Into the Twenty-First Century

Sarah Bernhardt meets Edison (from Bernhardt, My Double Life):

"I followed him about quickly, climbing up staircases as narrow and steep as ladders, crossing bridges suspended in the air above veritable furn- aces, and he explained everything to me. I understood all, and I admired him more and more, for he was so simple and charming, this king of light.

"As we were leaning over a slightly unsteady bridge above the terrible abyss, in which immense wheels encased in wide thongs were turning, whirl- ing about, and rumbling, he gave various orders in a clear voice, and light then burst forth on all sides, sometimes in sputtering greenish jets, sometimes in quick flashes, or in serpentine trails like streams of fire. [...] The deafening sound of the machinery, the dazzling rapidity of the changes of light, all that together made my head whirl, and forget- ting where I was, I leaned for support on the slight balustrade which separated me from the abyss beneath. I was so unconscious of all danger that before I had recovered from my surprise Edison had helped me into an adjoining room and installed me in an arm-chair without my realizing how it had all happened. He told me afterwards that I had turned dizzy."

Here in Brooklyn, imaginary packets crawl across my skin - literally; out of the corners of my eyes, specks move deliberately, always inwards, to- wards what remains of the body. Either everything or nothing is perform- ative in cyberspace; orders are words full of longing. Bernhardt's voice is recorded; her Phaedra is possessed, hysteric, ululation, unbearable vibrato. With a wave of the arms, the CD is available. Her voice cuts my throat.


Jersey City Bombers

[Jersey City .jpgs to Cybermind only.]

In the United States north-east, the rust belt decays nervously, huge ma- chines (industry.jpg) falling to pieces, representative of heavy industry disappearing back into the world of purity and natural phenomena; just across the street, a building surfaced with sheet-metal pipes is the home of magick, tarot, future-spheres (pipebldg.jpg). Pipes shimmer in the late-afternoon light, raw fields armed with the teeth of Argonauts lie fallow nearby.

Incipient mechanical power fleets ghostlike in the sky. The silence over- whelms. The weight of tons has disappeared totally. Crucibles crash. The world suffocates beneath violation fabric.

Argonaut world without Medea, this silence thuds, machines, creaks, turns, splits, shears, collapses under dead-weight. Medea's elsewhere on the air there. You can't see her. She rouses herself beneath the weight of the Hanged Man. She turns over, screeches; it's the sound of metal falling.

The connection is broken temporarily; the computer _hangs._


Alan, running Jennifer

[running.jpg on Cybermind, also known as a5.jpg, also known as .aa5.jpg.]

Alan, running Jennifer, turning hir out, _lathing._ Were it not for the lathe, Jen would have been lost. To transform. One good turn formed for an other. To have been transformed. To have been heated:

Net and nightclub both depend on performative illumination. You see what Jen wants you to see; with Jen, it's _lit,_ artificial, what turns hir on, turns on. Because everything is construct, light is an outgrowth, byprod- uct of pixel values.

Jen burns; s/he's defined by hir burning, skin caressed by violent light. What remains in darkness doesn't exist; s/he keeps hirself backgrounded, always beneath you. Jen, Jen, Jen.

This is the sickness at the end of the millennium, between virtual and real, wars flamed across violated spaces, bodies buried without wounds, brands, corpses, missing limbs. This is the sickness of the phantom body, displaced from hand or foot: everything, everything...

Alan sits at the terminal, runs Jen; Jen's turned out; it turns out Alan is turned-out Jen. Or Jen sits; there's always pictures and pictures, Jen's trip through the wires, not yet complete, just a day or two ago. What passes for days. What turns out to be cold-cycles.

Jen wonders at hir heated body. Jen wonders where the heat comes from.


Just a Minute

Sarah Bernhardt had a 17 inch waist. I would say she had a "daemon." She was so inspired. Her mobility occurred beneath her waist. Her voice hap- pened from above her waist. Her waist carried her voice; directed her feet. She was happy with her waist. When she played "Phaedra" it was not in the sense either of playing "Mozart" or "Doom." Her waist angled be- tween her mobility and her voice. Everyone who was anyone commented on that voice. Her waist was _necessary_ in fact to its mobility. It was a perfect unit of 43 centimeters.

Michael, in Julian Samuel's Passage to Lahore: "Nothing really matter ex- cept this kind of thinking could produce flashy careers, loads of inter- national travel, maybe even a noisy, safe screw at conferences in Paris, or London: hand-job sperm on a laser disk at warp speed."


HeHe God There

"He wanders, like a day-appearing dream, Through the dim wildernesses of the mind; Through desert woods and tracts, which seem Like ocean, homeless, boundless, unconfined."


"He ponders, nothing is as chasms seem, Enmeshed in limbs that phantoms leave behind; Across the rood screen hacked from dimly dreamed Motions, roaming, hounded, lost, and lined."


"God thunders, ruthless, come in handsome beamed Starlight intimations, gone, defined; A throne screams, cracked, its wooden roil reamed By potions, homing, tossed, and realigned."


"There is a voice, not understood by all, Sent from these desert-caves. It is the roar Of the rent ice-cliff which the sunbeams call, Plunging into the vale - it is the blast Descending on the pines - the torrents pour. ..."




Sounds made while industrially vacuuming this loft, showering afterwards (NOTE THE INCREDIBLE REALISM: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (THIS TOOK WEEKS TO PROGRAM, SECONDS TO RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!):

Ah, acch, ugh, hmmm, yipes!, watchout kitty, hmmm, atchoo, coughcough, cough, cough, atchoo, so that's where that was, I'm talking to myself again, ahhhhh, one second, KITTY!, unnnh, unnnh, oh hell, I can't believe this, aach!, cough cough cough, everything's filthy, damn it, goddamn it to hell, oh fuck, oops, whew!, ung, I can't believe this, I just can't believe this, huh, huh, huh, huh, pant pant pant, pantpant, ooh, yay a dime!, whew, now what's going on, atchoo atchoo atchoo, coughcough, cough, cough, atchoo, yawn, this is a mess, KITTY you've done it again, every- thing's tangled up here, oops, oh well, oh christ now there's dust all over the place!, fuck fuck fuck, ah that's better, it's fixed now, oooh, atchoo atchoo atchoo, coughcough, cough, cough, atchoo, ahhhh!!, whew whew whew!


Teaching Again and Again

Another Internet class is almost over. The complexities of the course are growing as the Net, on the surface, simplifies. The course operates with a number of variables: students' computer types; student access; the overly complicated New School GUI; the health of the New School GUI; the health of the Net at, say, 3 pm in the afternoon here. Nothing is enclosed and everything is open architecture, hard to teach.

For beginners or those hyped by the media, the Net is also becoming more complex. At least 8 and probably 16 megs of RAM are necessary at this point for the big Microsoft and Netscape browsers. And browsers are not sufficient; all sorts of helper applications are necessary, from telnet to Real Audio, Vdol, Slipstream, Acrobat, and Shockwave. Browsers also need to be updated on occasion; without a reasonable knowledge of a computer's directory system, this gets to be difficult.

