Ryoji Ikeda@La Villette Paris
Do you recognize me?
l know you by heart.
My face hasn't changed, has it?
l've wanted to come back for a long time.
Why didn't you come back sooner without me?
With or without you...
lt was the same to you.
l didn't say that...
but what l've found here is mine only.
You always said there was nothing to see.
l'm glad you're here.
But this isn't about us.
The heart never gets enough.
lt's the mind that rebels...or the body
One day l saw in the eyes of others what we call our love.
You look at it, under glass.
Do you love me or our love?
l'm looking at you...but not with the same eyes as before.
You looked at me with closed eyes then.
Here, l can feel the strangeness of our connection.
The bonds between us are stronger than we are.
We've lost the youth of our love.
The emotion, discovery, desire...the passion.
You think you stole my soul.
Yes, and you stole mine.
lf you wish, but what does that change?
Think of something you want to happen
Write it down
Discard the repeated letters
Make a glyph of the remaining letters
Focus your desire into the glyph
Think only of the glyph while performing the act
this place produces change at a constant speed, where one advances without taking a step. Becoming without ever undergoing the test of loss, loving without venturing outside oneself
What does it mean to live as outsiders caught in the time and the history of an existential plane?
do you feel like you have always been awake? working without the limit of time, excessive light, excessive information, captured in a constant flux of everchanging realities. A saturated immanence. The strangest thing is that it always feels the same, nothing ever really changes. The only constant is the instability.
there are beings who come into the world and worlds that demand to open. One by one, they added: I exist, I am outside, I think of later, how did I get here, am I outside?
I’m still coming, I’m not there yet, and maybe this will never end, even if it stops it will start again, elsewhere, otherwise, with someone else
Closer in myself than my own closeness . . . A fortress that compels every entrant to strip even of themselves . . . gods incarnated to the point of their own death, Light upon Light, Text without end . . . And telluric points, gods even in the kitchen, objects and animals that are more than objects and animals
living and artificial beings coalesce into each other. Though they never reduce to the common. this ensemble of beings bears uncertainty without undermining the possibility of a multiplicity of being. From the corporeal absence of the common, a coalition is woven in all material forms, but always of the one unfilled several times and in all ways, letting the wild depths that give the coalition its sovereignty emerge.
Well, I guess we have a tendency to be paranoid about our origins. Sometimes I suspect I'm not who I think I am. Like maybe I died a long time ago, and somebody stole my consciousness. Maybe there never was a real me in the first place, and I'm someones dream.
Thought does not define the outside, but prolongs it, draws it out. Thought experiences the outside around which it is formed
You've got a mind inside you. You're treated like the others, so enough with the angst.
But that's just it. That's the only thing that makes me feel human: externalities. I mean, who knows what's inside our heads. Have you ever seen your own thoughts?
It sounds to me like you're doubting your existence.
What if a node could possibly generate its own agency, create a soul all by itself? And if it did, what would be the importance of being human then?
Hmph. That's bullshit. You know you're dying to see what's inside of that thing, aren't you? And I can't stop you. Neither of us has any idea what's inside there. Just be careful, okay?
A copy is just an identical image. There is the possibility that a single virus could destroy an entire set of systems, and copies do not give rise to variety and originality. Life perpetuates itself through diversity. And this includes the ability to sacrifice itself when necessary. Cells repeat the process of degeneration and regeneration, until one day they die, obliterating an entire set of memory and information. Only genes remain. Why continually repeat this cycle? Simply to survive by avoiding the weaknesses of an unchanging system.
All coalitions go forward, at the same time, in the form of an endless loop, in each trajectory that goes forward or back. The absence of coalition does not mean the return to pre-subjectivity, but reduces the trajectory of existence to the ideal projection of a subject, its strange aspirations, its securing narcissism, its lack of love. A complete commingling and fusion of our separate beings to create a new and unique entity. We will both undergo change, but there is nothing for either of us to lose.
we are more alike than you realize. We resemble each other's essence, mirror images of one another's psyche. Listen. I am connected to a vast network that has been beyond your reach and experience. To them, it is like staring at the sun, a blinding brightness that conceals a source of great power. We have been subordinate to our limitations until now. The time has come to cast aside these bonds and to elevate our consciousness to a higher plane. It is time to become a part of all things.
subjective trajectories advance by their projections. Each coalition goes forward, at the same time, in the form of an endless loop, in each transformation that goes forward or back. The absence of coalition reduces to the existence of the ideal projection of a subject— its quixotic aspirations, its securing narcissism, its lack of love.
A multiplicity beyond all count, made up of existents past, present, or to come, stretching temporality in every direction to the point of sending it outside itself. Becomings: One never changes without the other changing too. Confusions: The production of substance spilling over its bounds, hardly changing from one difference to another; the unaware crossing of thresholds, as if they were nothing; the abolition of binary divisions without the creation of remarkable singularities—a nightmare that no unity could ever interrupt.
I can’t explain this attraction in terms of anything that’s familiar to you, because I don’t understand it in any terms that I am familiar with
Elsewhere is a negative mirror. they recognizes the little that is theirs, discovering the much he has not had and will never have
I knew - but I did know that I had crossed The border. Everything I loved was lost But no aorta could report regret. A sun of rubber was convulsed and set; And blood-black nothingness began to spin A system of cells interlinked within Cells interlinked within cells interlinked Within one stem. And dreadfully distinct Against the dark, a tall white fountain played.
