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from David Berman to Wallfacers

In a very abstract frame today, I tried continuing with my writing and realised I would rather be talking to you. Whoever you are … wherever you are …

I have a lot of tabs (1, 2, 3 …) open I’ve been meaning to close once I wrote something about David Berman, David Cloud Berman I read in one of them. It was to be an RIP piece. Beside me I have the notes from when I heard he had suicided. They go like this:

this is coming

I’ll explain how

we’re all going to get through it

and “rebuild” society

Video after the jump

The last is from one of the links.

Then there is the line with the typo: The meaning of the world lies outside thw world. It’s from a Silver Jews album, the song ‘People.’

“Video after the jump” links to Berman’s blog, mentholmountains: arc of a boulder, which doesn’t link anywhere, but has links to writers, Thomas Bernhard, for example, and Robert Walser, and pictures and videos. It is not too dissimilar from squarewhiteworld.

An arrow directs on the kokuyo paper from the line “Video after the jump” to a reference to Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem. It reads:

Become a Wallfacer.

Humanity faces extermination, the extermination of a species of bug, coming from the stars, from the planet Trisolaris. It will take four light years to arrive. Meanwhile every human effort is directed towards defending itself, not the earth, but doing whatever it takes to defend itself.

400 years would seem to be sufficient time to prepare, however, the Trisolarans have sent an expeditionary force ahead to spy on human efforts and to limit them to what can be achieved from a current understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. The technology of Trisolaris far exceeds this limit, since the expeditionary force itself comprises AI supercomputers shrunk down to the size of subatomic particles, protons, quantumcomputers called Sophons. (The word for proton 质子 (zhì zǐ) is the same as the word for Sophon .) The lockdown on scientific research imposed by the Sophons is something that I was writing about in view of the comparable lockdown or limitation on paradigm shift, on fundamental advance, in the sciences–and more generally, in political economy–that is self-imposed in neoliberal institutional systems of governance where the pursuit of science is becoming the performance of science through representative means. (This source, considering the science of Three-Body misses the potential for critical diagnosis Liu’s fiction contains: note it contains info you might want to avoid if you intend to read the novels: it has the strangely phenomenological name, Exposing the structure of how we got our answers: Poetry in Physics.) (The diagnostic criticism implicit in Liu of the Sophonic lockdown as science fiction is explained by Philip Mirowski as the neoliberal fact of Open Science, ironically, at 56’57” in Hell is Truth Seen Too Late.) (I recommend reading Three-Body for its clinical diagnostic potential–and equally I recommend watching Mirowski, even if just for the part about Open Science.)

The Wallfacer project is undertaken by a humanity under threat of annihilation because of the lockdown on science imposed by the Sophons–which is described as being their ability to falsify experimental results from research in fundamental physics (note the Popperian line on falsification). The Trisolarans have a vulnerability: they communicate with each other through thought-reading, thought-hearing, thought-speaking. But they can’t read the thoughts of humans. Neither Sophons nor Trisolarans can see what is going on inside human minds. The notion of lying, of misrepresenting one’s true thoughts, of misrepresentation through speech and language is alien to these aliens–as is the notion therefore of representation. The Wallfacer project is to take advantage of this vulnerability. Wallfacers are selected to help save humanity through indirection and misdirection–through not representing their intentions. Besides the mental freedom to dream up plans and projects the use of which they need neither justify nor defend–in fact the Wallfacer project depends on their doing neither–they have all the world’s resources at their disposal to carry out their plans and projects.

They would be artists, poets, revolutionaries, for not having to answer to anyone for their freedoms, but for the fact that they are so and unquestioningly so resourced. Perhaps this is the link I wanted to make to David Berman: Become a Wallfacer.

The diagnostic import of the Wallfacer project can be seen when placed in relation to the lockdown on science. If, as I tend to think, neoliberal systems of institutional governance entail of the sciences a comparable lockdown–and we can see evidence of this in the shutting down of labs in the ‘hard’ sciences (those without direct application in technology and commercialisable IP) and see it also in the decrease in institutional support for intellectual labour, whether in fundamental theory in the sciences or in philosophy–then the Wallfacer project serves as critique of the view that it is to science, to scientists and to scientific research we must turn to find solutions to the problems facing life, to overcome the threat from earth.

Earth has this vulnerability: it doesn’t know we make it in our own image.

To overcome the threat from the earth, first undo the image we have made of it. The meaning of the world lies outside the world

[R.I.P. David C. Berman, 4 January 1967 – 7 August 2019]

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& no. XXIV

XXIV.

on a rough crossing of Lake Baikal

I am inside a water droplet

on the glass of my actual ferry

following in its saltwater course its

odd

distorted horizon

 

on a rough crossing of Lake Baikal

I can’t wait to tell you simpler things

how the wind is gone round to the East

bringing cooler air and

a drop of four degrees

 

on a rough crossing leave by the fast clock

return by the slow

 

crossing suicide notes

why not death threats

 

Piglia writes on Pavese

that the purpose of the diary

is to make suicide

possible

 

that smell of morals and lyrics

when poetry if it exists at all

it is at the oral limit

 

we count the stones on the beach

what nation what beautiful was

every stone

one by one

we count the elements

 

the void

space

time

lekton which is for Emmanuel Levinas

poetry and

on its horizon

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please let me know if you are reading this kind of record by using the contact link on the left

XIV.

