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10 August 2000
we are the bees of the invisible

Rolf's many edged sword
the infinitely edged winged sword of the senses, fecit Rolf August 10, 2000
Rainer Maria Rilke:

- Nature, the things of our intercourse and use, are provisional and perishable; but they are, as long as we are here, our property and our friendship, co-knowers of our distress and gladness, as they have already been the familiars of our forebears. So it is important not only not to run down and degrade all that is here, but just because of its provisionalness, which it shares with us, these phenomena and things should be understood and transformed by us in a most fervent sense. Transformed? Yes, for it is our task to imprint this provisional, perishable earth so deeply, so patiently and passionately in ourselves that its reality shall arise in us again "invisibly." We are the bees of the invisible. Nous butinons eperdument le miel du visible, pour l'accumuler dans la grande ruche d'or de l'Invisble. The Elegies show us at this work, at the work of these continual conversions of the beloved visible and tangible into the invisible vibrations and excitation of our own nature, which introduces new vibration-frequencies into the vibration-spheres of the universe.... The earth has no way out other than to become invisible: in us who with a part of our natures partake of the invisible, have (at least) stock in it, and can increase our holdings in the invisible during our sojourn here, in us alone can be consummated this intimate and lasting conversion.

sentimental twists of the senses, or: what do you want to use them for today?
to hear to listen
to touch to feel
to see to look
to taste to savour
to smell to breathe in
:
to inform to know. I can't imagine someone else hasn't evva made up a 'sentimental' little list like this? (Is search the nth sense? Infinite in all directions? I did not search after it. It dawned on me at wake-up and I thought I'd drop it with you). To inform to know could be to inform to experience, to remember, to forget. To inform would be the long list. It's that non-sensical after all.

8-9 August 2000
search rocks
20000808 links
sylloge (www.sylloge.com)
Hotsy Totsy Coup (www.kokonino.com/ht/topical.html)


search skills
Hi Stewart! We must stop meeting like this. Your searches hit bottomline (and found 0 'results', then 50, so both got my full attention). If you would please read on. Who needs a user, a reader, let alone a client—if he's got himself a searcher? (Churches must have known this all along. Oh and Ray knew, but he kept the secret to himself, whilst generously spreading the information, see, it's possible). Now we know how to compose for a listener, how to write for a reader, how to build an interface for a user and how to cater to a client; but how will we author for a searcher?

The searcher actively anticipates his information. (S)he doesn't expect to find a final word at the end of the search. Actually (s)he has a different handling of information altogether, with a different reading pattern, use of memory and ability to connect and combine bits of text and images to 'get a story'/'make a story'—or some kind of narrative, unlike a whole, a stream of relevant pieces of information. The searcher is no author anymore than a participatory reader is an author, but they have different habits and competences towards the Literature. We can imagine (with the birth of a searching information gatherer, who has linked, networked online information at his disposal), a generation of authors to emerge, who understand the new kind of knowledge consumption ('learning'), and therefor can author for it.

An author with a searching audience in mind, an author who herself/himself is a searching producer, not after final words, fragment loving, knowing how to connect the 'bons mots', maintaining the micro and the macro view on his production, yet not hesitating to make a 1001 word sentence and construct a 10001 line paragraph, musing on the endless scroll, resisting screen estate summary terror, and ultimately, pitching his doses of well tuned links to (his own and other people's) existing productions and the outer-file; such author we are after, such author we are searching and re-researching for.

aside: überdairy
Ah... buffalo yogurt, amping dadih in Sumatra's Bukittinggi market place's rumah makan combines yogurt, crushed oats, avocado, banana, coconut, and are topped with cane syrup and grated coconut... it came to mind when for lunch I mixed the Faisselle fromage frais, Gil's father's honey, fresh peach and melon and sprinkled some crunchy müsli on top.

In the context of taste, my current Merle yogurt fits season and place better than a Buffalo yogurt could. Amping dadih shouldn't be striven for at home, but travelled for whenever its urge arises. Everything sacred needs its proper place.

Le Moulin du Merle
...hosts Joke Robaard since last night, which might mean some update glitches, which anyway will occur over the next 3 weeks, when at some point Gil and I will even leave the house, and R+r, in the caring hands of friends, for a few days of campagne garden and gourmet travel, around August 19-24.

Jo brought me Reich Remixed and Peter Sloterdijk's 'Regels voor het mensenpark' (Regeln für den Menschenpark, referred to as 'rules for the human park'. We've been sharing Sloterdijk (who she first introduced me to) for many years. My first association with the German (and Dutch) title is an allusion to the 'Wagenpark', a 'fleet of cars', introducing a 'quantity', as the unity/object of his essay. Mensch and Man BTW are from their historical context as far apart as in any translator's worst nightmare.