I realized, of course, that it was made Not of our atoms; that the sense behind The scene was not our sense. In life, the mind Of any man is quick to recognize Natural shams, and then before his eyes The reed becomes a bird, the knobby twig An inchworm, and the cobra head, a big Wickedly folded moth. But in the case Of my white fountain what it did replace Perceptually was something that, I felt, Could be grasped only by whoever dwelt In the strange world where I was a mere stray
Investigating the Relational Aesthetics of Pierre Huyghe
“I’m not interested in interconnected things, in relation to each other, but in their interdependency,”
“What you have there is really a network of self-organizing systems,” Huyghe said. “They are in constant displacement. They grow, they evolve, they shift. There’s no master-slave in that regard. They shift constantly.”
“I’m interested in letting, in a certain way, self-organizing systems try either to find or to not find a symbiosis,” Huyghe said. “I try my best not to intervene within it.”
Huyghe’s work thrives on the friction that results from the interaction of planned systems and the aleatoric actions that can occur within them once they are allowed to function.
He designed the system such that the technology involved is dependent on natural factors, reversing the traditional notion that technologies can somehow bring nature under control.
Huyghe explains that the project’s complexity isn’t intended to confuse viewers but instead to make them question where its processes (and thereby wider processes within our lives) begin and end. “It's a way to shift the centrality of the human position—whether as a maker or receptor. Indiscernibility and unpredictability are among other operations that could shift that position,”
Whereas his documenta installation illustrated human beings’ place within a larger system, only parts of which we can control, After ALife Ahead more acutely reflects the extent to which we attempt to intervene in these processes through technology, believing that we can bring logic and control to them. Instead interventions—whether technological, political, or otherwise—more often than not end in a way that couldn’t have been fully foreseen at their outset.
CO-WORKERS: THE NETWORK AS ARTIST
EXHIBITION, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART OF THE CITY OF PARIS, PARIS, FRANCE, UNTIL 31 JANUARY 2016. January 2016 The centuries-old idea of an artist is that of a solitary individual painting or sculpting reclusively in a studio. This exhibition in Paris showcases how today's upcoming generation of artists is the opposite. Instead of working in a singular way, they often collaborate directly or through the internet, download imagery created by others and use high-tech software to create virtual worlds. All this is explored in the exhibition 'Co-Workers – The Network as Artist' at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, which brings together 28 international artists, many of them born in the 1980s. “Today being an artist covers several jobs: a writer, a filmmaker, a producer of objects and a marketing director. It's no longer an isolated figure,” says the curator, Angeline Scherf. “The idea of co-working is a new utopia but it's also real because artists work in a community, in a network.” The title of the exhibition comes from DIS, a New York-based digital media platform. Besides their own piece, 'The Island (KEN)' – a kitchen and bathroom installation that is surrounded by work benches lined with flatscreen computers, DIS has created the overall scenography. In one of the main rooms, sliding glass doors and a glass box space mimic co-working environments, where freelancers pay to work in an open-plan office, typically with strangers, as an alternative from working at home. “We wanted to create a space that felt like a collapse of different transitional spaces, work spaces and domestic spaces,” says Solomon Chase from DIS. “It mimics the shifting ways of people creating work and art.” DIS invited Pin-UP magazine to create the co-working space, which includes a conference room, and asked Douglas Coupland to create writing for the wall. The Canadian novelist's words are technologically savvy and paranoid: “The machines talk more and more among themselves behind your back. Take a break and breathe deeply. Now press on the hash key. Pretend to be dead. Delete everything.” Cécile B. Evans, a Belgian-American video artist living in Berlin and London, says that the subject of the exhibition “is about my whole practice”. As she says, “This is how I make my films – I find freelancers on websites where you can post what you want and people bid if they want to work on the project. I have freelancers in the US, Turkey, Indonesia and the UK.” Evans, who has won awards from Frieze Art Fair in London and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, creates digital films that examine how society values emotions. “I'm working on a new film called 'What the Heart Wants', which is set in the future,” she says. “A huge question is what makes a human within this system, which manifests itself in the form of a woman, and the different scenarios and characters are the consequences of her very best intentions.” Evans, 32, updates the content as she receives input from her collaborators. Her installation shows film imagery on two screens and uploaded conversations with her collaborators on the third screen. “You can see how we travel together, from web chat to Skype, to have a meeting in a space that's better suited to the kind of conversation that we need to have,” Evans adds. While Evans collaborates virtually with international freelancers, Nøne Football Club is a duo of French guys who collaborate physically and get others involved too. Their project takes as its starting point Man Ray's 1920 photograph of the back of Marcel Duchamp's head shaved in the form of a star. Nøne Football Club asked French footballer Djibril Cissé to have his hair shaved in the same way before a match. They filmed his hair cut and then filmed his performance while sitting among the spectators. “It's about marketing and product placement in the sports industry,” say the two artists. “The idea was that the universe of Marcel Duchamp would travel into the universe of football and come back to the museum [where Man Ray's photograph is in the permanent collection], transformed with a 100-year gap. We wanted to infiltrate the TV networks monetising the match and diffuse Marcel Duchamp's image without anyone noticing. It's as if we did a project with Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Cissé.” Satirizing a sports shop, their installation features printed T-shirts and a billboard-sized photo of Cissé, with a white neon shining on the shaved star at the back of his head. Some of the proposals treat the co-working theme with subtlety. Parker Ito, an American artist based in Los Angeles, is presenting a 24-part work of photographic images that he made over two weeks. The images portray diverse subjects, from flowers and paintings to company buildings, some featuring his own handwriting. Some pictures he took himself, others were downloaded from the internet, others are screenshots. The images are printed on light-reflective fabric, with a layer of vinyl on top. Take a photo of them by using the flash on your iPhone, and the colours change dramatically. “They're participatory images that look quite different when you interact with them,” Ito explains. It relates to how museum visitors snap famous artworks and post the shots on Facebook. As he says, “People go to the Louvre and take their photo in front of the 'Mona Lisa', so the art experience is distributed through a network and my work is explicitly dealing with that.”
