“Le livre unique, l’oeuvre totale, toutes les combinaisons possibles à l’intérieur du livre, le livre-arbre, le livre-cosmos, tous ces ressassement chers aux avant-gardes, qui coupent le livre de ses relations avec le dehors, sont encore pires que le chant du signifiant”
Deleuze & Guattari, Mille plateaux,p.159
When Deleuze and Guattari wrote this, there was still an obvious need to speak out against all modernist utopian ideals. Now early 20th century European Modernism is perhaps rapidly being turned into a set of interesting algorhithms useful in the search for and production of machinic methods to arrest human(oid) escape art.
Again, i say perhaps, because i’m too stupid too have any real coherent ideas. I’m only useful as an auctorial process because i’m rather receptive, i have a natural(?) tendency to be struck by things-as-they-are-happening in the face, and those things stick with me till some time later, perhaps years after, they finally reveal why they once struck me. There’s nothing mystical about it, i’m sure i must have a describable brain disorder of some kind, well you know, all poets are utterly nuts in a way, that’s what makes us interesting, but it kinda puts you off balance from time to time, when you read about your ‘case’ or a similar one in a scientific magazine. There used to be a time when poets were at the heart of society and we were held in a higher esteem than priests or statesmen or hangmen, nowadays people start nodding to each other knowingly when they meet us on the subway.
There, i did it again. What i was babbling about was that Modernism is perhaps being chewed up into managable bits these days, and fed into our overall controlling process as learning material. The film the Matrix might be a good example: with all of its undoubtedly clever intentions, Baudrillard & simulation & simulacra stuff, the overall effect of the trilogy is that you are momentarily free to fantasize that if the book’s plot is clever enough, the utopian ideals might be recoverable. Like object oriented games, it encourages you to think in levels, behave like ‘well it might be all sh*t down here but i’m still only in level one and soon i’ll be out of here and climbing up to the next level where things are faster,the guns better and the (wo)men easier. That’s probably why everyone adored the first part and spits out the rest of it, because secretly everyone expected some more levels after that submarine-heroism crap they put us through after Neo’s awakening. Objectively speaking, if i’m still allowed to use that word, there’s no reason to dislike the two other parts: the action is faster, the effects more thrilling and even aesthetically more pleasing, and the plot does take some nice turns and introduces some great characters like the Keymaker, my personal favourite.
But then the need for levels wasn’t satisfied, accustomed as we have become to thinking in them. Nothing is absolute, there’s always a meta-level to things.
That, of course, is the result of our training in object-thinking. Objects are arranged hierarchically in systems in such a way that they are controllable and managable. Capitalism isn’t right, socialism isn’t true, but if you think of them on a meta-level, they can be usefull objects.
I distrust everything that starts with meta. Especially metaphores. They are part of encapsulating processes that effectively destroys everything that could be harmfull to the way things are going. Metaphores effectively destroyed pop music from the moment it emerged in the fifties. The sixties could escape off and on for some time, the punk movement still had it’s brief moment, but after that all vulnerable area’s were tightly shut and the doors were open wide for the carefully planned creation of metapop, a tedious and tragical form of bush-or-whomever-is-in-charge bashing.
But all of that is common knowledge, what i meant to say is that however hard our ruling machinery tries, it will never be able to capture the ultimate value of these Modernist supersystems, because that is exactly placed at the centre of their failure: it’s when they break down in exquisite gibberish (Joyce’s Finnegans Wake) or in paralysing silence (Beckett) that these works of art evoke what they were after in first place, the poetic realm of absence, it’s reality as a counterpart to the simulating realm of differences differentiating nothing.
Now, on one of my hunches, i introduced some pretty heavyweight words on this in the starter file on the site yesterday and, probably effectively scaring away the few visitors i have, even put them up front on the homepage yesterday. i state that machines could be fed with software enabling them to perform an action similar to the reading of poetry. That they could run programs that create the reality of absence. Now, in the end, i dont really know what that would actually mean ( if you do, do give us a mail or comment). But it just sounds like the best description of the things that i’m trying to do, so i’ll just stupidly leave it there. Embarrassing, isn’t it? It’s probably a contemporary charicatural version of the fashionable poetic sickness once known as ‘ennuy’.
Perhaps i’d better consult that scientific magazine again. Right now, i don’t feel like any heroic avant-garde at all. I rather feel like one of those poor chaps they sent up in a zeppelin to watch enemy troop movements and then completely forgot about. Cut loose, i’m drifting helplessly, high above Nomansland, for everyone to shoot at. Hi guys. Please be nice. Say cheese.