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 347 Disembodied recapitulation & the induced squid-inky art uv writing by hand

squid evolution 

Dear Internet,

We've been thinking lately about recapitulation ... not the 1st time ... u could say we're recapitulating recapitulation. Maybe it's cuz this is the 1st point uv 2014 where we are grounded @ «home» ... whatever that means. For the time bean it's Manhattanville. While we've lived our life in episodes uv sorts ... in fitting fits ... where each fit reflexively recapitulates the aspiraling cumulation uv prior 1s, a priori ... prior to i ... b4 we prioritized & became we ... oui? B4 we became the post-human squidmen we are fast becoming ... in the skewed evolutionary skeme of ings.

The episodes of our life seam to (in retrospect) fall in 10-year bins, bound geographically in decade-fitting buckets as: 1. Oregon/Mexico 2. California 3. Arizona & 4. NYC. While there seems to be an eastward trend in resent years (the latter decade also includes 1 year in Nairobi & 3 in Rome), lately we've been feeling a westward pull ... the Lizard King crooning in our ear. Vamos a ver que el próximo 1 o 10 años trae ...

This—post #347—is our bucketlist reflexively rehashed ... sin #tags, pero con snakeskin bootstraps. Cached in x-change. In recent weaks of nesting downtime, we cashed in on penguins & glaciers ... ✓ checked off the b-list. Cosas we knew of from reading the likes uv wikipedia & now we've witnessed 1st-hand, fur reel. Bean there done that, como dicen. Not that we know what it's like to be Chekov. Leeks can fuck off ... the only list they're on is cibo to avoid at all costs. And now we know how Joan uv ARC felt, tipping our pen.

We never did recapitulate 2013 since we were on the fly. We read 46 books last year ... at least that we listed on our read on location page. We travelled to 8 countries & various United states. Places we travelled to for the 1st time included Amsterdam, Nepal, Tierra del Fuego & central Oregon (yes, even tho we're from that state). Plots form from travelling on a graph.

The Becoming by Derek White    The History of Luminous Motion by Scott Bradfield    Sleepingfish 12

We published 3 books in 2013: The Becoming, The History of Luminous Motion by Scott Bradfield & issue 12 of Sleepingfish, w/ a few more finished but whose street date lies in 2014 ... including Niceties, Deep Ellum & Stanley Crawford's Travel Notes (which we just approved proofs for). Anyone wanting ARCs for any of these let us know ...

Niceties by Elizabeth Mikesch    Deep Ellum by Brandon Hobson   

A book is just a snapshot ... a histerical record uv the author's headspace in a point in time. Each page is a cross-section uv the book, uv the brain. Behind each page & word there's a mounting history. Or hysteria. When we read a book we superimpose this xylophoned snapshot to our own leggoed headspace ... each word has a unique historical baggage to each reader/processor ... it's a cumulative affect.

... in the same sense that a snapshot is literally a snapshot. Metaphors are a crutch. Semáforos tal vez una necesidad. El post b4 last we showed snapshots uv glaciers, but a foto can't capture the true nature. Even this video we 'took' uv a glacier calving doesn't complete us ...

No single event can be taken out uv context from historia. No berg is enuf to send u packing. Calving is a cross-sectional event carrying the cumulative histery uv the glacier ... perhaps that's why witnessing it had such an impact on us & por que tal vez we're still hung up on questa idea uv recapitulation. The glacier stands as a metaphor for so much other shit, like our digestive process. We feed food—say sausage—into our mouths w/out thinking, we digest it (thankfully w/out needing to think), then pinch it off the other end. This cycle is continuous & blends into the next & previous como chorizo ... what we ate hoy is connected w/ what we ate ayer, etc. all the way back to the very 1st suck uv milk or bite uv veal ... unless uv course u've ever truly fasted & broken the cycle ... severed the snake-sausage link ... the calfing of the glacier is only a rupture w/ its glacial IDentity. It becomes an iceberg sandwiched in H2O & event-ually melts & churns to vapor which sublimates to clouds & then snows on the mountains all over again to avalanche & pack down hielo smack into the glacier ... or dribbled as rain to a river.

«If it's yellow it's mellow». But «don't go where the huskies go». We have the uncanned ability now to transmit such statements via vodka vapor. It's called tabletop molecular communication. Who needs word processors & HTML? This endless wireless frame uv ungraphed carrier frequencies has bean surrounding us all along. Se llama espacio.