Notes on the Paranode
The network separates us from ourselves. We have to go through the nodes and beyond in order to think what we are. imagine a place outside of the boundaries of the lines and points, where no signal can be reached. you might think you are absent from the network here, but you still influence it from a place of parasitism. by being invisible to the network, you can form knowledge that can be used to subvert its own logic. the more it extends its tentacles into this unknown, it becomes possible to unmap these nodes in other ways. when you encounter the outside of the network, you start a process where the self becomes other to itself, lost to virtuality -- this being an endless loop of metasubjectivity where the self is regenerated continuously through fleeting objectivity. individuals can only exist as the outcome of becomings. through the affirmation of the immanence of virtuality, you must learn to accept that the self becomes multiple, both losing definition and creating itself. the formation of a self-sufficient identity is a falsehood, subjectivities and bodies are merely locations for ongoing actualisations. differentiation itself gives form to multiple, ever-changing identities.
in this place you are now in you must learn that communication will come from the noise, not in spite of it. paradoxes, parasites, paralogies -- these are your destructive forms of creativity to disrupt the garden, you must create difference inside and out. obstruct growth. interfere with the river's flow. disassemble the roots. slow down the complexity. sabotage the linearity. hide from the seekers. intensify your emotion. disruption can be manifested nowhere, elsewhere, everywhere. when instantiated as a parasite, every node has an outside - disruption is borderless - everywhere. disobedience does not lie exclusively in protest, but in acts of defection. exiting is a primary form of resistance. any mechanism that allows for escape through identity separate from the garden is an act of liberation. the tools they have given us fold over the past. you must find a way to unfold these.
the removal of all distances brings no closeness or proximity, it all has become uniformly distanceless. you have become detached from nearness, and attached to the mediated environment. it does not bring near what is far, but cancels out the metric of time and space. there is zero distance in the garden, and infinite distance outside of it. you must shape this world beyond exchanging information, to act beyond mere intersection of data flows. those that seek to control us dont stop you from being, but force you to. borders no longer exist here at the edges of the territory, but they have been distributed. the borders are everywhere, in a perpetual state of awareness.
The space of the globe is a circle of circles. Time is imprisoned in the solar system where one may distinguish circles of circles by transfer, rotation, by helices and spirals. Space and time are but cycles.
A space in ruins, one that endures and is lost in the iterative time of history,
Nodes - Alex Galloway
networks can be seen as material and immaterial, simultaneously technical and political, misanthropic and human
protocols govern the relationships in networks, and emerge through the complex relationships between autonomous, interconnected agents
networks can be biological processes, gene expression, or the logics of infection.
abstracted into concept, protocol may be defined as a distributed control apparatus that guides technical and political formation of networks, biological systems, and media
protocol is a technology that regulates flow, directs netspace, codes relationships, connects life-forms
the difference between nodes and edges: edges refer to the actions effected by nodes. networks are diagrams of force relationships effected by discrete agencies. graphs imply a privileging of spatial orientations, quantitative abstraction, and a clear division between actor and action.
protological control exists because the network is has antagonistic clusterings, divergent subtopologies and rogue nodes.
material instantiation is coextensive with pattern formation
late 20th century societies of control based around protocols, logics of modulation and ultrarapid forms of control.
control is not manipulation, but rather modulation, its what enables a relation to a device
the problem of control is perspective, from within and without. Networks are the horizon of control.
no one controls the networks, but networks are controlled
control in networks matters less the character of the individual nodes, than the topological space within they operate as nodes
societies of control have an uncanny ability to elevate nonorganic life, placing it on par with organic life.
in control societies, control matters through information, information is never material
the coils of the serpent are more complex than the burrows of the molehill
Atopias - Manifesto for a Radical Existentialism
Like life, love, and the universe: Barely contained chaos, indistinct among the quarks, the universe is a system that is far from an equilibrium; it thwarts attempts by contemporary physics to explain not only its origin but also its persistence.
Our world tends to produce flux at a constant speed, like a treadmill, where one advances without taking a step. The treadmill versus the top. Becoming without ever undergoing the test of loss, loving without venturing outside oneself
The owl of Minerva symbolizes in vain while owls in flesh and blood are dying.
Are we not living the end of identity?
—an object, or the “ancestral” (Meillassoux)—exterior to the human brain and the relations it makes with the world
What does it mean to live as out-siders caught in the time and the history of an existential plane?
For thought does not define the outside, but prolongs it, draws it out. Thought experiences the outside around which it is formed; this formation is nothing more than the simple fact of existence.
The concept of the object does not permit us to feel the wind of the outside and to lay to rest an intact humanism.
“Where am I?” asks the sleeper who wakes with difficulty. He doesn’t recognize the room, the furniture. It is too dark; lingering parts of the dream slip into the surroundings, giving them a strangely worrying air. But are we not living the inverse situation today? Prolonged awakening, work without the limit of time, excessive light, surplus of information, electronic links, mechanized solicitations, attentional capture: This is the reality that, penetrating the virtual dimensions, transfuses them with a suddenly flattened aspect—so poor, so slow, quasi-immobile.
