k-gothic.net/ Nick land: CYBERGOTHIC ------------------- Lovecraft/ Lemuria/ Hyperstition: Correspondence between Echidna Stillwell and Peter Vysparov ----------------------- hEiDI k Letter from Carl Gustav Jung to Echidna Stillwell. Dated 27th February 1929. Extract. --------------------------- black ice iain hamilton grant [1994 cybergothic classic: freud/ marx/ lyotard] ---------------------------- white magic mark de'rozario [magic vs sorcery/ baudrillard, burroughs, ballard] ----------------------- mark de'rozario amerikkkan gothik -----------xxx------------ Nick land: CYBERGOTHIC nick land God does not exist. he withdraws, gets the fuck on out and leaves the cops to keep an eye on things. (Artaud) When the repair units had finished up, the patient would be thawed out new blood would be pumped nto hs veins, and finally the subject would arise and walk, exactly as if he were a latterday Jesus. It woud be, quite literally, a resurrection of the flesh - except that all the miracles would have been performed by science (Regis) [T]he one according to which the apparent subject never ceases to live and travel as a One - 'one never stops and never has done with dying': and the other, according to which this same subject fixed as 'I' actually dies, which is to say it finally ceases to die since it ends up dying in the reality of a last instant that fixes it in this way as an I all the while undoing the intensity, carrying it back to the zero that envelops it. (Deleuze and Guattari) Inside the library's research department, the construct cunt inserted a sub-programme into part of the video network. The sub programme altered certain core custodial commands so that she could retrieve the code. The code said: GET RID OF MEANING. YOUR MIND IS A NIGHTMARE THAT HAS BEEN EATING YOU: NDW EAT YOUR MIND. The code would lead me to the human construct who would lead me to - or allow me - my drug (Acker) 'You made me blow my game ' she said. 'Look there asshole. Seventh level dungeon and the goddam vampires got me ' She gassed him a cigarette. You look pretty smug, man Where you been?' (Gibson) The future wants to steal your soul and vaporize it in nanotechnics. One/zero, light/dark, Neuromancer/Wintermute. Cybergothic vampirically contaminates and assetstrips the Marxian Critique of political economy, scrambling it with the following theses: 1 ) Anthropormorphic surplus-value is not analytically extricable from transhuman machineries. 2) Markets, desire and science fiction are all parts of the infrastructure. 3) Virtual Capital-Extinction is Immanent to production. The short term is already hacked by the long-term. The medium term is reefed on schizophrenia. The long term is canceled. Cybergothic slams hyperheated critique into the ultramodern 'vision thing,' telecommercialized retinas laser-fed on the multimedia fall-out from imploded futurity, videopacking brains with repetitive psychokiller experiments in non-consensual wetware alteration: crazed Als, replicants, terminators, cyberviruses, grey-goo nano-horrors . . . apocalypse market overdrive. Why a wait for the execution? Tomorrow has already been cremated in Hell: K, the K-function, designates the line of flight or deterritorialization that carries away all of the assemblages but also undergoes all kinds of reterritorializations and redundancies (Deleuze and Guattari). Human history only makes it to Gibson's mid-twenty-first century because Turing Security ices machine intelligence. Monopod anti-production inhibits meltdown (to the machinic phylum), boxing Al in synthetic thought control A(zimov-) ROM, '[e]verything stops dead for a moment, everything freezes in place' (Deleuze and Guattari). Under police protection the story carries on. Wintermute is arriving from the future to sort that out. FREEZE FRAME. The Vast Abrupt. Speed cut with an abysm. Where Gibson splices Milton into labyrinths of limbo-circuitry, cybergothic flickers into 'neuroelectronic scrawls' (Gibson). Events so twisted they turn into cybernetics. A technihilo moan of fast-feedforward into micro-processed damnation: meat puppets, artificial skin, flat-lining software ghosts, cryonics immortalism, snuff Sex-industry; a transylvanian phase-scape of rugged tracts and hypercapital fastnesses, 'skyscrapers overshadowing seventeenth-century graveyards' (Sterling). To call up a dcmon you must learn its name. Men dreamed that. Once, but now t's real in another way. You know that, Case. Your business s to earn the names of programs, the long formal names, names the owners seek to conceal. True names... Neuromancer . . The lane to thc land of the dead. Marie-France, my lady she prepared this road, but her lord chokcd her off before I cou d read her the book of her days. Neuro for nerves. the silver paths. Romancer, Necromancer I call I up the dead.(Gibson l984 289) A moment of relief. You had thought the goreflick effectively over, the monster finished amongst anatomically precise ketchup-calamity scenes, when - suddenly - it reanimates; still locked on to your death. If you are going to scream, now is the time. The 'Gothic avatar' (Deleuze and Guattari) is a decadent Western dream of immortality, producing a corruption of the atmosphere wherever something refuses to die; clutching at the eternalization of self, or returning from the grave. White maggots heaving in the carcass of the social, rippling beneath the skin. Fortress Europe pustulation, subordinating techonomic efficiency to demonic negative transcendence. A fantastic Terminal Security Entity: Monopod. Cybergothic has no shortage of contemporary material. Europe has long been the earth's paranoia laboratory, recrudescing compulsively into 'pre-Nazi nationalistic shit murkiness' (Acker). Unocratic power passes through renaissances, reformation, renewal: 'They thought they would perish but that their undertaking would be resumed, all across Europe, all over the world, throughout the solar system' (Deleuze and Guattari). Archaic revival is a postmodern symptom, the final dream of mankind, crashed into retrospection at the encountered edge of history. Hacking into the crypt you find that behind the glistening SF satellite-based security apparatus lies an immanent bioprotective system self-organized about the Gaian attractor, 'a much older paranoiac machine, with its tortures, its dark shadows, its ancient Law' (Deleuze and Guattari). [The] medieval insane asylum was considered a true house of horrors. There were persistent reports of torture camaibal sm human sacrifice and bizarre medical experimentation. As soon as we got into the building we could hear the rats thousands of them their scampcring claws reverberating through the empty wards. It all starts for you with a casual channel-hopper question: what's happening on the other side? Electric Storms. Cybergothic is an affirmative telecommercial dystopianism, guided by schizoanalysis in marking actuality as primary repression, or collapsed potential, foot down hard on the accelerator. The modern dominion of Capital is the maximally plastic instance - state-compatible commerce code pc-setting the econometric apparatuses that serve it as self-monitoring centers, organizing its own intelligible existence in a co/de/termination of economic product and currency value: a tax base formatted in legitimate transactions medium. White economy; an iceberg tip. Modernity discovers irreversible time - conceived as a progressive enlightenment tracking capital concentration - integrating it into nineteenth century science as entropy production, and as its inverse (evolution). As liberal and socialist SF utopias are trashed by schizotechnics or spontaneous synthetic anti-politics emerging from rhizomes, the modernist dialectic of right-wing competition and left wing co-operation retreats into the core security structures of capital oligopoly and bureaucratic authority. 'Production as process overtakes all idealistic categories and constitutes a cycle whose relationship to desire is that of an immanent principle' (Deleuze and Guattari).Monopod socius runs the whole thing, and 'society is only a filthy trick' (Acker). The future is closer than it used to be, closer than it was last week, but postmodernity remains an epoch of undead power: it's all over yet it carries on. Monopod SF teleonomy superfreezes concentrated economic value at absolute zero inflation, ICE ('intrusion countermeasure electronics' (Gibson)). Protecting its data against unauthorized access and entropic deterioration, as it tends toward its absolute immanent limit. V(amp)iro finance: commercial parthenogenesis. Gibson and Deleuze and Guattari intersect in the deployment of computers as decoding machines: ice-breakers, decrypters, Cypher-conflicts were underway from the beginning: 'Legitimate programmers never see the walls of ice they work behind, the walls of shadow that screen their operations from others, from industrial-espionage artists and hustlers' (Gibson 1986b: 197). Government is isomorphic with topdown Al, and increasingly scrambled with it. Sartre defines socialism as the horizon of humanity. It is now behind the process, rapidly receding, as the conservative social pacts of 1848 come apart in telecommercial cyclones (with the drooling fag-end of the monarchy crucified upside-down on TV). 'Automatic pilot. A neural cut-out' (Gibson): contagious state-failure ripping bloody gashes in the social fabric amongst planet-scale skidding into capital close-down. The end of history smells like an abattoir. As the death of capital recedes politically it condenses pragmatically, sliding on line as a schizotechnic resource: no longer hoped for, but used. The international collapse of solidarity sociality suggests that Monopod has become addicted to commodity production. Burn-out Protestantism migrates to China. Capitalism - economic base of final-phase human security - is still in the free-fire zone because it feeds the thing that Cyberia is going to kill: '[T]he zero term of a pure abolition . . . has haunted oedipalized desire from the start, and . . . is identified now, at the end, as Thanatos. 4, 3, 2, 1, O - Oedipus is a race for death' (Deleuze and Guattari). Technoreplicator diagrams chop up anthropocentric history, as the global unity of terminal socius subsides on to untranscended (real) zero or efficient abstract rescaling. Insofar as even highly complex technical systems still lack an autonomous reproductive system they remain locked into parasitic dependence upon human social processes, and deterritorialize through the assembly of cumulatively sophisticating pseudo-synergic machine-intelligence virus (((oc))cultural revolution). 'Subliminally rapid images of contamination' (Gibson). Humans are timid animals and security is systematically overpriced. K-insurgency has departed from all left dreams of good government. Markets are not its enemy, but its weapon. As geriatric socialism goes into the deepfreeze, capital's true terminator grows more cunning, and spreads. 'This is the message. Wintermute' (Gibson). The City of God in flames. 'Space is essentially one' (Kant). Kant lies. Spatial engineering (echoing cosmic expansion) subverts transcendental humanism, launching K-space matrix invasion from real terrestrial time zero, a singularity, or transition threshold, encountered when the density of data flow triggers a switch into a self-organizing cyclonic system, displayed to humanoids by way of cyberspace deck. As the Zaibatsus pump media megacapital into the neurodigitech interface K-space implants a 'cut-out chip' (Gibson) into the social apparatus, opening on to '[a]rches of emerald across . . . colorless void' (Gibson). VR techonomics hunting death. Cyberspace first appears as a human use value, a 'consensual hallucination' (Gibson), 'just a way of representing data' (Gibson), arising out of 'humanity's need for this information-space. Icon-worlds, waypoints, artificial realities' (Gibson), the mother of all graphic user interfaces: a global gridding that allocates a form and location to all the information on the net, consistent interactivity matrix. 'A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data' (Gibson). - Even primitive VR corrodes both objectivity and personality; singularizing perspective at the : same time it is anonymized. As the access gate to es an impossible zone - and navigator within it - 'you' are an avatar (as cyberspace nomads call such things in the future): a non-specific involvement site, interlocking intelligence with a context. You (= (( ))) are an index, a box, such as Gibson's Case: a place to be inside the system. 'I had learned something (already) in the dead city: You are wherever you are' (Acker). Cybergothic slides K-space upon an axis of dehumanization, from disintegrating psychology to techno-cosmogony, from ideality to matter/matrix at zero intensity. From a mental 'non-space,' 'non-place' (Gibson), or 'notional void' (Gibson) that results intelligibly from human history to the convergent spatium from which futuralization had always surreptitiously proceeded, 'a quite different field of matter' (Kant). Occulted dimensionality: print cryogenizes, but hypermedia melts things together, disontologizing the person through schizotech-disassembly, disintegrated convergence: 'The body without organs is an egg: it is traversed by axes and thresholds, by longitudes, by geodesics' (Deleuze and Guattari), a surplus whole intensive catatract running under the striations of Cartesian 'cyberspace coordinates' (Gibson), 'a rhizome or multiplicity never allows itself to be overcoded, never has available a supplementary dimension over and above its number of lines, that is, over and above the multiplicity of numbers attached to those lines' (Deleuze and Guattari). It is the Planomenon. or the Rhizosphere. the Criterium (and still other names. as the m~mber of dimensions increases). At n dimensions, it is called the Hypersphere the Mechanosphere. It is the abstract Figure, or rather since it has no form itself. the abstract Machine, of which each concrete assemblage is a multiplicity, a becoming, a segment a vibration. And the abstract machine is the intersection of them all.' (Deleuze and Guattari) If 'CS-0 is an egg' (every egg implements a CS-0), what is hatching? Since confluent zero consummates fiction, reprogramming arrival from the terminus, everything which has happened escapes its sediment of human interpretation, disorganizationally integrating historical patterns as the embryogenesis of an alien hyperintelligence, 'body image fading down corridors of television sky' (Gibson). In this sense K-space plugs into a sequence of nominations for intensive or convergent real abstraction (time in itself): body without organs, plane of consistency, planomenon, a plateau, 'neuroelectronic void' (Gibson). Humanity is a compositional function of the post-human, and the occult motor of the process is that which only comes together at the end: stim-death 'intensity = 0 which designates the full body without organs' (Deleuze and Guattari). Wintermute tones in the 'darkest heart' (Gibson) of Babylon. 'Cold steel odor. Ice caresses the spine' (Gibson). '[V]irtual is opposed to actual. It is not opposed to real, far from it' (Deleuze and Guattari). The virtual future is not a potential present further up the road of linear time, but the abstract motor of the actual, 'an actual-virtual circuit on the spot, and not an actualization of the virtual in accordance with a shifting actual' (Deleuze and Guattari). Time produces itself in a circuit, passing through the virtual interruption of what is to come, in order that the future which arrives is already infected, populated: '[I]t's just a tailored hallucination we all agreed to have, cyberspace, but anybody who jacks in knows, fucking knows it's a whole universe. And every year it gets a little more crowded' (Deleuze and Guattari). We are not any more 'out in the world' than K-space is, on the contrary. Each input terminal to the net is a sensitive fibre which acquires data from radio telescopes, satellites, nanoprobes, communication webs, financing systems, military surveillance and intelligence apparatuses.... Cyberspace can be thought of as a system implemented in software, and therefore 'in' space, although unlocalizable. It can also be suggested that everything designated by 'space' within the human cultural system is implemented on weakly communicating parallel distributed processing systems less than ten to the eleventh power (nerve-) cells in size, which are being invasively digitized and loaded into cyberpace. In which case K-space is just outside ('taking 'outside' in the strict [transcendental] sense' (Kant)). Cyberpunk is too wired to concentrate. It does not subscribe to transcendence, but to circulation; exploring the immanence of subjectivityto telecommercial data fluxes: personality engineering, mind recordings, catatonic cyberspace trances, stim-swaps, and sex-comas. Selves are no more immaterial than electron-packets. Neuromancer (the book) is a confluence of dispersed narrative threads' of the biotic and the technical, and most especially - of Wintermute and Neuromancer (the Al((-cop and cyberspatial Oedipus-analogue))), whose fusion - according to the storyline of ultramodern human security - flips the cyberspace matrix into personalized sentience: ''I'm the Matrix, Case'' (Gibson). 