Karl Marx

Michel Foucault


TR Young

Dragan Milovanovic

Peter Manning

Stuart Henry Steve Goodman Simon Reynolds Bill Bogard Angus Carlyle Mark Fisher

VOLUME 6 Virtual Criminologies

White Magic


Mark Fisher
Cybernetic Culture Research Unit


Sarkon: What you would call white magic is a program of confinement: it operates by marking boundaries, setting limits, stopping things from happening (and also, making things happen; it has a natural affinity with a certain Creationism). The other kind of magic is a tactics of fleeing, of communicability and propagation. Instead of asking, how do we keep things out? it asks, how can we take flight?

Confinement magic is fundamentally concerned with protection, but it is not necessarily an art of caution. And if flee magic is given to risk, it is not prone to recklessness. To survive out there is very … exacting.

- Dr Sarkon, Pandemonium, from the forthcoming Ko:labboration between Ccru and 0[rphan] D[rift]

XOR – tyrannical God of exclusive disjunctions (x or y)

XAND – demon of inclusive disjunctions (x and y and …)

Deleuze: A flight is a sort of delirium. To be delirious .. is exactly to go off the rails ... There is something demonaical or demonic in a line of flight. Demons are different from gods, because gods have fixed attributes, properties and functions, territories and codes: they have to do with rails, boundaries and surveys. What demons do is jump across intervals, and from one interval to another. (D 40)


‘How were they weird?’

‘Hoodoos. Thought the matrix was full of mambos ‘n’ shit. Wanna know something Moll?’


‘They’re right.’" (MLO 179)


DOMAIN. In Gibson’s Neuromancer, the Freud-family photo goes full screen, wrapping you up in seamless digital simulation. As the Chinese Kuang virus begins to eat into the Tessier-Ashpool ICE, the comaplexed Case, beguiled by the digital ghost of his dead lover Linda Lee, is sucked into a simulated Dreamworld pasted together from his own memories: hypercapital interiority. Neuromancer (Cartesian imp of the hyperverse and Baudrillard-seducer) doesn’t want to let Case Out. "It would have been real, Case." Neuromancer wants in. But Wintermute (Uttunul avatar) wants Out. And the ICE is breaking up ….

Need your own space? Axiomatic Systems (incorporated) will provide you with a fully-functioning Oedi-pass to let you into an Ideal home. Happy now in your dream kitchen? Careful with what’s crawling the walls …..

NOMO. NO METHOD. Willard to Kurtz: "I see no method here at all." When he gets to the end of the river , and enters the coiling heartlessness of the K-Jungle, Willard can see only a primitive throwback (not the fastforward into hypercapital delirium that Kurtz, cutting-edge commercial operator, has already time-travelled to). Even though he’s fatally engaged in a process of becoming-animal, Willard’s (western) military discipline prevents him from appreciating the diabolic intelligence/ animal cunning of the Kurtz swarmachine.

NeuroMan habitually confuses precision with topdown constriction. Nomads don’t make the same mistake, understanding the difference between training and discipline, rules and regulations. "This is how we sorcerers operate. Not following a logical order, but following alogical consistencies of compatibilities. […] Although there is no preformed logical order to becomings and multiplicities, there are criteria, and the important thing is that they are not used after the fact, that they can be applied in the course of events, that they be sufficient to guide us through the dangers." (TP 250) The "martial arts do not adhere to a code, as an affair of the State, but follow ways, which are so many paths of the affect." (TP 400) Out in the Nomo Zone, you "dance your way into constriction. Diagonals corner you, creating a new kind of tension that doesn’t resolve in expected places." (MBS 107)

THE AOE The Architectonic Order of the Eschaton has been engaged in "dubious battle" (Milton) [ Outcome uncertain] with Pandemonium for aeons Now. "[T]he State is not defined by the existence of chiefs; it is defined by the conservation of organs of power. The concern of the State is to conserve. Special institutions are needed to enable a chief to become a man of the State…" (TP 357)

THE FUZZ. "Here," said Sir Christopher Stephens, Esteemed AOE Puppet Master, and First Secretary of the AxSys Secret Police (the Fuzz), " we encourage self-expression, personal pride, and the politics of difference. P’lice yourself, is our motto. Our goal is simple: Strategic Fuzzification. We can afford a bit of latitude these days. A little organized chaos is good for the constitution. And a few – political – squabbles never did much harm, did they? Just remember, secrets are for the Elect. They are our burden, not a privilege. Ask yourself, do the GP really want to confront what’s bubbling, seething and foaming behind those nice four walls they inhabit? I think not." Stephens points to the three monkeys behind him. "Remember the law of the Three. See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil. Keep It shut. For your own Good, and everyone else’s. I take it no-one wants to end up like Kurtz or Sarkon."