Because the shell seems to be increasingly distant, _other,_ all those commands like traceroute, ping -s, who, whois, nslookup, etc. seem much more obscure than they need to be. Although tin is by far the best news- group reader, it resides in Unix as well; nothing I've seen comes close in Windows. So newsgroups seem awkward and confusing and the readers are less able to be configured than tin.

Even telnet (forget telnet 13, 25, 80, etc.) is obscure; it doesn't make sense to "log in" to another computer when a user isn't quite sure what it means to "log in" to his or her server. The latter appears to be nothing more than the substitution of one GUI for another that fits perfectly; telnet, on the other hand, appears to call up nothing but text.

Along with this, I might add that it's hard to explain what it means to have a personal Unix account, or _any_ account on another machine that permits remote file access. Web pages present difficulties here; for a beginner, _where are they?_

Finally, the large topography of _Internets_ becomes more and more ob- scure; one gets caught up with the details of versions XYZ of html, Java, Javascript, 32bit, 16bit, file extensions, video formats and codecs, etc. etc. The greater the expansion, the more the hype; the more the hype, the less the terrain is visible - not as a whole/totality (which it's never been) - but even as an archipelago...

So there are complex and interacting domains - the first consisting of the students' machines, access, and the classroom machines, access - both coupled with the health of the Net per diem; and the second consisting of the fast-forward corporate drive towards upgrading new software/hardware/ protocol/multi-media releases, often issued before proper testing is com- pleted. (There's also the question of the real necessity of these releases - but this is irrelevant, particularly if the Web pages, etc. aren't back- ward compatible.)

The classroom appears more like a junkyard than anything else; it's a question of constant negotiation, strategizing, what it's possible to do on any particular day, and what it's possible for a student to do on hir machine at home...

It's a mess. Students leave the class able to use the Net, but, I fear, without any idea of what the Net _is_; in addition, they have little idea of what it's "doing to them," in the sense of constructing consumers, negating radicality, reifying the "cool." I was much more comfortable, myself, teaching in Unix shell a couple of years ago - where everything was somewhat transparent, interrelated, probably useful, and accessible on any 1980s machine.



who am i i touch the sky i try and try i do not cry or wonder why caress my thigh this by the by but live and die and we will fly and she did sigh then took my lie and flew quite high above the sty and wheat and rye where i would lie a real guy or apple pie as death came nigh as blood did dry as flesh did fry the soul was sly who are you you touch the blue you stew and stew you do accrue and wonder who or kiss me too this noon you knew i lived to do and now you flew and she did sue then took my cue and lived to rue in cry and hue and rice and few that sought the loo with real goo or sappy poo as death came slew as blood from zoo fell fresh with dew your hole i'm jew


Wild Theory

Wild theory's a beast, says Honey, sweet as a tooth. It owes nothing to anyone, everything to everybody. It refuses to take sides, it's a series of takes. What it borrows from the literary it returns with a vengeance elsewhere on the culture seen.

It shoot outs from the skirts of the chora-woman. It leaks literarily across the floor, replies Tiffany, laughing. It puddles. It makes the situation, grabs the situation, runs with it! It scampers in the wood- pile, replies Honey, because Honey's got the last word since Jennifer's gone.

It opens up ruptures, rhythms, the tongue rolling across the lines, in the middle of the lines. It rolls almost past the words which stick or sever the words. Wild theory is like grrrl theory before the rrr's rolled off into the magazines. It's pierced, penetrated. The piercings are genital, neural, menstrual, analytical, technical. Punctured theory's holes inter- connect with surgical thread suturing only a loose wound; everything - THAT _everything_ AGAIN - escapes. Stop yelling, Honey, Tiffany giggles.

Tiffany wants Honey to stop yelling because Tiffany has more to say. Tif- fany jumps on Honey's back and the two of them are wrestling on the ground! says Tiffany. Honey is all smiles, too, as both of them stand up and brush off. Time to get to work! Tiffany says that wild theory's maybe just a phrase she heard somewhere; like weak theory, it's floating in and out. Vattimo? replies Honey. No, says Tiffany, from somewhere else, maybe just an emission, atmospheric-neural flux.

Pausing just the tiniest minute, Honey continues, "be that as it may," I quote, because it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference. "Plagiar- ism was there from the beginning." It's cost effect, thinking for us. But we're off the track! Tiffany responds. What's it _here?_ A theory-bundle, wild-style, refusing axiomatics, historiographies, the rough ascertaining of geometries, Euclidean or otherwise. But not, Honey adds, simply wander- ing; you've got the wild part right, but the theory part! It's liminal, burrowing like the Net gopher (remember that, Veronica?)! It's intersti- tial, embodying both a _pragmatics_ (best left undefined!) as well as a psychoanalytics, phenomenology, relevance theory!

Tiffany _concurs!_ She says that these are all slippery, so wild theory's got a dialog or pendulum going on, between _variables_ and _constants,_ call them _instantiations._ Is this an instance of one?! laughs Honey. Exactly! says Tiffany, _an instance of 1._ It's the way of the world, the way of the _point_ (if you have one/1) - but not, adds Honey, _the way of all flesh._

They laugh and leave the sunny park! There's _still_ a sense of history, Tiffany is heard saying. It's not, it's not _just anything,_ and the voices disappear in the distance!


Gauged Sedge, Leave Message

From Cybermine Talker, My September Message To You:

From: Alan , 24/8/1996 at 19:01 When things are difficult and there is no beginning And there is no ending to their difficulty And they lie entwined like lovers speaking for the last time About the nature of _things_ and _things_ are in the way Of things and lovers; then appear in this space once and forever To heal, ascertain, overcome, measure their beginning Of everything and all; you will heal, wounds turned deep, and scars From wounds and no more, and thus you will a woman be, or man Or gender-free, the sullen flesh expanded into ecstasy For you, for me, and ease will rule the stars.

From Pearl, My November Message To You:

When you have read this message, leave one of fraught presage. When you have found common ground, fall soundlessly beneath the sedge. O Starry Knight whose lance hath pricked the plain Fond attribution once again.

Come home where lilacs rue the day That found no pomp and circumstance held sway. Leave such message that will presage upon this stage where thou wilt gauge Fondly pearls fall in such numbers that swains and swills wake from their Slumbers Daunt well, gaunt knight. A single signal drop of blood upon the bracelet blood and borne.

Come dance with me, flaunt ruffled sleeves, across in France, the Maiden Grieves. She takes to arms, she hurtles spear; the knight hath fall'n, Rude night is near.

Partake, wayfarer, stop and sup; the sun is down, the moon is up. Welcome, talk, stay and say a pace; love hath won Love's steady race.

Weave what thou canst now speak; speak when thread hath sundered.



I'm known as a "big man" and my chest swells when I hear it. My muscles are hard as a rock, not like that sissy Houdini who couldn't take a blow to the stomach because he wasn't watching. (MY MUSCLES RIPPLE.) Of course you're ALWAYS watching if you're a man; sissy-boys don't watch because they've got other things to do. I ALWAYS watch; IRON is my middle name. My thighs could crack your head. I've seen danger, seen things you wouldn't believe; I don't want to scare you with TALES ABOUT THE NATIVES, but I tell you, THEY'RE ANIMALS. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't be here. As someone said, YOU CAN NEVER TELL WHO'S COMING OVER THE HILL. The world's going to be like that; YOU KNOW WHO'S REPRODUCING.