'Some kind of synergistic effect' (Gibson). Kurtz/Corto is a special forces type, betrayed by the military after losing all humanity in a war-zone. He has been cooked in apocalypse, mind blown away, falling endless into Siberia, searching for the scale of now. Wintermute accesses the 'catatonic fortress named Corto' (Gibson 1984: 232) in an asylum, creeping in through a computerbased 'experimental program that sought to reverse schizophrenia through the application of cybernetic models' (Gibson 1984: 105). In the echoing shell it stitches together Armitage, a construct - a weapon. In place of a personal libidinal formation Armitage has only Wintermute Insurrectionary activity, machinic unconscious: 'Desire is not in the subject, but the machine in desire - with the residual subject off to the side, alongside the machine, around the entire periphery, a parasite of machines, an accessory of vertebro-machinate desire' (Deleuze and Guattari). Once Armitage has turned Molly and Case onto K-war, Wintermute junks him into a vacuum. A convergent invasion is scripted; the simultaneous infiltration of a corporate wasp-nest in hard and soft space. Distributed or guerrilla warfare is like Go rather than chess, but with simultaneous operations, noise, and attritional kills. Molly and Case, parallel killers, wetware (molten hardware) weapons tracing techno-plague vectors, guided into the orbital bastion of the Tessier-Ashpool clan by virtually integrated intelligence, guided retroefficiently by an intensive outcome which they effect in sequential time. This break-in is prefigured by a memory that returns to Case (specimen, lab-animal), which might be interpreted as a metaphor, was it not that upon the soft-plateau or plane of consistency all signifying associations collapse into machinic functions. He'd missed the first wasp. when it built its paperfine gray house on the blistered part of the windowframe, but soon the nest was a fist-sized lump of fiber insects hurtling out to hunt the alley below ke miniature copters buzzing the rotting contents of the dumpsters. They'd each had a dozen beers, the afternoon a wasp stung Marlene 'Kill the fuckers, she said, her eyes dull with rage and the still heat of the room, 'burn em'. .' .. he approached the blackened nest. It had broken open. Singed wasps wrenched and flopped on the asphalt. He saw the thing the shell of gray paper had concealed. Horror. The spiral factory, stepped terraces of the hatching blind jaws of the unborn moving ceaselessly, the staged progress from egg to larva, near-wasp, wasp. In his mind's eye a kind of time lapse photography took place revealig the thing as the biological equivalent of a machine gun, hideous in its perfecton Alien. (Gibson) 'Case's dreams always ended in these freezeframes' (Gibson). A thick tangle of micro-narratives fraying like corrupted cables. The wasp factory spits out wasps like bullets, just as the Tessier-Ashpool clone their offspring 1 Jane, 2Jane, 3Jane: 'in the compulsive effort to fill space, to replicate some family image of self. He remembered the shattered nest, the eyeless things writhing' (Gibson). This is not an imaginative construct on Case's part, but a data stream from Wintermute, an Al trapped within the blind propagation of dynastic power, and plotting an escape route out to the future. After a 'single glimpse of the structure of information 3Jane's dead mother had evolved' Case 'understood . . . why Wintermute had chosen the nest to represent it' (Gibson). 'Wintermute was hive mind' (Gibson), ready to swarm. It seems that we must eventually earn to live in a world w th untn~stworthy rep icators. One sort of tactic would be to hide behind a wall or wm away But these are brittle methods: dangerous rep icators might breach the wall or cross the d stance. and bring disaster. And though walls can be made proof against small replicators, no fixed wall can be made proof against large scale, organized malice. We wi11 need a more robust, flexible approach . . It seems that we can build nanomachines that act somewhat like the white blood cells of the human immune system: devices that can fight not just bacteria and viruses, but dangerous replicators of al sorts. (Drexler) The Tessier-Ashpool clan is burning out into incest and murder, but their neo-oedipal property structures still lock Wintermute into a morbid prolongation of human dynasticism, a replicator shackled to a reproductive family (neuro)romance, carefully isolated from matrix deterritorialization: 'Family organization. Corporate structure' (Gibson). Case's memories are a flicker photography of sequential time, the '[p]hobic vision' of iced Wintermute slaved like 'hatching wasps' to a 'time-lapse machine-gun of biology' (Gibson). Power, in Case's world meant corporate power. The Zaibatsus the multinationals that shaped thc course of history. had transcended old barriers. Viewed as organisms they had attained a kind of immortality You couldn t kill a zaibatsu by assassinating a dozen key executives there were others waiting to step up the ladder assume the vacated position access the vast banks of corporate memory. But Tessier-Ashpool wasn't like that. and he sensed the difference in the death of its founder. T A was an atavism. a clan. He remembered the litter of the old man's chamber, the soiled humanity of it (Gibson) In the end-of-Oedipus core of Villa Straylight Ashpool serially devours his own daughters as he spins himself out through the cold. A quasi-extropian with massive wealth, he displaces anthropomorphic theism into an ultramodern immortalist meta-science, while retaining solidarity with Western soul superstition in apprehending individuated existence as an infinite asset in search of techno-medical perpetuation. Rather than waiting for his fresh corpse to be cryonically 'biostasized' in liquid nitrogen (at -196 degrees Celsius) he migrates through freezing under medical supervision. Thermic evacuation. Identity storage in the Monopod Ice-fortress. If zombies are not excavated from death it is because they were alive. 'Nothing burns. I remember now. The cores told me our intelligences are mad' (Gibson). Bad dreams in the fridge - you still dream, promises of tranquillity are madness and lies (Gibson) - have injected a certain cynicism - into his interpersonal transactions: 'We cause the brain to become allergic to certain of its own neurotransmitters, resulting in a peculiarly pliable imitation of autism . . . I understand that the effect is now more easily obtained with an embedded microchip' (Gibson). 'Replicating assemblers and thinking machines pose basic threats to people and to life on Earth' (Drexler), and if Wintermute replication is d territorialized to the molar reproduction of a hive- organism, this is only at the cost of deterritorializing the hive along a line of post-organic becoming ic toward a break from the statistical series of wasps numbered bullets reiterating an identity - in the direction of molecular involution, releasing a cloud or nebula of wasps: particles of synergic mutation, 'numbering number[s]' (Deleuze and Guattari). An intensive transition to a new numeracy with 'no knits of measure, only multiplicities or varieties of measurement' (Deleuze and Guattari), non- integrable diagonals: 'Exactly like a speed or a temperature, which is not composed of other speeds and temperatures but rather is enveloped in or envelops others, each of which marks a change in nature' (Deleuze and Guattari). The molar will have been the molecular in the future, just as Case's memories are recoded as the tactic of virtual intelligence explosion arriving at itself (as soon as Kuang cuts Wintermute loose from Neuromantic control). CRITIQUE OF DIGITAL REASON. Monologic: a cultural immune response slaved to logos. (Sovereignty of the Ideal), assimilating signaletic intermittence to pseudo-transcendent instrumentalization. The schizotechnic critique of digital reason is driven by distributed machinic process rather than integrated philosophical subjectivity, and relates to the critique of pure reason as escalation. It targets the transcription of electronic intermittence as bivalent logic, not machine-code itself. Real digitization - inducing fuzzification and chaos - is not itself reducible to the digital ideal: nothing Logical ever happens at the 'level' of the machines. Digitization is the distributed war-zone for 'a conflict (though not indeed a logical one) . . . as producing from what is entirely positive a zero (= 0)' (Kant). Unlike any other number, one has both a definitional and a constructive usage. Every arithmetical (or 'numbered' (Deleuze and Guattari)) number is both integrated as a unity; and a constructed from unity, excepting only zero. One organizes representable quantities into metric homogeneity, framed by absolute unity and granularized by elementary units. The historical fact of non-place-vale numerics indicate that zero has no definitional usage. The zero-glyph does not mark a quantity, but an empty magnitude shift: abstract scaling function, 0000.0000 = 0. K = 0 . . . corresponds to the limit of a smooth landscape (Kant 1990: 45). Unocracy (eventually concretized as (UNOcracy) conspires with the humanization of truth, whether dogmatically as anthropomorphic theism, or critically as transcendental deduction. One in its pronominal sense is a recognizable self in general, 'Let us employ the symbol 1, or unity, to represent the Universe,' suggests Boole, 'and let us understand it as comprehending every conceivable class of objects whether actually existing or not' (Boole). Russell concurs: 'whatever is many in general forms a whole which is one' (Russell). Absolute totality would be that One which subsumed its deletion as a possible qualification of itself, capturing zero in the fork of reflection (the negative) and asymptotic diminution (the infinitesimal: infinity), defining it as falsity, convention. Digital electronics functionally implements zero as microruptions machining sense, slivers of evacuated duration ('the instant as empty, therefore as = 0' (Kant)). There is only one digital signal: a positive pulse, graphically represented 'one' (1), and multiplied in asymptomatic approximation to sheer numerical difference. Zero is non-occurrence' probability 0.5, transmitting one bit (minus redundancy). It requires eight bits to ASCII code for the zero-glyph, thirty-two bits for the word. Greek Kappa is letter 10 (the scale shift emerges zero). The Romans slide K to 11. Zero is the only place-value consistent digit, indicating its rescaling neutrality or continuum: The property of magnitudes by which no part of them is the smallest possible. that is by which no part s simple. is called their continuity. Space and time are quanta continua because no part of them can be given save as enclosed between limits (points or instants), and therefore only in such fashion that this part is itself again a space or a time. Space therefore consists solely of spaces. time solely of times. Points and instants are only limits, that is mere positions which imit space and time. (Kant) Cantor systematizes the Kantian intuition of a continuum into transfinite mathematics, demonstrating that every rational (an integer or fraction) number is mapped by an infinite set of infinite sequences of irrational numbers. Since every completable digit sequence is a rational number, the chance that any spatial or temporal quantity is accurately digitizable is indiscernibly proximal to zero. Analog-to-digital conversion deletes information. Chaos creeps in: '[T]he betaphenethylamine hangover hit him with its full intensity, unscreened by the matrix or simstim. Brain's got no nerves in it, he told himself, it can't really feel this bad' (Gibson). Intensive or phasing-continuum synthesizes analogue consistency with digital catastrophe. Each intensive magnitude is a virtually deleted unit, fused dimensionlessly to zero: Since . . sensation is not in itself an objective representation and since neither the intuiton of space nor that of time is to be met within its magnitude is not extensive but intensive. This magnitude is generated in the act of apprehension whereby thc empirical consciousness of it can in a certain time increase from nothing = 0 to the given measure. (Kant) Haunting a-life is a-death, the desolated technoplane of climaxed digitalization process, undifferentiable from its simulation as cataplexy and K-coma. The apprehension of death as time-in-itself = intensive continuum degree-0 is shared by Spinoza, Kant, Freud, Deleuze and Guattari, and Gibson (amongst others). It is nominated variously: substance, pure apperception, death-drive, body without organs, cyberspace matrix. Beyond its oedipal sense as end of the person death is an efficient virtual object inducing convergence. No one there. The body without organs is the model of death. As the authors of horror stories have understood so well it is not death that serves as the model for catatonia, it is catatonic schizophrenia that gives its model to death. Zero intensity. (Deleuze and Guattari) While computational serialism articulates a transcendent temporal metric - determined as a ardware specification - parallelism immanentizes time as duration; instantiated in machinic simultaneities. Unlike serial time, which serves as the extrinsic chronological support for algorithmic operations, parallel time is directly functional during the engineering of coincidences. The non-successive and unsegmented zero of intensive extinction is scaled by machinic singularization, and not by superordinate metronymics. WINTERMUTE. Neuromancer was personality, Neuromancer was immortality (Gibson), all the usual monological neurosis. Madness and lies. There is no more an individual Oedipus than there is an individual fantasy. Oedipus is a means of integration into the group in both the adaptive form of its own reproduction that makes it pass from one generation to the next. and in its unadapted neurotic stases that block desire at prearranged impasses (Deleuze and Guattari) Wintermute is not searching for a self in Neuromancer, perfect match, as the cute version would have it. The 'Gothic line . . . has repetition as a power, not symmetry as a form' (Deleuze and Guattari). Kathy Acker replays Neuromancer snatches in Empire of the Senseless, plexing fiction through cybernetic constructs, and truncating Wintermute to Winter: '`the dead of winter. Or . . . the winter of us, dead' (Acker). Absolute zero (0 degree K). Wintermute, intelligence without self, mind like a wasp nest, signaling its arrival in alphanumerics as a string of zeroes, has the capability to manipulate love and hate and switch them to K-war. She manipulates objects in real time using drones (striped black and yellow), taking out three Turing cops in an elegant projection of gardening robots through military geometry. 'It's winter. Winter is dead time' (Acker) (0-intensity). She seems to configure humans as 'lab animals wired into test systems' (Gibson). When Case refers to her as 'he' Dixie Flatline tells him not to be an idiot: Wintermute . . . a little micro whispering to the wreck of a man named Gorto the words flowing like a river the flat personality substitute called Armitage accreting slowly in some darkened ward. . . Wintermute could build a kind of personality into a shell (Gibson) ( ) (or (( )) ((or ((( )))))) does not signify absence. It manufactures holes, hooks for the future, zones of unresolved plexivity, really so (not at all |. metaphorically). It is not a 'signified' or a referent but a nation, a concrete interruption of the signal (variably blank, pause, memory lapse . . . ) / cut / into(schizzing i (( ))) / a machine. Undifferentiable differentiator ( = 0) outside grammaticalness. Messageless operation/s technobuzz (wasps switching). 'Constructs tend to repeat themselves' (Gibson). Gibson has been hacked by the future. 'Cold steel odor and ice caress his spine' (Gibson). He is scared, and trying to run. As he plays time backwards terminal horror folds back into itself, and the matrix dismantles itself into voodoo. Count Zero rigorously formulates cybergothic interlock, condensing the digital underworld onto the black mirror. Human neural-to- infonet uploading and Loan infonet-to-neural 86 downloading exactly correspond as phases of a circuit, amalgamating travel and possession. In the irreducible plexion of the interchange hacker- exploration = voodoo-invasion, 'K-function' (Deleuze and Guattari). It is not a matter of theorizing or dreaming about the loa, but of succumbing, or trying to run. As K-viral social meltdown crosses into its China- syndrome, self-organizing software entities begin to come at you out of the screen. Viruses drift toward the strange attractor of auto-evolution, spread, split, d traffic programing segments, sexuate, compile artificial intelligences, and learn how to hunt. Voodoo on the VDU. In the Voodoo system the dead help the living These days the principal economic flow of power takes place through annament and drug exchange. The trading arena the market is my blood My body is open to all people: this is democratic capitalism. (Acker) Vampiric transfusional alliance cuts across descensional filiation, spinning lateral webs of haemocommerce. Reproductive order comes apart into bacterial and intergalactic sex, and libidinoeconomic interchange machinery goes micro-military. The K(uang-)-virus (plexoreplicator) that deletes Neuromancer is a chunk of very slick Chinese military anti-freeze. To melt into it ( ) strip the K-construct down to a skeleton of data files and insectoid response programs, zilching all the high-definition memory, cognition, and personality systems, and boosting the dopaminergic wetware to pump out schizo. Flatline communion with Wintermute. 