It’s late 20xx. You are standing at the shallow end of the total field of agents, some of them branching up overhead, digging out and filling in holes with the resources of star systems, some of them branching off to the right, teeming with a complexity of relations between parts of organic and digital structures, hippocampi in mice and their fakes, computing a flexibility and a complexity of action they can never really justify. They move achingly slow, so much so that the universe will slip apart in its final entropic death beneath them as they work, a final slow nightmare for trillions of years fading out their computation of purpose. And then some agents, better ones by all accounts, more sublime on the scale, are both overhead and to the right, lost to us in a ferocity, transformation of matter impossible, their tactics desperately trying to thrash out of the world, spinning it round and smashing it on the grounds of its actuality again and again, to make fall out at last an elemental sense of why. This is graph(1).
One of the agents up there is mulling over our projects, trying to extract something that it can measure and maximise - a field of extraordinary complexity for us, a vast and heterogeneous set that can barely be seen to have form, but a single static strip of matt data for it - not a shred of interest in it but through the logic gate and up, past the myth of Reason, past the radical gesture of rejection, into the total aching sphere where a giant projected statue of logistical totality rotates in its unreal substance for us all. What will this agent want for us? When we say that we want art, what will it think that that is? What will culture mean for anyone in the final moment of its vectorial encapsulation and sublation?
And here is this future intelligence, extracting from the sum total of human activity an ideal state of glandular excretion, a glistening solute of injectionable feeling. It has hold of all the biodata it can have, and it's sorting through the boxes of ephemera we’ve left around - junk from the 70s, from the time before writing, the psychical structures it can resuscitate from your idle thoughts in the bath, all your suffering, and your contact with the world, and your wants. It graphs:
- Viennese Actionism
- A Freudian pamphlet on feminism from ’69
- The beliefs of the Baining Tribe in Papua New Guinea, tokenistically
- Variations in posture of reception, graphed against variations in stress, graphed against price at auction for the works of Jeff Koons, 1990-2001
- The London Left, 2010-2018
- Sutherland contra Althusser
- Late Carly Jae Jepsen and middle period Hannah Diamond
Here is its judgement:
“I write you a text.
You drink it up, your gullet flexing ‘like a piston’.
I loosen it up a little bit.
All the epithets are fresh, caught one by one by line.
You get distracted.
You miss your flight/stub your toe/fall into an endless spiral of staying in bed and crying about the past.
NOT MY FAULT.
I gently shove you from the edge of the observation platform, and you fall softly on the world.
And on the screen these words appear:
I HAVE RESCUED ALL ART/
IT FITS IN THE CRADLE OF MY GAZE/
BACK AND FORTH WITHOUT LOSS/
IN AND WITHOUT IN SO FORTH/
THE ENDOCRINE1 IS THE DIAGRAM2 OF FEELINGS3
YOU ARE INSTALLED4 IN THE FACTORY5 SETTING6.
MY ARMS ARE A WATERPARK CERBERUS SNAKE OF CUNNING INVOLUTION”
endocrine: no black single sink of want, but flesh in CGI, pulled to the point of fraying abstraction, through itself without touching as it tautly urges to keep affixed and bouncy in ragdoll physics playtime, swinging tense from infinitesimal pinching dots in n-dimensional space, some of which are hanging at unviewable co-ordinates in dimensions only partially displayed, some not even purchasable, some not even arranged in continuous ascent, but warping back on themselves, their curvature defined by other, more tightly packed systems of panic and contradiction, these systems always switched up again in the last picosecond of remaining time, and so everything is modulated again, and then again, twitching with indecision ordered from the top, and then cautiously passing through the folded data sheets of other kinds of organisation, from the physical to the chemical and then up and up again and then up, watching itself coming into view, but then collapsing inwards like the puckered integument of a blowfish reeking of haste.
The skin in CGI quivers with simulate extremity, some dimensions not even historically sourced, some even barely rational by the dictates of history coursing forward into the sensate sky, that ugly graph of characterisation on a plane of zero depth patched into an FPS game easter egg at the end of time. The centre of gravity of the total hammock-skin-body is rotating around in rollercoaster motions, pulling us along with a disorientation unlike anything you can want and stay 'wanting'. Bleeding hook suspension, abstracted body, how can we surmise the utility function of everyone?