Better let them TO THEIR OWN DEVICES, I always say. They haven't got a chance in hell. Why, did you hear ONE OF THEM READ THE BIBLE UPSIDE-DOWN. Might as well been standing on HER HEAD. IT would have looked better THAT WAY. I'd like to beat the crap out of them.

They get me MAD MAD MAD. They have all sorts of noise-making stuff like DRUMS. My CHEST scares the HELL OUT OF THEM.

Their women are beautiful and brainless. THEY LOVE ME. I could crack their necks just like that. I wouldn't think twice about it. My breasts are like IRON. There's a SAYING MY MUSCLES HAVE MUSCLES. The women like to feel them. I can't KEEP THEM AWAY FROM ME.




Never forget it.


Spoiled Cultures, Spoiled Goods, Spoiled Users*

You're right; I've been experimenting tonight with different browsers on Web pages, and they're wildly different from each other, splayed all over the place, even typefaces/sizes shifting in accordance with manufacture. Think of this in relation to the _standardization_ implicit in NTSC; those color bars, waveform monitors, vectorscopes, etc. are all used to guaran- tee a properly configured signal (chrominance, luminance, voltage levels, etc., phase, etc.). And as I've pointed out before, the FCC in the US re- quired that color reception be backwards-compatible with black-and-white.

No such luck with frames, backgrounds, html extensions, java, cgi, etc.; not only are scripts and commands disabled with older or different brand browsers, but text is continuing to take back-seat to just about anything else. Whatever happened to RFCs and their modicum of control? I'm begin- ning to feel like a hateful oldtimer; sooner or later _something_ has to settle in, after less hype and more testing. If not, the Web will continue to develop piecemeal of course - but it will become less and less useful.

Did it ever occur to you that _the entire Iliad_ is nothing more than a single _Iliad.txt_? Amazing that it held interest for close to three thou- sand years...


*A phenomenology of _spoil, spoiling,* would be fascinating - reflecting on fresh/decayed (good structuralist discourse), spoiled (problematic of the body, consumption, capital), spoiler (postmodernity and ethos). Think of it as an antidote to the _pure._



"I sometimes think: O.K., so maybe you won't leave a legacy to the world, like children you've lost touch with, who carry on your name, or a body of work collecting dust in someone's library. Isn't it really what you live every day, the interactions of people you love and respect - not who dis- cusses you but the kind words that are spoken to your face? That is really all a legacy can provide - a hope for the living, a guide for their immor- tal beliefs. A remembrance can mean nothing to the one remembered; it can only remind the ones left behind how little they did while you were still alive." (Sandra Bernhard, Confessions of a Pretty Lady.)

No, it's the legacy, the grit of text, recording, television, audio, vid- eo, home page, scraps of paper, wall gouged out (I once banged my head through plasterboard in a fit of drunken rage, luckily missing the nails, not that I would have cared); it's the DNA run rampant like quicksilver down the cracks of body, soul, and library catalog; it's the menses smeared across the chest and face, immortalized in photographic image; it's the insistence on protocol, propriety, etiquette, intellectual pro- perty, attribution, creditation, accreditation, heartfelt thanks; and it's the review, interview, overview, article, _festschrift,_ footnote, or parenthetical expression - it's all of these that:

_give you time to make it up to me, to do so much for me WHILE I AM STILL ALIVE; to tell the truth and the whole truth; to distribute, diffuse, ac- knowledge; to BRING IT ALL BACK HOME MS. SANDRA BERNHARD WHOM I ADORE for purposes of sublimation, subversion, the _sway_ of inauthentic burgeonings of desire for fame, hysteria, and beautiful legs astride the top-top of the world._

Give it to me, give it to me, give it to me, YOU RED-HOT CHILI PEPPER YOU!


Here is a lovely error message I just received (some specific info changed):

Your message was not delivered to For the following reason: Could not create users mail basket

This result may also be due to the user not existing on the system

You may also find that you now have a mail message in your outbasket that is marked unread to this user and as it was not sent to the user it will remain unread You can remove this entry by the command delete <nnn> where nnn is the message number



(Cybermind reads mall1.jpg, image of deli, Broadway, lower Manhattan; mall3.jpg, view from Atlantic Mall, Brooklyn, towards my loft-building. Fop-l imagines from these words, not the interior of deli, looking down as in chiaroscuro, marbled surfaces reflecting vast choices across limited spaces - not the view across wasted no-men's landscape towards bleak blank buildings sepia-toned, blurred distances, foreshortened street heading down towards anonymity, two-trucks turning near the mall.)

(Cybermind and Fop-l don't read the interior of the mall, two-days opened, clean-room interior, bright lights, new products; they don't read the del- icacy of new capital investment here, the employment of 350 in a space of none, the rumors of neighborhood problematic; and they don't read my own strangeness, expansion, in this space of familiarity, familiality, the new culture resurrected out of suburbia back into a debriscape worthy of Hein- er Muller.)

(Cybermind and Fop-l don't read the mixed emotions of infinite choice proffered in differing spaces, the advent of the new; they don't see the differential of modes of capital at work; they don't comprehend the sim- ultaneous opening and closure of spaces here; and they have no perspective on the outward-nature of the images, shooting away from the body, centri- fugal space taking over, the old terrestrial image of dust and decay re- asserting itself in the mall image, the spiral of goods and appearance of choice and seriality in that of the deli.)

(Cybermind sees itself as the visual, reflecting in the mirror of proper- ly-configured jpegs; Fop-l, quieter, offers the lassitude and languor of text against all comers; as both lists come to the realization of the in- tersection of capital with the political economy of the image / imaginary itself.)



Agre, on RRE list, moderates, runs, filters it; the latest collection of his notes stressed that a _Wired_ plug didn't amount to all that much, only another 300 subscribers added to the 4000+ already on-line. That's almost as much as Cybermind has total, more than twice as much as Fop-l, those differences, and it made me distressed, both desiring that level of membership, and embarrassed at the desire.

But the desire is there, a desire for fame and dissemination, particular- ly in relation to the texts I write and write and write, held together by the thinnest of skeins, beads on a string on a list. There is a desire for readership beyond the 338 on the list, desire for hard-copy of it all before it disappears like smoke on a broken hard drive, desire even for a _payback_ so that I won't starve to death when my next $600-$700 course doesn't make and I stay up all night worrying about being out on the street for the rest of my life.

The desire for _fame_ rides me; it's a wager I'd like to believe I've made with life but in fact have only given myself as an idiotic pat on the back, that the text is somehow "worth it," that it somehow will affect ev- en those traditionalists on the Research list, that it will open up acade- mia and publishers to new ways of thinking about the Net - that my _name_ in fact will be known beyond Cybermind and Fop-l, that I might actually get an _engagement_ somewhere, some "real teaching," however that's de- fined.

I write outside of any institution; at the New School or Film Video Arts for example, I'm only adjunct; there's no office, health insurance, com- munity at all. My writing's unknown in these places; I go to Manhattan, teach, leave the island. The writing remains Net bound (which is where some publishers feel it should be, and should be only); it sits there like a home-page cancer, growing physically without the handicap of fame or megabyte quota.