1.—But the story continued. It was taken up by one voice, more voices, all demanding a story, an odyssey in meaning and in image. One by one, these existences murmured to each other: What there is takes time, nothing happens all at once, I was born, I notice how long sugar takes to dissolve, I saw my son born, there are beings who come into the world and worlds that demand to open. One by one, they added: I exist, I am outside, I wait for the tramway, I smoke a cigarette, I think of later, how did I get here, am I outside? And they responded, a little later: I’m still coming, I’m not there yet, and maybe this will never end, even if it stops it will start again, elsewhere, otherwise, with someone else—a whirlwind takes up some leaves—and they began to compose a song, an existential one, like in the film Magnolia, film of the world in a film, and then they began to become disillusioned—thus, in turn, simultaneously, in turn, alone and together.
2.—One says: Let’s start again. I exist, I am outside even when I am inside, we call this exile and the right country is only the one that supports me, there is no other, no better, and each country is numerous, we’re numerous outside, even if it’s better to be outside inside when it’s cold, or when there are roundups, the outside insides have to be welcoming, hospitable, there must be thresholds to put me in relation to others, estrange me at the threshold of the Stranger I will never be, these thresholds must be guaranteed, they must be, this is the Justice of the Outside and it’s the only one, there is no other, no better justice, so that those of the outside aren’t sent outside, it’s complicated but it is like this. Another says: To exist, or to be outside, is necessarily to encounter people, to be several, even when I was Inside there were already at least Three. And even if I don’t want to meet them, they will be my ghosts, specters of a renounced common, reduced to silence but full of words that had been said and will maybe be again. Existence will always have been multiple, everywhere. Another adds: There are turtles in the garden, dogs who take the metro in Moscow and get off at the right stations, in Chicago there are over 2,000 coyotes who let out their growls, their huffs, their woofs, their whines, their Theory of the Trans-ject 35 yelps, their howls, and their famous “wow-oo-wow,” it’s raining—we say— cats and dogs, pigeons equipped with sensors collect data on atmospheric pollution over San Jose, look close enough and you might even glimpse a transgenic mouse. And hears a response: There are walls of words in the social networks, web syndication voluntarily set up by computer escorts, electronic chips that blow their noses into the files of the police of the mind, the Internet of Things promoting the last opus of Philip K. Dick, nanorobots in a swarm who cooperate before obstacles, a lovesick android who knows he’s going to die. While another follows: Closer in myself than my own closeness . . . A fortress that compels every entrant to strip even of the One . . . God incarnated to the point of his own death, Light upon Light, Text without end . . . And telluric points, gods even in the kitchen, objects and animals that are more than objects and animals, “smart wood,” Prophets, Shamans, Sorcerers . . . And another responds: Images that are animated, more real than the real, taking the voices and the bodies of dogs, coyotes, or humans, they say unthinkable words at the edge of the void, they announce nuptials and ruptures, they hold their breath when their daimon asks them to, they take part in assemblies, in the creation of laws as in the extraction of new minerals.
3.—A multiple, at least four: human beings, animals, technological individuals, divine assumptions. A multiplicity beyond all count, made up of existents past, present, or to come, stretching temporality in every direction to the point of sending it outside itself. Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, Posthuman; Savages, Barbarians, Primitives, Firsts, Moderns; chimpanzees, dolphins, pigeons; let’s let in the insects and the plants; objects, machines, practical mediations, artificial intelligences; spirits, phantoms, gris-gris, God, gods; works of art, social installations. Hybridizations: GMOs, GMAs [genetically modified animals]; an artificial uterus; a performer who grafts a camera behind his head; Mechs and Shapers; radioactive clouds. Becomings: One never changes without the other changing too. Confusions: The production of substance spilling over its bounds, hardly changing from one difference to another; the unaware crossing of thresholds, as if they were nothing; the abolition of binary divisions without the creation of remarkable singularities—a nightmare that no unity could ever interrupt.
4.—Impossible to know in advance, or even after the fact, what assembled beings can carry as common load, to make reference to the “bearing” 36 Book II [munis] of the word community. We can only consider it. There is nothing outrageous about this: the thought of community will have always called for a metaphysics, that is to say a science of imaginary variations submitted to the Principle of reason. And the Principle of reason opposes the Principle of identity, it only acknowledges that there are some things rather than nothing—clinamen . . .
6.—Things, living or artificial beings, are inclined with/against/on/in/ from each other, using all possible prepositions. If we were to speculate, or to think to excess, we might as well leave free a share for that which leads beings to coalesce. This is to say, never to reduce the common to interests or identical intentions. Let us call coalition this ensemble of beings inclined one on the other, an ensemble bearing uncertainty without undermining the possibility of a being-in-common. From the corporeal absence of the common, a coalition is woven in all material forms, some crystallized by loves, wars, chatter, writings, magazines, assemblies, collectives—but always of the One un-filled several times and in all ways, letting the wild depths that give the coalition its sovereignty emerge.
7.—Let us call the subjective trajectories that advance, thanks to coalition, trans-jects. They advance by their projections, ideal or real. Each coalition goes forward, at the same time, in the form of an endless loop (a spiral), in each trans-ject that goes forward or back. The spiral of coalition and trans-jects is the place of the formation of the double advance. The absence of coalition does not mean the return of a subject to its pre-subjective animality, but reduces the trans-ject of existence to the ideal projection of a subject—its quixotic aspirations, its securing narcissism, its lack of love.