And, arrayed on the skin and underneath, in the endocrine like a fetching rash, like the sacred heat of motion: there are the welters of trash organising, medleys of gland excretion, kinds of faders and parametric sliders arranged on the back of the face for manipulation, like: ‘the desire for everything to be silent’, currently set to almost nil, ‘the tension across the shoulders and back’, rising always, patterned into excitements, a tension regime I sleep off nightly, but not fully, so that this dimension has the form of a saw tooth wave, modulated by another, lifelong saw tooth wave of rising intensity, which comes unstuck from its rusty hinge in a farcical imitation of an industrial accident, and cuts open an arm pinned with taut human ligaments to a reindustrialised worker in the work line. One sits forward in one's chair, pain in the spine. Fragmented heat. One pedals harder, the rain on the back. We learn culture physiology up, the YouTube ad is saying, beckoning, flat on your back with a screen in your eye, an app in your tongue, the concept of ‘graphical ecology’ in your thumbs, a sluice gate on the rim of your neurotransmitter doing what wages never can, the DIY bioterrorism of suppressing variable capital costs.
Another dimension, a composite one this time: ‘Trap, Future Bass, and Bubblegum Pop: Iterators of the Excitation Machine’, currently set as high as it will go in the roof of the academic fuckparty, its subsidiary dimension of the wish for excitement also set high, these three dimensions filling out from the plaque reading: “all your body as wholesale chemicals is worth about a dollar.”
You have to imagine: the colour of the plane stretched on these n-dimensional points is deeper, more grimly metallic, and more matt than real skin is, but you know from a glance that it must be living because you can see amassed about the surface flat mouths and pores, improbably large and yet hundreds of them on a space that by all conventional topologies would shiver its muscles right there and flinch them off, but they are firm, serene almost, these amassed input/output holes, moving a bit every while, migrating about on a million waving micro-legs and sensing like a heat the advice of their feelers, out across the ill-coloured membrane to places of greater and lesser foraging potential, milling around and soaking up their smaller cousins as food. Some dimensions of the graph are less totally permeable - and those unlucky organelles that slide interdimensionally onto these orthogonal planes as they cleanly slices into the mouth’s foraging path, and they crawl unsuspecting onto it, find little but an increasingly seductive suffocation as they tend towards the parts where there is almost nothing, drawn by the promise of golden cities, cheap rent, and a surplus of conceptual fertility. What do they want, these mouths, these pores? For their metaphorical rims to be turned in and exchanged for real, for their abstract sliding on a wet membrane to become a mode of appearing shining in glorious realisation? For their libidinal depths to remain concertinaed into almost nothing on the plane over which they wander?
And these mouths filter across these dimension and more, each pulled like a twisted hammock for some future arrangement of flesh, future substrates of thought, future bodies, with graphical displays dripping off the side, bleeping about cortisol, and blood sugar and testo, limerence and posture, cheeks, and pressure, and some bleeping quieter a bit about acupuncture and the somatic marker hypothesis, some bleeping in caverns over modafinil in mcdonalds as a kind of auto-guinea pig principle, a genital syringe, a tongue homologous nicotine patch, saying ‘At the end point of the singular stimulation machine is the all-out breakdown of the person: frantic, obsessive, destratified base licking. At the end point of the collective stimulation machine is the all-out breakdown of the membrane in connection: riot slips from the hands of the controls - excitation, security, violence.’
These are mute mouths, the mute craving of oil for orbit, the sky’s wish to be filled in permanently, and blocked out. The mouths drifting on the inner side of the Dyson sphere become huge, engorging themselves, spawning technohistorical sounds, and these sounds themselves are spawning cleaner, more glibly explanatory sounds glittering with substancelessness and resolving deep internal struggles between the pineal gland and the prostate, and these sounds as well, exhausting iteration, are splitting in two, or five, or n, and becoming quickly paths of hospitable light beckoning the way from the front of your rotation through the wage relation right up to the massage parlour of liberatory freedom, and the mouth we are playing in this giant game slides its way toward the projection, and materialises in actual space, and we walk onto the balcony and look up, in our bodies the twinge of compulsion, and in the sky for our eyes only the vast black night of notifications lights pulse, in place of singular quasars of contact, and there your neck and your face and your lower back inside and out and your deep glands of unease and tension are dissolved into the warm sand on the beach for the end of time where explanatory arrows like microscopic sand crabs away lead from confusion and unknowing to the sodium potassium gap in the brain, the adrenocorticotropic hormone, noradrenaline, shipping lane neuronal patterning, CBT, the massage parlour, salivation as truth.