I dream fame, breathe it; I write every text figuring it will be my best, my last, my most revealing, the most theoretical, incisive, far-reaching. It's a form of flailing out, uselessness; it's like that assignment an art teacher gave years ago at Hartford Art School, draw the perfect fuck (with all the contingent issues of oppression, power, desire, and violence the command implies).

If I didn't admit to the desire for fame, I wouldn't be honest with you, with the text, with myself. I try not to stay away from any areas that would not contribute in this regard, such as this post, which can only backfire. All too often I've heard theorists jockeying for position, even those (maybe _especially_ those) relatively secure in tenured or tenure- track or grad-student vocations - placing their egos squarely in the mid- dle of theory, so that academic politics turned quickly into the politics of embedded theory. And further as well, never deconstructing the desire that lay at the heart of their politics, sexualities-desire, machinic-de- sire, writing/wryting-desire, part-object desire which is pretty much all the desire there is.

Admitting desire is no form of exculpation, absolution; it's not an exer- cise either. It's a way to clarify my own creative complicity in the need for audience and more audience; I'm distressed when just about the entire population of Cybermind, just about two and a half times the population of Fop-l, make up only the _difference_ that Wired makes to another list dealing with theoretical/cultural issues.

That RRE (Red Rock Eaters) list, of course, is fully moderated; only Agre posts or forwards. The noise, if it is noise, is kept to zero. That list is also occasionally disseminated, among other places, onto Cybermind and Fop-l, of course, without reciprocity.

Where does this go? No further than admittance, even to gall, gout, var- ious bitternesses, swellings of the forehead and cerebral cortex, proble- matic mixtures of the four humours and then some. But at least to lay this open, that I would love _thousands_ subscribed (and not just for myself, either, for almost all of the texts that are distributed here) and loving, loving _us._ And I'll also be the first to admit that this desire is di- rectly antithetical to a lot of the subscribers' desires, even to natural evolution of the lists themselves, which have evolved into wonderful on- line communities, among other things.

(Does this put me at odds with the list members? To an extent with some. But to no avail, to no purpose; none of us get what we really want in this or any other life, as the Panchatantra reminds us. Our existence is a form of making-do, bricolage; asking for anything more is an exercise in gram- mar at best. We're all thwarted...)

I am writing this under the rose perfection of Bach's sonatas and par- titas for solo violin.



What she insists on is that virtuality is _not_ doing business as usual - academic, theoretical, corporate - but is in fact concerned with an accom- paning ontological confusion, displacement, and weakening - one that leaks into epistemological concerns across domains. That's the reason for this additional gender confusion, for the problematic of intellectual property, for the increased disinternment of censorships, for the hysteria over pol- itical control, and for the constant worries over the breakup of the fam- ily, terrorist manuals on the Net, child pornography, and anarchic hack- ings.

All of these are outpourings of socio-cultural slippage; signifiers no longer remain in one place; the body travels, or doesn't; the mind is ev- erything or nothing; everything is construct but nothing _is._ And so it behooves her to attempt a different/dischordant analysis (substitution of the chord for the sine, a cut across the domain) - a totally different way of speech/parole/image - in order to bypass, subvert, those disciplines which reveal, in relation to _everything_ here-where-there-is-no-here, a certain bankruptcy.

The way to _move_ is orthogonally, but simultaneously to _take account_ of the movement, distort it, much as the Lacanian imaginary distorted the production of the transference en/tailed by his writings. What is being _said_ becomes ontological assault, recuperation, filler, caress. What is axiomatic necessarily fails as voices _whisper_ unconsciously; how many net communities develop neurotic/hysteric symptoms, symptoms of control and relinquishment, of paranoia and multiple personality disorder?

The language itself transforms, becoming more exact in the protocols and programming, flooding out across the semantic plateaus of participants hungering for contact. Within TCP/IP, one says control/command; above, one says anything at all. Theory remains rigorous only through proper for- tification - the moderated email list or newsgroup for example, where the moderator says everything, permits and forwards speech. The _reading_ of theory within these results in a _writing_ elsewhere; _wild theory_ pro- liferates on the Net, CONDITION RED.

She said new work is necessary, that's it's important to use every device imaginable, simultaneously at that. She said it's never enough, never would be for years, that there was too much going on, that theory had to be liquid to keep up on one hand, delineated and crystalline on the other. (Everyone said they knew this and were doing this already.) She added that she would try and bring back reports from the front, and that the _bring- ing_ was what she was all about, the _bringing_ and the endless parties afterwards.


The Fitting of Theory

She added that the theory had to fit, configure itself, within a file 'zz' - a universal name that traversed texts in their entirety. There could be appendages as well, jpegs, wavs, anything in fact that reduced itself to binary at the very least. But the text was always 'zz,' manipulated as precipitate or sinter.

Texts can be either part-objects-zz or transitional-objects-zz; clearly the latter are transitive, while the former occlude the intransitive - they're fading-objects, translucencies that shatter at a moments' touch. The transitional-objects-zz are open sets, just as the part-objects-zz attempt foreclosure.

Circuits are created across these objects, and self-reflexivity construes a variable and fuzzy cyclicity characteristic of transitional-objects-zz: circulation, circumambulation, circumscription. Ripples are created among these objects, blurring their epistemological wagers; these are character- istic of fading-objects, dismemberments, imaginaries, phantoms, cortical excitations.

The doubled order, she added, constituted the theoretical moment. At that moment, she added a degree of insurgency. It was at that moment, inexact, but future theory and a theory of the future, doubled over.



The image is a leaky signifier, she says. It's uncanny, existing within the relatively Euclidean space of the screen. But even the phenomenology of the screen, or the rectangles within it, can't compensate for the eeriness of the closeup of the face. It's not the cunt or the cock; we're used to that, display of organs, exchanges, reifications, typifications, taxonomies, lures and masquerades. It's the look of the eyes staring hard into the blank rectangle or circular maw of the camera - and the camera not staring back; shouldn't it be clear, by this point in time, that _the camera does nothing_ but establish the vanishing-point of the subject? It's already there, running the virtual, just like I run Alan, she said, _exactly_ like that. She said, there's no difference, because where there's difference, there's the signifier. And she reiterated that nothing could be further from the truth.

She remembered looking across the space into Alan's eyes and fading; her last thoughts were of weak theory, Vattimo-somebody, and Italy-somewhere. It were her last thought.


the cool world

it's up to us to generate interesting content, lure ourselves into our domains, existential inhabitants of spaces like monkeys on our back, like drug monkeys, cool artifacts of our _undoing_

we generate our interesting content for the amusement of others, without which there would be no domains; we're all existentialists within the abyss of absent protocols, cool artifacts of our _doing_

manufacturing content such as this, she said, I'm luring you for my amu- sement, the further seduction of readers and writers, annihilation- jun- kies riding into oblivion, the last cool leaders of our _done-to_ tribe

you'll leave us, she continued, if we're not smart enough, clever enough, lured enough, facing the void we pour ourselves into, night-time junkies of the fiber-optic vectors, we'll tell you how we've come _undone_

she said who's to say I'm not a he, luring you in, you always assume I'm heterosexed, living the rim, filling the hole; it's queer desire anyway she said, cool riders into the _done_ dawn beyond life and far-out death

the gone world we're done for, the cool world, we're lost-gen, holy wri- ters straddling wires for the first millennia, down in drawn dusk and doom, up in all-night wryter-rider highs riding our own cool minds

drawn _down_ and sunbeam sunbeam sunbeam



these are like quicksilver falling into the cracks; they flow so quickly through the body that no one can tell when the poisoning hits. they're beautiful!

forgotten, like this post, not even a curlicue, but a _nuance_ to the day.