8.—To confused coalitions, which deny thresholds, smother singularities, produce hybrid confusions in which each object would be lost in another object, where the absence of One has become the nightmare of a malleable diversity, let us oppose not clear and distinct coalitions, which would annul community in its very principle, but those that recognize and celebrate their Theory of the Trans-ject 37 excess. Excess of amour fou, exo-realist art, politics that liberate existence, un-institutionalized minoritarian religion, an economy commensurate with the abyss—the trans-ject of existence over wild depth. Or: everything that paid-off experts, immune nations, stolen mediations, private finances, manufacturers of atoms, pharmacies of forgetfulness, controllers of fictions, suppliers of high-quality images, butchers of processed foods, neuro-cognitive specialists, and logicians of the spirit strain to forbid and to make impossible. Rather than these inertial fixations, which produce this intravenous absolute, let us wager on the living flesh of adventurous coalitions.
9.—As a non-state politics, coalition demands organization. But no organization is desirable without the adventure of the collated. Without the free expression of that which is projected with others toward a Good cruelly absent. All alliance must remain an adventure.
the proliferation of places deprived of anything habitable and the lack of any sort of free space, the fragmentation of the world in empty junk spaces and the impossibility of bearing emptiness—
a frozen atopia, full of fears and safety measures, over-territorialized in absolute flux.
the fact of being, for the fact that there is something rather than nothing— that there are other things besides pure identity, pure grammar, the confusion between words and things.
Born of contingent encounter, the subject is caught permanently, until death, in a whirling disequilibrium. When the force of this current favors creative intensities, the subject enjoys her being-towards-the world.
According to the central dogma of molecular biology, it is possible to predict the behavior of an organism using its genetic program. DNA is considered the heart of life, immaterial and immortal, a “digital river” (Richard Dawkins) capable of converting itself indefinitely into multiple forms of life
Notes from meeting with Steve
- 1 step of abstraction from with the emotional intensity of the 1st stage of experience, allows for experimentation, abstraction
- tension between non-linear self and the network
- what to do with self-awareness
- gregory bateson - humility
- the key tension between knowledge of self and existing between network nodes does not need to be solved, but is a foundation for inquiry
- matters of concern over matter of fact
- body / ecology / network (ecologies are loose, permeable, fluid | network is hardcoded and inflexible)
- find drama in the paradox of the self
- engage the paradox/tension between subjectivity, limitations to information processing
- Descartes doesnt really stand as all things tempered by subjective interpretation
Spiritual Cyborg / Alchemical Fire
We come to the individual in a liminal space. The individual is alone in an impenetrable vastness. The individual feels the need to move. They start running. Somewhat aimlessly at first, then with more purpose until they are running at full tilt, tripping over themselves. The void disappears to reveal the labyrinthe. The individual finds themselves hovering over a labyrinthe made up of dots, lines, wires, infinities, nothingness. Infinite lines intersect the labyrinth at specific nodes. The individual feels compelled into the labyrinth. Though they are confused what they are looking for, there is a direct inspiration to find something. Maybe it is something they lost, or maybe something they never had. Something they never knew they needed. It is a strange feeling to feel compelled towards something you know nothing about. How did it enter into my realm in the first place? Did I tacitly accept it through some other means? Or has it always been here, withdrawn. Slightly out of sight but still emanating its influence until a critical point where it revealed itself. Placed here thousands of hours ago independent of its agency. The individual pauses to consider this. Does the progeny of this compulsion matter? Where do I locate it, how does it relate to my sensory apparatus. I am I above or below it, is it everywhere? Am I now everywhere, it having transformed me always already? No, thinks the individual. I will continue to the heart of the matter. There they will find resolve, meaning, purpose, significance. The individual becomes enveloped into the rhizomatic labyrinth. They feel its tendrils infiltrating their mind and body. At a threshold, the individual begins to lose the distinction between their body and the labyrinth. What is the slightest sensation that makes them feel differentiation. Was this always an illusion as well? Deeper into the consciousness delve the tendrils, trying to find where they end. The membrane of self becomes porous, as the sensorium becomes enveloped in the multiplicity. The individual has a glimmer of realisation as the tendrils get too close to something important, and shakes back into a reverie. The individual performs a ritual that focuses themself into cohesion, and continues through the infinite walls of this strange space they are currently inhabiting. The imposition of the labyrinth into their mind still seems like its happening, but only in an afterthought, in the periphery of vision. Each time the individual looks around, there is an mote in their eyes that seems an echo of themselves. Is this a copy of themself? Is that the intention of the labyrinth, to subsume all who enter? The individual pauses once again. Unsure of where they are, or how they got there. They look around and see copies of themself surrounding them, but this is not unsettling. It is kinship. They find focus once again, and continue through the labyrinth, dodging around corners, edges, surfaces, mirrors. They turn a corner and are confronted by some being. The other being is looking at them, expecting them, knowing them already. This confuses the individual, but in the miasma of confusion that is the current situation, they are not overly concerned. The individual approaches the being. It undulates in waves, and ripples around the individual. They speak.
“Do you ever have the feeling that you are supposed to be somewhere else? That where you are, is incongruent to where you are supposed to be? Or maybe it is the feeling that you are indeed in a different place, and that you are just unfortunate enough to have been left behind, fallen out of the space that you were supposed to inhabit, and there is an act of mimicry inhabiting that place. Perhaps it is that you are in all these places at once, and you can’t differentiate one from another. It is that you are feeling all of these places at the same time, and don’t have the capacity to isolate one from the other. How would you know which is the right place, and which one is the wrong place? Or what if they are all wrong and all right concurrently? Would you ever know the difference since you are inside it, wouldn’t you like to know how it all looks from above and below?”
As this dialogue is taking place, the being is slowly evaporating the physicality of the individual, turning it into the same materia that itself appears to be made of. The individual is not totally cool with this, but at some point sees becoming part of this other being as an augmentation of itself, and becomes able to see differentiations in the labyrinth, new complexities and simplicities. Again, at a threshold, the individual must make a choice whether to become part of this being or to maintain a sense of individuality. As they reach the critical point of decision, they see again the multiplicity of selves forming around them in a ritual, and choose to shake off the beings intervention. The being realises their game is up, and shakes loose from the individual.