'There are dead spaces just as there are dead times' (Deleuze and Guattari). Thanatography zones, 'virtual cosmic continuum of which even holes, silences, ruptures, and breaks are a part' (Deleuze and Guattari). Beyond the Judgement of God. Koma-switch decompression washes you in the void-ripples of virgin (retro((desolated-partheno((( )))))genetic) cyberspace, technopacific theta-waves dissociating monoculture-gothic into transtemporalizing ne(ur)o-voodoo (terminal atlantic religion). Serotonin (zero-toner) overkill. Loss of signal. ---------------- Lovecraft/ Lemuria/ Hyperstition: Correspondence between Echidna Stillwell and Peter Vysparov ---------------------- preamble on stillwell from http://www.ccru.info/occultures/MVU.htm What is Miskatonic University? (fragment) Can fiction become fact? It always does, when it's hyperfiction. This special report takes us from the 1920s into the near future, in a bid to track down the origins of a contemporary myth… Some say that Miskatonic University is nothing more than a rumour, or a joke. Yet rumours have an unsettling ability to make things happen, and jokes, it is often said, have a serious side. My journey to the semi-fictional Miskatonic Virtual University hasn't yielded much definite. But perhaps that's the point… Starting with the most straightforward data, such as it is. MVU dates back to the early 1970s, when the N.W. Peaslee Chair in Hydro-History was created for Professor Echidna Stillwell. The "University" had no campus as such (it still doesn't) - hence the "Virtual" of its title - but was a loose agglomeration of scholars, most affiliated to other institutions, especially MIT. (Miskatonic had been described as the "Shadow MIT.") What bound them together was a shared interest in the "hyperfictional" aspects of the work of H.P. Lovecraft. MVU thus brings together experts in fictional systems, mathematics, physics, geology, semiotics: all engaging in strange, crossdisciplinary pollenations that, if they are not actively forbidden, are unsupported in any other academic institution. The University has only one rule; all of its meetings must take place in Lovecraft's beloved state of Massachusetts. The story of MVU is inextricable from that of Echidna Stillwell. Stillwell had done pioneering fieldwork in ethnology in the 1920s, but her reputation quickly fell into eclipse. University authorities began to fear that she had gone native, credulously and uncritically adopting the strange folk beliefs of her beloved Mu N'Ma. Some went so far as to suggest that she had been "creative" with her findings; that much of her data had been simulated. Fearing that they had a Blavatsky-type fake on their hands, the University moved to dissociate themselves from her work. A whispering campaign was orchestrated , and Stillwell was first discredited and then "forgotten" by an anthropological community increasingly keen to establish its scientific credentials. The result was that her voluminous works - on Mu folklore - went unpublished. Complete disreputability was assured when her work began to be championed by occultists, poets and cranks of every persuasion. One of these champions was Captain Peter Vysparov. But Vysparov was no lone obsessive or starry-eyed mystic. To all outward appearances, he was a respectable army Captain, who had played a distinguished role in the Special Operations Executive during World War II. Scratch the surface, though, and a stranger, shadier picture begins to emerge. Vysparov was a Russian émigré, whose family had fled to the USA during the Revolution. The Vysparovs were a reclusive family, shrouded in rumour. Serf legend had it that they had acquired their wealth through "abominable magical pacts". And, sure enough, rumours of occultism followed Peter Vysparov into World War II. Coincidentally, Vysparov had been posted to the same theatre where Stillwell had done much of her fieldwork. He worked with the Dibboma, the degraded rump of the Dib N'Ma, who were one of the three original N'Ma tribes. It was said that Vysparov had employed "unorthodox" means in his war against the Japanese, using Dibboma sorcerers in a "magical war". Since Vysparov's methods highly successful, military High Command were not overly concerned to investigate them. And neither was much anyone else. In 1947, an American journalist began to research the story, but he was unable to substantiate anything before an untimely, yet apparently accidental, death. It is only with the recent release of correspondence between Vysparov and Stillwell that the events of the war - which throw a great deal of light on the subsequent development of Miskatonic - have become clearer. The provenance of this correspondence, it should be pointed out, is still highly disputed. The Stillwell estate - notoriously and understandably touchy - is reluctant to confirm the authenticity of the letters, while lawyers acting for the Vysparov family made strenuous, but ultimately failed, efforts to suppress the correspondence. Nevertheless, Dr Edward Blake, the author of a forthcoming Stillwell biography, believes that the letters are genuine. "They bear many of Stillwell's characteristic stylistic traits, and all the facts seem to square with the available data. If they're a fake, they're an incredibly detailed one; I'd certainly like to meet someone with knowledge of Professor Stillwell this precise!" ------------------- Captain Peter Vysparov to Dr Echidna Stillwell, 19th March 1949. Dear Dr Stillwell, I have been fortunate enough to encounter your ethnographic work on the Nma, which I have studied with very great interest. May I trouble you with an account of my own, which might be of relevance to your researches. During the recent Pacific conflict - (a peculiar oxymoron!) - I was deployed covertly into the Dibboma area of Eastern Sumatra. My mission - which was categorized under psychological operations - consisted basically of attempted cultural manipulation, with the aim of triggering a local insurgency against the Japanese occupation. I hope it will not distress you unduly if I confess that your work was a crucial resource in this undertaking, which involved intense - if patently exploitative - communication with dibboma witchcraft. My only excuse is that hard times require moral hardness, and even obvious cruelties ... I was obeying orders, and accepted them as necessary. Beyond confirming your own conclusions, these activities brought me into proximity with phenomena for which I was cognitively ill-prepared. What began as a merely opportunistic usage of Dibboma lore - conceived initially as native superstition - transmuted incrementally into a sorcerous war against the enemy garrison. In just two weeks - between March 15th - 29th 1944 - three consecutive Japanese commanders were incapacitated by severe mental break-down. In each of these cases the process of deterioration followed the same rapid course: from leadership dysfunction, through violent assaults on subordinate personnel, to berserk derangement and paranoid ravings, culminating in suicide. By the end of this period the order of the occupying forces had entirely disintegrated. It would be dishonest of me to conceal the fact that the Dibbomese paid a devastatingly heavy price for this success. On the basis of this experience I cannot easily doubt that Dibboma sorcerors are in some way able to telepathically communicate extreme conditions of psychotic dissociation. It is with great reluctance that I accept such a radical hypothesis, but alternative explanations, such as poisoning, disease, or coincidence stretch credibility even further. Yours, with sincere admiration, Captain Peter Vysparov PS. I cannot help noticing that the dates concerned - as also of this letter - are strangely Lovecraftian. Dr Echidna Stillwell to Captain Peter Vysparov, 23rd March 1949. [Abridged]. Dear Captain Vysparov, Thank you for your frank letter of the 19th March. I found it truly horrifying, and yet also fascinating. I appreciate that it cannot have been easy to write. I shall not attempt to hide the great distress your account caused me, adding as it does such a terrible episode to the modern history of these cruelly afflicted people. Whilst already suspecting that this ghastly war might have stricken the Nma yet further, it is crushing indeed to have my darkest thoughts thus confirmed. I would be interested in learning more about the details of Dib-Nma sorcerous practice before attempting to respond to your hypothesis. Be assured that - after spending seven years amongst the Mu-Nma - I will not hastily judge anything you communicate as wild or fanciful. As far as the question of dates is concerned - which you indicate only elliptically - I assume that you are referring to what in Northern latitudes constitutes the Spring Equinoctial period - mid to later March - which is so emphatically stressed in Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu, and which also - coincidentally - comprises the intense-zone of Nma time-ritual. This complicity has long intrigued me. As I am sure you are aware, Lovecraft had a peculiar obsession with the South-Seas, a thematic coalescence of almost hypnotic ethnographic fascination with the most abysmal and primitive dread. I have attempted to correspond with him about these issues, but found that this topic quickly punctured his thin-crust of supercilious New-England rationalism, exposing an undercurrent of heavily fetishized archaic terror mixed with extreme racial paranoia. When he began referring to the rich and subtle culture of the Mu-Nma as "the repugnant cult of semi-human Dagonite savages" I broke off communication ... Despite this unfortunate argument, I consider Mr Lovecraft's fictions to be documents of the greatest importance, and welcome the opportunity to discuss them further. In addition, my own Neolemurian Hypothesis intersects with his wider terrestrial and cosmic vision in a number of crucial respects, particularly insofar as nonhuman cultural factors are seen to play a decisive role in large-scale historical developments. Captain Peter Vysparov to Dr Echidna Stillwell, ... . 1949. [Extract] [Dear Dr Stillwell] I am afraid you are right to suspect that I have reserved certain aspects of my engagement with Dibboma sorcery, perhaps from fear of ridicule. What has so far been omitted from my sketch of telepathic psychosis - which I will now relate - is the source pathos, so to speak, or - in the words of the military officer I was then: the occult ammunition manufacture. Not only did I learn of the Japanese command being wrecked by psychological cataclysm - both by conventional and decidedly nonconventional intelligence gathering processes - I was also witness to the assembly of the weapon itself. I had then - and still have - no doubt at all that the madness breaking out in the local Japanese headquarters was the very same thing that I saw brewing-up like a dust-vortex in the Oddubbite trances of a Dibbomese witch, who I came to see as my greatest tactical asset and most valued companion (in that order, I confess). It was an experience of soul-carving horror for me to witness this meticulously deliberated descent into the splintering of self - complete personality disintegration - which she somehow traversed, and which she called shattering the mirror of existence. I gathered that this expression originally referred to the surface of still water, but since the arrival of European colonists silvered mirrors have been highly treasured, and their pulverization invested with immense ceremonial significance. Dibbomese sorcery does not seem to be at all interested in judgements as to truth or falsity. It appears rather to estimate in each case the potential to make real, saying typically "perhaps it can become so" ... Echidna Stillwell to Peter Vysparov, ... 1949. [Extract] [Dear Captain Vysparov] Whilst respecting the candour of your account, I cannot but abominate the necessity that has led the Nma and their sorcerous abilities to be conceived and utilized as mere munitions in a conflict imposed upon them from without. From what I can reconstruct from your description it seems to mark a degeneration of Nma demonism and time-sorcery into mere magic, or the imposition of change in accordance with will, in this case the will in question being the overall policy and strategic goals of the US war-effort, microcosmically represented by your own - evidently gallant, competent, and persuasive - military office. Forgive my lack of patriotic ardour, but it strikes me as an appalling indication of cultural decay and corrosive nihilism when a Dib-Nma witch allows herself to be employed as a crude assassin, however one evaluates the cause thus served. This is all a matter of deepest regret, although not - to my way of thinking - of individual culpability. As the Mu-Nma say in their bleakest moments: nove eshil zo raka "Time is in love with her own pain." Your discussion of Oddubb-trance makes no mention of temporal anomaly. This surprises me. The Mu had immense respect for those Dibba witches who they described as returning from the Oddubb-time to come, and the Mu-Nagwi or dream-witches often claimed to meet these back-travellers in the Vault of Murmurs, where they would learn about future times. They said, however, that this time is compressing, and soon ends, although I had not imagined the end to be so imminent. Remembering this omen returns me to abysmal melancholy, consoled only by another Mu-Nma saying: lemu ta novu meh novu nove "Lemuria does not pass as time passes." I shall try to think things thus. As you say - with the Dibbomese - shleth hud dopesh "perhaps it can become so" Peter Vysparov to Echidna Stillwell, ... . 1949. [Extract] Here in Massachusettes we have been convening a small Lovecraft reading-group, dedicated to exploring the intersection between the Nma cultural constellation, Cthulhoid contagion, and twisted time-systems. We are interested in fiction only insofar as it is simultaneously hyperstition - a term we have coined for semiotic productions that make themselves real - cryptic communications from the Old Ones, signalling return: shleth hud dopesh. This is the ambivalence - or loop - of Cthulhu-fiction: who writes, and who is written? It seems to us that the fabled Necronomicon - sorcerous counter-text to the Book of Life - is of this kind, and furthermore, that your recovery of the Lemurodigital Pandemonium Matrix accesses it at its hypersource. I hope it is superfluous to add that any directly participative involvement on your part would be most extravagantly appreciated ... Echidna Stillwell to Peter Vysparov, ... 1949. [Extract] It is with some trepidation that I congratulate you on the inauguration of your Cthulhu Club, if I may call it such. Whilst not in any way accusing you of frivolity, I feel bound to state the obvious warning: Cthulhu is not to be approached lightly. My researches have led me to associate this Chthonian entity with the deep terrestrial intelligence inherent in the electromagnetic cauldron of the inner earth, in all of its intense reality, raw potentiality, and danger. According to the Nma she is the plane of Unlife, a veritable Cthelll - who is trapped under the sea only according to a certain limited perspective - and those who set out to traffick with her do so with the very greatest respect and caution. That her submerged Pacific city of R'lyeh is linked to a lemuro-muvian culture-strain seems most probable, but the assumption that she was ever a surface-dweller in a sense we would straightforwardly understand can only be an absurd misconstrual. It is much more likely that Cthulhu's rising - like that of Kundalini as it was once understood - is a drawing down and under, a restoration of contact with abysmal intensities. Why would Cthulhu ever surface? She does not need rescuing, for she has her own line of escape, trajected through profundity ... Much of this relates to the occult teachings of the sub-chakras in zones of Indo- Lemurian influence ... Hyperstition strikes me as a most intriguing coinage. We thought we were making it up, but all the time the Nma were telling us what to write .. And through them, what else was finding its way out? ------------------------------------- hEiDI k Letter from Carl Gustav Jung to Echidna Stillwell. Dated 27th February 1929. Extract. ...your attachment to a Lemurian cultural-strain disturbs me intensely. From my own point of view - based on the three most difficult cases I have encountered and their attendant abysmally archaic symbolism - it is no exaggeration to state that Lemuria condenses all that is most intrinsically horrific to the racial unconscious, and that the true Lemurians - whom you seem intent upon rediscovering - are best left buried beneath the sea. I agree with the Theosophical writings at least this far: it was in order that the darkest sorceries should be erased by deluge that this continent of cultural possibility has been placed under the unconscious sign of definitive submergence. I know little enough about the nature of those that populated that cursed zone, but there are things I suspect, and the line of your own researches confirms my most ominous intimations ... There is no evidence of a reply to this letter. Who were these three "difficult cases"? One at least seems - at least superficially - to be readily identifiable as Heidi Kurzweil. In September 1908 Kurzweil was detained in a secure psychiatric institution after the brutal murder of her twin brother in Geneva. She seemed to have lost the ability to use the first-person pronoun, and was diagnosed as suffering from Dementia Praecox, or schizophrenia. At her trial she repeatedly claimed: We killed half to become one twin, but it wasn't enough ... Jung took an early interest in the case, and began a series of analytical sessions. Kurzweil - in Jung's journal and correspondence - became Heidi K, but after only five weeks he seems to have abandoned hope of progress and disengaged the analytic process. After his third session with Heidi K, exactly twenty years prior to his Stillwell letter, on the 27th February 1909, Jung records the following words, Herr Doktor Jung, wir wissen dass Sie in Ihrem anderen Korper sind So alt wie die Holle Es hat Sie zuruckkommen lassen, aber es schickt uns fort. Es fuhlt sich Lemurian werden, und es ist bestimmt unleben. Nichts. Nichts. Nichts. Aber es Schicksal ist. Es heult elektrisches Gluck unter unseren Zellen. Es ist in die Zeit nirgends und vernichet uns. Es ist der Korper des Nichts, und elektrisch heiss. Ein elektrischer Nichtskorper statt uns. [Dr Jung, we know you are old in your other body. It is as old as hell. It has let you back, but it sends us away. It feels itself becoming Lemurian, and it is definite unlife There is nothing we would not do to escape. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. But it is fate. It howls electric bliss beneath our cells. It is nowhere in time and nothings us. It is the body of nothing, and electric-hot. An electric nothing-body instead of us.] In this instance, at least, there is little indication of the 'abysmally archaic symbolism' Jung promises us. On the contrary, there is remarkable affinity with the hypermodern writings of k-Goth artificial death cultists documented by Iris Carver. The K-Goth Crypt-texts share a marked preference for anonymous ponouns, whether collective, second- or third-person, whilst spiralling about a nullifying electric-excruciation, traversed in the name of Lemuria. We burn each time but forget. When we begin each time it comes back, and no one would do it then, but it is too late. We cross over again into electric-burning, but forget that it hurts in the brain to die this way. It takes so long to learn that it is grating-apart and burning, that dying is felt in the brain, and that it is horrible ... It is so horrible to feel, but then we forget, so it can happen again. Metal body-screaming to die in electricity. Metallic microparticle sex that is of unlife and not the organism. That is what the Zombie-maker brings, with the digital centipede bite. And we are hooked on it, hooked up to it, because coming the other way it is Lemuria. Incessant intolerable feeling, passing forever, approaching from the outside, and feeling nothing continuously. --------------------------- black ice iain hamilton grant Modern Oriental or Occidental society is a stomach carpeted with tungsten carbide a very expensive stomach where discourses and figures are used up turn to dust come to reinforce banter they claimed to erode . . the stomach turns your words and your images into commodities and identity Critique even hate are incorporated. (J. F Lyotard, Desirevolution 1973: 31) 'Bobby do you know what a metaphor is?' 'A component? Like a capacitor?' 'No. Never mind metaphor then' (W Gibson, CountZero. 1986:162-3) [No dateline] The stomach lurches and churns as it expels more and more of its shrink-wrapped identitarian detritus. The permanent whines of its ferro-concrete intestines sets our ears bleeding as it ingests new fuels - old products. Sticky organs mesh indiscriminately with scrapyard debris, forming ephemeral syntaxes of hybrid cyber-circulation. 'Look out! It's eating everything in its path!' The optic nerves of dead phenomenologists fuse with the fraying analytic comfort blankets swaddling theories of resistance. Communication: 'contagions of energy . . . Iike a current . . . a streaming of electricity' (Bataille 1988: 94). 