“Quite apart from their uses or designs, buildings can emit energy which has an ethereal resonance that exceeds the human attention span.” – Louise R. Schoenfeld, The Architecture of Etheric Space
Sampling a few after-deaths, Nasrul reserved the right to zap the televisual myths from outside their reality, without a role, with no rule or counter-rule, no abstinence, and without gift or depiction.
Oh, hideous, wild viral poem, lacy in the void of extra-sensorial Sephira, no word would suffice, but whatever your control was doing it was beautiful.
Strutting about everywhere, the ubiquity of opinion allowed for no difference between polemics, poetry, philosophy, journalism or pseudoscience. Revolution was just another school of thought, a self-descriptive mythology, a result of social conditions.
But luckily, everything useless was becoming useful. The useful was there to be dispelled, blasphemed against, contradicted, exalted, divined anew as useless.
Theory was impracticable. Theory as a rational model defied the rational. All that was at stake was an ideology, a school of thought.
As the word stood before the dead image, the image was described without it, and without re-creating the image by sonic or textual means.
YOU left to contend with the absurd architexture of these heretical writings, in which all descriptions were ever-present. The architexture did not support an image by means of the word but was the result of the dead image breaking open the non-linearity of formlessness. The ascent out of matters of image and word was through facility, utility and luxury. In short, the imagination.
By ejecting the media and its rapists, Nas could function with a clearer head, knowing he had eliminated such cruel superfluities. That way he could focus on what was needed. He divested himself of all cultural baggage and became neutral, like a parking meter. Just looking at the vacant lot proved it was impossible. So, he would curtail any song and dance until yesterday to embody it more violently today. He would reach for the sky or his pistol and embark upon that fabled voyage, for which no signal to begin would ever be given.
Ascetics decried decadence because it was without care or compassion. They had no future other than the one in which they existed as discrete entities. Without a vision of an ideal the ascetics were left to avenge decadence while picking at their wounds in disgust.
I discovered an article in the form of an interview translated into English from the Russian which was introduced as a starting point for a discussion which had relevance to many of the subjects being talked about at this forum.
Yesterday, with or without YOU, whatever had been torn from the centre of Earth was a whole tomorrow looking on, urging the best, as we rioted in the streets from one vantage point and one vantage point only: the next. Perhaps we were confused 24/7.
This land mass, surrounded as it was by metaphorical spikes, drew attention to the topic of the hive-mind control blockade which had sprouted up in the suburbs.
The classic rock’n’roll track, “Blue Ears”, was gathering a sum of amateur values, ambulating in tap shoes, transmitting the vase of its flowers to an incalculable mercy, a wept desire for the register. Stellar news patterns were canopied across the cultural clusters like stocks, shares and prices, renegade in broad sweeps as their muscles conjoined with serpent wisdom at the motorway service station.
“Shall I have it sent round?”
Once we accustomed ourselves to its unfamiliarity it became second nature to draw upon the dead image for inspiration. In the refurbished domain of truth-gathering we developed new qualities that empowered us to apprehend the consumerist catastrophe with its branding irons and chains, its identities and data siphons.
The first number was shimmering simultaneously with the word for word, searching for the other numbers as if they were the lost properties of the language of dreaming. It was the policy of FreeDomination to calculate with or without reason.
The head gear was savage. A surfeit of clowns gathered in the laboratory to reclaim the soft plight of the purely random, to resolve the mischief of the rats. Geographic plates above ground upheld a photographic stance beneficial to the contractual alchemy.
Drenched in wine and roses, and augmented with East End captions and the spirit of the age, with dogshit and the pneumatics of a mud-hut stomach, a blind man went searching for words like “artefact”. An action replay of sensual murder proved the trauma of coded language was ungrateful.
The foxes knew the “for sale” sign in the garden was a lie that spoke out against the very knowledge of numerical accuracy. The blackbird on the wire was beautiful in the way only a blackbird on a wire can be. Doing a backflip, a forward flip was its automatic alternative.
“Wow! Did you see that?”
Followed by candlelight, a juvenile delinquent blasted curses at the Devil (our accomplice), the Devil of creatures, man-made and hideous, of the phantom class.
The imitation machine made some astute observations.
“Pop it in the calculator.”
The un-knowledge of the blackbird’s overseership unravelled the confusion. And in one short song, the diabolical doctrines of competition and respectability, which had amplified commodification to no end, were brought to their knees and laid to waste.