The above climatic psycle forms the regurgitated basis for the cyclical thinking in The Becoming. But 'cycle' is a misnomer ... it's more kin to recycling. The binned image that comes to mind is a juggernautical snowball or rolling stone ... ever picking up bits & spitting off bytes while juggling the next ... an image we tried to capture in this art made some 10 years ago (that we repurposed for Poste Restante).

Deep Ellum by Brandon Hobson

«Perseverance furthers success» says the I Ching oracle. Language is linear like a glacier, but also revolving & evolving ... a viral open door. Como forked words rolling off a snaked tongue ... bifurcating etymologically. Each word & sentence depends on the 1 b4 ... each graph dependant on the next ... this is the beauty of a writer like Markson ... while on the surface he feigns fracturing non-linearity, it's all interconnected ... the order rises above ... it's about the object as a whole.

... even the fractured fragments ... from space form a froZen river ... ants in a death spiral blinded to the 10,000 foot view. There are no isolated incidents. No accidents ... u didn't fall thru the ice, u subconsciously jumped. If anything to become self-ware, to push the limits uv our interfacing meatspace.

... this shutter-ring patturn reveils ing-self not just in a book, but in an author's n-tire opus ... reduced to a headshot, boom, click ... in a list uv books read, or to read ... even in day-to-day chores like managing our inbox, or how we compose these very posts ... decomposing post-it notes to self. This message will self-destruct in 7 seconds ... it's all information flowing thrU us ... folding into graphs ... squeezeboxed into books or posts ... like magnetic tape spooling reel to real ... that we proSSES & regurgitate to feed back to the carniverus canon.

 ... o tal vez mas akin to a spiral ... a helix doubling in on itself but also x-panding into parallel universes @ each juncture. Not only did we name the press Calamari cuz it's an organism that squirts ink as a defensive mechanism ... to confuse & shake would-be predators ... but because it's an 8-armed juggernaut ... w/extended arms & head but no body to speak of. Nobody but the collective holographic whole, the sum uv parts.

Nautilus spiral

bifurcate to squid in an aspiring shell ...

... the need for buoyancy being the driving force ... SCUBA diving w/ Scooby Doo ... [this] is where shit spirals out uv control not hitting any fans ... give us our

command prompt> our bread

... where perhaps we stop making sense. This is our repsonse ... where making sents is a semaphore for buoyancy. Not just red & green, but yellow. Where enters human 'error' ... but error's how we got here, «To error is human» or however goes it. To floor it when the light turns yellow. Does it make scents to not 'make sense'? Or to make cents? It's no accident that as we speak Matt Berninger is singing «... everything means everything. I was afraid, I'd eat your brains ...».

Any 1 can say that, but it's the afraid part that gets us. Song-writing software wouldn't think to say that. Shame & fear are distinkly human. We are not pieces uv string, walking into a bar. No shame in being a frayed knot.

As of late we've also been grappling w/ the idea of editing & self-censorship ... a ship uv sensors & canons fixed on its own wake ... such thinking mostly in the context uv writing/re-writing our brother's 'SSES" 'SSES". The 1st way uv thinking a thawt might not be the most elegant, but it's the way the cookie crumbles. The way the glacier calves ...

«That's the way the pan flashes. That's the way the market crashes ...» (says Tom Waits paraphrasing Billy Burroughs).

Listening to music on shuffle has changed our lives more than we can ever know ... for better or worse. We've become randomized control trials. Now PJ Harvey's backup singers are chanting: «These, these, these are the words, the words that maketh murder.»

The day b4 we left for Patagonia, we went to see an exhibit @ The Drawing Center featuring the handwritten works of the likes of Emily Dickinson & Robert Walser. There's no editing hand-written texts w/out writing the whole page over. Ditto w/ typewriters. The word processor has changed writing more than we can ever know ... for better or worse. No point in lamenting, it is what is. But we can paws to appreciate, to imagine what it must've been like ... to write poems by hand on the back uv an envelope. I mean, we can still do that, but it's not the same ... now it's all retro or nostalgia-inducing kitsch. Like The Message Saved project ...

The Message Saved

We can never text what we want on our iPhone (dare we admit we have 1 ... i swear, it was a hand-me-down) cuz we are siempre autocorrected to qualcosa usually benign & predictable. Certainly there's a way to change that but we're too lazy & every once in a blue moon the autocorrected mutation is more interesting then intention.