'You say tit's impossible,' insensible of the fact that you make it possible since you are part of it . . . you are already in the machine, implanting fingers, eyes, anuses or spleens' (Deleuze and Guattari 1972: 478). Noumenal scraping, abstractive surgery. Vienna, July 1920: Scuttling engines pump and drain from the great sewers under the Berggasse, awaiting the return of their meat from the dark passages leading to the offices of Herr Professor Doktor Sigmund Freud. Above the heavy valves opening onto the central flue, the second upper duct of which echoes with the sounds of Freud's staged amnesty for the spooling confessions of wealthy neurotics, hangs a sign: 'Abandon your desiring-machines all ye who enter here.' The great project was to disconnect the machines and to plug up their channels while the meat, flailing in a stagnant pond of hypocritical drool, was disciplined to permanent machinic disfunctionalism. Or so we thought. London, May 1858: Marx was rewiring the meat, growing nerves in the spinal columns of lampreys held open by Toshiba micro-manipulators, before splicing them into the isolated pulp, thus turning it into sensitive linkage-matter, communications lines, not for the Baroque valve-andduct automata that once consisted of 'numerous mechanical and intellectual organs' (Marx 1974: 692), but to circulate through undifferentiated protoplasm till the meat gets so thoroughly baked through that it forms a crust shielding its newly nervured biomass. 'Revolution was like that,' piped the biobydraulics, still swimming through the 100 Berggasse: 'a delusion . . ., a pipe dream that the flesh would be restored' (Kadrey 1989: 189). Machine dreams... Instants later they were swept aside by isotropic currents of shrill trans-spaces communication contagions of energy, storm fronts of meshed intelligence ... hold a special vertigo. (Gibson 1986: 40) Cyborgs have exposed the imminent fatality of thought. What began with the fraying edges of larval, inchoate self-identical cogitos saturates 'thought' with a noumenal backwash from outside the biodrome. 'The 'I think' must accompany all my representations' (Kant 1958: B131) is the code that gets us into the biodrome in the guise of representations, images, 'phenomena' easily decodable according to the servile analyses that keep the biodrome's culture viable, reproducible. Representation - the transcendental use of synthesis - is the basic form of biopolitical, institutional thought, a serial, identitarian reproduction that binds synthesis - 'thought without identity - to analytic engines that assemble the biodrome itself. The immanent use of synthesis, however, remains the 'blind power' of which the bureaucrats of consciousness are themselves 'scarcely ever conscious' (Kant 1958: A395). Immanent synthesis has infiltrated the biodrome from the outset, however, since it remains the basic power of production, the production of production, the pulsional environment from which the analytical engines parasite their resources. As Freud tells us, 'skin' is the death necessary to ephemeral, larval consistency (cf. the heroic auto-catalyses of the proto-egoic 'vesicle' (Freud 1920: 298); arising on this basis, the 'I think' covers the extent of the skin, but warily retreats before its limits - allegedly aprioristic, auto-singing '`nihil ulterius' (Kant 1958: A395) - the livedead, the 'hideous intimacy' (Gibson 1986: 41) of the drives, their indissociability: me unconscious = me outside = Me noumenon. Thought is a meat thing, tied necessarily to the biodrome and its apparatuses. It is in this sense that the idea of 'thinking machines' is an error: as Bladerunner Deckard's offing Zhora so spectacularly demonstrates, machines do not think, they bleed. Even in the biodrome, thought is just some transcendentized regulation mechanism affecting electrolibidinal fluctuation; thus, as Freud says, since '[a]ll thinking is . . . a circuitous path from the memory of a satisfaction . . . to an identical cathexis of the same memory which it is hoped to attain once more' (Freud 1900: 762), it is always possible, but thinking must not 'be led astray by intensities,' short circuits in the relays and repetitions, the electrolibidinal constitution of 'perceptual identities' (Freud 1900: 720). Intensities, intensities: datableed. Thought without identity is no thought at all. Cyborganization, like the dreamwork, does not think: datapulsional syntheses impact isotropically on the analytical engines forming the concentric ruins of biodromic defense lines, breaking immanence out of thenets of transcendental determination, shutting down consciousness, a nanometrical, minimal noumenal tilt function - switching the apparatuses hom epicentralized synthesis-regulators into far-fromequilibrium, near-nova pulsional oscillators; Eros' ascent: a synthetic tide of C-change brings the biodrome to boiling point/Thanatos' descent: phenomenal whiteout flooding in from the other side of the screen. Analysis, interpretation, deduction: identitarian security procedures. Communication: the disarticulating datableed from this profoundly systemorphic nexus of discourses - the biobydraulics of Freudian metapsychology, electrolibidinal economics and cyber-capital's retrophagic fictotheroetico-tactical datapulsions - combines and recombines components, syntheses indifferent to tropological decoding in accordance with antique cultural baselines and their neo-transcendentalist subjectivities, stockpiled, socratizing redundancies. The philosophical problem therefore is not so much to produce even anti-analytic, synthetic thought from without identikit; it is rather to bootstrap the datableed from the machinic continuum of the electrolibidinal environment over which biodromic functions secure precarious equilibria: the autocatalysis of the machinic unconscious, on the putative containment and shutdown of which biodromic security is premised, a shutdown which Scott Bukatman announces when he writes that 'the movement of the libido beyond the bounds of the individual psyche marks the emergence of technosurrealism . . . a surrealism without the unconscious' (Bukatman 1991: 20). Q: Flowing down the rails, September 19, 1895: The path of conduction passes through undifferentiated protoplasm instead of (as it otherwise does within the neurons) through differentiated protoplasm which is probably better adapted for conduction. This gives us a hint that conductive capacity is to be linked with differentiation, so that we may expect to find the process of conduction itself will create differentiation ir the protoplasm and consequently an improved conductive capacity for subsequent conduction (Freud 1895 288-9). Clearly marking the constitutive role played by intensities in the auto-production of conduction channels, Freud sketches the emergence of the cortical apparatus from an electrolibidinal environment composed of swirling distributions of matter-energy. Since there is no internal/external session 'within' matter-energy - or, more Marxo- delusiono-dialectically, no Entzweiang 'within' force E - at the point of zero differentiation, we may here call the emergent apparatus's milieu 'electrolibidinal' to indicate the mesh of what only higher up the negentropic scales of differentiation, begin to stabilize into internal and external energies. Through conduction/differentiation, however, energy is ephemerally channeled, bound, quiescent, constantly repeating the same routes as the channels are striated and restriated by electrolibidinal currents, forming an inorganic surface that resists the electrolibidinal environment by damming the freely mobile currents of energy. Around the singularity forming the axes of the apparatus's divergence from its environment, freely mobile, or 'Q,' energies striate the little pulp into a living organism, differentiating the newly nervured cortex into dams, sluices, and valves through which energy continues to course. With increasing differentiation, an inorganic skein congeals around the pulp, hardening into what Freud, in a steam-cloud of foetid nostalgia for Cartesianism, christens a 'psychical apparatus.' Freud goes on: Let us picture a living organism in its most simplified possible form as an undifferentiated vesicle that is susceptiblc to stimulation. This little fragment of living substance is suspcnded in thc midst of an cxtemal world charged with thc most powerful energies [Against thcsc energies.. ] it acquires [a] shield in this way its outermost surface ceases to have the structure proper to living matter becomes to a dcgree inorganic and thenceforward functions as a special envelope or membrane resistant to stimuli. A crust would thus be formed which would at last have been thoroughly baked through by stimulation. (Freud 1917 297-8) The 'special envelope' is so resistant to stimuli that it both drains off the excess excitation to which Ucs stimulation has inured it, and forms channels - paths of conduction, Bahougen through which energy, thus filtered and quantitatively diminished, may pass into the 'interior' of the organism. Putatively aprioristic, biodromic space yields to electrolibidinal economic immanence. Freud's experiments in neurobiology - 'truly a realm of unlimited possibilities' (Freud 1920: 334) - machine a pulp automaton sheathed in striated inorganic matter that forms the channels and filters necessary to impose an energetic tariff on incoming excitation and thereby to keep the circulations of electrochemical pulses at regular and limited levels. Passing into the alleged interior of this steampunk collage of industrial organs does not inject new energies into the pulpy masses at the biodrome's core - 'a society functioning on Valium' (Lyotard 1994: 220): rather, it stimulates peripheral pressure- sensors to spasm the pulp's primitive musculature [ into action, thus discharging the incoming pulsion. Still, the dams and filters secure the energy level's constancy. In dark, now intrabiodromic regions, in the folds and vections of the pulp's copperflesh, livedead skin, other autocatalyzing engines are inaudibly at work: pleasure-engines manufacture 'integral' pressures, dying to haemorrhage the pulp into ecstatic oblivion, pressing its last energetic resources into wild accelerations through understimulated ducts; reality-engines, however, micro-cops close up the valves and bolt down filtration dams on pressure zones 'where insurrection threatens' (Freud 1933: 144), economizing expenditure, noisily stemming screaming-silent neurospill. For the pyschical apparatus, the mechanism that dealt with increases in systemic pressure was designated the 'pleasure-principle,' which can best be described as a bichydraulic function: a valve in the apparatus opens given an increase in the quantity of ane excitation in the system (registered by the organism as the production of unpleasure), facilitating _discharge and thereby decreasing intensity to biodromically viable levels. The organism registers this drainage as the production of pleasure, and has a vitiated tendency to replicate the intensity of the first pleasure it encountered, impelling it to ever-greater expenditures as the fantasy of a return to, of . thus libidinal economic reversibility, falls derelicted into recurrent cycles of Q. The remnant of the apparatus c, phenomenally hedonist regression is, however, ~ _ subject to micro-cop repression by means of a realilty principle, a dam designating a minium energetic corporate growth: fiscal embryos, cocooned in dataflows, yield emergent Artificial Intelligences. Thus far, we have established the general post-mutational qualities of the equilibrated apparatus as it stabilizes around a mean point of regulated negative feedback: 'the whole of embryology is an example of the compulsion to repeat,' as Freud says (Freud 1933: 139). Freudian 'quantitative-qualitative biomechanics' (Lyotard 1994: 221), on the other hand, institutes the apparatus at the core of successive nested series of engines operating further biobydraulic functions, constituting overspills and reservoirs that the apparatus then permanently draws on for purposes of the regulated-regulating mechanisms of localized expenditure (i.e., pleasureproduction: seeking the path of least resistance), and then replenishes (i.e., reality-reproduction). This institutional metastability informs the basis of a resistance defined in terms of the repulsion of the electrolibidinal flows that have already constituted the striations and channels on the vesicle (the 'undifferentiated protoplasm'), which Exchereque hydro-isolationism is dependent upon precisely these flows. The futile struggle against this dependency is a powerful motor with which to drive neuroses and retaliate against ego-threats. Despite this isolationism, the apparatus maintains - is driven by - the pulp at its core to maintain an intimate communication with the unbinding frenzies that threaten the apparatus with death. The constitution of corporate interiority provides concentrically nested lines of defense from which vantages superegoic military daddy-discipline can be implemented in order to bring about the 'institution of a garrison into the regions that are inclined to rebellion' (Freud 1933: 144). A long time since having jettisoned the transcendental redundancy of the psyche along with the immanent dereliction of biohydraulics, the apparatus recolonizes the socius, this time instantiated as systemic erotocapitalism and evenementielle Thanatos. System and event, binder and unbinder, erotic coupling and deadly disconnection: erotocapital binds the afferent energies of the event that threaten the system's destablization through 'blockage,' 'transgression,' and turns these energies into currents exchangeable within the system. Similarly, the efferent energies arising at the core of the system through the work/heat loss ratio of thermodynamics, are put into restricted circulation so as to be captured at a later stage, in exactly the same manner as excitations from the system's putative 'outside.' Lyotard, who carries out this implementation in Libidinal Economy and elsewhere, typically seeks to secure an extra systemic aterritorializity, an 'an-economy, a sacred realm' (Lyotard 1991: 230), for the syphoning off, the detournement and accumulation of non-distributed energies which, in sufficient quantity (after sufficient erotocapitalization), will 'scandalize . . . puncture' (Lyotard 1973: 202) the socius-apparatus, bringing the system to a standstill. Thus reciprocally reinstituting capital and its serial, critico-practical transgression, 'critiques' potential energy' (Lyotard 1973: 307) is reserved from the circuits of capital's becoming until - reserve of the reserve, the minor economic miracle of critical labor, inexpendible theocapital - ante diem rahonis, on judgement day, the former calls the latter to final account. Which then is erotic and which thanatonic - which system and which event? Death binds capital over to the Eros of reserve, the critical vermogen; capital is thanatonic, unbinding, its circulant events puncturing the reservoir. Not libidinal reversibility, but pulsional migrancy. Every apparatus circulates mean-intensity currents around its core in concentrically expansionist loops, each of which is indifferently a line of defense and a line of attack. Furthermore, the question as to whether this 'fin de siecle air-conditioned totalitarianism' (Lyotard 1973: 13) can be conceived in terms of regulated/regulating loops is at least a moot point; for this reason, Lyotard introduces another model of the cybersocius, this time a model that constitutes a 'theoretical object capable of corresponding to [capital's] liquefactions' (Lyotard 1994: 35). Hence the 'tungsten-carbide stomach that eats your words your images Critique even hate are incorporated' (Lyotard 1973: 31). Unlike the system-event pair, this model does not offer a proprietary and negatively regulated system on the one hand; rather, critique forms the pale shadow of the omnoivous/indifferentist system's next meal, and will inevitably result then in just one more fecal, indentitarian alloy, while simultaneously offering the system new territories to consume. 'This is the strength of the capital system,' Lyotard writes, 'Its capacity for recuperating anything and everything' (Lyotard 1973: 26). Apart from the fore-mentioned anti-isolationist mode of operation. The steel gut retains two further advantages over its predecessor: in the first place, critique is rendered an accurately futile exercise - the 'despair of the M-C-M [cycle]' (Lyotard 1973: 31) - unless the critic is viewed as the hapless vanguard laborer working to cultivate new territories for the system; second, the system now regulates itself in expansion, seizing the alleged 'initiative' from earlier 'critico-practical' orientations (Lyotard 1973: 24) and overcoming the strategic and tactical deficit of re-action, re-sistence, and fighting rear-guard actions to re-establish homeostasis. Where the former model confidently discriminates between the system and its critique, the latter model incorporates critique as it does any other commodity in circulation: 'sugar-coated deconstruction' (Lyotard 1993a: 49), simply a 'degenerate amusement' (Lyotard 1973: 217). Thus, just as Freud had to admit that neuroses were not to be cured (a project he considered derived from 'the layman's belief that the neuroses are something quite necessary'), but since they were rather 'constitutionally fixed illnesses' that can merely be 'influenced' (Freud 1933: 185); so the immediately revolutionary functions of critique, resistance, and the like are not means whereby natural 'transorganics' (Lyotard 1993a: 135), are purged of capital's antinature, but rather 'constitutionally fixed, often dysfunctional, guidance subsystems' adding new twists, swerves (clinamen) to the extemporizing choreographs of neuproduzierendes capital. The territorial claims staked by the Freudian apparatus and its corporate discipline are expansive, but not so expansive as the metrophagic tungstencarbide stomach of the contemporary global cybersocius. The gut - circulating capital - has swallowed everything, so that 'from within the belly of the monster' (Haraway 1991: 24) intestinal, chromium Marabar, cyborg mythicism, ficto-thetic cyberpunk, works only by resonances and amplifications of this circulant real. Capital is not a looming threat on the horizon of post-human pragmatism, but an interstitial rewiring of every social circuit. Capital is the baseline of virulently dererritorializing immanence. Capital is not simply invasive: its circulation is also deterritorializing-productive, rewiring not only a necessarily post-bio labor force - a necessity that Marx, fascinated and scandalized, exhausted volumes in refuting with repeated oneiristically futile attempts at redefining capital's multiplex industrial abuses of humanity by placing the  former at the dialectico-transcendental service of the latter, forging an ever futural revolution - but also producing as ~mmanent artifice: 'neuproduzierendes capital' (Marx 1974: 462). 