Under the ultra-lights, some psychotropic drugs were overheard in the act of datasex, brought by this ferocious art unto a mellow quivering which required no stimulant. All fucked up again with duo action and vibes, a new elixir was sprouting out of Earth with no papers, no marks and no collar.
In another interesting segment, work was a mode of expression like, “I am useful”, money an expression of power used to give and take it. The data were entertraining all the characters in this drama with how to become the ideologically sound witnesses of what it meant to reach beyond all inhuman limitations, and more importantly to keep the useless useful.
Under the ultra-lights, the promise of a whirlwind, wildcat revolution emerged from the underworld in onyx, musk and turquoise, funking up the doors of conception with action vibes, pruning the vineyards in another frozen moment, 24/7. Drawing on the new elixir cumming out of the earth with no papers, no marks and no coordinates, cumming with the required stimulant, in a suede belt and peacock feather mask, its bejewelled feet led a new walk-through experience, bringing the death of design by invoking the divine names of sperm and menses, cunt-cock slop, red hot and violent. What an explosive game. In a slutty haze, the cunt-cock passed round a glass for the whip-round. Looking inside, the mouth of it softened to a point and recharged the glass.
Consciousness was said to have the capacity to make sense, to enumerate and calculate, but the mind behind it was perception, not thought. Thought was coinage, loose change, promising numbers ascribed to weights and measures of gravity.
Strapped to the concrete totem wheel, a time artist was in the sense of duration time-bound yet spaced into the eternal with a night-time, interlaced vibe, numb without a phone. In a tight shot on the plasma screen its DNA shone like fluorescent graffiti. Lavender and coal escaped like ducks, tempus fugit. The fly on the wall watched the fly in the ointment as the succulents regarded the subject heading a loathsome waste.
Yet another miracle seemed in Britannia to have unfurled the canvas and to measure and attach it to the empirical wounds, for want of a better world.
“You know far more than you know.”
“I don’t know.”
In the overworld, the eternal question was not so much how to restore humanity as how to out-do the inhuman.
It was reported that Miss Wilmott’s ghost was spotted down the lithium mines. The character study showed moral shortcomings, certain foibles and quirks. Electric eel, feline, parakeet, and all the other creatures on different discs looked like clapped-out seaside entertainers, their make-up running under a ruin of a pavilion, as they glowed in the fire of the waterside.
Shiny new thoroughfares crossed the cityscape, huge metal tubes criss-crossing above the streets taking traffic to its destination and back. It was like living in a plastic universe.
Without the distractions of the useful commentators, N began to feel more lucid. He saw how he might gather his wits about him and overcome their fruitless discourse. It was a novel experiment, and a noble one at that.
Aeons later, these heretical writings were discovered by the mounted police in a time capsule in an ancient valley.
Georgina Stanford was a scholar specialising in the field of eugenic engineering, specifically the famed experiments with field mice by top pseudoscientists, Antonia Berry and Dr Wicker-Stanley. Stanford had lost her husband after the Party had him secretly executed. He had leaked information to the news media about the criminal activities of one Alan Yardley, a paid informant of the Party who was double-dealing behind the backs of the apparatchiks, swindling them out of an untold amount of pounds. Stanford’s husband’s information about Mr Yardley, according to Yardley’s former colleague, entrepreneur, Reese Graham of SolarFlare Enterprises, had revealed “criminal behaviour from a man who should have known better”. He droned on and on about Yardley’s rackets in an incoherent monologue lasting a full twenty minutes on the popular mainstream news channel, The Atomic Report, funded solely by the advertising industry, so not news but a backdrop to the trade in numbers.
No, N was not communicating and was not expressive. But the mystery of the great unknown was now known to be of inestimable benefit. Otherwise, he would merely have been amusing himself in the hope that someone else might find it amusing too. What would such tasteless speculation bring other than gnawed elbows and ultimately, stumps?
“You see: You have been born. So, materialise that position,” said Tanigawa.
Trying not to augment reality TV any further, at the ritual laboratory, N picked up from where he had left off. Clasping a pen stolen from one of the guards in one hand and a Lucozade in the other because he was feeling under the weather, he found time in its durational sense propped up on the table, swaying like a jack-in-the box. The laboratory rats slipped around in the milk flowing from artificial udders as the wax of bees smouldered in the gloom of the cubicles. As flavoursome as it was, a platter of rare steak gave off a warning: the laboratory was under jurisdiction of the factual, as cold as a medieval marble chapel.
The information war had unleashed a spawn of unfamiliar, unseen creatures, little demons, none of whom quite knew which side they were on.
