katasonix on Sat, 18 Dec 1999 04:50:22 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Ccru datastream3: Katasonix & Calendric Continuism

Ccru: Cybernetic culture research unit

Y2k+ datastream 3
Dec KO99

Katasonix and Calendric Continuism

For some time, Iris Carver's primary research project has been concerned
with the work of a US cyberpunk group known as the K-Goths (those with a
particular interest in the subject are referred to a chapter devoted to
the topic in her recent publication 'Y2K; A Future History'.) A bizarre
faction bred off the neuroses of Y2K scare stories, the K-Goths 
concern themselves with the disruption all Y2K correction strategies.
Over the past few months, this has manifested itself as all manner of
technical stunts, ranging from on-screen sabotage, sonic re-programming,
autoformatted user interfaces through to elaborate physical experiments
which have the most disturbing effects on those who come within 
perceptual range of their effects. Electric shock disorders, epileptic
seizures, hormonal imbalances, chronic insomnia - all are phenomena
common to those who have the mis/fortune to brush against the K-G

Iris Carver's own experience with these events is unsurprisingly
disturbing. To this day, she has no recollection of her first encounter,
not because she has forgotten it but because 
she wonders if there was ever such a thing as a first encounter. To the
contrary, she suspects that she was, in some deep sense, always aware of
K-Goth presence but it is only now, as a chance after-effect, that they
have become a conscious occupation of her mind and such a fascinating
topic of her research. Whilst her attempts to engineer physical 
meetings with these mysterious creatures have led to little more than a
series of misdirections, sabotaged intentions, near misses and blind
alleys, she continues to speak of them in the most intimate of terms -
indeed it would seem that she positively revels in her misplaced sense
of timing.  

It took CCRU some time to realise that their investigations into K-Goth
activity would bring rewards only by way of losing the battle. Over
time, Carver taught it that foiled communication attempts are the
clearest xxignal from the K-Goth camp. It was a while though before CCRU
realised that its building frustration was only adding to the situation
- not, however, by producing increasingly negative effects but, to the
contrary, by creating the machinery of a libidinal obsession from which
it would, eventually, be unable to escape. What it knows now, it didn't
know then - that K-Goth girls are experts in that type of user re-
programming which effectively re-invests the logic of escape at a higher
level of play - the more you avoid, the more you perpetuate. Their
intention is to trigger chaos through the tactical creation of mimetic

When Carver began her research project, her first concern was to
establish a reliable line of communication with the K-Goth Mother-Hive.
But with her simple intentions came the most of complex of problems for
at the exact moment she received her first hint of response, her screens
began to grow all manner of deformities. Every machine which she came
into contact with, even those devoid of her research files, seemed to
produce the same tremulous effects - text receding from the surface of
screen, pixels converting themselves into lines of speed which pounded
just behind the glass. Carver herself spoke of her machine becoming some
kind of vehicle, an agency of speed which displayed the ground on its
way out of sight.

It was of course some time before she grasped that she herself was the
centre of the problem but when, with a shot of exhilaration, she finally
understood her own effects, she also knew that she was being used. She
had been convinced that these perceptual distortions were the invention
of a hallucinatory illness, a virus for which she was being medically
treated. The truth, however, was that they were the output of a
programmed hypochondria - the diligent work of the K-Goths. Like all the
best hypochondriacs, she had behaved as required - she had installed the
credibility of an event in advance of the event itself and then used the
future to reprogram the present; she had become the virus, she had 
gone K-G. In the process of trying to outwit the K-Goths, she had
successfully tightened her own rein until she was the queen propagator.
There were screens all around her, dissolving beneath illegible K-Goth

It is thought, if that was ever assurance of anything, that the K-Goths
are an elite few who miraculate themselves as many. Police reports -
themselves great works of fiction - postulate that they are typically to
be found operating in the Chicago area in large pack of 
teenage girls, most often aged between 14 and 16. Such numbers are
however irrelevant - many communicate by the same name -  producing
hoards of Jean Traffics and Gill Slitzs and refuse, K-Goth law, to
celebrate birthdays. It is suspected that the ringleaders of the 
group are 'girls' of eighty and ninety year old. As we have never seen
them, we do not know to what extent they are physical embodiments of
this assumed reversal of time, but it is thought that they are graced
with as yet undiscovered and potentially valuable techniques in skin

They subsidise their activity by dealing in the drug A-Death - a rare
but exquisitely expensive commodity on the black market Catajungle
scene. CCRU has not had contact with this substance - it is only ever
leaked on to the market in the tiniest of amounts and even then it is by
pre-empted by a glut of hoax deals and fake powders and by an army of 
female dealers who pose as K-Goth agents. There is even a suspicion that
A-Death may not be a drug at all. A-Death fanatics speak of the drug in
the most obscure of terms, as a treasure of cyberspace which is not
ingestedby  the user but manifested as the user - as therefore a type of
possession or abstract entity. Such speculations effectively stunt all 
attempts to distinguish between A-Death's true and purported effects but
a recently leaked hospital report speaks of its capacity to irreversibly
re-programme the body clock, to install rhythms in the spinal cord which
produce entirely an new set of movements and to induce coma-like trips
which alter the vocal range for ever. In a form of short-circuited 
schizophrenia, the user is not deluged by multiple voices but is instead
equipped with multiple tongues. 