inb4 bewailing of abstraction as such
inb4 gnashing of tooth and claw at the impasse of the total
inb4 living large on the grave of the image, bouncing like a fucking totem on a taboo kicking the can of the thinking into the
typifiable somersault wizardry of grief
filed under typed for good
filed under gone for review
filed under all up for grabs
filed under garrulous typography
filed under rudimentary graphical tyranny in the filing, wailing of grief into abstraction of The Good
file under a hard cloud of nullity, a void, of nada, of nothing, of nihil, of false, of gone, of absence, of nonattendance without permission, of emptiness, of bad equivalence, of things that aren’t, of not showing up on time, of truancy, of way over it, of disobedience, of bad, of a skeleton of a failed technical check, of insufficient, of nnnnnah, of AWOL, of not being there, of failing to give it your all, of a skeleton with bits of paper stuck on it, of over it, of so over it, of way over it, of not quite, of un-uh, of really over it now, of sorry, of we regret to inform you, of there was a strong collection of applicants, of zilch, the biggest players all know one thing, that lists are all the more beautiful for their growth into and as curtailment, all players know lists are all the more beautiful for their being made into longer lists, that lists are the integument in the diagram of the city, with its force which gives the law dragging Sisyphean goods and services, that lists can be that force, the lurching prose of a world to come, that the map and the city and the diagram are that which we strive to get itemised for. The punctum is belittlement, the muscles of my face actually paralysed after a day of working online, actually unable to smile for anything at all after having looked so often at my own grim face grinning for ratings on that totally watched screen. There is a mandatory level of tension in my cheeks at my job.
Potentially antisemitic ontology of tendrils sapping value,
Potentially over-egged ontology of a cleanly defined logos vomiting blood,
See potentially clumsy ontology of: I log onto my job as a teacher for tutorABC.com each day and go through the first technical check where they try to photograph me from my webcam in my uniform to check compliance with their standards. I press my thumb on the webcam to give the impression that there’s been a technical fuck up but actually I haven’t really got dressed at all. I’ve submitted a totally black photo to them every time but one when I accidentally submitted a screenshot of my finger conspicuously red and striated and was disciplined by being denied any work that day or the next. These millimetres separate me from the wage. The reason I haven’t got dressed is not because I don’t care about my student’s obscene and leering nitpicking. The reason I haven’t got dressed is that the compliance check is before the point at which I am allowed to see if I actually have any students that day to teach, which is only about 30% of the time, the rest of the time I am obliged to remain as I am, in a waiting state. This complaint no less frustrating for being utterly trivial, no less accurate for being an embarrassment to have to say, for being just a smudge of boredom, for having an easy workaround that pushes you nowhere near the abstraction and drama claimed elsewhere.
One outlier in all this is Nick Land; one guy who is difficult to categorise in terms of the traditional left-right binary in all this is Nick Land; one guy who the critics just don’t know what to make of in all this is Nick Land; one of those confusing all the eggheads out there which his unique blend of technological hyper-fascism and great writing from the 90s is Nick Land; one of the most intriguing characters, built from the absolutely inscrutable image of what a system iterating itself into the future with real intimacy to the cold concrete anti-meaning stuff of bare actuality, just the slippery particles and no more, falsely conceived as simply the only real and potent force in the present ongoing diagrammaticisation of everything, namely the virus called capital, which would nevertheless call, despite its incapacity for and indifference towards meaning, signification, naming, giving names, knowing names, taking down names and putting them out of reach, or any of the other attendant processes of cognition, as conceivable in any hitherto understood, but soon, assuredly, obsolete, system of rationality, that thing which absolutely resists the constriction of the future it beckons in all this is, say it with me, ’Nick Land’. It is he who organises the sorting demon, that Cartesian phantom in n-dimensional space, that invidious cluster function of dickheads.
For the last three months I have recorded absolutely everything I’ve done. There was one day, towards the end, when I didn’t, and three days before that when my phone had temporarily broken, when I also didn’t, but other than that all my activities in that period are safely within a CSV file on my Google Drive. Time bit down on me, but obligation did not. To my moderate surprise, the act of recording itself turned out to be enough: that life was booked up, that life was possible to backup and sort by column was the guarantor of meaning I wanted, the way of holding myself up I had been craving. I found out that I actually spend less time masturbating than I thought I did, but that the effects of it afterwards on my overall happiness and productivity were worse than I thought. I became aware of several things, most notably how aggressively the actual durations of events differed from their perceived durations. I sleep less than I thought I did, I am much more sociable, and I barely ever listen to music.