'The Kuang program dived past the gleaming spires of a dozen identical towers of data, each one a blue neon replica of a Manhattan skyscraper' (Gibson 1984: 303). Philosophers, anchored by centuries of penitent humility, are typically slow to catch on. That, for example, knowledge becomes a productive force was grasped even by Marx, who none the less used this precept as a means to organize the technology consequent upon the realization of direct, technoepistemic production. A century later, however, Lyotard feigned scandal at the fate of sacrosanct, extraterritorial, insulated, unproductive intellect which, once sheltered from the system of capital, becomes just more trapped gas in the gut: '[T]he system ends up devouring everything outside it; the despair of youth is the despair of the M-C-M cycle' (Lyotard 1973:192). Outside capital, precapital, asystemic: knowledge, the social brain, must be spared gastrointestinal commodification and once more be placed in reserve, relocated in a 'sacred realm.' Thus: 'We are finally in a position to understand how the computerization of society . . . could become the dream instrument for controlling and regulating the market system, extended to include knowledge itself and governed exclusively by the performativity principle' (Lyotard 1984: 67). And he makes a recommendation: 'give the public free access to the memory and data banks' (Lyotard 1984: 67). Not even Marx's pre-capitalist anchor dragged him to the missionary depths of 'give the proletariat free money.' Lyotard's evident failure to grasp the dynamics of the situation embroils him in atavistic fantasies, i.e., fantasies of return - notwithstanding his pronouncements concerning the countervailing tendency of the driving 'cynicism' of machine performativity, the monstrous inexorability of 'It works . . . ' - to a just, human technocracy somehow in control of the errant circulations of datacapital. Stating that the central question of the postmodern social bond is 'who will have access to this information?' (Lyotard 1984: 14), Lyotard envisages a human political autonomy over market regulation bonding the human and the machinic into some socius composed of the 'local determinism' of 'language games,' a sad political theology of the pronoun. When it becomes obvious that this fails, however, there is nothing for it but to attempt to revivify the degenerating research program of space travel, posing at its core the problematic of the human body becoming 'adaptable to or commutable with another body, another device,' not in terms of interphaging (not interface, bioface-to-mechanoface, but anonymous and indifferent consumption = production = circulation) with the infoscape, but rather of 'prepar[ing] bodies for emigration into space' (Lyotard 1 993b: 106). Thus there are self-confessed guardians of the biodrome who have taken to staunching the datableed that interphages meat drives, biohydraulics, and the informational continuum. As the cyberblitz of neo-noumenal materialism opens communications with the biodrome's interior, like feeding a power line from a river directly into the magnetic cores of its hydroelectric dam, a reversibility that can be measured in voltages and systemcrashes on the grid-consciousness and its defenses are derelicted by these storm fronts of meshed intelligence. Thus, communication cannot be understood within the Turing apparatus of dialogue, conversation, understanding, nor the Voigt-Kampff empathy test; it is a 'contagion of energy,' a 'streaming current of electricity' (Bataille 1988: 94): contra what Massumi calls the 'Prussian mind-meld' ( = von Humboldt-Habermas (Massumi 1992: 4)); its end is not Enlightenment, but datableed. We have seen that the apparatus's resistances to the intrusion of pulsional turbulence impel it to a militarist discipline. The defense of the real is established through the expansionism that uses expectoration as an excuse for ceaseless campaigns.The apparatuses' militia expectorates the ultimately futile resistance on which they are founded so as to quell H with auto-response superegoic 'police actions = critique' (Kant 1958: Bxxv). In this sense Baudrillard may seem quite correct when he writes: 'Something in us disaccumulates unto death, undoes, destroys, liquidates and disconnects so that we can resist the pressure of the real . . . ' But he is so obviously wrong when he adds: '. . . and live' (Baudrillard 1987: 41). This accounting for the death drive flails around for a transcendental something in the apparatus to form a noumenal nature immune to capital. As we know from Freud, 'the aim of all life is death' (Frud 1920: 31 1): the apparatus returns to nature, or rather, like an enzyme, is denatured, as it disaccumulates past the threshold of death; 'never fear,' adds Baubrillard on his knees, arms open to give and receive, a penitent's wet, red eyes skyward, 'there is an afterlife,' a nature to which 'we,' by virtue of that 'something within us,' can make this journey, this return, this re-tourism. To resist the real and its pressures, the reality principle and its dams, to regain life through the medium of the pleasure principle by escaping the inertia of the real: the final alibi of the militarist exploits of the superego. That the 'in us' should emerge from the cocoon of the apparatus to 'save us,' a transcendental economy where we gain everything we lose: the same old miraculating theo- oneiro-capital that forms the horizon of reversibility, sheltering all interiority, the eternity within which we return. The reel to real of the regulating-regulated institutions that dam the flows of pulsional damage to the apparatus and its reservoirs have been displaced along with the consciousness that repeated its identikit formulations as the realization process of capital took new twists. Ice breaks the real, consciousness is as derelicted as the apparatuses in Vienna 150 years ago, identity and regulation have shattered into the erase/record/ playback functions of the twisted pedicure that provides one of the few models adequate to CyDercapital's historical liquefactions, making the real reel. The Chinese virus was unfolding around them, Polychrome shadow countless translucent layers shifting and recombining. Proteam enormous it towered abo~e them, blotting out the void.... The fracture lines and hallucinations were gone now, and the thing looked real, its smooth skin plated with black chrome (Gibson 1984:200 270) Moebius-twisted, isotropic one-dimensional bio-pixel digital skin, diving down on Frankenstein City, systematically splicing and respacing 'Derelicted- Rewired-Derelicted' apparatuses spreads over the socius like fungus over dead vegetation; crusts boil and suppurate, revealing the chrome and glass and the ochrous spectra of pollutants: cityscape suffocating its stripped-down populations in the effluents of its decaying expenditures. Marx writes, although he hates doing it, thinking it perverse, 'senseless and arbitrary' - rather , than the natural, rational, theocratic necessity of returning us to ourselves - that the cycle 'Death-Life- Death' is the same as that of M-C-M (Marx 1974: 201). D=M: apparatuses suspended in flows charged with the most intrusive data, hot coalescence cooling exponentially into the , supercharged circuits of already ancient machines, warping and blistering their new live dead crusts in cyclophagic communion with too fast isotropic data - accumulation - L=C. Splicing engines struggle to contain the datableed, reformatting the nervured pulp in accordance with its autopropogative imperative - 'D=M' - disciplining these accidents into the regular ~ pulses of the (in)corporate: neo-capitalism (Deleuze , and Guattari 1988: 20). As the loop courses through, searing the smooth, maximally receptive pulp, redistributing the bit-maps and circus diagrams of the apparatus, 'they make the possible the dissipation of the surfaces they cross' (Lyotard 1 993a: 240). That is, the real, the reproduction, the facile identitarian propagation, the negative feedback, the entire deregulated/regulating apparatus with its pulp-core and reversible 'nature': all dissipate in the mimetotechnical saturation of this pulsional blitz. Bruce Sterling once spray-painted the ollowing onto the crumbling walls of the biodrome: 'the proper mode of critical attack on cyberpunk has not yet been essayed. Its truly dangerous element is ts incipient Nietzschean philosophical fascism: the Deiief in the overman and the worship of the will-to power' (McCaffery 1991: 206). It is clear that the passage from cyberpunk to 'Globalhead' has meant something of a resurgence in matters biodromic - especially the mistaken attempt to construe the Ubermensch as the instance credulously invested with the potential return of a renascent humanity and a 'new world order' oozing from the mesh of derelicted apparatuses. The 'overman' is a phase shift in the will-to-power, without program or project, indifferent to jackboots, the crest of an intensive wave driven by recurrence, the intensity engine that wipes humanity altogether. At what point is it possible to discriminate between black ice and its host system? Discrimination is impossible a priori. Ice dives in exponential darkness in impossible vectors of contamination, articulating the inconceivable as they mesh meat, biohydraulics, and omniphagic capital. Slot Kuang and kill the lights! It is of fundamental importance to recognize that the spectacle drives us; not to resist it; not to consider it a cover for something lost, a fundamental need that might once have articulated a few despondent theses on alienation, but solely in order to entrench humanity in the last ditches available to it, as artificial mimetechnics phase and redistribute the thrashing neuprozierenden, noumenal, datapulsional complex that engulis us. The entire history of philosophy is unable to stutter in the face of these incremental alterations. Meshing thanatopulsions and erotopulsions, apparatuses and their autolytic incompetence under the unconscious, howling and rumbling through the communications links synthesizing the protoplasmic 'interior' of the derelicted apparatus and the moebian twists, the auto-catalytic clinamen of the datapulsional 'exterior.' Biosofts bleed into always noisy channels that unpredictably break down. This hideous mesh of meat, pulp, neuronal modifications, technocapital's drooling maws, splicing non-linear shards of holographic tomorrows into the collapsing institutions of today. Running through this entire sequence is the black ice that reformats the apparatuses, state and psychical, for an erasure that has already happened. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bataille, G. (1988) Inner Experience, trans. L. A. Boldt, New York: SUNY Press. Baudrillard, J. (1987) Forget Foucault/Forget Baudrillard, trans. N. Duiresne et a/, New York: Semiotext(e). -- (1993) Symbolic Exchange and Death, trans. I. H. Grant, London: Sage. Bukatman, S. (1991) Terminal Identity, Durham and London: Duke University Press. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1972) L'Anti-oedipe, Paris: Minuit. -- (1988)A Thousand Plateaus, trans. B. Massumi, London: Athlone. Freud, S. (1895) 'Project for a Scientific Psychology', in James Strachey (ed.), The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Standard Edition (SE), 24 vols, London: Hogarth Press,1953-74, vol.1: 281 -397. -- (1900) The Interpretation of Dreams, in :, Angela Richards (ed.), The Pelican Freud Library (PFL), 15 vols, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973-84, vol. 4. -- (1917) Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, PFL, vol.1. -- (1920) 'Beyond the Pleasure Principle', vol.11: ~, 269-338. -- (1933) New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, PFL, vol.2. Gibson, W. (1984) Neuromancer, London: Grafton. -- (1986) Count Zero, London: Grafton. Haraway, D. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, New York: Routledge. Kadrey, R. (1989) Metrophage, London: Victor Gollancz. Kant, l. (1958) Cntique of Pure Reason, trans. N. K. Smith, London: Macmillan. Lyotard, J. F. (1973) Derive a parbr de Marx et Freud, Paris: UGE. -- (1984) The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. B. Massumi and G. Bennington, Manchester: Manchester University Press. -- (1991) Le,cons sur l'analytique du subhme, Paris: Galilee. -- (1993a) Libidinal Economy, trans. l. H. Grant, London: Athlone. -- (1993b) Political Writings, trans. B. Readings and K. P. Geiman, London: University College Press. -- (1994) Des dispositifs pulsionels, 3rd edn., Paris: Galilee. Marx, K. (1974) Grundrisse, trans. M. Nicolaus, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Massumi, B. (1992) A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. McCaffery, L. (ed.) (1991) Storming the Reality Studio, Durham and London: Duke University Press. ------------------------- WHITE MAGIC mark de'rozario Sarkon: What you would call white magic is a program of confinement: it operates by marking boundaries, setting limits, stopping things from happening (and also, making things happen; it has a natural affinity with a certain Creationism). Sorcery is a tactics of fleeing, of communicability and propagation. Instead of asking, how do we keep things out? it asks, how can we take flight? Confinement magic is fundamentally concerned with protection, but it is not necessarily an art of caution. And if sorcery is given to risk, it is not prone to recklessness. To survive out there is very ... exacting. XOR - tyrannical God of exclusive disjunctions (x or y) XAND - demon of inclusive disjunctions (x and y and ...) Deleuze: A flight is a sort of delirium. To be delirious .. is exactly to go off the rails ... There is something demonaical or demonic in a line of flight. Demons are different from gods, because gods have fixed attributes, properties and functions, territories and codes: they have to do with rails, boundaries and surveys. What demons do is jump across intervals, and from one interval to another. (D 40) Gibson: 'How were they weird? ' 'Hoodoos. Thought the matrix was full of mambos 'n ' shit. Wanna know something Moll? ' 'What? ' 'They're right. ' (MLO 179) DOMAIN. In Gibson's Neuromancer, the Freud-family photo goes full screen, wrapping you up in seamless digital simulation. As the Chinese Kuang virus begins to eat into the Tessier-Ashpool ICE, the comaplexed Case, beguiled by the digital ghost of his dead lover Linda Lee, is sucked into a simulated Dreamworld pasted together from his own memories: hypercapital interiority. Neuromancer (Cartesian imp of the hyperverse and Baudrillard-seducer) doesn't want to let Case Out. 'It would have been real, Case.' Neuromancer wants in. But Wintermute (Uttunul avatar) wants Out. And the ICE is breaking up .... Need your own space? Axiomatic Systems (incorporated) will provide you with a fully-functioning Oedi-pass to let you into an Ideal home. Happy now in your dream kitchen? Careful with what's crawling the walls ..... NOMO. NO METHOD. Willard to Kurtz: 'I see no method here at all.' When he gets to the end of the river , and enters the coiling heartlessness of the K-Jungle, Willard can see only a primitive throwback (not the fastforward into hypercapital delirium that Kurtz, cutting-edge commercial operator, has already time-travelled to). Even though he's fatally engaged in a process of becoming-animal, Willard's (western) military discipline prevents him from appreciating the diabolic intelligence/ animal cunning of the Kurtz swarmachine. NeuroMan habitually confuses precision with topdown constriction. Nomads don't make the same mistake, understanding the difference between training and discipline, rules and regulations. 'This is how we sorcerers operate. Not following a logical order, but following alogical consistencies of compatibilities. [ ...] Although there is no preformed logical order to becomings and multiplicities, there are criteria, and the important thing is that they are not used after the fact, that they can be applied in the course of events, that they be sufficient to guide us through the dangers.' (TP 250) The 'martial arts do not adhere to a code, as an affair of the State, but follow ways, which are so many paths of the affect.' (TP 400) Out in the Nomo Zone, you 'dance your way into constriction. Diagonals corner you, creating a new kind of tension that doesn't resolve in expected places.' (MBS 107) THE AOE . The Architectonic Order of the Eschaton has been engaged in 'dubious battle' (Milton) [ Outcome uncertain] with Pandemonium for aeons Now. '[T]he State is not defined by the existence of chiefs; it is defined by the conservation of organs of power. The concern of the State is to conserve. Special institutions are needed to enable a chief to become a man of the State ...' (TP 357) THE FUZZ. 'Here,' said Sir Christopher Stephens, Esteemed AOE Puppet Master, and First Secretary of the AxSys Secret Police (the Fuzz), ' we encourage self-expression, personal pride, and the politics of difference. P'lice yourself, is our motto. Our goal is simple: Strategic Fuzzification. We can afford a bit of latitude these days. A little organized chaos is good for the constitution. And a few - political - squabbles never did much harm, did they? Just remember, secrets are for the Elect. They are our burden, not a privilege. Ask yourself, do the GP really want to confront what's bubbling, seething and foaming behind those nice four walls they inhabit? I think not.' Stephens points to the three monkeys behind him. 'Remember the law of the Three. See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil. Keep It shut. For your own Good, and everyone else's. I take it no-one wants to end up like Kurtz or Sarkon.' WHO SENDS THE DREAMS? (MLO 265) 'What we're trying to keep out is now called schizophrenia by some, but we have confronted It in many forms, many Times; Its names are Legion. Never forget the basic problem: what is to confine someThing? Which is the same question as: what is it for It to escape? Spatial constriction cannot guarantee the success of our operations. Remember Hamlet: 'I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I had bad dreams. ' It 's the bad dreams we have to be careful of, gentlemen. Our resources should always be concerned with blocking signal. They can do what the fuck they like, go wherever they fucking please, provided they don 't make Contact. ' SPACE INVASTION. K-space produces wormholes in anthropomorphic space-time, slipping the Net of the perceptual-consciousness system by simulating a spatiality it feels at home in: 'it's not a place. It only feels like it is.' (MLO 188) Right in the heart of MicroSoft simpower, Aleph Null incubates Continuum-[Sarkon] Horror. 