i could disguise myself, i could write blindly into the vortex.
every name is destined to disappear. the name is a token child of the gesture.
sometimes pointing to something is nothing but muscle memory.
these terms are shaped and ordered. for a split-second there is imposed structure.
You see how I have to correct myself!

the period makes all the difference.
These movements are SPECIFIC and CHANNELED. Every performance is a different set and setting. every distortion is unique and problematic. every moment carries with it (of course!) its own demise.
the real can't be deferred forever
the real is always the future anterior memory of the real which is lost, a priori. that is where we live, within the a priori: what else would there have been?
now I am a loss; should we look at Facebook?
no.
but I am always aware of the book.
the ink and the book.
and how we are disappearing.
and how we continue to disappear.
it is as if: there is never a greeting, a welcoming.
there is never an origin, a beginning.
but there is always an ending, a lamentation or mourning.
there is always a loss and that loss is irretrievable.
we do not exist for a length of time to recover, recuperate.
we are always already under erasure, under the disposition of the ephemeral.
i think of the number of virtual particles.
i think of the eyes that have missed them, that have never counted.
or exoplanets for example, and of course someone will say we are all living on exoplanets. just as we are all berliners or occupy wall streeters, just as we are all Other, and none of us are other, we occupy in fact not even to the limits of our body or our skin, we occupy only until some force or an Other appears or disappears in corrosion. we lie there. we lie there, and there is no closure or suture beyond that, beyond the placement.
like the placement of the ruined book.
which will never be attained.
thank you!

i am living in the blank wall


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From thinking through cosmology and popular culture:



We are stardust


'We are stardust' from which everything, all philosophy, proceeds, a timing and process that is always coming to an end. So we are vast, we are communal, every atom from another source, another distance, every atom silent as to history from which we draw only this, that history is silent, that our micro-histories go against the grain, are retardations, are the source of pain, of holding back, as if there were beginnings and demarcations evident in Being, and as if becoming were a universal law. We are stardust, we have already returned as such; at the edge of the universe our faces and bodies live and project, towards that Being and becoming, we are observers of the cinema of disappearance; it is ourselves we witness blurred out in the heat-birth of the early universe, it is ourselves that awaits the word of our dissolution.

From this is everything, and there is nothing else, the source of our
despair and inscription - every inscription an alignment of atoms and molecules, every description the appearance of a permanent rearrangement. Pain mutes this, pain is the only truth, of stardust, of the absence of accountability, of the onslaught of the unaccountable and unaccounted-for.

We are stardust, and it takes this, in the middle of the night, this forth-coming, to proclaim what remains of philosophy; even the digital does not escape its material foundations ...

It would say unto you, it is languor, it is sinking, it is neurasthenia that reveals and revels in, the truth, which is that of a longing, of which death and its escape form only a surface phenomenon. For this longing inheres, is inherent in the very project we set ourselves, which is that of coagulation, and beyond coagulation, form and inscriptive processes bearing the familiar fount of Aristotelian logics and laws of distribution, so that we may take account, so that we may be accounted-for - it is this accounting, this belief in accounting, that grants us meaning, beyond that of clean and proper reproduction, a meaning which for us means, that we are more than stardust, that we are surplus, beyond all accountancy.

Such is the inauthenticity of our chaos, that engorged on signs and symbols, abjection rules in fact and fancy, along with the trope of the missing woman, just beneath the surface, beneath any surface whatsoever, that we believe we construct for ourselves, or that we believe we have found and foundered upon. We are stardust and we can never, always already never, reconstruct ourselves, our pasts, our histories, the groupings of our histories, the dualities of any two particles and their respective orbits, one among others, many among many. For I say unto you, we know not our own substance, and without this, our destiny falters, disappears; we live within the one remaining symbolic, that of the false memory of a permanent loss, which is a permanent loss. Thus I say unto you, it is said unto me, but it said by no other, other than what I am saying, to to no other, other than that I am hearing. We are stardust, we are nothing else besides.

We are stardust, we are nothing else besides.


" We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

[...]

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden "

(Joni Mitchell)


we are also a generation
that knows the truths about annihilation
when meaning falls out and shatters on the ground
when the ground calls out and dies on meaning's shatter

we are stardust we are leaden
we are walking Armageddon

We are leaden; I say unto you we are borrowed time, we borrow the uncanny, we are borrowed dust, we organization information, information travels from dust to dust, information deteriorates, we erect potential wells, we are potential wells, potential wells are tunnels, we tunnel among us, we are always already under erasure, we are always already within the erasure of the sign of erasure. I say unto you, we are among the first to recognize there is no salvage. We await your planetary notice, this will come but among us all, the physics are impossible, inconceivable, the physics are the physics of stardust, the physics are the physics of death. This is within speech and without speech, the physics are the physics of death, and speech murmurs, the invasion of quantum noise, speech murmurs we are walking Armageddon.


"Ziggy Stardust may refer to:
A persona adopted by David Bowie in the early 1970s
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie's
1972 concept album
"Ziggy Stardust" (song), a song from the album
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (film), 1973 documentary and
concert film
Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, the soundtrack of the concert film
Ziggy Stardust Tour, a concert tour to promote the studio albums Ziggy
Stardust and Aladdin Sane"

(Wikipedia)


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