7 August 2000


early 1980s Baflo NL studio visit, left to right Jeanine Geerts and me, and myself reshaping moods

horizons
Digging different things and past works I come across different moods, all of which slumber somewhere, inside of me, if only inside 'me' past. I never experienced the workings of old photographs, and works and materials as strong as I do these days. It makes me at the same time extremely critical and cautious (not to long for days gone, to protect myself for nostalgia) as well as extremely hungry, for lessons to be learned, and eager to apply them to new experiments, and the continuation, or rehabilitation of some old ones. When I've come a long way, I can go a long way, is what seems to be suggested by such exercises. Live several lives in one, after one another, or synchronously. OK enough psychobabble. Back to the studios. Back to the studio years. An onwards.

4 August 2000


all things considered












3 August 2000
welcome

Manhatten postcard, with 'moi' directions
monument for a time when there's no more 'we' with us anymore (postcard with 'Moi' directions by Andrea Blum)
20000803 links
the very act of being online, cybering.com (www.cybering.com)
Urban Depressive Signals at texting (groksoup.com/Site/Texting)


thank you
Spent a great day yesterday in the small Merle circle (4+2 and then, some), especially around the table, enjoying all that 'fell off', later trying to add to it by searching the Cervenon woods for chanterelles, actually finding six beautiful big ones, just enough to shrink them a bit in salted and peppered butter and cover two late late night pieces of dark toast, before turning in, even without passing by the club house.

multiple outlets
New publishing/correspondence possibilities abound. After critiquing some of the Signum 'where did all the cyber revolution go?' content earlier this week ('the end of fantasy as we know it') I was invited to join final-editor Tiffany Lee Brown's 'magdalen' list at eGroups, which I did, without yet posting there, to witness interesting issues develop. Then I finally replied to Heather of cybering and texting fame (the latter, 'urban depressive signals', knows one of the best disclaimers of the web: ' although the tone here might seem irredeemably bleak, fear not; at deepest core I am an optimist'), who's another artist you should look into some day. I was honoured to be invited to contribute to cybering, as much as I am interested to see what I could contribute to the magdalen list, but I have three sites to 'fill' already. I mean, on the one side there's plenty of good content on the web. On the other hand you have to pick like one or two (or 15-20, whatever your throughput capacity is) publications that make really sense to your own interests and production. The ones that you would want to link to (was: the ones that you'd wish you'd thought of yourself). Then you have to sow and weed and harvest your own gardens.

'We' all have sites of our own. 'We' all contribute one way or another to each other's sites (if only by following their discussions and occasionally linking to them, or reviewing them). 'We' are pioneering web content, by mixing the public and the private, theory and journal, on and off line correspondence and production. By developing publishing routines and rituals and experimenting communication technologies and media and formats that only recently emerged, 'we' write history—even while, as there's no 'here' in here, there's no 'we' with us either. I wouldn't be spending so much time (sometimes forcing myself to stay interested and excusing myself to the other realms and their prime populations and interactions), to stay posted and post at all cost.

homo sapiens 2.0, or the end of automation
Rather than excusing, we should be including, when we talk to folks at both extremes of web acknowledgement and appreciation. Cheap 24/7 online hook-up is the clear (and hopefully near) future of the web, so it is the future of information man. How unlike old media, and how unlike dial-up Internet, how unlike '500 channel' TV, how unlike WAP enabled cellphones, how unlike any medium to date. In my personal future I would hope for user accessible and comprehensible (thus 'productional') computational power at all ends, in user friendly, not dumbing down (low gadget level) devices (so there must be a learning curve, if we want this medium to represent any importance at all! Information man will eventually be Homo Sapiens 2.0...), and symmetrical download/upload connections—not mere woodwork embedded monitoring of our consumption patterns and the subsequent ordering and delivery of the warez. We'll see the end of dumb automation. As far as the web will be a business device, it will allow any-to-any individual trade, whether it be goods, services—or any content. Communication will include all exchanges of good and services, in immaterial and material distillation.

'we' are the shopkeepers
While I'm living a lot of people's dreams, in a cranky 19C villa cum watermill in the French backwaters, amidst abundant nature and good folks and some bad habits and strange folklores, yet I have this Manhattan aerial shot postcard close at hand, on which Andrea jotted 'Moi' with an arrow diving deep into SoHo, for comparison, and I return to my desk, every day and every night to hook up, for comparison, and to live the life of a twisted king.

