(Cont. from entry below)
“We pledge resistance. We pledge alliance with those who have come under attack for voicing opposition to the war or for their religion or ethnicity. We pledge to make common cause with the people of the world to bring about justice, freedom and peace. Another world is possible and we pledge to make it real!”
- Saul Williams
Seeing, hearing, absorbing Paul Miller deliver his latest high-wired evangelical stream on digital/sampler culture last night at Pro QM bookstore was absolutely worth the visit, but the day after feels like we’ve come upon a very strange bounty, a treasure torrent in an unchartered pirate’s cove … accompanied by the extended vertigo-of-the-virtual remix the deeper you go.
All is not well in the Irreal Estates… not in the digital and not the immediate domain, so a bundle of complexities are requiring a delicate auseinandersetzung (a critical examination/confrontation). It was in fact XLT research in 2006 that revealed that the U.S. is very likely the first culture to already exist in virtual reality ( which was somewhat extended from Subcommandante Marcos’ videotaped address from the jungle to a conference of alternative media makers in the late 90s, oh yeah and a bit of Baudrilliard thrown in for good measure). And in 2008 during the premiere of The Transmigration of The Telepresent, one of our own researchers confessed he had passed the threshold of spending more than 50% of his waking hours in a disembodied consciousness, ie. telepresent, and could no longer vouch for a fully human perspective because he, in a kind of Asimov’s Law of the Internet Age, was now a cyborg who was not fully Here.
So please standby as we unravel and process the deep vein of clues and sparkling bits and nodes… and perhaps while simultaneously scraping the Disneyesque from our windshield.
Here’s a preview:
For the XLT analysts this [book - Sound Unbound and presentation] is not merely a chest full of rare and rough-cut gems and golden threads on the near and far digital horizons, this might (unintentionally) reveal a very tangible map of western civilization’s (manipulated? and distorted) technophilia and current cultural precipice. This is a goldmine for understanding and assessing the “Virtual Migrations”, we’ve been attempting to illuminate for the last couple years.
We are equally inspired and disturbed by the multi-faceted and playful navigations of the Subliminal Kid ( whose mixing/remixing and musicological talents are indisputable) as he slams through both academic landscapes and the silicon turnstiles (via MIT Press), as our perspective remains: all is not light at the end of this mass mediated and high-toll tunnel.
We noted last night after watching one of his collected example cut-ups, one of the Bush-o-matic president giving a speech (playback?) to congress ( a well-known clip which cuts together his programmed blather into an over-the-top interpretation that has circulated through indy channels for a number of years now and in our analysis barely retains any tactical value), that the digital/sampling/jamming culture has become a bit like a form of Capoeira which has forgotten its original purpose as self-defense. That is the fight (technique+training) that was once disguised as a dance (so as not to draw attention of the slave masters) has now become a ubiquitous discotheque for the disenfranchising… a video game of resistance…( yes this observation occurred to us a number of times already: Emma Goldman is rolling in her grave as her life work is on the path of being reduced to some meaningless and out-of-context equation where revolution= dancing, as though it were some MTV-meets-Youtube footnote). Or like Burroughs once muttering, “Nothing left here now but the recordings.”
Surely it’s time to start asking sharper and/or big picture questions, as the problem might be that this digital culture ( possibly its leitmotiv…) is prone to leaving us deep behind enemy (and property) lines and/or walking the plank on our individualized holiday cruise ship, perhaps wearing nothing more than bermuda-triangle-shorts around our ankles and wielding a 3-d daiquiri for the final battle, in a sea of sharks and icebergs. Ok, so they’re melting… so maybe we can chalk that up as a few more seconds in the hourglass, or some avatar bonus points.
This is not meant to fault Miller’s ambitious and curious endeavors with Sound Unbound, and we are probably taking the perceptions far beyond the intended purpose of these collected essays ( which we have only begun to examine). But based on his presentation alone, where he himself described the gathered texts as a very wide net, we take a course to not only read between the lines but use it as a microcosm of the state of (tactical) media and our issues with its current trajectory. And while there do seem to be some very big problems within the book’s own scope, that’s just something we’ll have to assess after reading further.
[ akkkh, Pro Qm has already sold out Sound Unbound and has more on order, so it's going to be awhile before we can actually get deeper into its content ]