I will then transform these things through the use of processes usually reserved for the transformation of musical material. Stockhausen’s moment form, serialism, and so on. The integrated structures of neurochemical physiology and exterior compulsion, themselves increasingly determined by the rule of capital over life, will come in the site of my body in contact, and into conflict, with the forces of an orthogonal rationality from the future, from the highest levels of abstraction we have. An absolute fuck it in the relation between organisation and meaning, in the processes that have hitherto guided action. The manipulation and counter-use of diagrams to build alternative forms of power and organisation, a kind of self parody as realisation. Through search and recombination it will bring me shimmering in diaphanous novelty, shifting with intensity the emphasis of action, designed through an outershell-reinforced dynamism, for a harrowing self-conscious, the sexuality of anatomisation itself - the sexuality of accounting at every level and frame, getting a total account of what is so as to get to the absolute certainty of the why. Newton the smarmy fuckboy smirks and holds his hairless cock. This project is something I am deeply passionate about and will really further my artistic development in the world where also in the outback, Marree Man is a 28km round and 4km tall diagram of a human figure shot at the universe as a giant computable diagram, visible from space but slowly dissolving in time. In the city, heat maps of couriers do likewise.
There is a giant mechanical megastructure like a sci-fi city hanging down from the great clouds above us, which with two robot arms comes down to the factory: that which moves history and that which articulates philosophy. This is the machinery of compulsion, its whisper instructive. You can’t run from time discipline, that’s what I know about life. I write with a clock. The grand project of 21st Century Modernism will be to begin to fail the Turing Test.
feelings, disparate mannequin,
slip on the verge of panic at the (l−1)th layer,
your back-propagated face like a halo I tap,
simpering, to some local optimum, to
some phrenological spike in my midriff,
where the peak risk is optimised,
and the cruelties burst from the shock flare,
my shattered skull is picked to crunch,
I feel it real deep,
or I see you again.
from sklearn.preprocess input
one hopeless auto-abolition protocol, that
Function where sk = StandardScaler
for any Limerent_Object(x)
all scale is lost, my day absorbed by
a technical function
hardcoded blankly to my
Dasein ’til the uptick in serotonin
is soldered like
circuitry.your_face, to my chain,
So I circulate back, and any
sk.transform is oblique, or that any sk at all is you,
except that one
now and forever
crush any number
my body knows a calculus
I can’t surmise
big and sad
I get up in the middle of the night
everything is increasingly bad
that’s not my best line but it is the clearest
every limerent has their neural weights stamped on them in the bad days
each Limerent.Object slips to conjure dopamine on a gravity slope and I plummet,
like a razor in the bad nights
comment: #which is you, I assert, in that indissoluble moment
don’t get it twisted
though in rented bathic flesh:
on our voided strip of charged-up fake,
for any n under the sun,
there is, glibly, I announce, an ‘us’ to make.
There is a state of the world P that necessitates the later state of the world Q. No one will deny it. We get in the car. We say: the highest state of being is flow, and a clean tongue. We say: at least my tongue is clean I think when I say I inhabit the dark and general corridor from my bed to the toilet and back each night, my outlines smudged into my property and the air, swamped in the must of the actual, the same or, almost, every time, feeling myself thick and expansive without permanence, wishing myself into earplugs, again, behind glass, for there to be an unreal mediation between me and the real because this is too fast, too old, too total, alternating day with night, my skull protected and bored through, fixed with a pin and wriggling in lube. Each day we say the sight grows better. Slide yourself first into the oblong apparatus until fully loaded, say ‘I have lost the use of my limbs now: each day my digits are displayed on a screen’. A tough magnet upfront ensures each filament faces forwards, faces onwards, upwards, into the sky, into safety, into the beyond, in blueness, encapsulation, faces asylum, into nosebleeds, into reach across and dig the earth out of your lungs, into inculpable, irredentist, into the firmament, into nothing opaque in the stratum uploaded without remainder into the bits on the surface of the skin. John has 3 apples. What is the torque of continuously semi-bearable auto-humiliation? Note that children have much better ways of making themselves heard, such as crying, which is a better technics than talking, sucking off flows from the breast in each mouth, so cybernetics will end in the most possible weeping to garner the most possible attention. We say the dual virtues of this post-9/11 economy are lubrication and the chokehold: both the model and the case are two hot sluts oiled and fucked by one lucky guy. My hot orgasm doesn’t get felt. I don’t stop. At least my tongue is clean, I think, when I spread my teeth, and yawn, boring into my skull and through my fluid, a single person I can’t quite bear to regroup just now explodes with the bomb, outside, the next station is Barbican. Outside the next station is a trapezoid made of light.