WHO SENDS THE DREAMS? (MLO 265) "What we’re trying to keep out is now called schizophrenia by some, but we have confronted It in many forms, many Times; Its names are Legion. Never forget the basic problem: what is to confine someThing? Which is the same question as: what is it for It to escape? Spatial constriction cannot guarantee the success of our operations. Remember Hamlet: ‘I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I had bad dreams.’ It’s the bad dreams we have to be careful of, gentlemen. Our resources should always be concerned with blocking signal. They can do what the fuck they like, go wherever they fucking please, provided they don’t make Contact. "

SPACE INVASTION K-space produces wormholes in anthropomorphic space-time, slipping the Net of the perceptual-consciousness system by simulating a spatiality it feels at home in: "it’s not a place. It only feels like it is." (MLO 188) Right in the heart of MicroSoft simpower, Aleph Null incubates Continuum-[Sarkon] Horror. "Gentry said that the Count was jacked into what amounted to a mother-huge microsoft; he thought the slab was a single solid lump of biochip. If that were true, the thing’s storage capacity was virtually infinite [...] ‘He could have anything in there,’ Gentry said, [...] ‘A world. Worlds. [...] If this is aleph-class biosoft, he literally could have almost anything in there, he could have an approximation of everything ...’" (MLO 162-163)

Q-ENERGY. "[H]allucinations, whether induced by psychosis, hypnosis, drugs, toxins, etc. may be merely quantitatively different from what we see, not qualititatively so. In other words, too much is emanating from the neurological apparatus of the organism, over and beyond the structural, organizing necessity [ ] No name entities or aspects begin to appear, and since the person does not know what they are – that is, what they’re called or what they mean – he cannot communicate with other persons about them. The breakdown of verbal communication is a fatal index that somewhere along the line the person is experiencing reality in a way too altered to fit into his own prior worldview and too radical to allow empathic linkage with other persons." (SRPKD 172) Stephens: "better a binned schizophrenic than a dead martyr."

THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD. Two millennia of uninterrupted temporal power stiffened with a healthy dose of English reserve means that Christopher Stephens never has to raise his voice. Naturally, he finds any display of excitement extremely vulgar and distasteful. Stephens’ magic is a certain charm, which you find irresistible even when he is subjecting you to the most excruciating humiliations. He is very attractive to women. Stephens’ is an art of poise, a very delicate operation. Have you ever tried to battle a polytendrilled abomination whilst simultaneously sipping claret?

HAND TO TENDRIL COMBAT. Stephens’ problem is simply this: how to get close – so close - to the Enemy without becoming It. His basic maxim is: Don’t look. Or, at least, don’t look directly. Theseus in the lair of the Gorgon. Stephens uses his shield (the most ultra-advanced cyber-optical hypercontrol technologies) to screen the abomination, seeing it only through a scanner darkly. Yet the cutting edge of DigiGenetech cuts both ways. Sarkon Horror: microgridding space-time only produces more Mesh. More intervals in which demons can grow. It’s a full-time job keeping them out.

It’s Sarkon’s lack of discretion - following the Cantor-route from Enlightenment royal science into darkside schizophrenia – that revolts Stephens. In Stephens’ (Sloterdijk) Cynicism, the ostensibly distinct operations of transcendental critique and practical reason fuse and reveal their essential identity. The supposedly ethtical command "Don’t Look" flips into the transcendental statement: "You won’t see." Any contact with the Entity, and it becomes you.

