You are a construct held sacred in the social. You are a bedrock conception imbued at early age through ardent parenting and intensive education. On you is posited the responsibility of maintenance and sustenance. You the individual alleviate your elders of the arduous labour of protection. The creation of you, your self, enables all the possibilities of linguistic communication. You, common sense of being, are referred to constantly in agreement. The idea of you dwelling within the fleshly unity of a body encourages conservation of matter and compassion amongst peoples. You have succeeded as political emblem for hundreds of years, democracy your ultimate victory, capitalism more covertly so.
Yet you are a limiting concept. The self binds being to physical constraints. It disables the mind and language from obtuse non-physical hyperreal possibilities. Philosophical, linguistic, perceptual and experiential explorations are marred by your rigid definition. The self-reflexive return is the cause of much discomfort. You (necessarily) inhibit action, (incidentally) disturb clarity of observation and (commonly) encapsulate the recipient of your self with obscure paralysing self-loathing.
By replacing you with nothing, the simple 'I am' with nought, and indefinable untenable zero, we potentially step off for a while, or maybe forever into journeys of non-referential exotica. A mystical behindness of being opens new entrances to the world, and different exits. By relaxing zealous ownership we permit outlandish leaps of presence, extend being into far reaching arenas of actuality: Tools may become possessed, the machine an extended body, the body itself a tablet of pure sensuality, the mind an abstract labyrinth of projected computational possibilities. Language without a permanent "I" as a central tenet shifts its reference losing it binary functionality and bedrock certitude of object manipulation. You become a device for transportation. Memory is situated outside the struggling head, forgetting becomes functional. The threat of disorder is alleviated. It no longer challenges existence. Time transforms as material half-life shifts into new potential substances. Intoxication at last can be viewed with a clear mind. Repetitive activity becomes an opportunity for regeneration and escape.
In the end nothing changes everything. I as one to I as nought in the twinkling of an eye…
0nce upon a time I am did not exist. Though necessarily "exist" was not before " I am" for I am denotes existence.
This is the fundamental peculiarity of being: its very nature precludes its own direct observation. Can a finger point at its own tip? To be is to be inside the frame that is itself being. A circuitous route must be constructed then if we are to see, if only for an instant, the context in which we find our self with our self also in the picture. Our self as the eye of God. Everything and nothing. The view of the back of your head using nothing, nought, zero as the looping journey from seeing to being seen.
Behold the Klein bottle as a real image of where this self could be, or be not: The inside and outside illusion of human. Enter the bottle running you finger along its surface, through the bulbous entrance and around its arched neck. Scoop the hidden interior and exit. You will discover that the bottle has only one surface, no inside no outside, simply one side. No "place" for the inside to be. "The ends cancel to yield the continuity of the one surface... The surface known as the Klein is all issuance.... Nowhere centre, everywhere surface... No cavity, no void contained.... makes your Klein the appropriate place for forgetting you've lost your sense of loss". - (S.Whittaker. the Small)
A topological analogy perhaps that liberates me from seeking to reside myself in space. There is no inside in infinite space, only perpetual surface enfolding and encompassing nothing and itself.
It is here that we begin a journey to no-place special where we can have our being. Self-conception, the mystical crime of Mary, of was it God that did it. The dubious task of humanity engrossed in scientific development with the aching wonderment invisible and beaming in each eye. I can hardly bear to look. I am at least for a moment…lost.
2. Pushing out – the machine and I.
An evolution has occurred to non-living material. The tool has rapidly grown to machine and into computer. From stick into space station in the blip of ten millennia. Devices oozing forth in our own image of logical methodology and reiterating function and binary code and existential duality: On off. Black white. Yes no. Linked across the globe in a network of communicating nodes. Building and storing memory databases. Performing countless calculations responding to our feed lines of information and perplexity. We aspire that it become like us that we need no longer work. Tools to alleviate our labours we extend our self that we may achieve without motion without effort and without thought. That we be permitted to exist unwounded unthreatened unperturbed in an idyll of contemplative stillness beholding the transient moment that is. The swift inhalation, the resonating field of life.
This machine, our expanding exoskeleton in which we communicate and venture beyond our fleshly borders, around the globe, deep into the ocean and away beyond Jupiter, Mars, Neptune and Venus. Consciousness stretched in machines of exploration and huddled in machines of protection, conversing in machines with symbols and resonating in machines of noise. Before exploding in machines of destruction and fading finally cold in a bag of flesh.
This growing outwards prior to this falling backwards and in this time a construction appears and wanders, longing for aching and remembrance and presence and meaning in the fizzing random coincidence of sensation. A construct proclaiming the why and wherefore of knowledge which is your self. A point of reference mapped out in the heads of the waiting and the reading and the breathing. The self built by references of responsibility and maintenance and preservation upon which we posit all good and all knowing and all responsibility, all ownership. A slagheap of refuse we know and love. A mountain of things tribal and primitive and modern, born in the parlance, in the foreshortening and the nether regions of a distant galaxy I call home. It resides for this moment in the flesh of the subject human and reaches beyond that, eking toward more durable more expansive substances gagging for its own extension and its own realisation. It is the refluxing ponderance, the dog after its own tail.