This writing was a pathetic and desperate form of escapism. It was dirty, unhygienic, disgraceful, stupid and degrading. It multiplied sin upon sin a thousand-fold as it hawked about its vermilion chess figurines moulded from cow pats, fresh as a daisy, to be sold down the Amazon.
“How drab. How dull. You must’ve been starving.”
If it wanted, beauty could always overpower function or necessity. It was in its nature to supply a substantial mode of transport, but not wholeness or completeness. Beauty bounced from throat to throat in blue jeans and a t-shirt, pouring scorn on everything with elegance and grace. Beauty was like that. When it came to life there was undying chaos.
This cypher-funky criticism was written into the languaging vehicle to assist it in its search for the sign of no signal, for the godless to arrive and depart.
Now there was pandemonium.
The world was an authoritarian fantasy constructed by a few billionaires to help improve their self-esteem. But the overworld was invisible and had been made to see, to see whole worlds for themselves, and little else but that.
After lurking behind the scenes for ages, the clandestine Nepenthe were eager to have their philosophy disseminated through a new vehicle. They planted fully visualised diagrams, charts and tables depicting the structures that lay behind the formulation of their destructive and reductive, redemptive task. N thought he saw the group standing around a dining table at their headquarters meeting to discuss a project to impress upon the general public the next phase of development in their influencing of daily affairs.
The neo-liberal crowd was in the armoured throes of aesthetic death, wrapped in aluminium foil, while the general public stood in the public square clamouring for the arrival of a new attention seeker.
What were Nepenthe endeavouring to communicate? Primarily, the primacy of the destructive saviours. As they were so silent and deadly there was no knowing what, but the truth did not stay hidden.
Whatever N believed he was imagining or experiencing was a fiction.
Impossibility was tending towards its realisation, to make it possible. But desire was up against the odds. Even the tasteless physicality of stone denied the impossibility. Like an illuminated mouth praying to some chess board in the sky, the spectre stars were promoting mob culture. Unbounded love was grasping for a semblance of an object that could transform into another, even if only by proxy.
I was a value, an invention of money. Subjectivity was created out of money. Without money I was not. The body was a mental construct based on its function. I was the value of the function of an identity marker, a sign for yet another value. Doing and being in a pseudoscientific sense meant religiously carrying out orders, impulses and reactions, rituals and customs of compliance. The sin of non-compliance was such that, “Though shalt not suffer a non-consumer to live.”
The proverbial gun was pointing at his head, but N’s only concern at that time was for his ego. It had plagued him all his life and now he had to lose it. He had lost his ego on several previous occasions, losing his mind in the process, and his faculties, and all his instincts. He had imposed his selfish desires on others and in turn they had reciprocated, manipulated and abused him. The egotistical bullshit they spouted was sickening. They imposed their selfish desires and he responded with equal parts pride and vanity. Their desire to control went unabated. Particularly, they utilised the weapon of violence to perpetrate their crimes. Everything that went on between the participants in this game all belonged to the Apparatus.
The small print failed to list the address of the suppliers. Somewhere along the food chain, lurking in the shadows, their identity was quite unknown. N’s psychopathy experiment had revealed a wound which was a mark of sin and evil and therefore unreal.
“All that’s left now is the radio.”
There was no mouth, no dictate, no wish or supplication. Despite the evidence, desire remained without its imaginary aspect.
What was that?
Was it spelled wrong?
The historians who talked as if they’d been on Earth for centuries, with their tours of the Grand Guignol theatres, were pissing against the wrong lamppost.
“I don’t know if I can find things.”
It seemed the truth serum cartridges had been mislaid out in the field somewhere, so no-one could believe their messenger any more. Their words had all the profundity of a talking head. They espoused a false religion while covered in puke. The blankness engendered by that idiot messenger was second to none. Their putrid truths were spread abroad to justify and squander themselves under the dictatorship of the factual. They incorporated their dissonant flavours into a hodgepodge of incomprehensible crap that could not be expressed by anyone without being made to look a fool.
N could not blame his paranoia on the Party bureaucrats, who were only doing their job after all. They were themselves but pawns in the game of the big homunculus. How were they to know what they were supposed to represent? They were figments of their frazzled imaginations.
For us, however, it was a different story. We had come straight outta the cunt-cock into a hostile environment where everybody was either an advert for something or nothing.