Carver once thought that the K-Goth Sound Archive would provide at least
some lead in the search for clues about the participants in this
sinister penultimillennial cult. However, as we now know that each voice
heard in the baseline of the tracks is only one of the many which
characterises an A-Death addict, it would seem that this music, like so
many potential leads, is a literal dead end. No one voice belongs no one
body which belongs no one name. It adds an entirely new dimension to the
sonic experiments recently released on London's KataSonix records - for
it would seem that the chittering, tickings and metallic unutterances
which trademark these vinyls are not the techmanoid manipulation of pre-
existent material but are instead the voices of A-Death addicts gone
multiple - an effect experienced as the drug kicks in and takes the user
out of herself, to the non-place known as immersion-coma.

It is of no wonder that these chilling recordings of unlife are dogged
by encryption attempts. As a result of AOE sound patrol, MP3 versions
are near impossible to download and nearly always resist all attempts at
playback. What you now hear is the result of CCRU efforts to strip back
metric these security apparata. This result is the sound of time damage.

Little of this language can be used to describe the experience of the K-
Sonic Flatline but many have indicated the inevitable feeling of
dissemination. They recall the sensation of a sheet of water sliding
over the face, a withdrawal from the glass of the screen and the 
meniscus of time and then, eventually, when submersion is achieved, the
erasure of all facial features. According to the K-Goth's own review of
their work, available subliminally when their vinyls are played
backwards, this is the initiation into K-space where, to quote 
from Carver's transcript, you merge with 'the cascading tick
shelves...galleries, ducts and crawl tubes...'of the Crypt, '...where
time unthreads into warped voyages, splintering the 

This journey does of course require an entirely new relation to oxygen.
In K-space, blow holes, air locks and compression chambers create dark
sonic architectures - the hyperventilations of which can be heard
purring along the ceiling of all K-Goth tracks. The real alterations,
however, occur at a deeper level and take the form of the deep spinal 
undulations which form the baseline of tracks such as 'Utterminus'. With
sustained exposure, these disturbances can affect deep deep shivers of
satisfaction - contortions which females are said to experience long
after the event, so long after it  seems that one wonders if these
sensations were their in the first place, always just a little out of
range. There is, however, a silence on this matter. 

CCRU -  convinced by technical excellence of K-Goth sonic artillery - is
currently embroiled in a research project which maps the relation
between the inherently female nature of their work, Y2K activity and the
effects of A-Death time distortion. The project is provisionally
codenamed ANTI-CLIMAX. It is motivated by a suspected relation between 
K-Goth occupation of the cyberspace calendar and what Iris Carver calls
the spore-girl politics of female erotica. 

The connection, we grant, seems tenuous but there is a logic to unravel
-the germ of which is an entrenched hatred of all stories which pitch
the year 2000 as the highest point of human history. To this the K-Goths
pose the same confrontational questions; who are the humans and where is
their history? Since K-Goths occupy a time frame with no hard and 
fast rules and no time for the ascent of man, they situate themselves
differently, on flatter planes which covet the slow speeds as well the
fast. Theirs is a reality not run by quick fixes, programmed highs,
monotone baselines, fuel injections, guilt trips or serotonin 
lows. It is instead manufactured independently of bulimic cycles of
accumulation and waste - it  treats time itself not as the short,
measurable and essentially impotent units of metric control but as a
spiral shaped anomaly. The plane of their activity is in actuality
nowhere to be found since it has no marked beginning, no rush to the
end and no date in metricity.

According to this logic of digital erotics - of far darker machinations
which trade the delusions of the fastest speeds with the unidentifiable
sensations of bodies lost beneath their own journeys - K-Goth activities
webs an entirely new fabric of time, frequency and female fluids. It is
based of the premise that year zero has always been a pointless fiction,
a fiction beyond fiction, a non-entity of the very worst kind.  To
Hyper-C they pose a impossible question; why return to a year which
never existed in the first place?  Their own answer is a strategy - a
demand that the year zero be treated as intended - as a fiction, but as
a fiction with its own set of effects, as a reality therefore. K-Goth
Unlife does then not return to year zero, to the artficial beginning of
time... for it is zero, not as starter or marker but as cipher to the

In K-time, then, cyberspatial compatibility has no accordance with the
Progressivists and their celebration with 2000 nor with the other as yet
unidentified penultimillennial cults who believe, with some misguided
radicalism, that a return to zero is a departure from Chronos. In honour
of Continuity (the mother demon of the Cont-Inuits based in N.Canada),
K-Goths demand the most logical move of all - the passing of 99 to 100.
No return to the beginning, no year 2000 pinnacle of progress - just the
continuance of what came before, mothertime.

K-Goths hate resolution of any kind - whether as an end in itself or as
gauge of picture perfect screen clarity. Their habit of blacking out
computer screens is strategy to relocate the user on the dark side of
cyberspace, where the desire its not driven by a pornographic 
pursuit of harder edges and faster return but by endless immersion in
non-optical worlds without place. As propagators of the Anti-Climax,
those who play with the fire of the K-Goths must realise that the
labyrinth can be navigated by feel alone - by direct contact with the
cold sensations of frequencies and entities which were their in the
first place, before time began its rush to the end..

`Sonic Bacterium' - upcoming on the Katasonix label - is perhaps the
greatest K-Goth work to date. As a sub-orgasmic Flatline which is only
heard when the body begins to mutate, it is sheer silence in Chronos. It
is possible that the release of Sonic Bacterium will have a major impact
of the A-Death trade. Its effect is said to be beyond drugs for 
embedded within it is are entirely new biologies and unprecedented waves
of parthogenetic replication. Download at your peril and remember the
words of Karen Harker; '...you are aware of two presences but each of
them is impossibly and dangerously numerous'. This is spore-girl
politics - a politics which isn't very human at all...'
ccru via katasonix

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