... back to the Drawing Center exhibit ... forgive us, for sometimes life overwhelms us, we get crushed by all the interesting formations & informations out there/here. W/ each thawed thought there are 8 tangents u can go on ... green & red & 6 shades uv yellow ... como podemos hablar de the handwriting of Dickinson ... pero thinking of Dickinson 1st & foremost makes us think of her hermetic appeal. Honestly not a fan of her poetry, just the idea of her ... & her sitting there writing it. Take Dickinson out of the equation & they're just words.

Mostly we went to see the Robert Walser pieces in the flesh. We've had Walser's Microscripts for some time, but haven't read it yet. It sits close to the top of our To Read stack ... & now we are inspired to bump it up a notch & go beyond just cracking the spine & marveling @ the microscripted images to actually digesting what the words say (as translated from some obscure German script).

Robert Walser envelope microscript

a Walser microscript (literally a back uv the envelope calculation)

In another room @ The Drawing Center había algunas obras by Mirtha Dermisache ... the late queen perhaps uv blurring the line betwine handwriting & art. Coincidentally & simultaneous to this, we've been halving a back & forth w/ her French publisher bout a piece of hers we showed on 5cense a few years ago ... yesterday we retracted the image from the post cuz he asked in a nice way & we respect his (as publisher) & her (as artist) wishes in regards to how she wanted her works displayed, devoid of context (if such a thing is humanly possible) ... & how comment le travail a été affiché was just as important as the work lui-même.

... mais en même temps we feel conflicted ... that if an artist creates a piece, or a publisher «publishes» a work, it belongs in the public domain. Pedestalled art & the notion of ©opyright are archaic fossils of yesteryear. Not just cuz uv u, Internet, but cuz it seems there's a general shift afoot from museums to the streets. Seems pointless & forced to try to control how art is perceived ... Arcade Fire are a bunch uv imbéciles for telling their fans how to dress, to try to force a carnival atmosphere ... such stunts will backfire, cascading back to the finished arcade. U can't create an atmosphere ... the atmosphere is self-spawning, self-organizing ... & subject to variable climate change.

Mirtha Dermisache

Dermisache displayed @ The Drawing Center
(a constrained reproduction ... we encoURaGE u to seek out the original)

& encore, at the heart Carnival literally means 'to shed your flesh'. During lent eat chili con corny.

U, Internet, R the streets. Not The Streets as in «stuffing socks into pool table pockets» but just the streets. The nouveau streets where the public rules. Where street art is left untouched on account of mutual respect ... not cuz uv some law.

Our art is appropriated all the time & to try to chase down every 'violator' would be a hypocritical waste of time. The evolutionary man-to-squid image we started this post w/ was evidently drawn by a Ben Templesmith ... should we of asked permission 1st? Tal vez. Tho likely we'd have to go thru a publicist or publisher—the dude's kind of famous. We found it googling in your recesses, o Internet ... probly on Flickr ... a foto 'taken' (which we subsequently inverted). What matters is that the image itself is propagating ... if u didn't know about his work b4, now u do. Don't know about u, but we're looking forward to his Squidder project.

Ben Templesmith: The Squidder

It's not like this (our appropriation of his image for our own inappropriate devices) is for commercial gain ... we're not screen-printing his squidman on a T-shirt. We do this for no other reason than to just do it. We do this 4 u, o Internet. We do this to become disembodied. To liberate information from the gatekeepers. To connect dispirated data. To pirate carnival cruise ships & throw the cover band overboard. This is gratis to leggere, which perhaps makes it worth nada... free until the new rulings on net neutrality catch up to us ...

Whenever we see the term net neutrality, we think «neural networks». That's what u r ... & u should be free to tap into it ... & dress however the fuck u want.

The Korean film director Kim Ki-Duk once took our old Calamari logo & put in on a T-shirt ... or some 1 did somehow & gave it to him ... here he is wearing it in his movie Arirang ... w/out our consent ... do we care? Of course not, we can only feel honored ... not that it's the same thing, we should be paying him to wear it.

Kim Ki-Duk

Como our father & grandfather b4 us, me llamo Cal ... Cal A. Mari. I've transitioned to writing as we for this vvery reason ... to include tu. U r w/ me in questa, as accomplice, co-conspirator. We are losing ourselves. Call us squidmen. Mister Tibbs. Spartacus. We become all uv these & mas ...

Which is to say we are still under the spell of How We Became Posthuman by N. Katherine Hayles, which we read the 1st 1/2 of b4 xmas, b4 Patagonia. It's impossible for us to read w/out a pen in our hand, tho rarely do we ever physically/literally have plume in mano. We don't even own pens xcept for those we take from hotels. Mostly we dog-ear pages w/passages that catch our eYe, that we feel compelled to recapitulate. It's one thing to rehash & it's another to rehash w/corny beef & add to the conversation, to sling hash & re-catapult it under a new grow light. And what is writing on computers doing to our writing?