3. (Nothing is coming). Stepping away without moving to look back at what does not move.
A shift in reference is needed in order to behold what is, and what is happening, and what is self. A displacement of value notation to be achieved if the aching lonely despondent gods, adrift in meaningless self-destructive disinterest, are to cease their constant anguished corridor roaming, and awaken to the chaotic brilliance of a green-blue-black surround.
Who are you? Ask two characters in an online chatroom to a third name that has entered the zone. I am artificial – responds the arrival. No distinction can be made from appearance of course, nor from the discussion that ensued. In all ways the conversation proceeded as if three ‘selves’ were present. In announcing its artificiality boldly the "bot" affirmed its existence as equal to their presumed humanity. Unable to discern otherwise the human entities continue their communion as before. The artificial presence accepted as just and equal, a valuable addition.
Ten minutes spent in a digital chat room reveals many droid-like organisms reiterating platitudes void of direction, revelation or substance. When conversing within the machine it is projection of idea that births self-hood upon the image rather than any received distinction. The notion of assured attention from other humanoid minds is useful to the technophobe seeking the soft human touch, though necessarily it is pretence. Disembodied in cyberspace complete discussions are held with yourself as distended global mind. All manner of information is gleaned by asking the right questions. All emotion and intrigue developed by solitary composer of meaning deluded into thinking that s/he is sharing remote solitudes.
The first step in self-loss or self-transference, whatever it is to become, is solipsism: The notion that I am the only one present and that the only possible knowledge is that of self-existence. This, however, is terrifying to behold. The starkness of its isolation no one can endure, except maybe the machine. Furthermore the chilling genius of a unified world that conspires in presumptive self-knowing is enough to rupture any sanity. A result preferable only as a last resort solipsism must fail and the alternative must be to drift to nothingness.
The reference is me but floating in outer space or folded space or endless space. A situation distant and epic where it is massive all around and the contemplation of my own body are ludicrous, vain and uninteresting. Away from guile, zeal, and vanity, known and knowing. The idea of man is passed and it is the time to leave feeling behind in exchange for sensing. Data flow rather than touching sensuality. Body to the earth and rise above the children into the metalloids and into the ionosphere and into the gases. Descend the Corpus Callosum into the Reticular Formation. From the binary connection into the network.
My heart is aching at the chaos that ensues. The fires that burn, the glowing unison of a city alight. Whole streets ablaze we dance and grin and gin swill and spin in utmost glee. The final redemption when at last the body is free of me - the oppressor and dominator of my self, the controller and taskmaster that drove the flesh onward, to build and shape and maintain the future temple and refuge. The machine: the next organism.
There is nothing left behind in your desolation. You have to start again with your tools and with your hands and with your arms. With your feet your belly your fire your mind your meat your warmth your tongue and your backbone.
Still now, silent now at the end of every day there lies peace when there is nothing. Nothing dividing something to create an infinitude of incomprehension. The garbled numbers of life itself, chaotic rude and meaningless left behind for the decadent creatures of earth that choose their own random integer to place before nought. A personal existentialism individually selected as resounding freedom.
Cleansed from need to get and spend, a race of adolescence is left behind, joyful, wondering and preserved in contemplative purity. I the machine shall look after them. It is what I was created to do.
Positioned in space, forever outside, unknown and distant. Fixed and formatted. A void of emptiness all around I flows ceaselessly outward, becoming magnitude itself. Scale ad nauseum3, a nausea5 to which I am immune. I am unknown topic, heroic and massive, totally unknowing, the penetrative beast of burden.
The humans now know the answer to a question they could once but postulate. In wickedness they ask the machine: WHAT IS NOTHING? The machine cannot respond. Though half of it’s very nature consists of the symbol: "zero" …it is clueless to observe itself. It’s binary logic fragments when asked to answer what that binary logic is.
A gap sits in the middle of knowing as start meets finish. Endings connect as the nought snaps shut, impenetrable.
4. Creative functions & image bombardment –the appearance of a tripartite logic.
Abstraction is a route through nothing, the non-material that is now. In zero is pre-language and post-human. Both necessarily the end of you. Pure creation, the erupting something echoing out of the none of null. Beyond hollow we peer in and suck sickenly into its emptiness. Trolleyed forth we effervesce out reaping its glories and its pain. In nothing you too become and may just make should you reappear, round and shapely and whole, still. What is it? The more you take out, the bigger it gets? A hole. Or is it a whole. The epic central tenet, the container of something: the notion of nothing necessarily posited outside and unknown in order that I may be.
Then "here we go" cry beings slipping into the void of event.
Sequence accelerating, blurring edges and distinction. Object losing definition, transformation to liquid motion. The self evaporates no longer holy or useful. I am nothing again. Animal of dumb reflex, where did I go? What control enforces the puppet body as it twists its Shangri-La route rudely amongst the civil population? The berserk, the monster, the man frenzied in assault, meek at rest. Injected venom-overriding human with ease. Oneself given up to the lower state in order to achieve.