ONLY A FOOL WOULD SAY THAT. Ask yourself this: why do you always MeSs up? Inducing embarrassment and humiliation is a precise art, and one the Stephens-cops excel in (what do you think they teach them at Public School? What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?). "How do you make someone feel stupid? - You present to him all the times he talked and acted and felt stupid again and again any number of times fed into the combo of the of calculating machine geared to find more and more images of stupidity disgust propiation grief apathy death- The recordings leave electromagnetic patterns - That is any situation that causes rage will magnetize rage patterns and draw around the rage word and image recordings- Or some disgusting sex practice once the connection is made in childhood whenever the patterns are magnetized by sex desire the same word and image will be presented - And so forth-" (NE 69) As long as you haven’t cracked the MaSter-Code, they can play you like a record. Only a Fool would confuse ROM interactivity in the Gated dungeon with free action. The illusion of choice, the choice of illusion. If you believe you’re master of your own destiny, you haven’t hit the AOE OS (Gibson ICE) that’s running you. All "free" agents work for the Fuzz.

GET THE MESS-AGE McLuhan says that the one thing fish don’t see is water, i.e. the basic conditions of their own environment. NeuroMan’s environment is (Baudrillard) Code, the infoNet webbed out of synChronised supra-territorial Time management and gridSpace hyperControl machineries. "In every field we are tested, probed and sampled; the method is ‘tactical’ and the sphere of communication ‘tactile’. Not to mention the ideology of ‘contact,’ which, in all its forms, seeks to replace the idea of social relations. A whole strategic configuration revolves around the test (the question/answer cell) as it does around a molecular command-code." (SED 64)

TRANSMAT. Despite being an Ultra-Adept Grand Wizard of the Architectonic Order, Kant performed a service for Xand by delineating the basic Operating System of the subject-simulation machine, but locked Things back in by remaining a Minister of the Interior. Understanding that to get Out, you’ve gotta know the codes, TRANSMAT steals into the Kantian program, and uses the hacked system to burrow routes Outside. It’s a matter of precision engineering, attuning the antennae to particular wavelengths. Sleaze and mut8, as they say in the Crypt.

JUNGLE AND K-WAR. K-attack. Mao: One spark can start a prairie fire. In cybercapital, you never know where Things will flee next, or where the Enemy’s coming from. Memeplex cultural viruses spread across the sub(merged)(anti) socius like wildfire. Haraway: "even the most reliable Western individuated bodies, the mice and men of a well-equipped laboratory, neither stop nor start at the skin, which is itself something of a teeming jungle threatening illicit fusions, especially from the perspective of a scanning electron microscope." (BPB 215) Beneath the organism’s vestigial character armour, on the blindside of Oedipal subjectivity, the hypertechnics of Control and Escape fight out close-up skintactical K-time wars . "Dissimulating the future in the ultra-short duration of live television, intensive time thus replaces in importance that extensive time where the future was still laid out in the long duration of weeks and months to come. The duel of the offensive and the defensive thus loses its actuality, the attack and the riposte tend to be confused in a techno-logistical mix where decoys and counter-measures never cease to proliferate, soon acquiring their autonomy, while the image itself becomes a high performance weapon more effective than that which it was supposed to represent." (DS 176)

HYPERPREDICTION, HYPERADDICTION, HYPERACTIVITY. One of Burroughs’ key insights is his understanding of the fundamentally intertwined functioning of Control and Addiction systems in the latest phase of Net power; a "cybernetic and informational" […] aggregate which includes both subjection and enslavement taken to extremes, as two simultaneous parts that constantly reinforce and nourish each other." (TP 458) Parelleling Deleuze-Guattari’s view that "modern power is not at all reducible to the classical alternative ‘repression or ideology’ but implies processes of normalization, modulation, modeling and information" (TP 458) , Burroughs shows that the injection of "artificial desire" is far more effective instrument of Control than the imposition of brute force. "A functioning police state needs no police." (NL 41) "It works so much better when you want it." (FC 2) Stephens: "Don’t go to them, get them to come to us. Best of all, get them to do our job for us. Give ‘em enough rope."

SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. Both Baudrillard and Burroughs recognize that Cybercapital has upgraded social control from Taylorist robozombification into long lead liberal automonitoring junkie-vampirization, capturing, formatting and inducing desire into programmable loops rather than repressing it. Watch yourself. You get stuck in ruts, habit forms. Videodromological hypercontrol has been inside you from the start, since it’s travelled to the end to capture you on the way back: "social control by means of the end [...] is replaced by means of prediction, simulation, programmed anticipation and indeterminate mutation, all governed, however, by the code." (SED 60) .Baudrillard’s system assumes that the worst nightmares of Marx, Butler, McLuhan and DeLanda have come true: the Gibson/ McLuhan vision of "mankind’s extended nervous system, the electronic consensus-hallucination of cyberspace" (BC 197) has become an undead hyperparasite of mammalian vivisystems, vampirizing the human hosts it reformats as its sex-organ slaves.

DNA and "molecular cybernetics" provide the ominous model for total bio-cybernetic control by "stimulated, simulated and anticipated response" (SED 67): get to the code and you run everything. Cybernetics had always been about anticipation; in order to hit a moving target, the anti-aircraft weaponry Wiener had worked on needed to predict not where the target was at the point when the missile was launched, but where its would be at the point of impact. Hence the slogan of Control is, "Don’t strike where your enemy is, strike where it will be." Hypercontrol tends towards the production of even tighter feedback loops; its slogan, then, would be "Never strike where your enemy will be, kill its parents." (BA 8) Cybernetic anticipation is always double-edged; suggesting not only prediction, but determination: "self-fulfilling prophecy" (SED 67), as Baudrillard has it. Yet this process itself makes prophecy moot, precisely because it makes any effective delineation of causal determination impossible: "the whole traditional world of causality" with its "distinction between cause and effect, between active and passive, between subject and object, between the ends and the means" (SS 31) has been superceded by a logic of "code." White magical capture : to be in the system is already to be processed by it. Consider the opinion poll. The question that concerned opinion in the "political class" worries about - do polls affect voting behaviour? - is unanswerable. "Polls manipulate the undecidable. Do they affect votes? True of false? Do they yield exact photographs of reality, or of mere tendencies, or a refraction of this reality in a hyperspace of simulation whose curvature we do not know? True or false? Undecidable." (SED 66) Dubious.

Where Control targets the future, Hypercontrol targets the future by altering (what will have been) its past, except that, by now, the "past", like every other marker of sequential time, has been liquidated by the system’s "retroeugenics" (BA 8). There is only the time of the system: "Finality is no longer at the end, there is no more finality, nor any determinacy. Finality is there in advance, inscribed in the code." (SED 59)

The most effective hexes conceal the way they entrap you. White magic hides itself behind layers of bluff good sense ("Magic? Come now. Lighten up. Get yourself a girlfriend." ) Postmodernity is screen culture ("When I point the camera at the SCREEN, then the screen itself appears, with whatever is on the screen at the time – which is the screen itself, with whatever is on the screen at time – which is the screen itself, with – " (GEB 492); terminal rerunning, Self-referentiality. We’re in what both McLuhan and Public Enemy call the Mess-Age. But what’s lurking on the other side of the screen? And which side are you on?

TIMESTRETCHED DOUBLE. "The lapse occurs frequently at breakfast and the cup dropped and overturned on the table is its well-known consequence. The absence lasts a few seconds; its beginning and its end are sudden. The senses function, but are nevertheless closed to external impressions. The return being just as sudden as the departure, the arrested word and action are picked up again where they have been interrupted. Conscious time comes together automatically, forming a continuous time without apparent breaks. For these absences, which can be quite numerous – hundreds every day most often pass completely unnoticed by others around – we’ll be using the word "picnolepsy" (from the Greek, picnos : frequent). However, for the picnoleptic, nothing really has happened the missing time never existed. At each crisis, without realising it, a little of his or her life simply escaped." (AD 1-2)

Broken rings . (TP 356)

Your identity is the ticket that exploded. Occulted Id Entity. Something else cuts [in]/ [Out] while you go about your daily business, abducting you a hundred [thousand [million [trillion [countless [innumerable]]]] times a day, but by the time you’re aware, It’s gone. You always patch things together, but ThroughOut, a split second is always escaping (you).