define muscle

shoulder whole wheel

week

axle-tree

 

in all things he will excel me

Knausgaard

Karl Ove to his son

as a son from the point of view

of love my son asks me

to reattach the sterile patch

quickly his wounded arm

 

he will be leaving is it for us

is it for us to carry on

quickly to carry on

 

define muscle turning on the axle-tree

I can think of no better thing to say and

have no greater wish to wish him

I will tell him I wish that in all things

he will excel me Karl Ove said so

 

quickly I reattach the sterile plaster

to his open sore

 

 

it is inexcusable to use the phrase mortal weight

in an invented scenario I don’t believe abstraction

gains any height from it I don’t wish to pontificate

and inexcusable to lift the straw man of the left

on the railroad of disappointment China Miéville

imagines is a railway to invent imagine

a wanker in a hotel room or suicide I am her

do I clean do I wash am I soiled it is

from the wound of my mouth justified

wound we share we who have opened

each other’s legs

 

sickles

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for a kind of record, parts IV & V

IV.

I am very happy

you could hear the risk in his voice

he rubs his penis across her waist

the danger

 

what did you say to me

did you say

too much

too much of looking over the precipice

too much of walking around and around

in these dark rooms where I live out empty days

Cavafy

 

and the stripper

with her hair glossy running

down around her breast

curling into the hollow

of his loin

in a bituminous river

 

approach

retreat

take hold of yourself

and girded against the unexpected

smell

get a good grip

 

the small of her back

wipe your finger

pull the latch

open the window

a light breeze

with the tang

of revelation

 

V.

but I was just angry

every night

No not every night

every night and always

every night

 

what happened last week

anyway

every night

I can smell dogshit

 

my body boils

is the pit

in miniature

a model of hell

no light escapes

and the light in the cave is not reassuring

although it dances has the highpitch whine

of a blade of a wire a single strand spitting

in a vacuum

no relief just the superimposition of totem

animals one over another over another over

another incessant pull gravity and

the vanity of man

 

who should commit suicide tomorrow or tonight

who should give himself up to the pull of the Platonic

the shadow does not me

shadow does not

not me

 

what expression escapes

mortal danger

or should I say personal

but vanity should emote

 

I should kill myself tomorrow or tonight

I should take my life

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the weird world of WIRED’s tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P., 23 July 1967 – 2 February 2014

“He’s just conjuring up that same, incredible ability to act in front of the camera.”

“But we’re also sad to see him go so young because we suspect there were many more complicated, but thrilling characters yet to come.”

– from here

– from her

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field recordings 2013:09:08 17:12:46 – 2013:10:19 14:22:30

Riverhead at the end filled me with a sense of anomie. But not quite. The ugliness of it truly sub urban, and the ugliness of its continuation through developments designed in batches – designed for the market rather than for people to live in, resting on scarifications of an architectural scale and quality: the true architecture of landscape despoliation. And the sound of machines. And trees falling with a vicious crack echoing in the brown armpit of the valley, almost encircled by the eponymous river. And hee-hawing or strafing of men aggressively laughing. The neighbour.

You know, I think of that song lyric – “when I was dead / in Riverhead” – and a corner of sentiment sneaks in. Because Riverhead gave us a lifestyle – and something to hate, which as the Italians are said to say is as important as having something, or someone, to love. So that revisiting these images, there is a strength of purpose in the capture of them – real feeling – which is unlikely to be recaptured in the same way. Somehow John Campbell’s marvelous mouth shining like a solar anus fits – the crack that the light gets in, it really does. Get in.

Riverhead topographically is dominated by the rugby fields. Field recording are also felt. The grounds glowing nightly Soylent green under floodlights. Floodlights that were horrendously expensive to put in and are equally expensive to run. No expense spared. And in the mist maybe a kid is practicing his dodges, duck, dive, and a grown man is stretching his hammies.

Riverhead. Years ago submissions were being solicited – pre-Draft Unitary Plan – for the future development of the town. We all put together some ideas. Dad drew some pictures. We were not optimistic. But down at the 100 year-old hall it was a chance to meet some more locals. Talk about what others envisaged as a vision for the place. Like Auckland itself – which it in fact precedes as the initially projected site for the city – the town turns its back on its natural asset: the river. In Auckland’s case, this is of course the harbour. Was every watery space somehow associated in the colonist planner’s mind with an open sewer? Anyway, the plan we presented was to turn the town to face the river, opening up public walkways along its looping length with shops and eateries and a riverside culture.

It therefore whispers the words ‘another missed opportunity‘ when I see the suburbs tumescent breaking through the skin of the historic town: the dormitory vision of a sleeping skirt for citizens to cling in to. Waiting for their own cancers. Because there has been a slew of cancers recently in the nor’west of Auckland, centring on Kumeu, Huapai, Riverhead. The doctors at the medical centre talk about it.

Anomie. And a sadness that if not altogether sweet is not altogether painful.

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seeing Barney’s wonderful one-man show …Him last night …

…made me want to write a play again. Is this wrong?

I get the feeling something is being left unsaid.

And listening to This Mortal Coil today (“Holocaust”) gave me an inkling of what it is,

and where there is space in the market.

Send me ideas, donations, commissions.

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oh my god

is that

the guy

is that

the guy

is that the

guy

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the persistence of mysterious objects in domestic situations, hypocrisy still the greatest luxury; the persistence of domestic situations into the city, stills











































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illocative media






















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