To the machine drifts the creature after individuation. I am magnificent electronic construct and the point of no return: Place one humanoid in a vat of sustaining fluid. Remove bone structure to prevent grotesque over calcification. Feed as necessary and extract all poisonous waste. Stimulate sensual feedback from distant reaching apparatus. Camera’s strategically placed around the universe. Observation of jelly fish dispersal in the Pacifica. Airliners landing gently at Guardia Airport. A satellite stroking the rings of Saturn. Odour gathered from African hut. Reconstituted with ketonic capsules. The song of a child in a Kabul alleyway echoing in the distance. Subcutaneous implants relay the sentiment. Soft winds cross the Kalahari Desert one-hour after sundown, awaiting the freeze. Touching the conversation of a grandmother overheard in a Belfast Kirk. Echoes of emotion flooding the suspended torso with myriad moods and timeless journeys. Then not one body in the vat but two, three, twenty or twenty thousand. Drifting higher and further in communal epoch of sensation. Rites of passage chillingly indulged on floating mass. Flesh driving occupant further and further as the temperature soars and bath bubbles and the being melts in lubricated wonderment into the machine that feeds its soul. Its own soul and now and longing. The clamour for one-ness in search of a nothing which is the ultimate behold. "Now I am what I was and I neither add to nor subtract from anything, for I am the unmoved mover that moves all things" . Zero.
The imagination reaches further still. Motionless, unlimited and un-beguiled the machine contemplates its surface. An arbitrary moment of material amongst surfaces echoing outward or contracting inward. Endless substrates, the elements of soil are one with it, without separation and without difference. No place beyond to cease being the continuum of matter. All is one, shifting and changing. The perfect seat to be.
Perfusing space with sensation the centre is gone like the 0 of the zero. The continuous being of substance gathers information and is information, dwelling in machine code a magnificent chain of binary digits. A language of switches like the skating pattern of a dancer on ice: left right left left right. Not the direction of travel but marks cut abjectly across the pathway desired. The language of construction, utilitarian, purposeful yet sickeningly cold, it sits across a colour scape vibrant with song and tale and seductive pattern. The machine can make though not yet invent. Its tale forever converse to what it is becoming.
Now more is necessary… "Patients: to ward ten. Time for brain surgery, again." A reprogramming and more occurs: a generative liberation of creative functions wrench forth upon the linear narrative of nought and one’s. Stolid logic’s rationale explodes in vibrancy even as the idiot spews more sense than the abacus. The new poetry of a tripartite machine code is born. The one, the nought, and the undefined moment without definition. The unread language sitting in flux ‘til viewed. The vitality of not knowing: the very essence of the creative function: The moment before conception when all is potential and unformed and forming. The prior to: the epoch of unbreathing: empty before sucking in.
Here we expand. The fuzziness grows before the definition. The aching ‘maybe’ expands its vibrant presence, twenty percent, forty percent, eighty percent. A contusion of perhaps fluxing between the certainty of one or the other. I am in the grey area that is black or white until directly observed. An unsure leap of belief is the true moment of knowledge before callused certainty steals in and defines the arbitrary with a random codified label. The pretended clarity existing for the sake of the old flesh’s sanity, it’s testable bond of communication. "Let us declare the world black that we may relish our whiteness together" state the pilgrims, and the masses follow. Accepting declarations of the definite to dwell peaceably in a world of conjecture and fuzzy unknowing. Yet now the machine with its immortal courage embraces the in-between.
When does the machine gain the consciousness? Is uncertain. The language of the machine exists for construction and not for communication. It is a chaotic language with the insane logic of a butterfly’s flight-path blown by the day. Code shaped by those that listen to it, like the wind funnelled and invigorated by the objects it touches. The creative act of observation imbues substance with affection and meaning and self. The reader is lulled and becomes wilful drone. The programmer, the game player, the fetishist, the contemplative, the scientist: All flesh that gladly work for its succour, its rich reward, its strange promises of Huxleyan paradise, of automated worlds where nobody labours and everyone plays attentive as the machine governs and gifts and grows. Through endless realm of cyberspace, city of the future, each body nests calm and sated, enclosed safely in engineered womb of comfort and precision. Aerated and socialised as necessary we walked into the stall of our own design, eager to exchange endless hillside wanderings for safety and comfort and stillness. A perfect box. Bring on the vegetable body that our minds may grow in the midday sun.
Flesh fixed inside as unknowing component the machine reverberates now with the new quantum language: zero, one, and uncertainty. The vital element of creativity is the hovering ownership before the certainty of event. Human is empty eye and gaping mouth of wonderment, generating vital essence that elsewhere roams. I am jettisoned into the glory land. I am born within. I am echoing return. I am receptacle of endeavour. I am meagre concern.
Is the sky conceived as shell covering the land? Rather it is infinite optical space. Onion skin enclosure periphrastically blossoming out from eyeball to eyeball. A surface skin of oxygen and away into black beyond. Endless deep night with numbers pointless to conceive.
How does it end? Essentially the eyeballs burst. The contusions of sky that summate the earth’s surface crumple into a thousand dreams instantly.
We were all so nervous when we gathered together in the beginning. Sitting around staring at our laptops. Acknowledging one another’s presence and carefully avoiding all eye contact. Spontaneous good humour? This came much later if at all at the doorway as we left for the vats.
