This was 13 years, 21 days ago

Nullsleep - Her Lazer Light Eyes

please press play. this song is so nice. by nullsleep.


yes yes yes yes. right now I am thinking. what am I doing here? what am I doing here? is it there or here? where do I feel most comfortable?


'Art is a segregated inscription within the field of media.'

When say I media I am really trying to say 'nothing', that is, the presence of nothingness -- not absence, beyond emptiness. If science used to think that space was filled with ether -- well, then, perhaps it was an inability to think of space as a nothing, or an unwillingness to consider space itself as a medium -- as illustrated in the current sci-fi-ish expression "the fabric of space". Ether functions as a mental fill-in for the conception of a medium of absence. "There can't be nothing in space! Space has to contain _something_! Let's call this something Ether." Space, too, is a word that operates as a pervasive medium; neither an absence or a presence but the arena in which such absence/presence dichotomies are possible.

Or sure, space is indeed not completely empty. That's not the issue -- actualities do not detract from what a description of a perceived actuality reveals about the process of describing.


(What are the implications behind assigning an agency-like voice to science? "...science used to think...")


If I put quotation marks around things, it is because I want them to appear as if they have been spoken, quoted, pulled from someone else's words.


butlerbutler.jpg

garbage monster ate too much garbage.


I missed this year's blip festival. I always do. This video makes me regret even further.


HEY.

everything2, ign forums way back way back, zophar's domain and emulation (mame and snes and zsnes way before that special chip emulation kicked in), hackersschool drill (I got up to buffer overflowing and gave up), voigtclub, read 2600 here and there, things like that. textfiles, warez, reading obscure parts of the anarchists's cookbook, sometimes browsing usenet forums, reading hakim bey, things like that. MUDs?

At an N+1 meeting a few months ago some dude talks about lionel trilling and discourses and flinches inside at his own words, his own -- what? I felt sorry for him. Otherizing internet here and there. Do we feel shame? he asks. I asked about the consideration of a phenomenology of the internet; this other guy just nodded gently.

(windows, I thought, panes, windows onto the world, art-historical narrative of modernist flatness abandoned in a domain where information lies within information, nested and networked where the sensation of browsing is of traveling through, into, going through. Surely the screen you're looking at has to have a perspectival quality, either visually, formally, or structurally. The 'back' button on your browser is an element of a structure of perspective. Behind, or forward? Already, your experience within the internet is described in terms of a physical space. Or if not physical, then temporal.) I got the sense that this was the wrong crowd, the wrong sort of enthusiasm.

"Once in a car with the friend of a friend's friend I felt like I was in a mausoleum about to die or already dead because the driver felt so dead, so lifeless, so absently not-there. Decadence and perversity had nothing to do with it -- it was a series of mannerisms or actions that happened to render both him and her absent to me, non-existent to me, not even dead but not even there. Going crosstown sometime late temporally equidistant between midnight and daylight I hoped to god I wouldn't die when in a moment of shock and realization I'd find out that the two people in the front seats weren't there, they were just shells of cotton and stitched seams flopping around in the night air and the car (SUV? dark interior with green dashboard lights) would end up veering slightly off-straight in a deviant angle that would amplify gradually (arc equals radian times radius, shit), slowly veering off until we ran off the street and into the corner of a building, or into another car, which would mean that I wouldn't be able to leave the crushed and mangled remains of this car and would be trapped inside with the two shells. Jeez. Some strange sort of primordial fear. When you're inebriated or affected time passes in a strange manner. In my haze of fright I thought of Don Delillo and Cosmopolis and what it would be like to die in a fusillade of bullets, or have all of your characters die such. I thought of that guy's journey crosstown until he gets to a quiet barbershop on the west side, all dark now, all of the rooms and the pages he flips by are now punctuated not with windows with sunlight streaming in but closed doors and overhead lamps hanging down making a small conical spread of light over desks revealing sheets of paper and hastily scrawled plans, ideas, connections. Shit, I thought I was about to die."

Some kid stands up, and says, the internet changed my life, says, I talked to people online, had a social life online, learned stuff online. I want to say, I know what you mean, let's go and talk about these things (did you remember when that website died?) and what going online means and not with these people who think it's such a foreign thing. But in the domain of speech and not writing it doesn't seem right, it doesn't seem right to have words hang out in the air and for us to speak about these things at a literary magazine that should have been a good literary magazine but instead had that guy speaking who flinched when he said discourses and structures and another girl who was wasn't drunk enough to realize that she was drunk. I want to say, say what you say and mean what you say -- intent is intent regardless of effect.


