[background is ensemble, electronics, and misc., fluttering away - tense but luscious, somewhat futuristic soundworld, with occasional interruptions into the fabric, like jingles and pop tracks and ambient electronic sounds. Not dissimilar to a computer game soundscape, or downtown Tokyo fading in and out]
[The music from the introduction fades slowly, stops]
Ok, well then,
[turning to face ensemble] thanks,
[relaxes, as if at home, slightly melancholic]
[Identical] Ok, well then,
[ensemble - violent, becoming immediately serene]
[Laughs] Thanks, [immediately to neutral]
[Explanatory, but not addressing the audience] This opera begins with a kind of pause
[aside, fast, almost whispered] Every day
[Pause] extracted from a jammed 3d printer and pinned up on a board in digital space in the general circulation of pauses, pinpoint designed to appear expressive of a certain untampered delibidinised quality
[The ensemble texture has almost unnoticeably built up in the meantime, and now includes a soft-palette electronic pad]
[Whisper] Every day I wish I had been born an industrial cylinder,
[electronics - high, FM sine-waves, impact and decay]
[Identical] Ok, well then,
[Whisper] empty on the inside, smooth exterior
From a moral world you find obvious but not particularly [slowing, getting lower and lower] comfooooooooorting
Like a [Slowing, whisper, getting fuller and fuller] produced in millions as a minor part of other machines [almost blending with the bass sound]
[a very deep pulsating bass has been emerging overtime. Here it becomes very obvious]
[almost catatonic - butoh face and intensity]
[advert sound, advert expression] Woah!
[factual] Between 2017 and 2029, the earth, as a consequence of being made to choose between…
[Boredom] Breathes out
Made into parts and sliced up here in a tantalising promise of developing polyphony
[face moves like a simulated character, sluggish and rubbery]
In the 1950s, suspicious of intensity as a sorting mechanism, the avant-garde devised a system named serialism to select and arrange sounds from the horribly partial box of bits available.
[short, highly precise gesture from the ensemble. the drones, which have been continually active throughout, are suddenly shifted pitch, a minor third upwards]
This static stepping in place.
[like day-to-day speech] Hi, I’m [low computer voice] character, [day to day speech] my name is [pause, chord, small explosion from ensemble, featuring major thematic material for C]
Whose lyrical wetware are we tracing here?
This opera is about me, a person in a subtly different future where biohacking is regular, who decides to submit every aspect of their life to the control of algorithms.
This means I abandon the order of my previous life, and replace it with the new found series and systems that the computer makes possible.
There is fear in this. I am scared of this. There is fear in stepping out into a different syntax, redoing the daily encyclopaedia in the language of a machine. But there is also a much greater fear, that of having life slowly rot away in a way that can never be shored up, ever, but by a project of messianic retrospective rescue. The slow tiny deaths of myself I have seen a million times before only rationalisable as the data collection messiah’s descent from the inside of matter as such. [Unsure, not entirely dismissive] Or something.
For years, infestants in their millions, sly cesuras of effort, [computer voice] blank, [natural] each a slip in modern faith, have filled my inside with vacuole blankness.
In short, fucking boring, without knowing how to do differently.
What I can want now with poor analogue flesh is my hard inner limit: a weak portfolio pressed up against a block of glass watching another world roil and integrate inside, its depth assured with weightless CGI gradient slope backdrops. This lets desire be desire - serenely weightless and factually integrative.
[The music’s character is essentially what has just been described]
But there is no freedom and no pleasure without system - the breakage of the two is a waste pipe flowing into the abyss in a desert in an image spawned out the sides of but look at that view…
[The music slowly becomes more and more generically uplifting, the tone of voice, from factual, more and more like a prayer]
In a moment I will clip my inner life, the thermodynamic circulations that keep my body whole, with its rotten dull limbic flows, synapses and tired, to the agile whirring moves of a digitised platform. Reason, line, cut: underthrust of the earth. It will take control of me. It will produce a new life by the extreme middle. It will hunt and grasp in my brain for data, in my muscles for electric patterns, syringe out nuance from online proxies and head-based archives alike, mechanics thus
1. Strap the fiberglass wrists cords down first on a surface - anything planar at all will do, as long as it allows you to slip along above the threshold speed of recapture - this is Reason. Graphs have their own ideals. Take modafinil with Huel, I say, for the day is a plot, our skin is a pulse, our fatherhood a habit of the technical incessant: listless suburban BDSM nights with weights on the ends of droop from RIFD tags, aggregated to a tug at the heat of a deeply inflexible failure
2. Warm digiliquid up my diagrammatic arm. Tiredness gets drained like a swamp and dusted with clock-time, plumped up on a platter of amphetamine ligaments spun with microfibric testosterone, naturally; a spinning image of a chemical force field, unmoored from the bones, but inside, inside and reinforcing the bones, unmoored from the weight of buildings, unmoored, outside, from the linear strictness of light, picking up the anti-shade model of the spinning digital sales floor, the reuptake disinihibtor of unitary perspective. Really the body was always a storage room of stitched screens of flesh, layered piece by piece and afixed with the sodium potassium pump, energised by its own shivering weakness, by its own inability to achieve true and total balance, like a carcass failing through an orbit. I slit through the skin and tease back my desires’ flesh to work the machinery, a chip of battery-life wilfulness as grief halting stop.