THEY had no idea. For us, N represented fiction but to those whose allegiances lay with the Party that fiction was the place in which they lived and moved and had their being. In a dream N awoke next to a bizarre mosaic depicting what appeared to be a futuristic, monolithic advertisement for the Apparatus. Reaching so far into the sky, it was impossible to estimate its height as it disappeared into the clouds, its lurid colours sharply reflecting the sun.
N dreamed he had been to the same place many years before. He felt he was being drawn into a vortex in which his plans were disrupted by the egotistic careerists he had hired to obtain certain items, notably a symbol. He was falling apart. He knew he could be put back together again and take on a new persona, but before he could do that he had to figure out how to get back to the Encampment which he calculated was about a hundred miles away. He could see no sign and had to find a mode of transport. The bus station would be open in the morning. He would have to wait it out.
Unlike the mosaic, the symbol was not an advert for the Apparatus but a symbol of crystal.
N’s legs crossed the ragged line, deep into the shrine of YOU above. He swooned and smoothly implanted a primitive adoration. Everything he thought or spoke contained no truth but the flavour and relish of adoration. Drawing unto himself the first revolution, he could see the nanotechnological summoning beckoning him like an evidence-based witch doctor. A thousand proofs were given, but everything was already as prophesied in the mail order catalogue.
Indoctrinated by honeyed precepts, N assumed the position relative to them. What an archaeological find: a blue and pink biomechanoid Krishna of luminous porcelain. N had it farmed out to the brainiac shields, for it would do well in the concurrency of pre-birth where the reins went untacked, where an explosive new galaxy cross-pollinated with the ancient continents of the porpoise people, its essence in cinemas today but quickly evaporating.
“It’s at times like these you wish you’d picked a flower.”
At the juncture between rampant commercialism and ultra-culture, between money and art, property was cheap and getting cheaper. Flesh was over because whoever became flesh now had to labour for ornaments with or without the properties that withheld them.
A long religious hair took to the stagecoach. Curled fingers without stoppage swiped conscience clean while expressing the 1957 of a suburban home. Rival gangs bred love boxer’s fingerprints, their wheels clamped to the cuisine of a tonal European encircled by a panorama of unbridled feelgoodness, bringing on the pithy, poignant chords of the sentinel voyeur of the multi-car, pink like wild coral.
In the Euro Café, the unisex were gossiping at a bookcase. The cosmetic universe was a forbidding site with a vinyl floor, a foot spa, the panache of green dollars. The people’s war never stopped. Shanghaied at the drought of dispensation, the ravenous hair was facilitating agency for brocade, damask, firm skin.
“To oppose the world is to redeem it.”
All racketeers were born under the same sign and obeyed the edicts of the Apparatus. A discreet signature marked the paper. The formulaic ethos of Nepenthe was also there, where the screen had its burial.
Pouring over the verses of the fore-life, an overdose, a view of an air-bath. The stake-out: for once, the albatross enkindling Metamorpheus’ flannel. Alpha-numerics: ON. The Japanese cakes: IN (to avenge the spin-dry). Opera glasses in Tunnel Y. Gaps in the glob market. A Silkie was importuned and froze. A Lux Dragon shaded in the backdrop was kin to its borderline phase of amateur traumatics, an accidental antique of cosmic ardour.
“I encircle your meaty heart and caress it a little. I swallow it whole like it was a macaroon. I am vacuous, a conundrum. I make trite observations from here. I am not the robot.”
This was how N languished: upon a dusky bed on the desert shore where he bathed in the glow of the luminous stars above, craven, toes curling slowly.
How this article would be received in another future was a matter with which we were not concerned. We only had so much time to examine the subject. How this would be perceived in the future was how the future received us, welcoming us to join it as the article ran out of time to greet its warm reasoning, prescribing where and when we should go or stop. That was our concern this morning, and without further ado we took a step back and peered into the revelatory dawn of the great unknown. When the planes went flying overhead the circle of contempt was broken. When all else was silent and identity disappeared on the crest of a drug high, enslaved by its exotic charm, a celebrant, a drunkard, was strapped to the sidewalk by accusers.
Grasping the vinyl and derailed by numbers, sitting in a bleak room amid transitory states, N was without permit. The uprising seemed likely.
The verses of the fore-life showed N an old movie in which a funster’s belly went, “tick-tock”. He looked at how obscene it was, fractal in the governing body of light. Again, he was inside another. Time was like that, bent on its knees on the table. He watched the day pass by from memory and discarding the wrappers in the soup kitchen while eating from a clay jug, his lips changed colour.