Whoever 'we' are, there's plenty of collaborative/competitive we's out here, plenty of good stories and plenty of smart insights in what it might be all of us will be offering over the next decades. If counter-culture had ever panicked over culture's competition it wouldn't have existed, or been named counter-culture in the first place. The web needs its own 'little shops', now as ever. And we're its shopkeepers.

1-2 August 2000
what do you mean: a 'link'?! (was: 'give me a link, will you?!')
link tracks and distractions
I shouldn't be doing this. From Geegaw, to Amazon, wondering why people who buy fold-up scooters would buy the other things they apparently do buy (Pet Lovin' Barbies and McDonald's Happy Meal Play-Doh—yay, no ratio!), as postered at Amazon (love those data best: like what does this-or-that group, nation, or interest sharing individuals, or be-the-thus-singularities, read, use, play with), ending lost in the wilderness of on-line shopping. Choke choke, wonder why my kids blink their eyes so spastically these days.

- Chirp, chirp! Rrrrribbit! Tweet!! From the sound of things, kids will think they're really camping in the great outdoors! This lantern sheds light on any preschool adventure and plays cricket, frog, bird, squirrel and owl sounds...hoot, hoot! Two AA batteries included. Bulb must be installed by consumer.

Links mush minds.

hip hip and more
Like everything, my b'day today, August 2, starts and ends with the 'blog (at least I guess in 24 hours I'll be sitting here alone encore, glass at hand, a tiny bit older, but cheerful, like tonight). Ha ha! yeah, sad, isn't it? No it ain't. I just honoured the early start of a new year of my life with a letter to a former very dear friend whom I haven't seen in, maybe, 10, 15, 20 years? She's my ex-wife, from a long and sweet courting followed by a short-lived marriage which' details are none of your business. Just this afternoon her reply to a letter that I wrote her a month or so ago reached me (great timing! Better than my timing when I walked out on her), on the subject of my relationship to her parents. I concluded that indeed, a friendly relationship to her parents doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, if there's no such thing as an (even formal) relationship to her. Consider it a blind date. Theoretically, everything could have turned out differently. But it didn't. Walks of life take turns. I'm amazed by the distance that time builds. And by the lack of distance, the simple shriveling of time, when memory steps on it. I wonder what our recordings will do to time, and generations, and memories, to come. Meanwhile, she will only read (some of) this in a week, that is, if I post the letter tomorrow. I'm quite sure she doesn't read NQP, but her dad and her brother could, though not frequently. They have sites of their own. You'll excuse me there's no links here.

It is also at occasions like this, when the weblog format really shocks me, the way it interferes with the other world of communication. I don't mean the other channels of communication, no: I mean the other communication in one's life, the private, the daily or not so daily, the intimate, the frustrated, the painful, the powerless, the dumb and twisted—and of course the loony, the drooly, the excited, grotesque, horny, irrelevant, adhoc, improv, blunt, son of a gun toot sweet kinda sorta. The best and the worst of it. The personal and the professional (I'm taking blind leaps in both realms these days). The happy and the sad. And the weblog.

with all this I'm playing
'The Sonny Side of Chér' (no typo here, that's the way she's, was?, spelled), 1966, and Dead Can Dance's 'The Serpent's Egg', 1992 or about, both multiples in vinyl, 33rpm, black groove material. If we could write a history of a world on these 26 years, of what happened, and how it happened, between the voices of angels Chér and Lisa Gerrard, we'd have a major document. It would all be there, we would all be there, even you who came before and after, we are embedded in the difference, in the information, which is formed between Chér and Lisa, in their linking, in a story I can here only suggest, alas not write.

run voice run
From Chér to Lisa, there's been no progress for humanity. Nope. None? The progress is in the Chér plus the Lisa and on, and counting: each volume added. A choir of yet unknown significance which unites these voices and sends them off into the information age, when time will run backwards as fast as forwards, and I'll be turning 1 and 93 on one and the same day. In some way, I can't wait. Then, I hope for a long life.

29-31 July 2000
upstream dream
Lot
In my dream the French Lot ('lot' meaning fate in Dutch) river streamed in the other direction than I witnessed for the first time around 1964, when I was a kid camping at her borders with my parents. Now when we accidentally kicked the ball in to my surprise I saw it going left instead of right, as I had expected. I dived after it and indeed was pulled left as well, and recovered the ball on the other side.

antidotal humanity
Paul adds to my rereading of Agamben by linking his notion of a 'landmarkless' singularity to Elaine Scarry's 'body in pain'. I have her book on the shelves since 1992, when it was recommended to me by Mel Chin, but found it an impossible read, and again, when I browse it today. Maybe another time, after Agamben.

without classes
As much as I'm intrigued by The Coming Community in general and especially by 'Without Classes', as much as I marvel at Agamben's conceptual constructions, cultural sensitivity and stylistic turns, there's one or two suggestions that irritate me—which is ever the more important since my intuition alerts me there's a message in this book and text which should be taken to heart, as antidotal to most of current debate, faux or forreal. So reading it is already mitigating, but understanding it might run me into some objections (which most probably not even spoil the read for its savourly aesthetic).