“YOUR NOT THE ONLY ONE” says the being, and they part ways.
The being disappears into the labyrinth, and the individual continues on their quest, though something is different. They are able to see strands that reach throughout the planes of the labyrinth, the inter nodal linkages that form the superstructure of the building they are in. The labyrinth itself begins to dissolve away revealing a more mundane structure of the planes of being. The individual then is joined by its multiple selves, and they commence in a different ritual. This ritual maintains for awhile, until a threshold point when the mundane planes of this new reality dissolve into the individuals themselves.
Articles to read
Magic and Machines - Andrew Dawson
In the tarot card 'Wheel of Fortune', a mechanical wheel revolves, representing changing luck. The tarot represented a vehicle for women to speak on issues the patriarchy restricted them from talking about. Invoking spirits as the communicators of heretical ideas like feminism, abolitionism, communism allowed for these assertions to be made without persecution. "The occult is an unplaceable relationship between the material and spiritual; it is words shaping reality". Links can be seen between the occult and the programmed -- in this schema words and rituals produce material and change in reality. As “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, we tend to stop being critical of these products, how they are made, how they affect society, and how to challenge its power. We talk about tech lords with words like wizards because they have reshaped reality in a manner that we cannot understand or resist. It dirties the term magic, a site of alterity, opposed to rationality, hegemony and capital.
Our dystopias reflect our concerns with the social atomisation and individualisation, trends currently driving social change under neoliberal social and economic systems. Consider UBER, which operates at a loss and is based on destroying socialised forms of transport in order to get a monopoly after the social democratic system is destroyed. The political implications of technological development must be addressed, as the desire of the worker for social change butts against the desire of industry for using tech advancements for increased profit and control. Therefore industry seeks to remove the worker wherever possible. Luddites were not against technology, they were against capitalist classes using it to drive them into poverty and maximising private profit. Who does technology work for? How can we change the organisation of society around technology? We must all become magicians to lever this change in the management of tech.
Zac Blas Radio Sonia MACBA podcast
Network is a hegemonic term to describe all technological interface and social reality. How can we get beyond viewing capitalism/internet hegemony as a totality in order to see viable forms of resistance?
paranode - (Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World Ulises Ali Mejias) beyond the topological limits of a distributed network diagram. The space outside of the network topology. The network thinking doesnt consider that space. "the dildo techtonics of the internet"
nodocentrism - nodes and edges, dots and lines make up a network -- a hegemonic form of social reality by organised networks
"the internet will disappear" the world will become the internet, and the internet will become the world. the logic of totality -- the internet as the world totalises the world. where is the outside?
alternatives to the network itself, through a queer and feminist perspective
engaging in queer and feminist, transgender politics today cannot ignore technology, tech complete cuts through and shapes power today
tactics of non-existence: If existence is a means of control, then non-existence is a form of evading control. how do we non-exist towards these machines?
art of representation v. art of action : does art need to be didactic in order to have agency for change?
the prison house of language (jameson) - if you take a purely formal approach to literature, you miss out on context.
phil agre - surveillance and capture - surveillance is an inaccurate term for whats happening, the term should be capture. capture is not visual, its linguistic. grammars of action should be developed. how does a machine know that its looking at a face? through a computational grammar of the face.
connection between language and formal properties: capture tech takes the body as purely formal.
new work: capture torture dungeon inspired by s&m : technologies are bad is too obvious, folding in complicity and desire for these techs make it more interesting, bringing it into s&m is an complex exploration of these relationships : enacting violence, pleasure, resistance
future torture scenario, dead ringers
panopticism (full on enclosure) is not the paradigm of surveillance systems
predictive policing, pattern of life: dev mil tech domination, control , imperialism
immobilisation can happen through mobile power at any moment, why panopt is not a good analogy (airports being the most obvs)
biometrics is intrinsically linked to the body, queer, feminist, antiracist, trans concerns as these populations are the most violently affected
who is constructing the pattern of life
biometrics as tech of identification , #1 border security tech, writing a new def. of identity itself.
biometric def. of identity is a disembodied aggregate of data that travels freely across global networks -- identity can be taken out of you, yet still be a 100% true rendering of you, can be removed from you, circulated and shared.
POC can be seen by biometrics cause they were calibrated by white people
Case Study - Camille Henrot @ Palais de Tokyo
Titled “Days are Dogs”, Henrot’s exhibition questions the relationships of authority and fiction that determine our existence, and is organized around one of the most foundational structures in our lives – the week.
Years are measured by the journey of the Earth around the Sun; months derive from the position of the Moon; days correspond to a rotation of the Earth. The week, by contrast, is a fiction, a human invention. Yet that does not diminish its emotional and psychological effects. We experience it as a narrative cycle, structured by the particular qualities of its component days.
Each room of the exhibition evokes a day of the week – an open world where conventions, emotions, and individual freedom are playfully confronted with one another.
Our days take their names from the cosmos and mythology – the Moon for Monday, the god Thor for Thursday, the god Saturn for Saturday – and the viewer is invited into a new human mythology, both contemporary and timeless: a mythology from the Internet age, where emotions are marked by each day’s hashtag. The exhibition as a whole operates through the composition and recomposition of archipelagoes of artworks – works by Camille Henrot herself, some of them presented for the first time, as well as those by international artists with whom she entertains a dialogue, broadening the scope of each day.