[The] element of exteriority

KEY WORDS. All words are magic words. As both Burroughs and Spinoza insisted, words are not signifiers but association blocks, neuronic triggers, affect vectors. As long as you think there’s anything ineffable about words, you’ll always be a Stephens-meat- puppet. (Stephens: "I detest phenomenology, but it has a certain political expediency.") Be careful what you’re saying. Every word you speak is a geological event at the level of palate tectonics. Not a speech-act, but a seismic reverberation. When you talk, you make me cringe (Tricky).

White magic Xorcery operates by organizing words into language, installing new (micro and macro) pseudosignifying regimes in the heart of capitalism’s "profoundly illiterate" (AO 240) sub-Culture, and spreading Fuzz (by ex-communicating everything that connects). Xandist Sorcerery goes in the other direction, melting words into Things, and building sensitive side-communicating Meshwork that spreads. Riding capital’s essential hostility to signification, It devolves language into words, words into (animal) noises, and noises into Klangs (anorganic semiotics). (For instance: Have you looked at a comic lately? The narrative and images float on a graphosonic semiotic, tracking becoming-animals (grrrrrr!) through to becoming-inanimate unspeakables , sometimes splicing the two , as with Wolverine’s claws: schhkkkktkk.)

SPINAL LANDSCAPES. Thinking of your body as a box is a spine "chilling fantasy." (BPB 224) Space is not Outside, but inside the organism (just as on the other side, the Outside is already inside). At some [spinal] level, you remember this. "Oscar Domingues, a leading member of the surrealist group in Paris, invented the technique of crushing gouache between layers of paper. When separated they reveal eroded, rock-like forms that touch some deeply buried memory, perhaps at some earlier stage in the formation of the brain’s visual centres, before the wiring is fully in place." (AE n30) Following vectors Out from the materialist/metapyschological Freud, Ballard’s spinal catastrophism simultaneously performs a geotraumatic critique of (Oedipal) psychoanalysis and a Spinozist de-territorialization of Science Fiction. The body you’re feeling your way through an environment with is immediately a part of that environment. Ballard anticipates Barkerism in apprehending the human body as an ongoing geotechnical event system, a distributed pack of tremors and tics, in intensive (non-sequential) time, and (not a [closed] case history). Pass through datacombs to the Outside of the Net, where media, message and organisms (Meshscreens) give Out, and you encounter the [pain] waves and anorganic communication traffic that constitute the real substance of the Barker-body.


[…] will give time a new rhythm:

ODD DOUBLES AND STRANGE LOOPS. "One thing […] is certain: gods can turn into evil demons when new gods oust them. When one people has been conquered by another, their fallen gods not seldom turn into demons in the eyes of the conqueror. ..." (Freud; PFL 14, 400)

"Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his side many Legions of Angels, was by command of God driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. […]

Pandemonium the Palace of Satan rises, suddenly built out of the Deep: The infernal Peers there sit in Council." (Milton)

Baudrillard follows Milton and Freud in describing the arrival of Pandemonium, but instead of adopting the POV of Milton’s "apparently victorious" Christianity or Freud’s dis-illusioned, burned-out disenchanted modernity, he simulates the gaze of the primitives whose "ancient gods […] Christianity verteufeult, that is, transformed into demons." (SED 142)