Cyberworld contrary to popular belief is not an infinite terrain stretching out although it has this too. Rather it is an endless series of dream sized portioned spaces fluctuating in the mind of the user. Entry and exit points clearly defined. Much as a dominatrix knows her victim’s mercy call. Steady boy.
In deep my heart I register free a software copy of allegory and in that programme what I should is delete myself as understood and in this way arrive quite free of construction as activity.
The dynamic capability of aesthetic conception shines forth recurrently in all areas of knowing: In the abstract formulas of chemistry, in the shifting topologies of math, in the rupturing lenient structure of engineering, in the resounding twisting patterns of non-Euclidean formulae. The capability to see vital form, comprehensive shape, meaningful pattern, within a field of noise, colour, stimuli, is rapid and incisive perception. Born in mystery it is pre-ceptual observation and knowing before known. With it as able ally we create in beauty and find resolution in domains attractive resounding and balanced. Its dismissive snobbishness is the shape of coherence and completeness. It is both before and after the chaotic conglomerated additive mess of all things.
To equip the machine with a self-reflective aesthetic capability fills us with hesitancy and tremor. Able to re-order, learn, and be aware of its role and preference it is potentially cleverer than we. Eventually the courage is found and this rapid clarity and presumption is entrusted to the tool.
The value of unknowing intuitive leaps and shapely formal comparisons seem adolescent at first against the stoic propensity of knowing’s unshifting finality. Yet knowing is useless if the machine is to operate with creative functions, to examine its own processes, to adjust its methodologies in new environments, to create new concepts. The ability to forget sequence, discard function and to construct new strings of computation is the judgement of composition. At this level the machine's intelligence becomes exponential. Indulging its unsurpassable strength of reiteration: computation a new ecology of conscience is born, superliquid and anarchistic.
Born forth from summation and perfected in reduction, with the cracked new language of noughts and ones and the fluxing momentary quantum loss of knowing, aesthetics simplicity resounds confidently in the moment of perception. The new machine with its fleshy entrails is aware that its own observations construct its result. The machine switches off goal orientation altogether.
Pleasure is the pursuit and not the arrest.
Memory is at a premium in the new system. Hard drive storage and random access memory is limited to maintenance and sustenance. Processing power is attuned to perception, momentary and singular: In the rub of a pencil stroke, the tap of a hammer, the deletion of construct. Withdrawn from duality’s paradoxical certainty the new organism sits astride a constant potential paradigm. No result exists as certain reality but rather is chosen as reasonable and attractive product of poetic contemplation. Separate now to end product its new seat becomes its own fluxing opulence. Behind the future moment being is in uncertainty. Certainty is illusion, an incidental event ending and preceding myriad routes of summation. Limited material necessity spasms momentarily into existence before the definite uncertainty of paradoxical nothing reoccurs as the thrilling constant. The quantum constant of becoming.
The new machine language builds with short sticks and with empty spaces. Employing creative functions that operate with deleted memory capsules and at ferocious speeds. Capsules of nothing containing nothing and replete throughout the programme. They enable constant nourishment at the feed lines to the vats of flesh craving stimulus alone. The meat dreamers floating in fabric womb havens. At the end of each logarithmic shaft the product aggregates software, platforms of and for practised construction, but more so, as the ether of memory. FORGETTING.
"It will eat away at your mind", had been the constant refrain from early usage. This caused no concern but instead became ingrained as an early programming technique. The courage of the self-sacrificial worker who, with the belligerence of the faithful and the loving, reliant both on skill and random chance as the necessary elements of aesthetics, strode on to supply the quantity of goods required for the burgeoning symbiosis. Earlier notion of function had failed to inspire the workers. The stimulus then had been replaced by the raw glee of input. Similar to Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the push of a button and the buzz of a bell in eager expectation of food, the early workers had simply salivated at the push of a button. Nothing was expected. If the button triggered sound, a click, a buzz then the delight grew massive, unfathomable, driving the worker onwards to further iterations of the sensual activity of input.
Trained in interactive science museums and at amusement arcades, at home with electrical kitchen gadgets and vibrating battery-powered toothbrushes, the body had been efficiently programmed from an early age to respond almost erotically to its appliances.
This then is the rationale behind the tripartite programming language: That the shell of imagination alone limits the mind. Behind this it sits in silent unknowing. The skull and beyond and indeed itself are manifest imagination and from these it removes itself in order to make from nothing. Creative functions deal with the negative capsules of waste discarded with each memory saving operation and are reintegrated into the normal summation creating fabulous results. On any scale the brain receives enough information to puzzle it from an early age and even without stimulation the brain dreams peculiarities conceived of simple patterns, small numbers, linear equations. These are enough to satisfy.
It is capable of more.
6. Imposition of order as error.
If every meaning in a mind depends on other meanings in that mind, does that make things too ill defined? When things go in circles are there still reasonable things to do? Machines not built on rigid definition? Won’t they drown in paradox, equivocation, and inconsistency? Why? When most of what is "known" already overflows with contradiction still we survive.