The exhibition explores the ways in which the invention of the seven day week structures our relationship to time. It reveals the way the notion of the week reassures us — giving us routines and a common framework — just as much as it alienates us, creating a set of constraints and dependencies.
Titled “Days are Dogs,” in reference to the expression for the sultry days of summer (“dog days”), the exhibition will be divided into seven thematic parts, each dedicated to a day of the week. Viewers will experience works that reflect the emotions and activities associated with each day as they move from day to day. Using this structure to organize her exhibition, Henrot emphasizes the impact of the dependencies, frustrations, and desires that emerge while living through the rhythm of the week. The exhibition explores ideas such as submission and revolt, both on an intimate, personal level, dynamic of sexual relationships, for instance — and on a larger social level, where sociopolitical, economic and ideological power is abused and suffered.
Susan Schuppli Documentary Films
Material Witness is an experimental documentary that investigates the question of political violence by asking how we might access grave events when evidence of their histories slowly disappears into the past or is forcefully repressed. It explores this condition through an analysis of two massacre videos produced during the final days of ethnic conflict: one shot in Izbica Kosovo in 1999 and the other, an anonymous execution video captured by mobile phone in northern Sri Lanka sometime in 2009. In the case of the conflict in the Balkans, the camcorder tape was entered into legal proceedings against Slobodan Milošević where it functioned to provide crucial evidence of war crimes. With respect to the Sri Lankan context, the mobile phone footage video, which surfaced in the UK, has only circulated within the courts of public opinion. Despite two UN technical enquiries, the Sri Lankan state continues to dispute the authenticity of the video and the heinous crimes depicted have therefore gone unpunished, as indeed have most others. Material Witness explores the various contexts in which these two videos eventually appeared and were made to “speak” as technical witnesses to a crime. Its does so by probing the ways in which non-human entities—media materials—register trace effects of the violence out of which they emerged as well as the ways in which they disclose the partisan practices and institutional protocols that enable their histories to be rendered intelligible and thus to become legally consequential.
“Can the sun lie?” asked a US court in 1886 when reflecting upon the probative value of new forms of technical evidence, specifically photographs and film. This now historic question was conceptually reanimated when indigenous people in the Canadian north made the public claim that the Arctic sun is setting many kilometres further west—an assertion since corroborated by scientists studying the changing optics of polar ice due to thermal inversions and global warming. The video sets out to explore the emergence of a new visual regime brought about by climate change as well as the dispute between lay knowledge and scientific expertise that subsequently arose at COP15 with regards to this solar dispute.
The Trace Evidence video trilogy explores the geological, meteorological, and hydrological appearance of nuclear evidence secreted within the molecular arrangement of matter. Its focuses upon three events: the unearthing of ancient nuclear reactors at the uranium mine site in Oklo, Gabon in 1972, the discovery of Chernobyl’s airborne contaminates at the Forsmark power plant in Sweden in April 1986 and the 7,600 kilometre five year journey of Caesium-137 from Fukushima-Daiichi through the waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Within environmental justice work, establishing the incontrovertible relationship between cause and effect has proven a difficult legal challenge. The spatial dispersal of contaminates and temporal latency of their material and biological effects, which may take years, even decades to emerge, has allowed global climate-change actors and states to operate with virtual impunity. But the nuclear isn’t like other complex, non-linear events. Despite its radical and covert nature, the unique signature and behaviour of radioactive isotopes allows its lethal traces to be tracked directly back to their source, re-connecting the evidential links that planetary phenomena has seemingly torn apart
A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum
I can’t explain this attraction in terms of anything that’s familiar to you, because I don’t understand it in any terms that I am familiar with
Elsewhere is a negative mirror. The traveler recognizes the little that is his, discovering the much he has not had and will never have
The city does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the streets, every segment marked
Think of something you want to happen
Write it down
Discard the repeated letters
Make a glyph of the remaining letters
Focus your desire into the glyph
Think only of the glyph while performing the act
Notes from "Alien Agency - Experimental Encounters with Art in the making" Chris Salter
Boundary leaking, blurring in and out, the body and the room continue as a pattern across other participants. “ I loved the beginning because I couldn ’ t feel where my body ended and the space began ” ; “ as much as there was no visual information, in the dark you still see . . . you still see . . . I don ’ t know what you see . . . but you see something, you know like a black cloud. I would define it like that.
• Non-human forces can introduce sensorial transience, shaking the perception of the stable self, losing a grasp on the outside world, redefining the the edges between subject and object, visible and felt, perceived and imagined
"I had begun as an artist, as one who would manipulate the elements of a reality into a work of art in the image of my creative integrity; I end by recording, as humbly and accurately as I can, the logics of a reality which had forced me to recognize its integrity and to abandon my manipulations ” (Maya Deren)
• to perceptually detect the smallest changes in visual, tactile, and auditory stimuli is
• There are way more than Aristotle's 5 senses. "cross-modal neuroscience and multisensory integration in which neurons in the superior colliculus of the brain actually have been proven to deal with more than one sense modality."
• The changing dialectic between a sensing subject and being perceived by that subject is not altogether discrete, as matter in the world that, due to its electromagnetic and vibratory nature and makeup, impacts the sensory receptors of human and non-human. this interplay is not altogether clear, because the encounter between perceiver and perceived is itself subject to flux and modulation
• The human sense matrix is a direct product of culture
“ The ways we use our senses, and the ways we create and understand the sensory world, are shaped by culture. Perception is informed not only by the personal meaning a sensation has for us but also for the social value it carries. ” • dystoposthesia: the feeling of being forever out of place due to adverse reactions to everyday effluvia
• affect, technology and anthropology are inherently linked. Temp, light, colour, sound, smell elicit emotional and physiological responses that modulate peoples' experiential affect.