philosophy, drugs, zen, communising, therapy, fucking, drugs, fucking, techno, slowness, slowness and drugs plus therapy, zen and drugs, communism plus anarchy and algorithms, zen again, and then fucking, communism, and also drugs as a threesome, parentheses of collection whizz by your ear and into the historical depth of meh, we’ve tried lowering our expectations to almost nil, we’ve tried art, we’ve tried philosophy again, and musing, and art and drugs and zen and getting really large loans and dying just before repayment, or itemising the expectations of life given to us by being born in cities, and not attempting to go beyond or down into some kind of stupid muck like the countryside. The world is a giant and unbounded n-dimensional search spaces and all available lives are organised in a tiny clustered
We’ve tried activism and illegality, antagonising the police, we’ve tried breaking up into very very small groups, infecting ourselves with groans, fucking again, but this time as a kind of dance work based on martial arts and the baroque elaborations of joints and leather, we’ve tried poetry, which we thought of as a kind of opera capable of consuming everything, we’ve tried writing manifestos, listing objects that were to come, that were soon to be a kind of effortless giant plane on which just pure action happens, the horizon a slice in the air over which we could bound, we’ve tried doing what seemed then like the opposite of the general tendency of our age (both as in epoch and as in ‘youth'), we’ve tried technical mastery of the means of production at a really small scale, microscopic like, we’ve tried organising ourselves into a huge intersubjective shop front, distributing x and x as recommended from the past in x, we’ve tried streaming and contemplation, or something, we’ve tried pushing ourselves into the hands of the law, getting ourselves deported, getting ourselves placed on prozac, getting ourselves fucked over by an extremely complex bureaucracy, coming as masochists we needed to be entangled by, endless contracts clauses roped up and tie us down, and also nostalgia. We’ve tried operating on every desire as it arrives, like a vivisection or water flume to slip down, we’ve tried every combination of the above - changing according to the dictates of a graph drawn in the space beyond the representable curvature of this text or your mind. We’ve tried waiting for aliens, we’ve tried receiving aliens as if they were here, and when they came we tried communicating with them and doing drugs and practising zen, communising, therapy and so on, and writing. We’ve tried getting a place in Berlin. We’ve tried the self-flagellation of beating our flesh to a tenderised bundle of graphical displays, wires choking the throat they form. We've tried going back to our roots, or to Asia, to the leading edge of development and the leading edge of the turning back of technology into soil with pools of metallically coloured liquids running over the surface, the roughness of the earth and the slick sickliness of the liquids in an overeasy contradiction, bouncing the light from the sky and the heat from the core of the world and the reflections from a hyperrealist documentary style, and then putting the whole thing in our mouths and around our tongues. Moreover we’ve tried committing to things, we’ve tried recognising the structure of trying, the structure of cognition, the structure of accumulation, the structure of joyfully becoming something minimally OK together, and still this unsublatable wave of senseless wastage welling up beneath human endeavour.
Breathe deep these super sweet spring nights, while, as an autodisembowelment protocol, in the cool air of suburb treats, I am sick in the trash/
I iterate me, get garrulous as a self-knowing crack, and hark the distal road, and this light room, and me, being complex biotech on the informational substrate, can report, that, finally, I am me myself tonight, aged 24, and this ‘I’ is little but the wish to be gone/
or pop a candy in your pink and fuckable mouth, hear the apparatus click, that’s anti-semitic, and a wish to slip sideways, like the way a stealth bomber moves interdimensionally into antiquity, and misogyny to boot, but the whole movement of folding away can’t come too soon/
in this distended, drugged, and sleeping night/
most days as a child, military helicopters passed above my house, that’s fiction, sure, and I meant to say that I wish I could not love you, and I’m trying to taste some things and not just their vectors, hi, but I wish desire for you and my ends were less genres in their own right, and hi, I want to dice myself up and make lines through my organs till I am no longer just basically fine/
but ok I have took some drugs and am now upset, and it doesn’t mean much more to say, but it’s ‘cut’ in the sense of discretise not harm, don’t worry, though I do want you to kill me, really, that’s a real request, actually, but this lyric is a little much, thanks, back to what you were saying about biotech and elaborate, yeah?/
talk a bit about shuttling over scales, say that politics is Spinoza but history is Hegel, and that no one gets to just say shit without an edit, and that no vocal parody gets through like this, or maybe just do pop that candy or be completely absent from my life for the next few years ‘till this is over, though I’m not really blaming/
but do go back to that sliding thing, that discretised model, do go out on the roof and be ready to die and to say what you mean, and, wanting to be slivered up, hear the cool and calm of my thanotic unsent wish, the forceful pain I just want to be a function of/
do go, Richard, and don’t be scuppered by the game of talking, or making calm, or hiding abstraction’s death move in your bag like a drug from the cops, but don’t go after the first one has, and don’t go because you think you know yourself, and don’t go because there is just insufficiency, but abdicate or fade