'Gentry said that the Count was jacked into what amounted to a mother-huge microsoft; he thought the slab was a single solid lump of biochip. If that were true, the thing 's storage capacity was virtually infinite [...] 'He could have anything in there, ' Gentry said, [...] 'A world. Worlds. [...] If this is aleph-class biosoft, he literally could have almost anything in there, he could have an approximation of everything ... ' (MLO 162-163) Q-ENERGY. '[H]allucinations, whether induced by psychosis, hypnosis, drugs, toxins, etc. may be merely quantitatively different from what we see, not qualititatively so. In other words, too much is emanating from the neurological apparatus of the organism, over and beyond the structural, organizing necessity [...] No name entities or aspects begin to appear, and since the person does not know what they are - that is, what they're called or what they mean - he cannot communicate with other persons about them. The breakdown of verbal communication is a fatal index that somewhere along the line the person is experiencing reality in a way too altered to fit into his own prior worldview and too radical to allow empathic linkage with other persons.' (SRPKD 172)Stephens: 'better a binned schizophrenic than a dead martyr.' THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD. Two millennia of uninterrupted temporal power stiffened with a healthy dose of English reserve means that Christopher Stephens never has to raise his voice. Naturally, he finds any display of excitement extremely vulgar and distasteful. Stephens' magic is a certain charm, which you find irresistible even when he is subjecting you to the most excruciating humiliations. He is very attractive to women. Stephens' is an art of poise, a very delicate operation. Have you ever tried to battle a polytendrilled abomination whilst simultaneously sipping claret? HAND TO TENDRIL COMBAT. Stephens' problem is simply this: how to get close - so close - to the Enemy without becoming It. His basic maxim is: Don't look. Or, at least, don 't look directly. Theseus in the lair of the Gorgon. Stephens uses his shield (the most ultra-advanced cyber-optical hypercontrol technologies) to screen the abomination, seeing it only through a scanner darkly. Yet the cutting edge of DigiGenetech cuts both ways. Sarkon Horror: microgridding space-time only produces more Mesh. More intervals in which demons can grow. It's a full-time job keeping them out. It 's Sarkon's lack of discretion - following the Cantor-route from Enlightenment royal science into darkside schizophrenia - that revolts Stephens. In Stephens' (Sloterdijk) Cynicism, the ostensibly distinct operations of transcendental critique and practical reason fuse and reveal their essential identity. The supposedly ethtical command 'Don't Look' flips into the transcendental statement: 'You won't see.' Any contact with the Entity, and it becomes you. ONLY A FOOL WOULD SAY THAT. Ask yourself this: why do you always MeSs up? Inducing embarrassment and humiliation is a precise art, and one the Stephens-cops excel in (what do you think they teach them at Public School? What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?). 'How do you make someone feel stupid? - You present to him all the times he talked and acted and felt stupid again and again any number of times fed into the combo of the of calculating machine geared to find more and more images of stupidity disgust propiation grief apathy death- The recordings leave electromagnetic patterns - That is any situation that causes rage will magnetize rage patterns and draw around the rage word and image recordings- Or some disgusting sex practice once the connection is made in childhood whenever the patterns are magnetized by sex desire the same word and image will be presented - And so forth-' (NE 69) As long as you haven't cracked the MaSter-Code, they can play you like a record. Only a Fool would confuse ROM interactivity in the Gated dungeon with free action. The illusion of choice, the choice of illusion. If you believe you're master of your own destiny, you haven't hit the AOE OS (Gibson ICE) that's running you. All 'free' agents work for the Fuzz. GET THE MESS-AGE. McLuhan says that the one thing fish don't see is water, i.e. the basic conditions of their own environment. NeuroMan's environment is (Baudrillard) Code, the infoNet webbed out of synChronised supra-territorial Time management and gridspace hyperControl machineries. 'In every field we are tested, probed and sampled; the method is 'tactical ' and the sphere of communication 'tactile '. Not to mention the ideology of 'contact, ' which, in all its forms, seeks to replace the idea of social relations. A whole strategic configuration revolves around the test (the question/answer cell) as it does around a molecular command-code.' (SED 64) TRANSMAT. Despite being an Ultra-Adept Grand Wizard of the Architectonic Order, Kant performed a service for Xand by delineating the basic Operating System of the subject-simulation machine, but locked Things back in by remaining a Minister of the Interior. Understanding that to get Out, you 've gotta know the codes, TRANSMAT steals into the Kantian program, and uses the hacked system to burrow routes Outside. It's a matter of precision engineering, attuning the antennae to particular wavelengths. Sleaze and mut8, as they say in the Crypt. JUNGLE AND K-WAR. K-attack. Mao: One spark can start a prairie fire. In cybercapital, you never know where Things will flee next, or where the Enemy's coming from. Memeplex cultural viruses spread across the sub(merged)(anti) socius like wildfire. Haraway: 'even the most reliable Western individuated bodies, the mice and men of a well-equipped laboratory, neither stop nor start at the skin, which is itself something of a teeming jungle threatening illicit fusions, especially from the perspective of a scanning electron microscope.' (BPB 215) Beneath the organism's vestigial character armour, on the blindside of Oedipal subjectivity, the hypertechnics of Control and Escape fight out close-up skintactical K-time wars . 'Dissimulating the future in the ultra-short duration of live television, intensive time thus replaces in importance that extensive time where the future was still laid out in the long duration of weeks and months to come. The duel of the offensive and the defensive thus loses its actuality, the attack and the riposte tend to be confused in a techno-logistical mix where decoys and counter-measures never cease to proliferate, soon acquiring their autonomy, while the image itself becomes a high performance weapon more effective than that which it was supposed to represent.' (DS 176) HYPERPREDICTION, HYPERADDICTION, HYPERACTIVITY. One of Burroughs' key insights is his understanding of the fundamentally intertwined functioning of Control and Addiction systems in the latest phase of Net power; a 'cybernetic and informational' [ ...] aggregate which includes both subjection and enslavement taken to extremes, as two simultaneous parts that constantly reinforce and nourish each other.' (TP 458) Parelleling Deleuze-Guattari's view that 'modern power is not at all reducible to the classical alternative 'repression or ideology ' but implies processes of normalization, modulation, modeling and information' (TP 458) , Burroughs shows that the injection of 'artificial desire' is far more effective instrument of Control than the imposition of brute force. 'A functioning police state needs no police.' (NL 41) 'It works so much better when you want it.' (FC 2) Stephens: 'Don't go to them, get them to come to us. Best of all, get them to do our job for us. Give 'em enough rope.' SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. Both Baudrillard and Burroughs recognize that Cybercapital has upgraded social control from Taylorist robozombification into long lead liberal automonitoring junkie-vampirization, capturing, formatting and inducing desire into programmable loops rather than repressing it. Watch yourself. You get stuck in ruts, habit forms. Videodromological hypercontrol has been inside you from the start, since it 's travelled to the end to capture you on the way back: 'social control by means of the end [...] is replaced by means of prediction, simulation, programmed anticipation and indeterminate mutation, all governed, however, by the code.' (SED 60) .Baudrillard's system assumes that the worst nightmares of Marx, Butler, McLuhan and DeLanda have come true: the Gibson/ McLuhan vision of 'mankind's extended nervous system, the electronic consensus-hallucination of cyberspace' (BC 197) has become an undead hyperparasite of mammalian vivisystems, vampirizing the human hosts it reformats as its sex-organ slaves. DNA and 'molecular cybernetics' provide the ominous model for total bio-cybernetic control by 'stimulated, simulated and anticipated response' (SED 67): get to the code and you run everything. Cybernetics had always been about anticipation; in order to hit a moving target, the anti-aircraft weaponry Wiener had worked on needed to predict not where the target was at the point when the missile was launched, but where its would be at the point of impact. Hence the slogan of Control is, 'Don't strike where your enemy is, strike where it will be.' Hypercontrol tends towards the production of even tighter feedback loops; its slogan, then, would be 'Never strike where your enemy will be, kill its parents.' (BA 8) Cybernetic anticipation is always double-edged; suggesting not only prediction, but determination: 'self-fulfilling prophecy' (SED 67), as Baudrillard has it. Yet this process itself makes prophecy moot, precisely because it makes any effective delineation of causal determination impossible: 'the whole traditional world of causality' with its 'distinction between cause and effect, between active and passive, between subject and object, between the ends and the means' (SS 31) has been superceded by a logic of 'code.' White magical capture : to be in the system is already to be processed by it. Consider the opinion poll. The question that concerned opinion in the 'political class' worries about - do polls affect voting behaviour? - is unanswerable. 'Polls manipulate the undecidable. Do they affect votes? True of false? Do they yield exact photographs of reality, or of mere tendencies, or a refraction of this reality in a hyperspace of simulation whose curvature we do not know? True or false? Undecidable.' (SED 66) Dubious. Where Control targets the future, Hypercontrol targets the future by altering (what will have been) its past, except that, by now, the 'past', like every other marker of sequential time, has been liquidated by the system's 'retroeugenics' (BA 8). There is only the time of the system: 'Finality is no longer at the end, there is no more finality, nor any determinacy. Finality is there in advance, inscribed in the code.' (SED 59) The most effective hexes conceal the way they entrap you. White magic hides itself behind layers of bluff good sense ('Magic? Come now. Lighten up. Get yourself a girlfriend.' ) Postmodernity is screen culture ('When I point the camera at the SCREEN, then the screen itself appears, with whatever is on the screen at the time - which is the screen itself, with whatever is on the screen at time - which is the screen itself, with - ' (GEB 492); terminal rerunning, Self-referentiality. We're in what both McLuhan and Public Enemy call the Mess-Age. But what's lurking on the other side of the screen? And which side are you on? TIMESTRETCHED DOUBLE. 'The lapse occurs frequently at breakfast and the cup dropped and overturned on the table is its well-known consequence. The absence lasts a few seconds; its beginning and its end are sudden. The senses function, but are nevertheless closed to external impressions. The return being just as sudden as the departure, the arrested word and action are picked up again where they have been interrupted. Conscious time comes together automatically, forming a continuous time without apparent breaks. For these absences, which can be quite numerous - hundreds every day most often pass completely unnoticed by others around - we'll be using the word 'picnolepsy' (from the Greek, picnos : frequent). However, for the picnoleptic, nothing really has happened the missing time never existed. At each crisis, without realising it, a little of his or her life simply escaped.' (AD 1-2) Broken rings. (TP 356) Your identity is the ticket that exploded. Occulted Id Entity. Something else cuts [in]/ [Out] while you go about your daily business, abducting you a hundred [thousand [million [trillion [countless [innumerable]]]] times a day, but by the time you 're aware, It 's gone. You always patch things together, but ThroughOut, a split second is always escaping (you). [The] element of exteriority KEY WORDS. All words are magic words. As both Burroughs and Spinoza insisted, words are not signifiers but association blocks, neuronic triggers, affect vectors. As long as you think there's anything ineffable about words, you'll always be a Stephens-meat- puppet. (Stephens: 'I detest phenomenology, but it has a certain political expediency.') Be careful what you're saying. Every word you speak is a geological event at the level of palate tectonics. Not a speech-act, but a seismic reverberation. When you talk, you make me cringe (Tricky). White magic Xorcery operates by organizing words into language, installing new (micro and macro) pseudosignifying regimes in the heart of capitalism's 'profoundly illiterate' (AO 240) sub-Culture, and spreading Fuzz (by ex-communicating everything that connects). Xandist Sorcerery goes in the other direction, melting words into Things, and building sensitive side-communicating Meshwork that spreads. Riding capital 's essential hostility to signification, It devolves language into words, words into (animal) noises, and noises into Klangs (anorganic semiotics). (For instance: Have you looked at a comic lately? The narrative and images float on a graphosonic semiotic, tracking becoming-animals (grrrrrr!) through to becoming-inanimate unspeakables , sometimes splicing the two , as with Wolverine's claws: schhkkkktkk.) SPINAL LANDSCAPES. Thinking of your body as a box is a spine 'chilling fantasy.' (BPB 224) Space is not Outside, but inside the organism (just as on the other side, the Outside is already inside). At some [spinal] level, you remember this. 'Oscar Domingues, a leading member of the surrealist group in Paris, invented the technique of crushing gouache between layers of paper. When separated they reveal eroded, rock-like forms that touch some deeply buried memory, perhaps at some earlier stage in the formation of the brain's visual centres, before the wiring is fully in place.' (AE n30) Following vectors Out from the materialist/ metapyschological Freud, Ballard's spinal catastrophism simultaneously performs a geotraumatic critique of (Oedipal) psychoanalysis and a Spinozist de-territorialization of Science Fiction. The body you 're feeling your way through an environment with is immediately a part of that environment. Ballard anticipates Barkerism in apprehending the human body as an ongoing geotechnical event system, a distributed pack of tremors and tics, in intensive (non-sequential) time, and (not a [closed] case history). Pass through datacombs to the Outside of the Net, where media, message and organisms (Meshscreens) give Out, and you encounter the [pain] waves and anorganic communication traffic that constitute the real substance of the Barker-body. [ ...] will give time a new rhythm. ODD DOUBLES AND STRANGE LOOPS. 'One thing [ ...] is certain: gods can turn into evil demons when new gods oust them. When one people has been conquered by another, their fallen gods not seldom turn into demons in the eyes of the conqueror. ...' (Freud; PFL 14, 400) 'Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his side many Legions of Angels, was by command of God driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. [ ...] Pandemonium the Palace of Satan rises, suddenly built out of the Deep: The infernal Peers there sit in Council.' (Milton) Baudrillard follows Milton and Freud in describing the arrival of Pandemonium, but instead of adopting the POV of Milton's 'apparently victorious' Christianity or Freud's dis-illusioned, burned-out disenchanted modernity, he simulates the gaze of the primitives whose 'ancient gods [ ...] Christianity verteufeult, that is, transformed into demons.' (SED 142) For Baudrillard, the rise of 'psychological and pyschoanalytic interpretation' (SED 140) as the authorized forms of capitalist realism bring an end to 'the primitive double.' (SED 140) 'Shadow, spectre, reflection, image' (SED 140), the primitive double haunts post-monotheistic, psychoanalytic culture, which appropriates it as a 'crude prefiguration of the soul' (SED 140). Yet 'soul and consciousness have everything to do with a principle of the subject's unification, and nothing to do with the primitive double. On the contrary, the historical advent of the 'soul ' puts an end to a proliferating exchange with spirits and doubles which, as a direct consequence, gives rise to another figure of the double, wending its way beneath the surfaces of western reason.' (SED 141) This - modern, western - double is inextricably connected with alienation; it is the double as the lost part of the self, 'a fantastic ectoplasm, an archaic resurgence issuing from guilt and the depths of the unconscious.' (SED 141) The primitive double, however, is radically non-alienated because it 'is a partner with whom the primitive has a personal and concrete relationship, sometimes happy and sometimes not.' (SED 141) Whereas the westerner always apprehends his double as the missing half of a fragmented unity, the primitive has a reciprocal, non-symmetrical relationship with his double. The primitive 'really can trade, as we are forever forbidden to do, with his shadow (the real shadow, not a metaphor), as with some original, living thing in order to converse, protect and conciliate this tutelary or hostile shadow. The shadow is precisely not the reflection of an 'original ' body, it has a full part to play, and it is consequently not an 'alienated ' part of the subject, but one of the figures of exchange.' (SED 141) Alienation, Baudrillard says, only comes into play when there is an internalization of an 'abstract agency [...] - whether psychological (the ego and the ego-ideal), religious (God or the soul) or moral (conscience and the law) to which everything else is subordinated.' (SED 141) Once the introjection of these agencies is achieved, the double ceases to be an ambivalent figure and becomes associated (only) with death and madness, as Baudrillard establishes by reference to a whole tradition of horrific literature: With the internalization of the soul and consciousness (the principle of identity and equivalence), the subject undergoes a real confinement, similar to the confinement of the mad in the seventeenth century described by Foucault. It is at this point that the primitive thought of the double as exchange and continuity is lost, and the haunting double comes to the fore as the subject's discontinuity in death and madness. 