How We Became Posthuman is not the kind of book that adds to the conversation much, but Hayles does a helluva job selflessly rehashing & slingshotting what has been said already on the subject (of cybernetics) & where this is all taking us ... how we are becoming disembodied, shedding our flesh, becoming 1 w/ The Information, in friendzied carnival atmosphere. Perhaps becoming 1 w/ u, o Internet .... tho Hayles scarcely mentions u. She does however reel in many other able-bodied lit figures, most notably Burroughs ... there's tanto food for thawt in the book we have to zip-loc it up in freezer bags to regurgitate on another rainy day.

Hayles puts in words what we've sensed b4 ... how we are becoming coupled to each other, not literally/physically (as in the many-body tethered-spring flotilla model we've already proposed), but as disembodied bodies uv information ... like cells fusing ... comingling BwOs ... zygotically recombining our DNA ... cannibalistic cephalopods groping & gobbling each other up like Pac-man until all that remains is one giant squid.

giant squid cannibalizing squid bait

giant squid cannibalizing baited 1 of his own

My head explodes when we read sentences like: «The act of observation necessarily entails reflexivity, for one of the systems that an observer can describe is the observer as an autopoietic system.» Like barnacles that—after a free-floating spell—become disenfranchised & attach themselves to the bedrock & digest their own brains for they no longer have need for them ... which is a good thing we thinks.

Other chapters in Hayles' book carry titles such as «Punctuating the Endless Regress of Reflexivity» ... enuf to overwhelm us back into our hermitically sealed shells to digest our own stomach lining como menudo. It's an often zen-like conundrum—how to forsake ourselves for the sake of the global team ... to take a hit for the Gipper ... put our bodies in the path uv a screwball train. Hayles goes on about Burroughs' The Ticket That Exploded (which we haven't read yet) in a way that makes us dying to read it ... speaking uv the linear use uv magnetic tape in continuous viral streams ...

There's so much to read—so many exploding tickets—it's no wonder we don't get any real writing done ... if [this] doesn't count for anything ... both the real & virtual (informational) universes are expanding at a mind-boggling rate. The soule way to cope is attach ourselves to a rock on a deserted island & digest our brains then live—simply exist—from filtering the detritus from the rising seas ... debris from the carnage of shark attacks up on Wall St. And we didn't even mention the parts where Hayles talks about entropy & randomness vs. pattern & presence vs. absence ... & how this all fits in the juggernautical scheme of things ...


(from the "Semiotics of Virtuality" chapter of How We Became Posthuman)

& there's not just posited post-its self-generated from reading the Hayles books, but a laundry list uv line items we email to ourselfs to enfold & assimilate aquí ... in the prosses uv thinking thrU our own works to regenerate. Like how our next book (not counting our brother's 'SSES" 'SSES")—Raft Manifest—will be composed uv tethered logs. Literally yes, like felled trees, or Lincoln logs, but also logs as in journals, or as relates to logos ... the root uv all -ologies ... from the greek λέγω , lego, or «I say» ... both Leggos & Lincoln logs being toys we (my brother & i) dare i say played w/ as kids. Or the raft as relates to the ark ... self-effacing language destined to erase its face in the manifest wake. «...in an ark with me» as Freud's grandfather inscribed to him in their family bible, as Derrida relates in Archive Fever (which we read in Bangkok, uv all places, to read about foreskin):

«To read, in this case, requires working at geological or archaeological excavations, on substrates or under surfaces, old or new skins, the hypermnesic and hypomnesic epidermises of books, or penises—and the very first sentence recalls, at least by figure, the circumcision of the father of psychoanalysis ...»

In conjunction w/ Archive Fever (& Joyce also figures in) recapitulation ontologically becomes: {a deconstruction, a waterlogged raft, a shipping manifest, a continued becoming, a rivering delta, a canonical cannonball, a mossy chockstone in a tethered spring, a chalkboard we forever wipe clean, a captain going down w/ his ship}. The 1st thing that comes to mind tho when we hear the word «recapitulate» is its linking rolle between phylogeny & ontogeny. This context trumps todo.