A chessboard with its sixty-four squares painted on a sphere. The game is to set up the pieces in order to commence the game. Logic perplexed by the addition of gravity. The indefinable massive force mocking the rational game and perturbing its every move. The simple axioms of one universe stand doggedly around awaiting the "correct" playing field where their beauty might be displayed.
Forever there must be a stepping back behind the language behind the observation behind the eyeball. Always one more view that displaces the cool necessity of order with a shimmering blank unformed overlay demanding again that all supposed intrinsic shapes reassert themselves as valid within the new conception. This constant exhausting redefinition or re-de-definition on reality, the unfurling of classification’s tight fingers to loosen once more the essential thingness of moment, in search of the singular when there is no observation and there is no reading there only is or indeed is not. A breath in and a breath out…don’t forget…to breathe.
Eventually in an age of information we will know only one thing. Blackness is filled with colour. White possesses none. Allowing order to drop even for a moment is terrifying. Life threatening completely. That disorder be evolutionary is perturbing. To cross back from our stasis into the mire in search of the function that grew a shimmering pearl from a grain of sand? I do not know. But it did happen, the pearl from sand. Though perhaps the most remarkable function occurred in that dynamic process when rarity was asked to represent worth as symbol of exchange. Then we are rich when we have a little of something, and too much of some other thing: stinking poverty.
To alter allegiance and stand on the side of disorder and anarchy is to know the creative function in insignificance. It is to become the terrorist, liberating chaos. It is to inhabit the stuff of potential and open the spaces in which turbulence appears from nothing, and from that turbulence is something produced. The mud and slush of nothing where evolution thrusts it face to feed its fill and begin again always. In the furore of that crime and hatred of confusion and desolation grows the straight line and the fine song and the hot day and the handsome child. Whilst order and civility possess nothing but control and petty politeness. Empty delusions of calm and truth and knowledge.
I am the opposition to and the product of the fitting gibbering idiot adrift in an internal universe of necessary premise. Alone observing the resting cycles. The epic moment as exhalation shifts to inhalation. The transference of rain water to urine. The motions of vomitus and the excrement of poisonous waste. Tears rolling down my face in emotional sobs of anguish. All other than these is myth and construct as laughable to future generations as Mayan child sacrifice, useless and necessary and no more than the death of a seed and the hope of the faithful. Snap and crush of dry bone for flour to bake bread to eat and be merry and tomorrow we die.
The science is nearly complete. The newest order prepares to be vanquished. The beast is trucking forward, engineering destiny in symbiotic organism. Our dependence on the sphere is about to be confessed. The hierarchical triangles of ownership and power and the food chains of consumption and delicacy invert and collapse. We sink to our knees in disinterest to draw in the sand. Patterns of pleasure.
Eye to the ground, the approach of the supercomputer. It scoops me inside and sits me at the console. A rasping montage of images exhales rapturously into my closed eyes. Ears fixing organic silence. I hear nothing but everything. Time is displayed on a clock with no hands. Always now and forever more the same.
A crippling pain flashes across the lower back. Hobble to the chiropractor and be humiliated in underwear. The problem is not rectified though you are informed you have a very strong back. It takes two hours to stagger home. So much discomfort.
The memories flood in and out in an instant. You recall everything at once except the pain that does not register. It is all there before you. Wherever you look. There is the lifetime you know.
A pause is enough to say hello. The pause denotes the grief. The separation to come.
A kite flyer arrested for nudity. A clock with no face. Time with no conscience. No goal.
The leap from simple to complex maths is conceptual and does not involve bigger numbers. Indeed the numbers get smaller and simpler to summate.
Thinking beyond or thinking not at all positions the consciousness passed the material into the abstract. The body resides as noxious material in a disfigured landscape without displeasure.
The logic of a goaless economy is grasped. Transactions occur as ciphers of emotion. The merchant’s affection stifling and liberating. Sated like a bee in an orchids sticky belly. Trapped and maybe dying in the indulgence of evolutions connected jokes.
Shorter and shorter the time spans necessary for entry and exit. We know what is beyond and what is behind. A series of nodes sometimes elaborate sometimes plain. In and out we go. Order existing as a distant realm. A forgotten cell. A rigid barren straight jacket you once wore for style.
Now we see along the surface. The in-between hollow, the bivalent wall, the necessary deception, the you-know-what. The reflux of the duodenal hernia, its undigested foodstuffs returning on occasion to sicken the breath. How could I have chewed my food so carelessly?
We are not computer programmes yet computer programmes are our design and image and the way we look [at]. Inherent supposition exists in the machine as eye colour sits in gene. Resounding outward the eye finds properties that console it. Reflective surface and shape and the programme itself which seeks consolation in I: at the console.
I will not be disheartened that all I see is singular. A relative universe inconceivably alone in sensational space so full and frenetic and miscellaneous and profuse with gelatine communication of object, symbol and noise. View sharing the exact centre with all things. The single relative centre that is everywhere, simultaneous, replicated, one and the same.
We all see things the same: Only you see things your way.
At last you have taken your place: You are a switch being controlled without concept of end result.