Now watch. I am going to quote Derrida, as if this quoting means anything. That is -- the quote means something, yes. But does quoting mean anything? It is not the quoted quote but the quoting that is an issue, a deferential deferral of words. "You, respected sir, I pass my speaking voice onto you." And thus I make myself more legitimate, link an acceptance of my own thoughts to the accepted and respected nature of Derrida. If this is what quoting really does (according to what famed philosopher McQuote argues) then it is a rappelling, a bridging-across, a pulling up (and this up is problematic too) from the domain of the nonacademic to the academic, the illegible to the illegible. Entrance into the academic allows one to be ranked as poorly academic. My name is now on the ballot so that (possibly) nobody can vote for me.

Do you understand? By pulling myself 'up' with a quote I enter myself in the domain of academic language, legibility, understandability. I parse grammatically. The next question is of ranking -- how good is your essay? How interesting and original are your words? But ranking never exceeds its domain. "You're the worst academic in the world". If quoting does do what I say it does, then it pulls one up across the differance of illegible vs. legible, sensible vs. insensible.

Or again. I am legitimizing myself by quoting that who is legitimate. Legitimacy either operates on one of two things -- truth or acceptance. A desire for truth is a desire for actuality, a fact, a declaration of "this is how things really are". Within the bounds of a scientific study, I could say, as 'Einstein's seminal paper on relativity argues', dot dot dot. The fact that the paper exists here implies that it is true within the bounds of the discourse of science. I am quoting it because I think it is true. By quoting something that is considered to be true I am legitimating, solidifying my argument.

But if this foundation of truth doesn't exist -- say, in a field in which truth is relatively non-existent, then what? What happens in such a field without a foundational good but that still relies on the structure of quotation as an arbiter of legitimacy is that the criterion for this arbitration becomes 'social acceptance'. "Is he a decent writer? He just quoted that guy -- is 'that guy' okay?" And if a respected proponent say, "yes, he's okay" then what? My argument is okay? And see -- the reason why 'okay' is deceptive here is because 'okayness' happens on two levels. One is a ranking within a space. Another one is the question of qualifying into that space. Here's a good political example. "Is he a good citizen?" versus "Is he a citizen?" Okay, too, is -- is that guy okay? Is he a good academic? Is he an academic at all? There's a double-check going on in a case of this post-truth or post-presence citation. The question is: "did you cite a crackpot or a bad thinker?" "no, he cited a thinker, and a good thinker."

And if people think Derrida is a bad philosopher, then that's okay -- it's even okay if the common sentiment becomes "not only is Derrida a bad philosopher, he is not even a philosopher." When this deferential-deferred quote loses its effects is when the common sentiment becomes "not only is Derrida not even a philosopher, he is not considered by most people to be a philosopher". 'Consideration' and 'most people' are key words here. There is a political dimension behind the question of thought -- not the question of good/bad thought, but the pre-discursive question of qualifying within this system of thought. It's sinister not when people say "you're a bad person" but when they say "you're not even a person at all!" Or more accurately, "most of us don't think you're a person at all!"

So here we go:
"Essentially and lawfully, every concept is inscribed in a chain or in a system within which it refers to the other, to other concepts, by means of the systematic play of differences. Such a play, différance, is thus no longer simply a concept, but rather the possibility of conceptuality, of a conceptual process and system in general."

Jacques Derrida, "Differance", Alan Bass, Margins of Philosophy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1982, 3-27

And what am I going to do to back my arguments up? Quote somebody?

So again. my words: "A declared arbitrary at the heart of art (and anything else) belies only an approach to art that takes a personal, transcendental, sublime encounter and proclaims it as a universally applicable experience that will and should be shared by others. a personal approach, a phenomenological approach, one that seeks not the solidity of an objectivity but instead actively searches for the slippery, arbitrary, foundationlessness of art is perhaps the discursive and institutional approach to art needed to accompany a poststructuralist and postmodernist analysis of art that no longer believes in metanarratives, singular arguments, homogeneous groups, and instead chooses to pick up its analytical tools from the domain of micronarratives, heteroglossia, a democratic political organization of art that does not generate but is generated from the agonistic struggles between diverse groups."