Jennifer's tired, Jennifer's gift

these are yours - images, lines, stains of blood and font upon the page - yours the quality of swollen life - and those mine - the litany of words spitting out empty air, exhausted, sounding hollow within you - never dragging, never one another down -

"Alan" which falls apart "Jennifer" which falls apart

capital, the capitals, auracular language stuttering* coagulation which centers _it_ ( name clattering in the void )

*spitting, spattering, sputtering, smattering: s#@ttering

I want it to be _thus_ so close, mingling of blood and breath, impene- trable wryting, hieroglyph of the delineated body, as in _this text_ and no other (smell of womb, this sun, sunlight, this space upon the screen, this silence, flesh and font)

Jennifer's _feeds nowhere_

essence falls like a thud. tired arguments of essence. logic cuts. you call it a knife. logic feeds nowhere, leads.

clumsily standing on feet I'm stabbed with your pen wielded through eye cut blind, you miss, I can't see depth. (cut blind you; blind you you miss)

don't chatter with me, I'm down in your cracked picture, where (your cracked terminal, your terminal regard, I'm down, I'm done) down, there's earth and water. my voice rises, thud.



In 1971, this beginning the bang the bang!path writing-summary-me-me:

there's too much of it. one begins by eliminating some of it, lessening. most of it is connected with the earth, somehow. (it sits on it.) we could begin by lowering. then where would we place the upper? in the holes, which are more complex than they should be. (than the ground should al- low.) finally, we could find a trough for us. when we fit, there is no more of it. things are as they are.

Already filling/fulfilling-hole, already desire-for-catatonia-completion, closure-foreclosure-disclosure.

My life's writings have produced:

uncanny body inversion violation borderline dissolution exhaustion circul- ations collapse-work hole speech problematic-of-the-symbolic core-theore- tical-premises-and-interactions genital/liquidity-as-strange-attractors liminality-between-core-theoretical-premises-and-liquidity-taken!under!- due!consideration

community-as-byproduct-emergence morse-code-reference/considerations phen- omenology-of-borderline-personality-reading-systems phenomenology-of-un- canny-body deconstruction-of-power-violation terminology-circulations breathless!breathless!breathless!reading-and-writing

the-bang-path-of-wild-theory-writing existence-of-wryting-me-bang-path- writing-me



Bang-Path Model of Reading / Thinking

1 Think of bang-path syntax as routing through texts, running texts on 2 channels, parallel tracks; think of real and virtual syntaxes - the 3 former that of traditional formal linguistics; the latter, that of 4 Kristevan semiotic - think of the virtual as submergence and depth, 5 connected to the diegetic - and think of thinking as routing, not 6 routing as thinking.

1 Just as bang-path protocol establishes manual routing, just so a para- llel may be made with text reception, reading-texts, following the quasi- linear protocol of traditional page layout.

3-4 Just as Web pages run on channels, parallel trackings of music/voice/ vector/video/text etc., so texts _in general_ possess parallel trackings as any structural analysis reveals. There are two broad domains, real and virtual syntax. The latter contains the diegetic revealed through emis- sions as opposed to the specificity of nodes; ruptured structures; and part-objects-zz and transitional objects-zz as pre-verbal moments (see Hadamard). The former possesses well-defined axiomatics and consequential structures, as well as the formal elements of substitution.

5 The diegetic appears as a residue or byproduct of the text, a result of hysteric embodiment, projection/introjection, and the habitus of the act of reading.

6 Now, there are continuous discussions of the "intelligence" or "senti- ence" of the Internet, a position I have argued against. These are rout- ing as thinking paradigms, decision-trees and spans everywhere coupled by neural networking. Instead, consider thinking as routing - thinking as bang-path behavior on parallel channels of real and virtual syntactic strategies - including the moment of the absence of syntax altogether. If the unconscious is structured as a language, it is structured as _either silence or yammering._ The moment of the absence is not the absence of thought, but the absence of the symbolic; thinking has moved to the imag- inary, originated within the imaginary, and the symbolic, the movement towards syntactic structuration is a thought afterthought. This movement is dialectic; there is also thinking _in_ language, routing through the formal syntactic as originary - this is the case in pausological analyses for example - how pauses operate in ordinary conversation. (The pause comes _after_ the conjunction, i.e. after the structure moves to _parole_ before the semantics are fixed/articulated.)

1 Think of bang-path syntax as routing through texts, running texts on 2 channels, parallel tracks; think of real and virtual syntaxes - the 3 former that of traditional formal linguistics; the latter, that of 4 Kristevan semiotic - think of the virtual as submergence and depth, 5 connected to the diegetic - and think of thinking as routing, not 6 routing as thinking.


Commentary on Routing text -

I want to comment further on #6. "If the unconscious is structured as a language, it is structured as _either silence or yammering._" - This is an unfortunate choice of words, left to right, top to bottom. For it is a problematic of language that informs this; in fact, the unconscious is _both_ silence and yammering, without the symbolic (I'd use the word "out- lawed" here, because of wild theory, but it further implies the institu- tion of the law as primary). By "silence" I mean in the absence of the Word, and by "yammering," I mean idle chatter, hrrrumphs, hmmmm, all those elements that might contribute to diegesis, thinking, that are outside formal syntactic structures. (This doesn't exclude, by the way, proto-lan- guage.)

The second quote from #6: "The moment of the absence is not the absence of thought, but the absence of the symbolic; thinking has moved to the imag- inary, originated within the imaginary, and the symbolic, the movement towards syntactic structuration is a thought afterthought." Now, "moment" is also incorrect, as is "absence," which implies "presence." I am refer- ring to a domain prior to the symbolic, within the imaginary. I am arguing that thought by and large originates here; that thought can think itself through language, but more often than not, language is an after-thought. Again, by "language" I am referring to formal linguistic structures, _not_ any category of arrows and nodes (i.e. category theory); in fact, it might be possible to argue that the unconscious or virtual syntax could be con- strued as a fuzzy, mobile, and morping category. (By "virtual syntax," by the way, I do not mean formal syntax, but something closer to Kristeva's semiotic, which is not formal semiotics.)

Now we move to this other quote in 6: "This movement is dialectic; there is also thinking _in_ language, routing through the formal syntactic as originary - this is the case in pausological analyses for example - how pauses operate in ordinary conversation." It's here that the metaphor of cortical stimulation and/or surfing the Net (within the aegis of Merlin Donald, there is little difference) is of use; language can be considered an _effect_ of neural processing / learning, rather than a ground or _ur- grund._ Note also the "dialectic" here; thought within and without lan- guage is in flux. The real and the virtual interpenetrate; thinking and naming are emergences.