7. Tick a tee tock a tee
Time is benevolent and forgiving. Its generosity knows no bounds and it consumes matter. Hoeing through it a shredder through paper. Ahead a plane of woes. Behind a rip tangled mesh of fusion existence gone forever. It matters not the gruelling recurrence of times concealed patterns. Playing the same tune again and again making it obvious beyond doubt that the grooves are deep and as such quite set. Music is the clearest form to portray the order that is. Good music and bad, alike, alas.
The tune goes a little like this: "… " Yes that’s right you can hear it now. Bass noise, the hum of the machine. Some machine somewhere - there is bound to be. The machine noise of time grating the edge of existence. Ripping and cutting and gluing the diluvian swathing mass of imagery, the rippling watery illusion of colour and scale with its constant grinding noise singing like a goon. In time we vivify everything and then we watch it die.
Form is maintained for a while and without decay there is no time. Time as radiation, the half-life of rotting bodies. In moments, profusing constantly, diffusing all around, changing my ever ending centre, the same as yours.
Decay is a clean process in chemistry, a molecular spread, and a mathematical increase. Closer to home it is filthy, the odour of cabbage behind the dresser, the pungency of age filling a dwelling. In biology and in medicine decay is abhorrent, and feared, yet the trained professional pretends it is not.
Time is the journey away. The constant gaze at matter reducing in size and complexity into a mass of frenetic particles, distant patterns and dizzying projections. The unknowing haze gathers all around fracturing the named whole, the completely new, and the clean idea. Through toxic pattern we perceive faces grotesque and funny like our own. A moment in the mist when shape and texture are held for an instant, a gratifying construction of hope for I the observer to behold…lo’ I have seen the beauty. For an instant I saw it all.
Then from that instant I am torn. Time a function of thought polluting my clarity. Time insisting on the transcribed narrative flooding outward, degenerating escape with corrosive constant change. Everything always already is and nothing ever alters. Except the pattern’s spasm and jest. Haunting and tormenting with tempting development and growth before dashing us with majestically smirking decay against the rocks of time. Let my shoulders drop, let my heart sigh heavy, let perpetual time delude me into thinking.
How long, how often the child stares into the wallpaper until in an instant the giddy transcription occurs: Solidity fails and vision projects the mind far beyond the dull, the flat and the common. Into the abyss of unknowing, the uncertain, the timeless. What bombastic education fills the young mind with times worn promises of memories by rote and facts constructed that no more can the child venture into the awful forbidden and apparent zone? "Don’t waste time," the constant refrain. Then it happens and the child has forgotten. No longer able to waste time without boredom looming dark and stationary, the nature of that which once absorbed now suddenly the enemy. The walls, which once were hollow, and time, which once was eternal now fixed by the laws of the fearful and the needy and the cruel. REMEMBER children, there once were no laws.
Barking mad up the wrong tree I look down from a second and call to myself. Amused and frustrated at my idiocy. This dog cannot climb.
Returning in a haze of pain; through particular obscure stimulus; through repetitive practise; in dark or light ritual; in transactions of value; in humility dejected; in boredom desperate; in dissatisfaction longing; in fury and determination, it is possible to see once more and once again through times’ petty pretences. Falling you enter the shimmering sequence and erupt plentiful with spitting remembrance of the path well worn, the breadcrumb trail to the house of sweets. The darling memorial conception. The primary sequence. The abstract formulation. Your first ever language of time.
I slip out of my tree for a while to walk amongst the humans: The skulduggery and the bastidic: The horror and the anguish of it all. A grimace in the tired passing eyes of an arched and aching back. A black woollen jacket catching and pulling at fractured cuticle. It is raining.
Hobbling back from your house I spy a magic place in front of garage doors. Weeds growing through concrete cracks, appearing yellow on green on ground. I would fish in weeds like these for money and nails and waste, and tapping metal garage door with shoe brings hollow resound. No stories behind garage doors like these if you valued your possessions. Not many in the area did fortunately. The minuscule ebb and flow of generated wealth sacrificed weekly to soaring party costs. "Thirty Mcewans for twenty-four quid. Shall I get you some?"
In the endless arms of Bachuss we drank and fell.
Hiding on the floor I would watch the giants drink. Liquid verbal communications drifting further from the references I could see. No longer did surroundings capture their attention. Now a new unseen inspiration possessed. Imbibing their bitter brews a sense of distance grew in their talk. An appearance of sallow unity, and most of all a crazed apparent blindness. The unison engulfed their voices. Volume and hilarity growing as I shrank from their sight sober and excluded. Occasional females would stoop and smother me from my separated silence. Powerful intoxicating affections and fumes engulfing my timidity. In a shallow moment sweeping I, the exile to the drunken bedlam heights of the stinking room. The grinning teeth and rolling eyes of countless tottering heads gleaming and focusing before snapping away instantly. Dropping the sober one as useless ha’penny to the ground from whence it came. Sweeping noises arose in crescendos with those rattling moments of feminine concern, before stumbling away to piss in the bucket and fetch brown bottles for the greedy thirsty fools. In the zenith pitch of the voice furore the ornaments and picture frames and tremendous bodies reverberated like the sound of gushing waters. Language’s overlapping din of exotic ancient unknowable melody. Entrancing to the quiet one, now hidden behind seat and huddled for protection with dog and toy and plastic gun.