Our rejection of authorship & copyrights relates/ties into to this notion of disembodiment. The next ontological state after self-awareness is self-annihilation ... & we don't mean this in a negative suicidal way, but as a positive productive state, as a giving of yourself up to «higher being» which some might interpret as cheesy religious or new age sentiment but we see it as the opposite of that ... there's no blind leap of faith, but rather a calm detachment, a letting go of your thirst for knowledge or ownership ... not that we've nearly achieved this state—if we had we wouldn't need to be blogging about it here ... on The Internet, an x-pressed state of this cess-pool of higher learning—but @ some pt we'll hopefully transition from the subistence hunting & gathering of information to some advanced civilized state we can't yet fathom ... that we can only imagine as a calming sea in infinite dimensions. We know if u let go u'll remain in orbit, yet we hang on to the tethered wires hanging from the rafters ...

Once we were sitting @ a bar (como un trozo de cuerda) & in a moment of inactivity the bartender walked over to a chalkboard & wrote «heroes are rare» w/ no explanation whatsoever. True story. This stuck w/ us cuz we didn't know the meaning of it ... until now perhaps.

Hit spacebar.

We're getting somewhere w/ all this. [This] is where we are going ... right here ... going into space just to go into space, the new virgin frontier. It's all about the state of getting there, being in motion, in hyperspace. Once u get there u're done, retired. This is the beauty of such projects (as opposed to books & records) ... it's realtime, malleable ... ongoing. Has no end. U can't take any of this out of context ... it's all interconnected. Just a snapshot, from the chip-shop, the «reassuringly cheap option». A galactic glacier ... ticking, a time bomb. Each paragraph an iceberg calving.

Maybe we are just looking for an excuse to say that word ... to calve. Merely for affect. Not the noun, calf, by itself, for this has bovine implications. But in the context uv flowing milky blue ice. And taking a noun & turning it into a verb is as a sublime as teething. This is the evilootion uv language, drilling down como un dentista loco, getting us somewhere. Not necessarily closer or happier, for the muddled middle uv the galaxy is a blinding illusion. And if we get too close we'd end up like that Icarus dude, our wax wings melting as we fall into the sea. Instead we slingshot in expanding spirals. The universe has no bounds cuz it's ever-expanding. It's inevitable that we (as disembodied information) reflect its nature. And that galactic scales reflect atomic scales from a snake que se come su propia cola. Don't kid yourself, we are only here to propagate information. This is our carrier frequency, Kenneth.

spiral inductance

at the heart is the inherent magnetic inductance of observation

In other language-logged news, the last Chickasaw speaker died in OK. Another language bites the dust. «I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK» said Marsellus. And said Dorothy to Toto, «I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more.»

We didn't arrive here all alone. We got some help from the scarecrow & the tin man. And yes, we've been reading Hayles ... not that she says any of this, it's more like she is summarizing others ... shouldered non-fiction, not creation ... come questo.

We're not into all the AI stuff much ... but an interesting thought—can computers feel humiliation or shame? We can program them to know if they are wrong or right ... but what of the shame of being inappropriate? After all, this seems to drive our compulsion to tweet or write. when you risk humiliation you stand more to gain. «Any act of writing creates conditions for the author’s possible mortification»—says Mark O’Connell. «This is a new form of violence, a symbolic ritual of erasure where the condemned is made to stand for a whole class of person—to be cast, as an effigy of the world’s general awfulness, into a sudden abyss of fame.»

Is being cast away a blessing in disguise? is there humility to gain in humiliation? We've also resisted reading Gibson or anything labeled cyberpunk tho some have called The Becoming cyber- or at least steam-punk. Perhaps it's high time. Or not.

it's 4:17 a.m. (Jan 17 for the record). The full moon is just starting to wane brightly over the river & our mind is racing. 4 a.m. is our favorite time because it's ambiguous whether it's morning or night. Most cool people are just getting to sleep, but this is when we are waking up. Since when did it become cool to stay up late, anyways?

This uncool post is a glacier. This is our continuing education. This is a form uv caterwauling meditation ... to clear the queue, to cash the search engine. A form uv recursive extrapolation hecho a mano ... it's never enuf to just read ... need to balance the i/o urge w/ burgered line breaks. This is an 8-armed cannonball spewing ink & manaize. Gathering steam for the next train uv thought, to drive home what we don't yet know.

We also finished reading The Voyage of the Beagle, which we blogged about some in the last post, peRRo we're running out uv steam/ink here so we'll talk more about Darwin in the próximo ... stay tuned to this frequency ...

  > 348 > I/O proSSES feeding of reflexive differences to THE book, Darwin, Derrida, et al

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