If we follow Agamben and take to heart his conclusive recommendation that "Selecting in the new planetary humanity those characteristics that allow for its survival, removing the thin diaphragm that separates bad mediatized advertising from the perfect exteriority that communicates only itself—this is the political task of our generation." (my Italicizing), if this text is not only a philosophical essay, but contains a political call, I cannot accept two major aspects: Without Classes contains a messianism, and a warning. I don't like either of those, and particularly dislike their combination, in whichever format or context they are presented, and more precisely never trust them in a political context.

- But this also means that <messianism><B>the petty bourgeois represents an opportunity unheard of in history of humanity</B></messianism> that <warning><B>it must at all cost not let slip away</B></warning>. Because if instead of continuing to search for a proper identity in the already improper and senseless form of humanity, humans were to succeed in belonging to this impropriety as such, in making of the proper being-thus not an identity and an individual property but a singularity without identity, a common and absolutely exposed singularity -- if human could, that is, not be-thus in this or that particular biography, but be only the thus, their singular exteriority and their face, then <messianism><B>they would for the first time enter into a community without presuppositions and without subjects, into a communication without the incommunicable</B></messianism>.

Political messianism prevents any 'humanity' (petty or other bourgeoisie, or elite, for that matter, or interest group, neighbourhood organisation etc.) from improving its chance of survival (and quality of existence!) with full respect to individual and communal modes of existence and expression. Any messianisms fails to 'link' in any productive way to cultural or societal action, as a result of which its propagated utopia would take form. Shared individual—indeed political, as its intention—action, which forms itself in cultural production and communication, supported by extreme discretion and respect (utopian qualities in themselves), under extremely balanced conditions (not unlike 'laboratory controlled' conditions) makes a tiny chance at reaching temporary ideal stages, answerable to all the forces that helped it come about.

my warning
Such utopia has only been known to me in its (very prime and easily banalized but already enlightening the human condition) guise as love.

28 July 2000
change, the god as
moins ça change, plus c'est différent
Mentioning change, in a mail to Judith, casually, like all of us professional changers are very much used to do since a few years, since we started valuing 'change' above 'progress', since the market for change established in new technologies and media, since change is god, and since this god is probably the last of the gods to get a chance with human devotion, Change, the final deity—so I mentioned her in the passing, and how slow she was to me, maybe how tired, how untrue, anyway, since I mailed this to Judith—Change, She has not left me in peace, and all her false images have appeared to me in a clarity before unknown to me and left me stubborn, not against her, but in her attention, in her devotion, in detail, in small and slow and profound change, in radical difference rather than in obvious propaganda, rather than industrial and industrious production, rather than in design and tools and media, rather than in markets and other pertinent ideologies, rather than in the old and corrupt and broke religion, rather than all of the above: I'm devoted to her benevolent attention. Amen. We have to teach Change to become who She really is. Teach the last god we'll ever worship to be true to us.

26 July 2000
antidotal humanity
Giorgio Agamben, in The Coming Community... I'm trying to ponder the following, as a reaction to yesterday's critique of exotic imagination gone bitter, and could use some suggestions on it. Of course it is out of context but I believe any mind can crack a short code and come up with something relevant to its meaning, or possible workings, if only by extending it with more questions. 'Without Classes', on humanity after class struggle (if I'm courageous I'll type out the entire three pages the next days). So far I just begun rereading it over and over:

- (..) the petty bourgeoisie is probably the form in which humanity is moving towards its own destruction. But this also means that the petty bourgeoisie represents an opportunity unheard of in the history of humanity that it must at all cost not let slip away. Because if instead of continuing the search for a proper identity in the already improper and senseless form of individuality, humans were to succeed in belonging to this impropriety as such, in making of the proper being-thus not an identity and an individual property but a singularity without identity, a common and absolutely exposed singularity—if humans could, that is, not be-thus in this or that particular biography, but be only the thus, their singular exteriority and their face, then they would for the first time enter into a community without presuppositions and without subjects, into a communication without the incommunicable.