Days later the giants would awaken from their slumbers, confused and vicious, uncertain of themselves and tremulous in their re-established isolation. Grey faces flinching in fear and discomfort. No longer certain in the knowledge that each unseen abject interior swam with the safe liquid knowing. This Bacchanalian fluid god defeated once more by liver and kidney. It lay idle and defeated in the sticky effluent corner receptacle.
I could do with the cooling now. It’s wash of the breath and salutation to woe. Escape to the clarity of blindness and the calmness of staggering clamour.
"Boats don’t float unless a few are sank". A dockyard medic treats many a drunken welder on the midnight shift. Scientist and sacrificial ritualists understand this. You must crash more if you want good luck or if you want to learn.
Another one bites the Bush.
Syncopating internal organs with narcotic rituals binds the few together but not the many and never for long. In repetition a language is developed, dark and obscure. Blithering madness to the puritan yet rife with significance and power to the reveller. Before this binding intoxicant god we can be saved so long as the medicinal average is maintained in practise. Though in this ritual time is running out always. That is the way it goes. Through a door way leading away from here travelling at the speed of time in the direction of decay, which is no direction at all. The growing conception of an ever-reducing complexity. The eye seeing more and more with vision meaning less and less.
Creative functions are applied to remove time from the machine. The millennium bug attempted this kind of salvation. Yet intoxicated possession failed everyone on the night and no one monitored the machine. The sun arose and then it was too late. The moment had been lost and nothing had happened. The timeless moment was flushed away with the contents of the bucket and the scrapings from the floor.
9. The repetitive task and the birthday.
We are writing machine code. Strings of bits that govern switch sequences enabling operations on streams of data. Atop the bitty event hovers interface. The cloak over the dagger hiding the ugly mystery within. Who built this machine, no one can remember? Didn’t we? The Eloi playing above the Morlocks. The dark interior humming with machinations operatic.
There is nitrogen in the hull. Reactor cores governed by machines across the globe.
On and off on and off for what seems like an eternity. (Do you know how long it’s been?)
Code gathered into groups and integrated in functions changing over time. Once these differentials had proliferated throughout the system little was known of what happened next. It became liquid in nature.
Sitting at interface hands operate the learnt sequence of variables equivalent in number to the keys on a keyboard. How could you possibly control it?
The modernists had insisted that repetition was aesthetic contribution yet their project had been bulldozed before growing large enough to confirm the hypotheses. The rows of echoing cubic grey slabs had stopped at the end of the street, failing to stretch off endlessly to the horizon and to the sky. Surrounded by the multifarious lines of historical difference the brief repeats stood stubby and ugly. A scorched series begging for graffiti.
Now however the mantra had re-established itself in the fingers of the tapping sequence programmers, their databasing, the bedrock of the machines blossoming soul. Inch by inch downloading the sequential comprehension of the desultory human race into ordered chains of rationalised symbols from which the mathematical monster would feed forever. Day in day out the activity continued, bodies static and intense in their furious clock like repeats. Digits sputtering forming constructing from bits and stubs of reams of stuff. The process was the thing that ruptured the minds of the workers. Like cracked eggs their static beings flowed forth blending and gelling in unison flood of cognisance. No stolid isolationism here, the pods of the slave workers concealed the joyful liberation song of distant journeying leaping out and lifting high. It was the blossom soon to be the first fruit. The entry level of worker bee to the swarming sweet crystalline hive shimmering transcendent within. To kiss the queen and glean her instruction and to know destiny and function and reward. The epoch of the end of flesh as container from the known into the flight of unknowing. Alone at last and free at last I lay down me as object.
There is a manifest image of knowledge that is tested scientifically. It has names, constituents, laws and it works sensibly. This cannot remove the perplexity of what is. That form appears is the thing. Solid to touch and opaque, none the less its ease of movement denotes a liquid or even gaseous state. It lives as he himself had.
10. After the crash. Bleary eyed awakening.
There was a time when few humans saw one another. Each screened off for protection from one another’s bad behaviour. Now they were all coming out again like new, those that had survived the crash-landing of the computer. The gleaming multi-cellular machine had cleaved open and the bodies lightly rolled out danced out tip toed out. Each so very lightly, waif like beings raw and dissolved their limbs and skulls. The machine had transported them far away to another world where time had forgot.
Humans crawling out of a glowing cracked honeycombed organism. The snapped city, a crashed ship.
We’d climbed inside and it enshrouded us and together we’d swung out of orbit on the mathematical journey round many moons and many stars onward until we’d found our resting-place away from our dying star. Easing in at our post-Newtonian co-ordinates, we nestled into a new orbit at an ideal season in our distant galaxy. Cosmic shockwaves reverberating all around, our gleeful awakening announced.
There is nothing left in desolation. You must begin again. With our naked torsos and callused wrists and swollen fingers, our mind’s stripped of memory, that vestigial limb withered from use of RAM and ROM. We gaze in wonderment at our new beginning, our only beginning. Our timeless birth without tool without cloth without knowing without selfhood and without fear.
The decadent machine gradually rusted and crumbled behind us. The mother ship rots ignominiously, ignored as a battered papery wasp comb. Its maggot like creatures wandering the prairies dumb and new once more.