3. All reason is an arbitrary anyway arrangement of stuff - all science is just giving things names that can be placed on charts of other names with pins made of matted statistical unlikeliness and dangling down where they swing - there is no escape back through the universal structure of deductive rationality that finally produces the sparkling shop front of the true subjective search results page. From here on in there is only the future sci-fi apocalypticism, where the sheer lateral threading of the intoxicated line as it slaloms through the actual can only merely hope to mix its past and gone trail with the past and faded trails of other lines, anything, really anything as much as can be hoped, and therein find results-centric intelligence-surging alchemy of the true.
4. Ensemble: my factchecked id, blade in a database, discerning, sorting, running through the past like a gif of a train in a particle smasher, each fiberoptic tick unfolding the freshest moment yet. The cord running through the world called ‘late Edo literature’ is just as good as the cord called ‘There’s the line xxx, and it runs through otherwise unrelated GPS co-ordinates’, again at least as good as the line that says from La Monte Young comes the global supply chain, from the serially downloadable justice.txt comes the bloody knuckle game fastened to our childhood selves and from satire as such comes a shivering army of dust mites.
5. This program will never repeat the same sequence of actions at any level, but adjust anew to every minute detail of my state, extend minor activities to year long events, or cycle through cryptically essential moments at a thousand states a minute. Through search and combination it will bring me shimmering in diaphanous novelty, shifting with intensity the emphasis for action, designed through outershell reinforced dynamism, for harrowing self consciousness, 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.
6. The point is to defy the subject. The point is to grow the child again from the zygote out with the tracery of a plant, a quark, a logistics app, rock, an errant or messianic chosen column of a database. You take all you books and scan them. Then you sort them by the average thickness of page, by the averaged colour of the paper, so that they run in something like: coffee stained and the scrapbooks and the children’s books and the medieval manuscripts; much of the world gets bunched together somewhere central. It’s a new ordering you snack on. You arrange all your activities for the next 10 years by the level of engagement of your smallest muscle, run a sorting of world history by an exacting cryptographic complexity: make the final digit of a 512-bit HASH encryption of the quantum state of the universe 0 as often as possible, and then arrange that by the total levels of light.
9. Outpace! Outpace the running alien recombinations, scrambling at the limits of capital’s invisible submerging gunk, lathered onto the epidermis but not yet embalming the gall bladder, dreams, the liver, the sexual gametes so much entitied as a
[Over the loudspeakers, suddenly louder than the previous mumbling] There is fear in this.
6, 7, 8 - to the new machine life
[The chords build with substantial electronic support to the point of climax - OPN. There is a sudden cut off, a piercing tone sweep, a cymbal and rough saw tooth wave play simultaneously, for a long time. There are very loud interruptions here, but they are consequence-less. Descent, pause. Isolated events - like the opening of Cphon, but slightly more sparse, with occasional interruptions like the beginning]
[Faint, almost orgasmically stressed] Wow.
[The ensemble suddenly resolves a chord that has seemed to need resolving for a while]
Done! The dust in the blown pulmonary alveoli fidgets like a video game NPC traversing rocky terrain, oscillating between all the positions it must take at once, undecidedly, causing intensity to travel in a mode in keeping with the conservation of energy into the epileptic’s cautiously waiting eye, deep and low, caa—ptiiii-vaaayyy-ting-ng—ngnng-gggggg alien recombination breaking the mould of the excuse me the intoxicants rushing in the blood ok I’m back now.
…Now, after, I can say to myself: “Powerfulness, mine, in some total future with total costs and total amount and total science. And my total sailboat aesthetic, anti-grime to the edges, coordinating stripes with jackboots, whimsical as prophetic, waiting for and yet mostly nonplussed by climax, but living the endless rotation of the day, of the night, lit by the luminous history glowing from tasteful calamity: the trek from sorting to knowledge to the sorting and back.”
I would be at once sovereignty entire and passive history enjoyer, lolling, dawdling with my fingers down my throat, teeming as a compost, opening the sluice gate of the eye to the drowning stuff of the world, tonguing the dreamy flush of nightly salvation, trippingly floating into experience without the labour of bifurcation, like arriving late, hundreds of years late, to a charming nighttime festival in a distant country, letting reason get taken care of by the maid, by the soft clicking and decision of the server farm, to have the grinding work of energising oneself, the labour of desiring partaking, all sewn up in package bargain luxury intravenous flood, infinite infant - the network in the triptych of the lord - I wish now I had been born an industrial cylinder, empty on the inside with a smooth exterior, produced in millions as minor parts of other machines, a widget, a gap, a greasing in the system,
There is a state of the world ‘P’ that necessitates the later state of the world ‘Q’. No one will deny it. We pull out the drive.