Selecting in the new planetary humanity those characteristics that allow for its survival, removing the thin diaphragm that separates bad mediatized advertising from the perfect exteriority that communicates only itself—this is the political task of our generation.


This is so interesting... I've been struggling with this text before (even transcribed it, today I found it through Google, after having spent considerable time this afternoon, to install a search function in NQPAOFU—soon), January 24, 1999... what to add, or correct, to my then remarks, which strike me as just beside the point, but came up in pretty much the same context, born from the same irritation with cybergnosis, as which triggered my search for an antidote a year and a half ago. I had to do something with this text again.

25 July 2000
the end of fantasy as we know it
20000725 links
Signum, 5th Issue, on Whatever happened to the Cyber Revolution (www.slm-net.com/signum/Issue5/) (courtesy synthetic zero)


Capital consensus took over new media and technology, the Internet and WWW, beefed it up with enough money to serve it to the masses of bored consumers, choking on their communications. Moved it into the galleries and the museums and the malls and portable phones. It killed our love child, or—in a best case imaginative scenario—shapes it up to accomodate intelligences and interests superior to our own 20C minds, which are left fantasizing along the limited modes of expression they have kind of come to grips with: sequences of static words and images, some animation added (ah!, ci-ne-ma!, mon-tage!), poor distribution, and no feedback channels. No real-time dislocated global interaction either, apart from the tele-phone, and some radio.

Now it says 'industry' kicked over our half-full glasses and we're left licking the table, while the nouveau party moved out to pop a few more bottles of bubbles over their market share. It's crying time again. The cocktails we served in the early 90s had gone stale anyway. Cigarette buts drown in them. We're @aloss. We're at the end of fantasy as we know it. Why it took the following players by surprise... Their conceptions of a new world cultural order, the information age, cyber reality, were conceived as an exotic extrapolation of last century's grab bag futurisms—like their opponents' cultural critique was seasoned by post-Marxism and the Franfurter Schule et al (see Sirius, when he explains his right wing libertarian image with academia). They sure changed the world, but not their imaginations.

Changing the world is one thing, easy, a lot of fun and righteousness gratified, we do it all the time, it is standard practice, it pays the bills. Changing our imagination of the world is yet another story, almost inconceivable, a true sacrifice, nowhere near in sight for the coming information age. We're still continuing along past tracks, winding for ever into the future—at least that's what we think, and that's what we were told, and forced to believe, for centuries. Now we weep over newly erected roadside attractions, contractors destroying our dreamt Arcadia to cookycut out more brothels and circuses and experience parks... spoiling the view of our smart future. Good riddance of phantasmagoria. To change the world, now let'st try to change our imagination of it.

sorry boredom foursome
RU Sirius, in Signum 5, July 2000:
- The counterculture version of the technocultural trope has been pushed down the top ten by the vibrancy and hysteria of the digital marketplace. But we're still somewhere in the game, waiting for the inevitable boredom to take root.

Jaron Lanier, cited by RUS:
- In 1990, Virtual Reality mainman Jaron Lanier expressed the sense of utter desolation that was pervasive at the time, saying "Virtual Reality is *something.* And it's been a long time since we had something."

...and Mark Pesce:
-Though it may be difficult to admit, our recovery from this sorry state of affairs relies upon our admission that the Web stopped evolving completely in 1995. Nothing much has happened since then, although, for all the sound and fury, you'd think the entire world had been turned upside down. It hasn't; we've simply been hypnotized by our own lust.

...and some gregoryptm:
- While it's just as much bullshit as anything else, we continue, because our public access cable shows and handmade 'zines have all disappeared into biz-plans and game-plans for the World Wide Web and beyond. We were duped hardcore. No, we did it on purpose, because we're essentially selfish and cynical, and we don't really believe that any viable change will ever actually occur. But still we continue on with the web, because there's nothing else to do.

24 July 2000
One Evolution Fits All Comfort

Look at me! Darwin had it right!
BeefyT for the fittest: order at oefac@nqpaofu.com

22 July 2000
family forte


ca. 1957 ad in which my parents offer their agency in the acquisition of French Alps 'estates' (landhuizen)
it's in the genes
A box filled with Dutch and French press clippings, one or two reports and some photo's, and above ad, is all that remains of my parents' 'side-business' in the 1950s. He owned a living as a young French teacher and my mother was one of the very few female architects at the time, having finished her studies 10 years before. I remember some visits on our trips to France, to abandoned houses and hotels, one or two images of colored liquids above the bar, and laundry piles in hallway corners, suddenly exposed to the bright light when shutters opened. They were too restless to ever buy their own French landhuis.