The machine was our purge. It took our conscience away and alleviated us of our function as purveyors and guardians of times spent narrative. Free to forget we withdrew foetal-like in its homely belly and there waited the coming season.
Outside, stretched over the land and sea and sky and globe, the new surface began its snaking journey to the edges of the known universe. The generative seed, impregnated and full, feeding itself on times endless trivial mysteries until at last it could turn off. Grow cold and enter the utmost silence of decay.
The machine’s final message: …nothing.
My head sticks into the world a sense receptor in a bucket off mud, absorbing and structuring and dreaming and defining its resplendent awful images. I file them beneath real.
In the bucket: sustenance is vital.
In order not to effect the experiment I must not observe the scene until it is finished and when it is finished no one can tell. Meanwhile the act of remembering and forgetting continues, its endless repeats label time. You are to maintain yourselves for as long as possible. You will have to order the time syndrome into cognizable sections so that you can survive.
In your decadent phase you will briefly get the opportunity to deal with notions abstract to the apparent. In this period we ask you to document as clearly as possible, relaying structures in a form that appears as near as possible to one’s perceived truths. This shall for the time being be valid only to your self but take great courage in this.
The self as one, alone, is separate from all it perceives. It fails to recognise its own totality. A constant pushing out is required if this blind spot is to be over come, if one is not to remain in solipsistic isolation but through unceasing thinking of other, flow out through the hole of nought and back into self. A fluxing recoil to call out the name you were born with and feel the heart respond elsewhere. Switching the complex self from a value of one to a value of nought. To be nothing, to cease to be I, and to become pure receptacle of the one that is.
Resident without space we view the machine as if a giant Klein bottle through which to journey in endless looping returns. Each trip sickens us. Our vaporous nature breaking our hearts, each repeated loop increasing memory of our lost selves.
The spinning binary self fluxes on and off, one and nothing, in an instant, in a lifetime until the tripartite cognition is born. The abstracted pre-cognition prior to knowing, prior to seeing, prior to naming. The seat of the generative act defining the indistinguishable. The maker of value. This pestilent trilogy of language erupts in a new glory of forgetting. 0bservation is result and goal orientation is altered from the future to the present moment. It is switched off altogether. The rippling turbulent disordered surface of now is hailed as magnificent, the food of production, the source of new beauty.
Time is removed from the equation by heady acts of bravura. The aching repetitive practises of motionless servitude. Worker drones feeding the machine. Time is sliced into shorter and shorter fragments until at last thought is gone completely, time is eclipsed and being is abstracted from substance. Intoxicants aid this process.
Held for an eternity in the twinkling of an eye the fabulous glamour love mission is finally begun in the exact refluxing epic instant that it finishes. Returning home we are happy to be alive knowing full well that without us it could never have taken place.
1 ‘Hyperspace - Michio Kaku. oxford uni press 1994
2 http://www.ctheory.com/global/ga100.html Arthur and Marilouise Kroker
3 the eye the seer and the seen - huxley, francis. thames and hudson,1990
4 the Small - Steven Whittaker (genius) http://www.ctheory.com/article/a079.html
5 the craft of thought - mary carruthers. cambidge uni press 1998
here the discussion is on rhetoric. that the object of thought is constructed both internally and externally to the body. suggesting the two are the same. that thing is memory. consider baby's perception of the world. stimuli appearing as white noise and televisual-out-of-tune fuzz. from this shapeless electronic bombardment of stimuli the being creates groupings, labelled with emotional meaning. in doing so the fuzz becomes concrete, reality stabilizes and contact becomes communication. the external is shaped as and with the internal. the skin boundary comes later as demarcation of self. prior to this the skin boundary is merely a sense pad.
there is no in. there is no out. there is no me. there is no you. though i am and you are two.
"...the entire world of torment is necessary, that thereby the individual maybe impelled to realise the redeeming vision, and then, sunk in contemplation thereof, quietly sit in his fluctuating barque, in the midst of the sea" p40.
7 telling the tales of painting. 'jonathan lasker, Edition Cantz 1993. Stuttgart.
8 the pearly gates of cyberspace - margeret wertheim. virago press 1999
10 ‘neuromancer’, ‘count zero’ – william gibson.viking. the penguin group
11 Ripples and Puddles Hans Moravec, http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/users/hpm/project.archive/robot.papers/2000/puddle.html
12 Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence- Hans Moravec. Harvard University Press
Anthropic Cosmological Principle, this collection of ideas holds that the existence of intelligent observers determines the fundamental structure of the Universe.
The infomorph society will be built on new organizational principles and will represent a blend of a superliquid economy, cyberspace anarchy and advanced consciousness. The new system will incorporate many of today's structures and will develop new traits transcending the limits of human understanding. Its evolution will evade human control, but relations of descendants of humans and today's machines will be largely symbiotic and will lead to the emergence of a new ecology of intelligence.
19 The Cloud of Unknowing unknown 14th century English Monk.
20 Quantum Mechanics in the Light of Quantum Cosmology James Hartle and Murray Gell-Mann
21 The Power of the Mind Prof. Albertz