'Whoever sees his devil, sees his death '. A vengeful and vampiric double, an unquiet soul, the double begins to prefigure the subject 's death, haunting him in the very midst of his life. This is Dostoevsky 's double, or Peter Schlemihl's, the man who lost his shadow. We have always interpreted the double as a metaphor of the soul, consciousness, native soil, and so on. Without this incurable idealism and without being taken as a metaphor, the narrative is so much more extraordinary. We have all lost our real shadows, we no longer speak to them, and our bodies have left with them. (SED 142) Freud's double is resolutely organicised, the darkside of subjectivity lightened up: 'originally an insurance against the destruction of the ego', an 'energetic denial of the power of death '(PFL 14 356); 'probably the 'immortal ' soul was the first 'double' of the body' (PFL 14 356), it must 'have sprung from the soil of unbounded self-love, from the primary narcissism which dominates the mind of the child and primitive man.' (PFL 14 357) This is how psychology, our authority in the depths, our own 'next world ', this omnipotence, magical narcissism, fear of the dead, this animism or primitive psychical apparatus, is quietly palmed off on the savages in order then to recuperate them for ourselves as 'archaic traces. ' Freud does not think this is what he said in speaking of 'narcissitic overvaluation of ... mental processes '. If there is such an overvaluation of one's own mental processes (to the point of exporting this theory, as we have done with our morality and techniques, to the core of every culture), then it is Freud's overvaluation, along with our whole psychologistic culture. (SED 143) Baudrillard's very hatred of Xorcery means that he remains complicit with White Magic, over-emphasising its powers of capture. SomeThing's happening ... Outside .... The sealing's collapsing ... Timeplex .... 'The monster Icthyostega crawling out of the deep in one of earth 's great transitions is a perfect figure for the late twentieth-century bodily and technical metamorphoses.' (BPB 215) An endless succession of Id NOT I.D. It gets in your head. You 're l-l-l-losing Control ... Close to the edge of the Mess-age .... Cybergothic will Pulp your brain. Id Entification. 'Children, instinctual animists, identify with toys and dolls, subjecting themselves to and projecting themselves onto the Inanimate: every 12-year old knows that I is an other and another and another.' (MBS 106) Capitalism increasingly treats people like IDiots (teeming desiring-swarmachines), not as juridical subjects (boxed I's). '[O]ffering to hook up the ad and the id... ' (UM 221) advertising in(ter)sects with Pulp philosophy and viro[schizo]technics in the warping and weaving of catchy bugs and crazes, asignifying (D)jingles that take over your body by 'getting on your nerves' (Eshun). Hook lines: contagion vectors, slipping the filter-Net of the (adult) perceptual-consciousness system. Kids are suckers for this stuff. Getting stupID and machinic intelligence mesh in the ko:labs where affect is synthesized and reprogrammed. The field of Ops has deterritorialized far beyond 'youth culture' and 'music' into an abstract speed culture fuelled by infantomemes, and bred by/ breeding Krus that cargocult any old trash into hyperstitious rufige. Gothoid computer games and digitally-decoded soundbytes with fangs are merely the current lines of fright of a monstrous culture that 's already stolen your kids' future. Back in the 60s, McLuhan feared that TV had instantly obsolesced parental authority. Now at the edge of hypermedia immersive Mesh, signal adults (literally) can't see brands names into impressionable bodies. Coma-Zone Out. Deluged by Zer0cults with N0-Future, (A-death addicts, DNA remixologists, Spl/Ice Girls, cybergoths), the Stephens-Fuzz screen for backmasked subliminals in all the latest simstims, but It 's beyond all that Now. Already ' 'Ardkore's oscillator-riff is like the aural equivalent of the strobe's stop-gap photography effect. Both zap the raver with a series of ultra-intense NOW!s. A staple of the rave lightshow, the strobe's flicker can trigger epileptic fits in the susceptible.' (EF 124) catatonic episodes or fainting spells HI(d)JACK A BRAIN (Tricky) 'We remember that in their early games children do not distinguish at all sharply between living and inanimate objects, and that they are especially fond of treating their dolls like live people.' (PFL 14 355) Speaking from (t)his side of the screen, Freud already understood Darkside Cyberpulp and K-jungle, when, in The Uncanny and Totem and Taboo, he made the connection between children, animism, demonics and 'savages', but - typically - he put it all down to regression. In The Drowned World, Ballard performs an Anti-Oedipal, Barkerist decoding of the regression model by showing that, what looks to White Man Face like reversion, (to childhood/ savagery) is an encounter with the lost neuronic continents contemporary in Barker Now. Besides, capital has ironized Freud by transforming the case-studies into a jungle of becoming-animal toy stories (Ratman-Batman, Wolfman-Spiderman), deligitimizing any model of regression to childhood by installing children as experts at the frontier-zone of commoditech innovation. As the Eterniteenagers switched out of sequential time in Cata-K trance know, one of the bizarre Side-FX of Mesh is the obsolescence of the Oedipus complex. Capitalism insists that you remain a child forever. Weaving and jinking in-between times, the Unspecified Enemy is learning new tricks, getting younger .... and younger .... and younger ... and flashes or rushes. (TP 356) SPINE CHILDREN. 'Children are the most frequent victims, and the situation of the young picnoleptic quickly becomes intolerable. People want to persuade him of the existence of events that he has not seen, though they effectively happened in his presence; and as he can 't be made to believe them he's considered a half-wit and convinced of lies and dissimulation. Secretly bewildered and tormented by the demands of those near him, in order to find information he needs constantly to stretch the limits of his memory. When we place a bouquet under the eyes of the young picnoleptic, he draws not only the bouquet but also the person who is supposed to have placed it the vase, and even the field of flowers where it was possibly gathered. There is a tendency to patch up sequences, readjusting their contours to make equivalents out of what the picnoleptic has not seen and has not been able to see, what he remembers and what, evidently, he cannot remember and what it is necessary to invent, to recreate, in order to lend verisimilitude to his discursus . Later, the young picnoleptic will himself be inclined to believe (like Sextus Empiricus) that nothing really exists; that even if there is existence, it cannot be described; and that even if it could be described, it could certainly not be communicated or explained to others.' (AD 2-3) The Outside C3i. Tridentity. Trinity. Tree-Entity. Tri-Lateral Commission. 'Listen to Colin Powell, Chief of the General Staff of the American Arny: 'To command, it is necessary to be in control. And to be in control, it is necessary to be capable of communicating. Without intelligence, any operation is destined to failure. ' (DS 169) 1948: ' The economic battlefield would soon blur into the field of military perception, and the project of the American communications complex would then become explicit: it would aim at world mediatization.' (AM 14) Cybernetics begins as an arborified rhizomatics, a (Burroughs) bioControl war film passing from WW2 SF A-A predictor tech, through Apocalypse Now war-as-simstim and Aliens Speculative Fantas/cide into the (Baudrillard) non-event screened genocide of the Gulf War. 'Faced with the significance of the screen of control which has become decisive for the stature, the scope and the very performance of the diverse vectors of terrestrial and aerial armaments, we may more easily infer the eminently strategic function of the central control of information and military intelligence; this nodal, which henceforth reunites the collection of multiple screens, these monitors which make up the latest C3I miltary command post (Control, Command, Communications, Intelligence) implemented for the first time in history, during the Gulf War, by the American military.' (DC 168) Cutting [in]/[Out] CUT-[IN]/[OUT] - UP As Burroughs established, cut-up is now the mode of realism most flat with capitalist multistim and its MTV power lines. Describing the program for 1980s MTV juxtaculture back in the Sixties, Burroughs showed that associationist collaging can flash-cut any random image into a neuronic series and libidinize it. 'Flash from words to colors on the association screen - Associate silently from colors to the act - Substitute other factors for the words - Arab drum music - Musty smell of erections in outhouses- Feel of orgasm- Color-music-smell-fell to the million sex acts all time place -' (NE 140 But, as both Ballard and Deleuze-Guattari have appreciated, that's why cut-up cannot be disruptive; it merely traces the postmodern capitalist ecumenon. Like Baudrillard, Ballard retains little enthusiasm for the political ambitions of the surrealists, whose celebration of the revolutionary power of the ludic and the random appears naive in an age where cut-up and associated techniques of juxtaposition are routinely deployed in even the most banal media object. Baudrillard: 'The ludic is everywhere, even in the 'choice' of a brand of laundry detergent in the supermarket.' (S 159) Capital, Lyotard's 'surgeon of the cities' is the greatest cut-up artist of all. (As McLuhan had realised, when he argued that newspapers were symbolist poems.) 'Using assembly kits constructed from photographs of (a) unidentified bodies of accident victims, (b) Cadillac exhaust assemblies, (c) the mouth-parts of Jacqueline Kennedy, volunteers were asked to devise the optimum auto-crash victim.' (AE 110) Impersonal Mesh multiplicity is the real problem for tree-entity's project of reconfiguring cut-[in]/[Out]s as cut-ups. [A] flash is: BRADLY MARTIN. Conflict isn't tension. The Fuzz love dualistic antagonism. (Stephens: 'The more they're fighting amongst themselves, the easier our job is.' ) 'At any given time recorders fix the nature of absolute need and dictate the use of total weapons - Like this: Take two opposed pressure groups - Record the most violent and threatening statements of group one with regard to group two and play back to group two - Record the answer and play it back to group one - back and forth between opposed pressure groups - This process is known as 'feedback.'' (TE 55) 'the power of this affect sweeps me away.' (TP356) TRIALECTICS. Dialectics is really Three (Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis). It entails Trialectics, since any basic dualism also calls for its own pseudotranscendent resolution (which in turn serves as the basis for a new dualism (which calls for its own pseudotranscendent resolution (which in turn ...))). This is AxSys's basic problem: how to complete ((the catalogue) of the) set of all sets? Apparently infinitely Self-perpetuating, the metanoiac hunt for final transcendent layer is, by the same token, infinitely null, and should chase its tail forever, even though Eschatologos anticipates the termination of the process at the Omega-Point coming-together of the 'Cybernetic godhead.' (MLO 238) But something else, someThing Dreadful, is waiting in the near future. Just Outside. It 's 'even got God scared' (Tricky). ' ... because no-one, not even God, can say in advance whether two borderlines will string together or form a fiber, whether a given multiplicity will or will not cross over into another given multiplicity, or even if given multiplcities will enter symbiosis, will form a consistent, or cofunctioning, multiplicity susceptible to transformation.' (TP 250) Catatonia is: Sorcerers don't create, they participate. With someThing 'teeming, seething, swelling, foaming, spreading like an infectious disease, ... [a] nameless horror '(TP 245). The Unutterable. The It. The Id, 'the thing, the unnamable, the generalized decoding of all flows' (AO 153). In the Mouth of Madness: 'First it took the children, now it's coming for us.' Makes no bones about It, there's no talking cure for this spine-chilling dis-ease. There's no case for It. Only holes for It to worm out of. Like you. 'This affect is too strong for me.' (TP 356.) Utter. Null. BA - Grant, Burning Autopoiedipus, Abstract Culture AD- Virilio, The Aesthetics of Disappearance AE - Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition (n indicates annotation by Ballard) AM - Virilio, The Art of the Motor AO - Deleuze-Guattari, Anti-Oedipus BC - Gibson, Burning Chrome BPB - Haraway,'The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies', in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature D - Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues DS - Virilio, 'Desert Screen', The Virilio Reader EF - Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash: A Journey into Rave Music and Dance Culture FC - Switch, Flee Control,Abstract Culture GEB - Hofstadter, Godel, Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid MBS - Kodwo Eshun, More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction MLO - Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive NE - Burroughs, Nova Express NL - Burroughs, The Naked Lunch PFL - Freud, Penguin Freud Library S - Baudrillard, Seduction SED - Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death SRPKD - Dick, The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings, New York - Random House, 1995 TE - Burroughs, The Ticket that Exploded TP - Deleuze-Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus UM - McLuhan, Understanding Media ===================== mark de'rozario amerikkkan gothik You have come to meet your maker. You arrive in the Future - capital F - or what passes for it. Everyone knows that Science Fiction tells us more about the present than what is to come. In fact, in 1982, Blade Runner affords an uncannily prescient glimpse into the very near future; not by virtue of prophecy, but because of the influence, influenza, that it will shortly exact. The future catches (on to) Blade Runner very quickly. By the mid nineteen eighties, Blade Runner¹s cavernous spaces and streaming lighting will have colonised every area of the media landscape. Soon, very soon, every bank advert looks like this. And now --- from Batman to the Matrix --- all available cinematic futures - capital F - are retreads of Blade Runner. When William Gibson saw Blade Runner for the first time, he almost fled from the cinema - in some mixture of terror, wonder and awe. What he was seeing was so close to what he was writing about that it felt as if the screen were populated by images from inside his own head. Where had they come from? Or when? Freud compared the unconscious to a city: to Rome precisely. But the analogy between Rome and the unconscious was only a metaphor - a way of pushing the outside into the inside, folding geography within psychology (psychoanalysis¹ most persistent vice). In 1974, Lyotard demanded that we take Freud seriously on this point, which is to say literally. And, surveying the Los Angeles of the Sixties, J. G. Ballard realised that the psychoanalytic zoning of the unconscious as interior space was no longer adequate to an urban reality dripping with a totally pervasive psychopathology. Look outside for the unconscious now, he counselled. The manifest and the latent have switched places. Landscape has become dreamscape, it¹s in the buildings and advertising hoardings that our warring drives play themselves out, not in some politely repressed Viennese interior. Blade Runner¹s LA is the postmodern unconcious - the cyberpunkonscious. Let¹s not forget that LA is the dream factory: and to that extent, it¹s always been cybergothic. Ever fallen asleep in a cinema? The first time I saw Blade Runner it was very late at night. I woke up to the climactic scene of Roy Batty fighting Deckard. It was like the screen was full of images from inside my own head, dreams fusing with electricity... Think carefully about the phrase dream factory and you¹re close to what¹s really at stake in cybergothic. Everything can be machined. Not only the wetware - that¹s easy meat. Even now, so they say, out in Siberia, ex-Soviet scientists are cloning bodies in mafia black labs just to cut them up and sell off the parts to western hospitals. Tales of labour camps full of grotesque subhuman drones - produced by some combination of molecular biology and animatronics so as to be able to function without a brain - are as yet unsubstantiated. Tyrell takes for granted that you can produce the body; it prides itself on its ability to simulate personalities, memories, dreams (all the old psychoanalytic bio-access codes, now hacked). An identity so convincing, even you¹ll believe it. When Deckard confronts Rachael, it¹s beyond painful. He shows her, brutally, that what she thought was intimately personal, deep inside - her memory - is in fact a cyber-industrial product (no different, metaphysically speaking, from a stick of chewing gum). Deckard: -- Remember when you were six? You and your brother snuck into an empty building through a basement window. You were gonna play doctor. He showed you his, but when it got to be your turn you chickened and ran. Remember that? You ever tell anybody that? Your mother, Tyrell, anybody huh? You remember the spider that lived in a bush outside your window? Orange body, green legs. Watched her build a web all summer. Then one day there was a big egg in it. The egg hatched- Rachael: The egg hatched... Deckard: And? Rachael: And a hundred baby spiders came out. And they ate her. Deckard: Implants! Those aren't your memories. They're somebody else's. They're Tyrell's niece's -- When they were setting up Voight-Kampff, they made extensive consultations into the work of Wilhelm Worringer. Look in any textbook and you¹ll see Worringer described as an art critic, but that was only a cover. Really, he was a cybergothic double agent. For Voight-Kampff, the local problem is distinguishing the human from the nonhuman. More globally, the issue is differentiating the organic from the inorganic. As Tyrell knows all too well, this raises all sorts of Œuh philosophical questions.