I'm arguing _across the slate_ for multiplicities - channels, real and virtual syntaxes, complex routings across domains, emergences (and sub- mergences, subsumptions for that matter), in consideration of mind, lang- uage, thought, thinking. This combines, say, Minsky and Kristeva, Derrida and Chomsky, Clark Coolidge and Lautreamont, Web and darknet developments. The combinations are admittedly loaded, leading to consideration of cer- tain aspects of packet-switching as a metaphor for sentience - _only_ a metaphor, at that.



(Cybermind receives comp1.jpg, comp4.jpg; Fop-l applies imagination to the ultraviolet realm. Comp1: I stare out from my laptop screen; the index of narcissism collapses like a deflated tube; there's only me, how ridicu- lous. Comp4: An inverted gopher appears in the Astor Place subway station, transformed by the World Wide Web, dark and tiled animal damning the rest- lessness of the imaginary. It's as if comp1 kissed comp4: CAN YOU UNDER- STAND THIS? Who's tunneling through whom? Whose tubes collapsed, whose still-births? Eh, it's all dark anyway, hardly any space to move. I went home to Brooklyn but not before taking a SNAP, morph-morph me-me.)


From Fri Nov 15 14:30:33 1996 Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 12:56:43 -0500 From: Alan Jen Sondheim <> Reply-To: FOP-L <FOP-L@VM.CC.PURDUE.EDU> To: Multiple recipients of list FOP-L <FOP-L@VM.CC.PURDUE.EDU> Subject: Original Fop Announcement.

I found the original Fop announcement, from July 10, 1994, which might be of interest to you; I've been archive hunting as a result of the upcoming Perth Conference (Cybermind96) which involves a number of Fop-l partici- pants as well. Anyway, the announcement is below; please note that the technical information is INCORRECT; fop-l, originally fiction-of-philoso- phy, ran from Boston's (until they began charging for elists), then moved with Spoons philosophy lists to Virginia, finally end- ing up at Purdue. Fop-l ran first on majordomo software, eventually moving to listserv. (If you do see either Fop-l or Cybermind advertised with the wrong address, please let me and the sysadmin of the site know. I wrote to Spoons, asking them to change their home-page, which is outdated for both lists.)






The FICTION-OF-PHILOSOPHY: As in the fiction-of-crime, the category encompasses both `philosophical fiction' and that aspect of philosophy which encounters fiction as a mode of inquiry. Philosophical fiction would include the novels of Bataille, Ballard, Gibson, Sartre; works of Jabes, Michaux, Lautreamont, Karl Kraus; poetry of Lucretius, Susan Howe, Holderlin; the philosophical micro-narratives of Baudrillard, Nietzsche, and Barthes; Lingis' exhilerated accounts of the other/ gender, Kathy Acker's deconstruction of sexualities and politics, and other writers/writings too numerous to mention...

WHY THIS LIST? Because "creative" and theoretic writing are inter- woven yet distanced by the history of faculties, and because new formations carry the possibilities of new modes of thinking through our overheated postmodern cultural terrain.

The list has as goals both the discussion of the FICTION-OF-PHILOSOPHY in general or in reference to specific authors; and the presentation of creative work that may bear on current issues of theory.

FICTION-OF-PHILOSOPHY: FOP, defined in the older Roget: "...swell, dandy, exquisite, coxcomb, beau, man about town, spark, popinjay, puppy, prig, jackanapes, carpet knight, dude" - extended into situationist, raconteur, flaneur... existing-between, passing for the _other,_ the spy in the house of love who came in from the cold.

The threads on the list might include presentations and discussions of creative work by the participants, cross-postings addressing rele- vant issues, discussions/critiques/group readings of specific literary works, and discussions of more general issues ranging from the inter- face between poetry and philosophy, to the narratology of the site of writing-philosophy (Heidegger's forest, Jabes' desert, Ballard's high- way).

This list is open to everyone interested in philosophy and theory, on any level.

FICTION-OF-PHILOSOPHY is brought to you by the Spoon Collective, a group of Net citizens devoted to free and open discussion of literary and philosophical issues on the Internet. Based on the Collective's philosophy, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT POSTS CONTAINING LANGUAGE OR SUBJECT MATTER THAT SOME MIGHT FIND OFFENSIVE MAY APPEAR ON THE LIST FROM TIME TO TIME, AND SUCH POSTS WILL NOT BE CENSORED. However, we would also like you to know that racial or other bias slurs will not be tolerated; there are other sites on the Internet for them.

To (re)subscribe, send the message: subscribe fiction-of-philosophy <address> to

To send a post, send to:

To unsubscribe, send to unsubscribe fiction-of-philosophy <address>

To find out who is on the list, send the message: who fiction-of-philosophy

If you have any difficulties or more questions concerning the list, contact the list moderator,

Please note that there are no archives available as yet.

Alan Sondheim



I just bought an old edition (they're all old, from 74-78) of The Video Primer, by Richard Robinson, which was a mainstay manual of tv tech near the beginnings of camcorderdom. Most of the information in it is still current, from the description of helical-scan recording, to the discus- sion of the NTSC signal itself. The technology has changed rapidly; at that point 3/4" (called U-Matic) was just coming in, and almost all the work was done on reel-to-reel - the studios using 2" machines which were ten feet high, six wide, three deep.

In video, the principles and standards have remained pretty much the same (for example - microphony with cardiod/shotgun/omni etc.); in film, the standards and principles (beyond basic shooting) are radically different. Film now uses extensive electronic processing and video technology in the editing process; cameras are microprocessor controlled, and formats such as IMAX wouldn't exist without the electronic revolution. But film is also the opposite of video; old cameras, say the Kodak Cine Specials (sixty years old), are still used, at least by "experimental" filmmakers. When I was making film, I used a bullseye Moviola that was fifty years old, and a World War II Bell and Howell spider 35mm camera. When C-mounts came in for 16mm, they became pretty standardized, along with various bayonet mounts used with Eclairs, newer Bolexes, the Cine Special, etc. My lenses dated back to the early 30s.

So older film equipment is pretty much viable; older video equipment isn't. (The old EIAJ reel-to-reel tape has deteriorated to the point where it won't play back without special treatment.) The video principles are so consistent that a twenty-year-old book on the subject is still practical. The same applies to film at the low-end or low-acquisition end, but film has become increasingly electronic.

Computers have evolved as well, adding layer after layer of higher-level protocols onto base hardware, which has also changed. The lower levels are becoming increasingly sealed off. Some books, such as Knuth's work, are still useful, as is Djikstra (sp.?) on the aesthetics of computing, but object-oriented programming has changed things. Programming is much slop- pier than ever, absorbed by high-speed, a lot of RAM, and no storage prob- lem. The constant refinement of compressing algorithms has slowed up; a hack is a hack is a hack.

In fact, sloppiness in a sense encourages upgrading; rather than reduce a jpeg to, say, a functional 20k on a smaller machine, send it on out as 120k and when enough people see enough slowdowns this way, the market swings again towards bigger-faster.