For Baudrillard, the rise of "psychological and pyschoanalytic interpretation" (SED 140) as the authorized forms of capitalist realism bring an end to "the primitive double." (SED 140) "Shadow, spectre, reflection, image" (SED 140), the primitive double haunts post-monotheistic, psychoanalytic culture, which appropriates it as a "crude prefiguration of the soul" (SED 140). Yet "soul and consciousness have everything to do with a principle of the subject’s unification, and nothing to do with the primitive double. On the contrary, the historical advent of the ‘soul’ puts an end to a proliferating exchange with spirits and doubles which, as a direct consequence, gives rise to another figure of the double, wending its way beneath the surfaces of western reason." (SED 141) This - modern, western - double is inextricably connected with alienation; it is the double as the lost part of the self, "a fantastic ectoplasm, an archaic resurgence issuing from guilt and the depths of the unconscious." (SED 141) The primitive double, however, is radically non-alienated because it "is a partner with whom the primitive has a personal and concrete relationship, sometimes happy and sometimes not." (SED 141) Whereas the westerner always apprehends his double as the missing half of a fragmented unity, the primitive has a reciprocal, non-symmetrical relationship with his double. The primitive "really can trade, as we are forever forbidden to do, with his shadow (the real shadow, not a metaphor), as with some original, living thing in order to converse, protect and conciliate this tutelary or hostile shadow. The shadow is precisely not the reflection of an ‘original’ body, it has a full part to play, and it is consequently not an ‘alienated’ part of the subject, but one of the figures of exchange." (SED 141) Alienation, Baudrillard says, only comes into play when there is an internalization of an "abstract agency [...] - whether psychological (the ego and the ego-ideal), religious (God or the soul) or moral (conscience and the law) to which everything else is subordinated." (SED 141) Once the introjection of these agencies is achieved, the double ceases to be an ambivalent figure and becomes associated (only) with death and madness, as Baudrillard establishes by reference to a whole tradition of horrific literature:

With the internalization of the soul and consciousness (the principle of identity and equivalence), the subject undergoes a real confinement, similar to the confinement of the mad in the seventeenth century described by Foucault. It is at this point that the primitive thought of the double as exchange and continuity is lost, and the haunting double comes to the fore as the subject’s discontinuity in death and madness. ‘Whoever sees his devil, sees his death’. A vengeful and vampiric double, an unquiet soul, the double begins to prefigure the subject’s death, haunting him in the very midst of his life. This is Dostoevsky’s double, or Peter Schlemihl’s, the man who lost his shadow. We have always interpreted the double as a metaphor of the soul, consciousness, native soil, and so on. Without this incurable idealism and without being taken as a metaphor, the narrative is so much more extraordinary. We have all lost our real shadows, we no longer speak to them, and our bodies have left with them. (SED 142)

Freud’s double is resolutely organicised, the darkside of subjectivity lightened up: "originally an insurance against the destruction of the ego, an ‘energetic denial of the power of death’"(PFL 14 356); "probably the ‘immortal’ soul was the first ‘double’ of the body" (PFL 14 356), it must "have sprung from the soil of unbounded self-love, from the primary narcissism which dominates the mind of the child and primitive man." (PFL 14 357)

This is how psychology, our authority in the depths, our own ‘next world’, this omnipotence, magical narcissism, fear of the dead, this animism or primitive psychical apparatus, is quietly palmed off on the savages in order then to recuperate them for ourselves as ‘archaic traces.’ Freud does not think this is what he said in speaking of ‘narcissitic overvaluation of ... mental processes’. If there is such an overvaluation of one’s own mental processes (to the point of exporting this theory, as we have done with our morality and techniques, to the core of every culture), then it is Freud’s overvaluation, along with our whole psychologistic culture. (SED 143)

Baudrillard’s very hatred of Xorcery means that he remains complicit with White Magic, over-emphasising its powers of capture. SomeThing’s happening… Outside …. The sealing’s collapsing … Timeplex …. "The monster Icthyostega crawling out of the deep in one of earth’s great transitions is a perfect figure for the late twentieth-century bodily and technical metamorphoses." (BPB 215)

An endless succession of

Id NOT I.D. It gets in your head. You’re l-l-l-losing Control… Close to the edge of the Mess-age….