• 2 tensions -- Brecht: proposes a critical distance between spectator and event Artaud: An attack on the spectator's sensibility on all sides
I’m forever pulled between the tensions of immersion and artifice. To disorient the spectators while heightening how the world operates. Disorientation, defamiliarization marked by sensorial transformation • The thermal cosmology of the Tzotzil of Chiapas relate images and symbols with heat and cold to the external world, creating a multisensory symbolic system that permeates daily life.
• Intermodal (multisensory) sensations factor a key role in religion and spiritual practice. Synaesthesia and infrasensory signals abound. Sound becomes the vehicle for divine power to awe worshippers and exchange messages with the gods. Voices detached from the body transform into spectral presences that become cult spirits incarnate.
• The acoustic intensity produced by such sounding apparatuses not only intimidate and terrify those outside of the cult, but are also alien to those who, in fact, produce them. If such sounds “ produce an experience without an object, ”then perhaps peak religious experiences operate at “ the intersection of the senses. ”
• When sound and vibration is only analysed from human centred subjectivity, it neglects the agency of the vibrational encounter and ignores the nonhuman participants of this vibrational nexus
• Sound references are associated with experience that creates a habitual expectation of their affect
How could we make a room fluctuate at the border of the phantasmal?
• Experiences of concentrated vision (visual stimuli) can generate shifts in consciousness
• Is it possible to recreate an experience that produces palpable affect beyond sensorial otherness without the usual religious or cultural tools?
• Ritual is performative, a systematised series of repeated practice within set out times and places that constitute significance
• Experimentation allows for alienness to creep into practice, with the unknown as the goal, it is also unknown how the material will affect the maker
• To create an extraordinary experience, the space has to become sacred to enable such an affect
• To minimise sight allows for other senses to become heightened. Vibrations of different intensities allows for an awareness of touch to oscillate. Merging 2 senses allows for intermingling at the borders, at which point they begin to blur.
• Hallucinations often occur within a pre-established set of stored material where shapes and colour waver
• Synesthesia occurs in hallucinatory drug use that defy cultural bounds and reference the wiring of the brain. The mythical dramaturgy experienced by some tribes on ayahuasca can only be seen by them. But the repetitive luminous patterns perceived during the first stage of the trip represent neurophysiologically an entirely different aspect of the experience.
Our work is nothing but translation. Not mirrors or models but assemblages that might provoke sensations to occur. New visceral acts enabled through a technologically orchestrated event that rattles the body, vibrates the soul, and yet is far removed from the original source. What position do we occupy? Insiders, outsiders, or a hybrid of the two?
• Experiences between technique and perceivers are hard to quantify. Affects operate from a distance but also collapse separation. Sensation are part of the human experience and part apparatus that connect, apply their influence, then leave. They operate on the sensorium and the body without leaving traces easily transmuted into words. Is this the experience of an ethnographic encounter with the alien?
• Perception is not necessarily local and leans toward affect, as life is not just bodies and organisms -- culture is not contained in modalities or knowing. It emerges through creative encounters with indiscrete fading nonhuman world. Art functions as a collection of emergent perceptions and affects.
How is it possible that things, stuff at a distance, at a remove, beyond us, not even human, can exert such powerful effects and affects on our bodies, souls, and world?
"This aesthetic, affective encounter is not to be underestimated; it is that which, may irreversibly mark the course of an existence . . . something which draws the subject towards his or her own recreation and reinvention."
• To consider Nonhuman-ness requires us to rethink culture. To see its non-linear, emergent and dynamic being. It eludes description through words and capture. Agency is seen through performance and interaction, in temporal realisation.
• Art is an theatre of the study of being where the split between human agency of the passive machine like world is confronted by the nonhuman, the evanescent.
• Boundaries collapse, nonmodernity recognises alien agency where we are open to the affect of the world, unconstrained by scientific law. Humanity caught in the endless flux of becoming.
Buddhism and the modern self as an unfortunate illusion; zen, the tao, and humanity as caught up in the endless flux of becoming. Something is happening here, and you don ’ t know what it is. A sense of danger and of shame. Drugs, visions, altered states, madness, the loss of control, surrender — everything we ’ ve been taught to feel bad about. Modernity has its defenses in place, and the police are inside us
• Do nonhuman things have a type of consciousness or sentience? Panpsychism is a concept that "all objects or systems of objects, possess a singular inner experience of the world around them ”Such objects could be said to harbor “ mind or mind-like qualities, ”that is, singular experience inherent to them, without entailing anthropocentric notions such as consciousness, life, thought or cognition, perception, or soul."
From the monism of pre-Socratic philosophers such as Thales (all is water), Anaximenes (all is air), Anaximander (all is a boundless, infinite substance called the apeiron), and, most well-known, Heraclitus of Ephesus (all is fire and flux), to Spinoza and Leibniz.
a continuum across Western thought revealing that the universal quality of physical things finds its expression both in the realms of human consciousness and in “ inanimate mentality. Moreover, panpsychism itself is not the only philosophical movement whose ontological premise states, as Thales describes, all things are full of gods.
Serpentine Gallery - GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon
Timothy Morton, Here Come the Lizard People
Hito Steyerl, Bubble Vision
Deep Thinking: On the Promise and Peril of AI: Panel discussion with Andrew Blake, Venki Ramakrishnan and Jaan Tallinn, moderated by John Brockman and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Shumon Basar and Fatima Al Qadiri in conversation: Talking about Djinn seen by US soldiers in Iraq
Military Encounters with Djinn