Downgrading, on the other hand, is a characteristic of the camcorder mar- ket; the Sony 5000 camera, with its 71 controls (I have one), was elimin- ated in favor of simpler units with less potential for manual override of things like iris, white balance, zoom, even focus and shutter speed. Al- most all units on the market today (with the exception of the new digital standard) are agc - automatic gain controlled - in the audio; you can't set the sound levels, say, for silence. The units have also dropped dras- tically in price.

I think this development has parallels, by the way, with the upcoming Network Computers (NCs), which will be relatively inexpensive, interpene- trated with automated Web components, and guaranteed to make good citi- zens of us all...



Finally, to speak of _making good citizens of us all_ - it's becoming clearer than ever that we're moving towards a totally transparent society in the United States, one of perfect voyeurism/exhibitionism, in which every event and transaction of every citizen will become available to every other - at least those with the savvy to hack or access the data- bases. On the Net, cookies work wonders; when you're logged in on the Web, you're increasingly part of everyone else, data-accessible. When and if teledildonics become the order of the day, your body, too, will be avail- able, at least in the latest cyborg version. Beware or embrace; in the meantime, my loft is increasingly invaded by computer phonecalls, tele- marketing, junk mail; my email account is increasingly spammed - the holes in my body are Inboxes/Outboxes - and we better move beyond the cyborg paradigm fast to take into account this invasion by unruly capital...


Keyboard Fight!

Well I've got two keyboards in parallel on my laptop - internal and external. I press keys for repetition on both together:

whwhwhwhwhwwhwhwhwhwhwwhwhwhwhwhwwhwhwhwhwhwwhwhwhwhwwhwwwwwww jfjfjfjffjfjfjfjfjffjfjfjfjfjffjfjfjfjfjffjfjfjfjff kdkdkdkdkddkdkdkdkdkddkdkdkdkdkddkdkdkdkdkddkdkdkdkdd jbjbjbjbbjbjbjbjbjbbjbjbjbjbjbbjbjbjbjbjbbjbjbjbjbjbjbbjbjbjbjbjbbjbjbjbjbb l11l1l1l1l1l11l1l1l1l1l11l1l1l1l1l1l11l1l1l1l1l11l1l1l111 and: lflfflflflflflfflflflflflfflflflflflfflflflflflf

What's interesting is that double-keyings result in interlacing; the trick is to stop with both hands simultaneously. Otherwise, there are endpoint anomalies which, after all, have their own intrinsic phenom- enology.

This is also a critical problem in the calculus of finite differences!


Phenomenology of the Back

The _back,_ reverse of the body, invisible plateau, formationaless mani- fold, wary of pleasure and pain - the back characterizes, more than sex- ual and other desire, the reversion from culture, from the symbolic.

It's the back whose glossed and exposed skin evaporates, with the sheen of planar muscles; it's the back whose blankness begins the surface inscribed with the pain of maturity.

The back is a transitional object between oneself and the world. To talk behind someone's back, is to talk in front of them, invisibly, surrepti- tiously. The back is simultaneous object and _blankness._ It's unthought of, unheard-of, just like perversion. It's there, carried by the necessi- ty of Euclidean volume; the surface is inclusive, a jordan curve of separ- ation, holes and tubes notwithstanding.

So it's present and absent, shimmers unknowingly, an object-body dropped into the world of the body, just as the body is dropped into the world. The body claws to get back; it claws to cower-cover. It's a touch on the womb-blanket; the superstructural autonomic aspects of the mind refuse its characterization as _object._ The mirror stage comes into play; with the mirror, the back appears, momentarily. The back remains a memory. It's there that the cord holds, snaps.

The power of cyberspace, the old wysiwyg or gigo, is the power of control but there's an inverse at work as well - the womb-blanket of control, the release and safety-valve in warmed masochism, the body with the open mouth. The back is what's thrown out; the back gives no quarter. Look to your back; it's an impossibility - it's the first section to slither into virtuality. (It's the disappearance of the snake, and it takes the pre- sence of the other, the light touch on the spine, between the shoulders, to grant it topography, to restore it.)

The _behind_ of the back separates the body from cyberspace; it won't go any farther, no matter what - it won't go through.

(It's cold in the loft; my cat crawls beneath the covers. The slightest sound in the space brings her to attention; everything is either food or threat. Cruel weather. She doesn't know her parents. Her lineage is al- ready lost, untraceable. She's gone without the symbolic. She lies wary with her back to me, alpha-beta. Stationary, almost thoughtless, and my hand is on it. Which brought her back to mind. I wrote her into this - it's me.)


SO KILL ME {k:51} ~ ksh: /net/u/6/s/sondheim: cannot execute {k:52} DAMN! ksh: DAMN!: not found {k:53} JUST CALL ME TILDE ALAN! {k:54} LOST ksh: LOST: not found After this I went home: {k:51} ~ This is what's a transitional object's part object's zz zzz. _____________________________________________________________

The Future of the World: Internet Aesthetics and Reality's Cement Floor

ii (the first part of this was sent out around Oct. 11 '96)

[Corporate reality is transparent-reality; the user becomes _known_ - with future teledildonics bringing the intimacy of the body into the database as well. With _sloppy_ programming, "bells and whistles," knowledge be- comes tied into spectacle; the two interpenetrate, merge. To know is to _be visible, audible._ Again - upgrading is _necessary._ To know thyself, then - even _this_ level - partakes of the alienation-effect expressed by Marx - now _knowledge mediates self-knowledge,_ and knowledge in any case is _patented._]

It's _this_ paragraph I want to concentrate on - the total transparency of the user, as in the visible human project. Everything comes together, leads to upgrade. As banner advertising and animation become more preval- ent, knowledge becomes tied to visual and aural explanation; it's a return or rerun of the Pythagorean. The deeply mathematical is forced into low- bandwidth perception - which is necessary, of course - but increasingly it will _stop there._ Metaphor becomes everything.

So knowledge becomes mediated through sensory modalities which are them- selves displaced knowledge. Not only social relations, but the _relation of oneself to oneself,_ even on the most surf-icial level, is mediated by display; the society of the spectacle is internalized, and the mirror stage is now network television. Literally.

Moving beyond Freud, the introjected Web becomes an incoherent but cohe- sive model of the self, which continually upgrades. Everything reflects everything else; it's not that the real has disappeared - it's that it's turned into a category, with arrows and nodes of its own, defined from elsewhere, a skein or membrane. The world's drawn in packets introjected. The rest is purely invisible, irrelevant, or under the sign/guise of specialty.

_Someone owns me._


Kraus, The Rest of Us, through Canetti

"Thanks to him, I started realizing that each individual has a linguistic shape distinguishing him from all others. I understood that people talk to but fail to comprehend one another; that their words are thrusts ricochet- ing off the words of others; that there is no greater illusion than think- ing that language is a means of communication between people. One speaks to another person but in such a way that he does not understand. One keeps talking and he understands even less. One screams, he screams back; ejacu- lation, eking out a miserable existence in grammar, takes control of lang- uage. The exclamations bounce to and fro like balls, deliver their blows, and drop to the ground. Seldom does nything penetrate the other person, and if it does, it is usually twisted awry."