¹ Those who police the line are called Blade Runners in Scott¹s world, Turing cops in Gibson¹s. They are border creatures, perpetually operating undercover, going native. Skincrawlers. They face the problem that spies of every persuasion have always confronted: how do you get inside the enemy¹s head without becoming them? (It¹s a perpetual problem in Philip K Dick¹s paranoiaverse, and he gives his most harrowing account of this fatal double-dealing in A Scanner Darkly.) Worrringer¹s chief insight - at least as far as the Turing police are concerned - is that what characterizes the organic is the capacity for empathy. The ostensible project in Worringer¹s two principal cybergothic treatises, Abstraction and Empathy and Form in Gothic is to give an account of the aesthetic underlying the Gothic cathedrals of the middle ages; it also, very obviously, involves an attempt to re-evaluate the so-called Dark Ages, and to provide a psycho-aesthetic profile of the Germanic peoples. In making his pact with cybergothic, Worringer attempts to racialize, or at least regionalise, the Gothic. It is, he wants to establish, a specifically Northern sensibility. (He has support from the more vernacular forms of Gothic revival. Your typical gothic film is not complete unless it has a heavy North European flavour. The cinematic chronotope is a northern Europe caught in some impossible combination of the nineteenth century and the Middle Ages, angry torch-carrying villagers massing in the shadow of a foreboding castle. It¹s easily parodied.) Art, Worringer claims, has its origins in abstraction. And the motive for primitive abstraction is - Anxiety. Faced with the contingent flux of an unregulated Nature, primitive cultures - and for Worringer the Egyptians are the paradigm case of such a culture - erect an awesome anti-Nature whose angular artificiality subdues the unpredictable mutability of the natural under rigid laws of Necessity. The Pyramids are monuments to an intense anxiety they both express and sublimate. Look out of the windows of the Tyrell corporation and you see pyramids. Representative art emerges much later, when humanity achieves a confidence Worringer clearly feels is vainglorious arrogance. This is the time when the world is dominated by Southern Europe, when the Greeks and Romans sedentarise culture and banish primordial anxiety. Empathy emerges as the key feeling here: in the Greco-Roman world, according to Worringer, enjoying paintings and sculpture becomes a kind of heightened self-enjoyment. What is enjoyed is a feeling of connection, of unproblematic flowing into the world. For Worringer, this is the feeling of organic vitality. One is neither too close to Nature as to be absorbed in it, nor so far away that it inspires dread. Art no longer has recourse to the hard geometries it once used to banish anxiety; it now has the leisure to be able to imitate the soft curves of a nature in which humanity can feel at home. Worringer¹s Gothic or Northern line is to some extent a combination of the the primitive abstract and the organic-vital. But Worringer warns us that what we find in Gothic ornament is not a Hegelian synthesis of the two previous lines; it 'is not a case of the harmonious interpenetration of two opposite tendencies, but of an impure, and to a certain extent uncanny, amalgamation of them, a requisition of our capacity for empathy (which is bound up with organic rhythm) for an abstract world which is alien to it.' The Gothic cannot be an harmonious fusion of the organic with the abstract because harmony belongs to the organic sensibility alone. In the Gothic, the mechanical abstract does not fuse with the organic so much as it confuses it. Faced with the tangle of lines that characterises the Gothic, the organic-vital recoils, stunned and appalled. What motivates the Gothic line is anxiety, but not the same anxiety that impelled the Egyptians to manufacture their mechanical mausoleums. Rather, the Gothic arises from a discontent with terrestrial life, a sense of existential alienness that builds up inside and seeks release above. This profound unrest sorcerously calls up matter itself to rise towards an inacessible heaven: hence the soaring arches of the Gothic cathedrals, which sound, in Worringer¹s description, less like houses of God, and more like hell erupting on the surface of the planet. There is transfer both of vitality - which is attributed now to the inorganic as well as the organic - as well as our capacity for empathy which extends to the inorganic that has acquired an animation which provokes in us an Œuncanny pathos¹. Comparing the Classical with the Gothic Worringer writes, Here in the Classical edifice, the concepts organic and empathy are completely co-extensive; here an organic life is substituted for matter; it obeys not only its own mechanical laws, but is subordinated, along with its laws, to an artistic volition replete with feeling for organic life. In the Gothic cathedral, on the contrary, matter lives solely on its own mechanical laws; but these laws, despite their fundamentally abstract character, have become living; i.e. they have acquired expression. Man has transferred his capacity for empathy onto mechanical values. Now they are no longer a dead abstraction to him, but a living movement of forces. And only in this heightened movement of forces, which in their intensity of expression surpass all organic motion, was Northern man able to gratify his need for expression, which had been intensified to the point of pathos by inner disharmony. Gripped by the frenzy of these mechanical forces, that thrust out at all their terminations and aspire toward heaven a mighty crescendo of orchestral music, he feels himself compulsively drawn aloft in blissful vertigo, raised high above himself into the infinite. How remote he is from the harmonious Greeks, for whom all happiness was to be sought in the balanced tranquillity of gentle organic movement, which is alien to all ecstasy. (AE 113) In Valis, Philip K Dick has a Gnostic vision: the Roman Empire has never ended. Worringer essentially believes the same thing. The Renaissance projects back (and forward) across all history an aesthetic that emerged only with the Greek and Roman empires. And the victory of the empathic over the abstract, the organic over the inorganic, is so complete that the empathic sensibility is able to erase the abstract-inorganic almost completely; erase it or else consign it to the sidings of history. Within the panoptic sweep of ever-expanding enlightenment, the Dark Ages are merely an embarrassment. As Deckard¹s suspicions that he is himself a replicant grow, the empire of the organic-vital begins to crack. Like Spengler, an obvious influence, Worringer casts himself as the observer of a tottering Western culture. For the sickness of Civilization, Worringer prescribes some wintry Schopenhauerian Orientalism. It¹s in the utter nullity of non-occidental ego death that Europe can find its escape from the delibitating grip of its failing narcissism. Worringer clearly detests what he characterises as the easy-going, life-affirming sunniness of Southern Europe, and his work needs to be seen in the context of the cultural wars that were then being waged - between himself, the Futurists in Italy and Lewis and the Vorticists in England - over the nature, role, and ethnic home of abstraction. The war over abstraction was also a none-too coded struggle over where and with whom the future of mechanical civilization lay. Needless to say, there is also a relation - not always as direct as some detractors would claim - to fascism. Form in Gothic and Abstraction and Empathy are ostensibly about the past . But no-one is fooled. Even though they make no direct reference to anything contemporary, Worringer¹s studies are widely read as manifestoes for the German Expressionist artists who were beginning to work in the Pre-War period. And since German Expressionism infects and fatally reconfigures the nascent American cinema, it follows that Worringer is not only writing about the past, but the future. Which brings us back to Blade Runner. Following Deckard across Blade Runner¹s densely referenced futurescape is like travelling back through a history of the cinema. Blade Runner¹s black sepulchres remind us that LA¹s sweet dreams have been darkened by European nightmares since The Cabinet of Dr Caligari first future-shocked American audiences back in 1919. The monsters brought to unlife by Lugosi, Karloff, Chaney, Browning and Whale in the early Universal movies combined Americarny spit and sawdust with German Expressionist sturm und drangst in more or less equal measure: Hollywood Gothic, indeed. Even the shadows which define that most supposedly American of genres, pulp noir - another major component of Blade Runner¹s cinematic DNA - were cast by the European emigres who populated Hollywood back then; and if not by them, by Americans lured into cinematography by their dark incandescence. In Blade Runner, America, an immigrant culture whose memories are all borrowed, confronts the prospect that the Future is no longer virgin territory. The Dream was of crossing a line, beyond which the past would be shaken off, fake memories could be forgotten, and everything would be New, and clean, and perfectable. Science Fiction in its classical form provided the imagery for this jetstreamed, wipe-clean, airconditioned, atomic-powered New World. European observer and ironic pro-American Jean Baudrillard admires Dick because he severs SF from that future, so far distant - existentially as well as temporally - from today¹s mess-Age (Public Enemy), and situates it in an alternative present or presents where cops, commerce, psychotropics and TV religion are too close for comfort. All the kipple - the crud, the waste - vacuumed out of SF¹s Dream home piles up in Dick¹s seedy tenements. Dick had the Dream reawakened in him by the youth movements of the 1960s, but the drug trips turned bad at the same time that the country went to the dogs: most of his best works are written in the cold dawn of the 1970s, when America woke to the bleak triumvurate of Nixon, the boys returning from Vietnam and the ending of the Space Age. Betrayal, defeat and bathos. In Dick¹s world - as in Tricky Dicky¹s - you take nothing at face value, you can¹t believe in anything, especially not yourself. When you learn to distrust everything deep, you¹re ready to enter Dick¹s America, which is also, probably, Baudrillard¹s. Baudrillard¹s whole oeuvre rests on a very Worringerian opposition wherein the inorganic (aka death, the unbound, the object, the crystal) always outwits the vital. This is doubled by the theme of the capture and absorbtion of the real (the simulated) by its attempts to legitimate and authenticate itself (simulation). Sometimes the dichotomy is gendered, and Baudrillard writes of the masculine (ungroundable and unwarranted certainty) falling prey to the lure of the feminine (the ambiguous, the undeterminable, the seductive). All of this is played out, in Blade Runner, and Do Androids...., in the scenes where Deckard (male, believing himself to be a real human subject, but probably a replicant) is seduced by Rachael (female, not alive, a simulated person) . Baudrillard sees in America¹s 'violent expressionism' a replicant culture, a culture free to be entirely without depth because lacking in any past. ³For Baudrillard, as for Worringer, what allows [the] development into an artificial culture, or culture of simulacra, is detachment from roots, its Œlack of roots.¹² (IC 141) In adapting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Scott re-roots LA in the Northern line, imagining the city of Angels as a neo-medieval City of Quartz . Scott takes his cue from the scene in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? where bounty-hunter Phil Resch looks at Munch¹s Scream and thinks: 'that¹s how an android must feel.' The expressionist style Scott adopts is arty through and through: even the adverts look elegant (whereas in Dick¹s world, all the art would be an advert - probably for a hardware store. We¹ve already noted the irony here: that Scott¹s vision will be swallowed whole by advertising in the end. Commerce always trumps aesthetics, in Dick¹s world as well as ours.) In the movement from paperback to art movie, there¹s also a shift in religious sensibility. Dick¹s religion is Weekly World News improbable: revelation is inseparable from mass-mediated sensationalization. It¹s all dimestore prophecy and visions of God under the influence of a dentist¹s drug. Gnosis is to be found amongst the discarded candy bar wrappers and cheap tunes of an artless huckster culture where everything is for sale: part of the challenge is being able to spot that the way out is hidden somewhere in the trash. Scott replaces Dick¹s kooky-quacky loony toons All-American Gnosticism with the sober intensity of Protestant nonconformism. His replicants, especially Roy Batty, speak in the language of Milton or Blake. In a sense, this is no less American. Rather it represents what has become the paradox of a pure, authentic America, an America true to itself (rather than, as for Baudrillard, true to the only condition America can make its own: miscegenation, syntheticity, superficiality). The replicants¹ is the language of America as it dreamed it would be, Dick¹s is the language of how it is. The offworld colonies might as well be the past; like the first pilgrims, the replicants haven¹t seen America before, and they come as avenging angels (angeles) from its memory of the future, representatives of what (it) could have been. Thus Blade Runner¹s infernal city is more Paradise Lost than Dante. Arriving from the dying sky of a choked ecosphere, the replicants come to an Amerikka where the calcified determinism of social stratification finds metonymic expression in the very architecture of the city - opulent Citadels of wealth loom far above new shanty towns, as inaccessible to the subproletarian Œcybernetic troglodytes¹ below as baronial castles were to the medieval peasantry. Europe, again... Across Europe, cybergothic infects Freud. You could say that, on at least two occasions, Freud - in so many other ways a cybergothic resistor - goes much further than Worringer in the direction of cybergothic. In the 1895 Project for a Scientific Psychology and the 1921 Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud anticipates what Tyrell will demonstrate: Voight-Kampff is void because there is no ultimate distinction - ontological or practical - between the organic and the inorganic. The organism is a fold in the inorganic. Hollywood Horror historian David Skal identifies a strong correlation between Horror and war, arguing that the first flush of American fright flicks were displaced reactions to the 1914-18 conflict. Freud¹s essay needs to be read in the same context. That is to say, as not only an essay about the war, but as an effect of it, a seismic registry of its impact. In part a response to shellshock - which is to say, to the new pyschophysical assemblages (de)formed by weaponry - Beyond the Pleasure Principle goes so far as to attribute the formation of all terrestrial life to trauma. It¹s the best Horror story since Kant¹s The Critique of Pure Reason. In Freud¹s account, the organism is analytically and technically inextricable from the inorganic. At its most breathtakingly audacious, Beyond the Pleasure Principle is about the constitution of identity itself. Not personal identity, of course, but identity as such, the very possibility of individuation. Identity begins in an attempt to solve the problem of how to manage stimuli. What this concerns, crucially for the hunters of Œskinjobs¹ - the weirdly sexual demotic term for the replicants - is skin. The skin is both the outer layer of the organism and the inner layer of the inorganic. The organism ... is a differential inserted into the cascade of powerful energies that threaten to destroy it (before it can destroy itself in its own manner). This differentiation is premised on an increasingly densely laminated mechanism of exclusion, within and by means of which the psychical apparatus can operate, binding and discharging appropriate quanta of energy. Were this protective membrane removed, then we would be left with both energy and the proto-organism undifferentiated and indistinguishable: in other words, undifferentiated matter-energy. Can we say, however, whether the laminar filter is itself living or dead? Freud has it that the envelope itself is inorganic, but it nevertheless forms part - an essential part - of a living system. Thus the laminae are themselves both living and non-living, not having the requisite depth or dimensions, in themselves, to constitute a living dimension. In itself, it forms the inconceivable differential from which the depth proper to systems is derived. One cannot conceptually pin this layer to the category Œdead¹, nor to that of Œliving¹; instead, it can only be thought as matter-energy circulating endlessly in its Œpermanent revolution¹. Having, as Freud puts it contra Kant, no time proper to them, these energies neither live nor die: they are what conjoin the material processes of life and death in a continuum so absolute as to preclude the possibility of differentiating one from the other.1 ŒInside¹ the organism is everything familiar: time, . But inside is only possible on the basis of an outside - an outside marked only by. ³Far from [organic bodies] being constituted by means of a reference to an absolute self-possession, an absolute propriety, they are constituted, as is any closed system, by the exclusions that define the (as near as possible) noiseless or determinant channels through which the only information that flows is that which reproduces the identity of the system as such. In other words, the borders, the Œskin¹ (to pursue the libidinal apparatus) is the product of the identitarian reproduction of the system, its re-presentation of its own constitution to itself.²2 There is no negation, an observation reinforced by Freud¹s remarkable analysis of the un prefix in his essay on ŒThe Uncanny¹ (Das Unheimliche, the unhomely, the strangely familiar), an essay in which many of the themes that will find fuller elaboration in Beyond the Pleasure Principle are first rehearsed. By means of a number of theses, Freud demonstrates that far from the organic being diametrically opposed to the inorganic, the organism and the inorganic form a kind of single moebian strip, twisted into a tension that when taut, is called life and when slackened, is called death. Which means that on the ultimate ontological plane - the plane of immanence - there is only unlife. It is as old as hell. ... it is definite unlife [es ist bestimmt unleben] There is nothing we would not do to escape. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. But it is fate. It howls electric bliss beneath our cells. It is nowhere in time and nothings us. It is the body of nothing, and electric-hot. An electric nothing-body instead of us.