Lakshmi was not asleep. She stepped off the plane clutching a magazine open at a page showing a picture of a person sitting on a bench thinking about sitting on a bench.
“As soon as I find any kind of a system, I want to break it.”
“I know you want an uprising.”
The stadium was magnified by optical effects, like the augury squints of greetings cards. Lakshmi went dancing in the streets after flutes of Jamieson’s, four glasses of wine and cream and coffee.
Another flashback returned to source.
Vicente May-Gallow observed from his conservatory the hedges that were abnormally sculpted into astronomical diagrams and would have been visible had the season not changed, but day had ended earlier than expected, plunging the baroque display into sheer night, stricken with darkness, terror, romance and suicide. Death’s figure, hooded like a wizened crone, had spontaneously appeared in Vicente’s glass of gin, an optical illusion caused by the moon shining through the conservatory door into the ice. The dead image haunted Vicente for twelve minutes by which time he finished his drink.
All death was desire.
Vicente was an imperious character from someone else’s backstory and had few redeeming features. The backstory of co-star, Meredith Providence (of the Vanguardians) may well have been somewhat for show but was also extra-fictional.
The cars parked and unparked.
Under the heading, “Maniac vs maniac”, a ridiculous story appeared in the news about two politicians who had started a fist fight in the Houses of Parliament which later turned into a duel on Hampstead Heath with paint gun pistols as a publicity stunt to help them get a chance to re-appear on the popular reality TV show, “Abuse of Power”, in which various celebrities, corporate CEOs, pop stars, and other well-known public figures such as Margot Eastbridge, the great charity ambassador, Victor Kleff, the well-loved aristocratic cartoon character from the 90s, Godfrey Ardent of Dskover.com, the pioneer of “the ultimate technology” and Marshall Parr of Orion Rubber, were put into different working environments, the object of the game being to rise to the top of the pecking order throughout the series and to become a CEO by ruthlessness, skill, determination, charisma and sheer willpower. Aiming to win the top prize, the two corrupt politicians, Morgan and Wiley, who had been invited on the show after their fist fight, saw this as their chance to gain further notoriety, but were so frustrated they had both so pitifully lost in the first round due to their utter lack of charm, they resorted to the crude stunt of the paint gun duel that would seem humiliating to most people but for these strange hunched men with sallow complexions, their lips slobbering, these twisted, inhuman creatures dressed in suits and ties, was a rare opportunity to pander to what was left of their better natures.
Attention was so drawn out we felt the urge to reject this silly tract.
Nepenthe had ways of infiltrating the mind of N at night when he was asleep and at certain startling instances during the day.
The main concern was for invisibility. Love was occurring silently, breaking the bones of geometry as we screamed and undulated and the expression of life came to life. We had turned bittersweet, rusted and worn like stereotypes. Seeking absorption in the space of pure action, we were nullified by the lack of cause or effect.
The façade of the hoax principle disrobed, raising its fist at a typical afternoon spent flaying muscles down to the bone, crawling through the marshes with no boots on, grasping at the paradoxical instructions, having preceded forward thinking with navigational skills that lit up the omnipresent screens, grasping for a span of attention.
“Anything that could take place in that room could take place in any one of these atomised tombs.”
The media was rejected, for true power was in the lowly and despised places, among the underdogs, the scavengers and scapegoats. Avoiding the news, avoiding official discourse, otherness would resume at 11:30 at night, whether or not the repetition of things gave wings. With the euphoria of a Delacroix the sensors transmitted ancient subterranea. Underwater cameras around the shipwrecks had in depth knowledge of the laws of rhythm which modified virtual events to bend to the anticipated wars, soothing the passions.
The industrial concerns which had made this document possible had brought it to fruition for at least for the rest of the day, if not throughout the night. It was obvious what was written here was of singular importance. It had dropped some real bombshells but was clearly a conduit for the unknown. What was being communicated originated from somewhere or someone other than those responsible for having constructed the object. Who they were supposed to represent was indistinct.
Nepenthe were an unearthly power, and never drew attention to themselves.
This entire document was indeed a fabrication, that much was plain. Perhaps the reader’s assumptions were correct after all. Perhaps they would appreciate that having read it now s/he also had some responsibility for what s/he had read. Maybe it was all down to the tele-floods, because from where the document had originated was unclear and ambiguous. Perhaps this is what Nepenthe wanted.
“Wake up. The Amens and oohs are moving quickly, brother, empirically speaking.”
The Conversations 22 | The Attention Seekers | text & image © A. A. Walker