"It is important to look up to a model who has a rich, turbulent, unmis- takable world, a world that he has smelled for himself, seen for himself, heard for himself, felt for himself, devised for himself. The authenticity of the model's world is what the model gives one, is what most deeply im- presses one. One lets oneself be overridden and overpowered by this world, and I cannot imagine a writer who was not controlled and paralyzed by someone else's authenticity at an early time. In the humiliation of his rape, when he feels that he has nothing of his own, that he is not him- self, does not know what he himself is, his concelaed powers begin to stir. His personality articulates itself, arising from the resistance; wherever he liberated himself, there was something that liberated him."

Canetti felt crushed, overpowered by Kraus; in a later essay, he recuper- ates his own aegis through an analysis of Kraus' relationship with Sidonie Nadherny von Borutin, revealed in letters published decades after his death. But in all cases, doesn't one write Kraus from a distance? It is a podium or declamatory arena working itself through a violence inherent in language, deconstruction playing out its political role through The Last Days of Mankind. Canetti points out the _continuous judgement_ always at work, the textual substance (what I've called _violation fabric_) inherent in the writing of a mad world, top to bottom - Kraus' absorption of _all language,_ his distance from Sidonie.

He and Sidonie drive all over the place in a car. Rilke advised her not to marry him. Rilke runs around the early part of the twentieth century in- fluencing everybody.

Kraus is all text. Kraus is to text what early programs were to early software. They're so lean, translation can't help but fall on its soft belly. It's the density of the aphorism which cuts, incites. CMC, on the other hand, is that soft belly of translation. It goes on forever. It thinks it can go on forever. It crawls around the hegemony of the corpor- ate, the death and destruction of marginality, in the name of marginality. It makes sure to retain the old names, discarding them by virtue of defuge or defuge-machine. When everything is cool, everyone surfs, the more words the better; we hide out, self-devour. The Web cannibalizes. Don't think for a moment, Renaissance, without the machinations of the Medici. The cookies they offer know everything about you; it's _there_ that the code goes lean, slides in like a virus. If you're reading this, you're gone.

Kraus knew that, even so failing in the face of Hitler. Language chokes on itself, Goebbels reached for his gun, hearing the _culture_ word. Now cul- ture's given another chance: Inundate! Culture floods; we talk ourselves to hell and back. There are bodies on the road, swept up before the camer- as arrive. In fifty years, there will be Net at the top, death at the bot- tom. In five years, five months. In five weeks at the most. Look whose got the cookies.



I swear by all that is Holy, by the Absolute Power within Me, by the Truth which shall OUT in this YEAR OF OUR LORD, that this picture is an AUTHENT- IC REVELATION of the BLUE HAZE of KYBERSPACE, EMANATING from the NEW YORK CITY POWER STATION of the HIGHEST POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE THE ATMOSPHERE.





Alan Sondheim, TESTIFIER

( Image: Capacitors, Insulators, of Electric Power Station, blue haze, b2.jpg. )


The Bridge

by Hart Crane

bridge paw lion water water lion paw bridge so that the older industrial industrial older wire here divided each element is absolutely perfect egyptian sphinx claw bridge liquid bridge claw each pixel beauty address x and y multiplied there fibered in order to computation age age computation hungered foot panther fluid fluid panther foot hungered

the field of the panther weighs in perfect water water perfect where wire fibered adds subtracts unknown unknown abstracts ends bridged, wait here while i told you so down to the footed field of lion sphinx panther sphinx lion it's weight here. i told you so.



The literary texts have a surplus that explanations don't; they escape, loosen the con-text. They form kennings, conundrums, with no specific un- raveling, no further decoding. The literary carries theory into therapeu- tic, in the sense of a necessary textual work done/undone by the reader.

It's something that requires an extension, she said, just as the element of narrative I have created with "she said" produces already a setting, podium or city square, coffeehouse or apartment, where such discussions or presentations occur. When the text becomes an occurrence, it presents a degree of inertia. It holds or spans a diegetic.

It catches you up, she added, just like this.



# Birth and Death of Virtual Children # Call this file parent # Change this to executable; execute # Reconfigured from Gundavaram, CGI Programming on the World Wide Web

$| = 1; print "Wail! Wail! We are all alone!", "\n"; sleep(1); print "We are about to create the child!", "\n"; sleep(1);

if ($pid = fork) { print <<End_of_Parent;

I am the parent speaking. I have made a child. The process number of my child is: $pid. All I can do is give her a number!!! I am frightened of this. She will reside with me and with you!!! God help her!


} else { close (STDOUT); system ("cp", "parent", "child"); system ("rm", "child"); exit(0); } sleep(3); print "Oh Oh I have lost my daughter! I have lost her forever.", "\n"; sleep(1); print "Now she is gone forever! I will kill the father!", "\n"; sleep(1); print "Wail! Wail! Wail! $pid is gone forever!", "\n";



My Files on My Nice-Machine:

A file that erases itself, then returns in a new incarnation. A file that returns and erases its compiler. A file that turns off the mother lode, refuses perl's advances. A file that stupidly repeats: cg I-bin there. A file that sends a cookie to your machine so you'll never see the beauty page again. A file that disappears, leaving a sad announcement sent to every member of an email list, the long goodbye. A file that states this is the last message you'll ever see and means it. A file that appends its word count, repeats the operation going for the big one. A file that disappears without a trace, not even leaving its process id number behind. A file leaving nothing but its process id number as a memory of happy enrichment deep within the kernel. A file that forkbombs, spreading children far and wide, duplicates of itself all activated, across the pebbled landscape of the computer. A file that repeats everything it can find out about you. A file that repeats everything it knows about you, nothing. A file that randomly dances the long goodbye to fellow users on your server. A file that announces this site's been seen by you and you alone. A file greedy for your RAM, taking all you've got to offer, begging for more. A file automatically running Jennifer for Alan, generating this file under the guise of running Alan for Jennifer.

by Jennifer


Online Crashed the System, I'm Sorry

I can't telnet into Panix. Panix has three machines. On dialup to panix3 I can login and send the password; I see "You have mail" and everything hangs. I go to my Netcom account. From Netcom, panix3 does the same; pan- ix2 allows me in but hangs before the login; (the third machine) won't let me login at all. I had been on panix3 when the screen froze. There was no sound of an explosion outside the loft; the power is still on, no surges. Whatever happened is quiet, and may have already reversed itself; whatever happened may be permanent, as buildings crumble in terrible conflagrations.

I had been sleeping; there were nightmares. I was held hostage and repeat- edly tortured in a nightclub; let out during the day, I went to the po- lice. I was brave and stupid. If I had stayed asleep I would have died. I woke up in the depths of depression again. Online would not have saved me. Online I think knew that and decided to punish me by crashing panix. She brought the trunklines down around the city. She ate through fiber optic and copper wire, acidic compounds hissing at the take of new bait. Streets buckled and ruptured; it's true - I can hear the sirens now, as if they were heading for Manhattan, across the bridge into the far woods. But they stop suddenly with that flat screech that says they're very near, just outside, and I've got to leave fast in the interval of roaring engines.