Cybergothic will Pulp your brain. Id Entification. "Children, instinctual animists, identify with toys and dolls, subjecting themselves to and projecting themselves onto the Inanimate: every 12-year old knows that I is an other and another and another." (MBS 106) Capitalism increasingly treats people like IDiots (teeming desiring-swarmachines), not as juridical subjects (boxed I’s). "[O]ffering to hook up the ad and the id... " (UM 221) advertising in(ter)sects with Pulp philosophy and viro[schizo]technics in the warping and weaving of catchy bugs and crazes, asignifying (D)jingles that take over your body by "getting on your nerves" (Eshun). Hook lines: contagion vectors, slipping the filter-Net of the (adult) perceptual-consciousness system. Kids are suckers for this stuff. Getting stupID and machinic intelligence mesh in the ko:labs where affect is synthesized and reprogrammed. The field of Ops has deterritorialized far beyond "youth culture" and "music" into an abstract speed culture fuelled by infantomemes, and bred by/ breeding Krus that cargocult any old trash into hyperstitious rufige. Gothoid computer games and digitally-decoded soundbytes with fangs are merely the current lines of fright of a monstrous culture that’s already stolen your kids’ future. Back in the 60s, McLuhan feared that TV had instantly obsolesced parental authority. Now at the edge of hypermedia immersive Mesh, signal adults (literally) can’t see brands names into impressionable bodies. Coma-Zone Out. Deluged by Zer0cults with N0-Future, (A-death addicts, DNA remixologists, Spl/Ice Girls, cybergoths), the Stephens-Fuzz screen for backmasked subliminals in all the latest simstims, but It’s beyond all that Now. Already "‘Ardkore’s oscillator-riff is like the aural equivalent of the strobe’s stop-gap photography effect. Both zap the raver with a series of ultra-intense NOW!s. A staple of the rave lightshow, the strobe’s flicker can trigger epileptic fits in the susceptible." (EF 124)


Catatonic episodes or fainting spells

HI(d)JACK A BRAIN (Tricky) "We remember that in their early games children do not distinguish at all sharply between living and inanimate objects, and that they are especially fond of treating their dolls like live people." (PFL 14 355) Speaking from (t)his side of the screen, Freud already understood Darkside Cyberpulp and K-jungle, when, in The Uncanny and Totem and Taboo, he made the connection between children, animism, demonics and "savages", but – typically – he put it all down to regression. In The Drowned World, Ballard performs an Anti-Oedipal, Barkerist decoding of the regression model by showing that, what looks to White Man Face like reversion, (to childhood/ savagery) is an encounter with the lost neuronic continents contemporary in Barker Now. Besides, capital has ironized Freud by transforming the case-studies into a jungle of becoming-animal toy stories (Ratman-Batman, Wolfman-Spiderman), deligitimizing any model of regression to childhood by installing children as experts at the frontier-zone of commoditech innovation. As the Eterniteenagers switched out of sequential time in Cata-K trance know, one of the bizarre Side-FX of Mesh is the obsolescence of the Oedipus complex. Capitalism insists that you remain a child forever. Weaving and jinking in-between times, the Unspecified Enemy is learning new tricks, getting younger …. and younger …. and younger…

and flashes or rushes. (TP 356)

SPINE CHILDREN. "Children are the most frequent victims, and the situation of the young picnoleptic quickly becomes intolerable. People want to persuade him of the existence of events that he has not seen, though they effectively happened in his presence; and as he can’t be made to believe them he’s considered a half-wit and convinced of lies and dissimulation. Secretly bewildered and tormented by the demands of those near him, in order to find information he needs constantly to stretch the limits of his memory. When we place a bouquet under the eyes of the young picnoleptic, he draws not only the bouquet but also the person who is supposed to have placed it the vase, and even the field of flowers where it was possibly gathered. There is a tendency to patch up sequences, readjusting their contours to make equivalents out of what the picnoleptic has not seen and has not been able to see, what he remembers and what, evidently, he cannot remember and what it is necessary to invent, to recraate, in order to lend verisimilitude to his discursus . Later, the young picnoleptic will himself be inclined to believe (like Sextus Empiricus) that nothing really exists; that even if there is existence, it cannot be described; and that even if it could be described, it could certainly not be communicated or explained to others." (AD 2-3)


The Outside

C3i. Tridentity. Trinity. Tree-Entity. Tri-Lateral Commission. "Listen to Colin Powell, Chief of the General Staff of the American Arny: ‘To command, it is necessary to be in control. And to be in control, it is necessary to be capable of communicating. Without intelligence, any operation is destined to failure.’" (DS 169) 1948: " The economic battlefield would soon blur into the field of military perception, and the project of the American communications complex would then become explicit: it would aim at world mediatization." (AM 14) Cybernetics begins as an arborified rhizomatics, a (Burroughs) bioControl war film passing from WW2 SF A-A predictor tech, through Apocalypse Now war-as-simstim and Aliens Speculative Fantas/cide into the (Baudrillard) non-event screened genocide of the Gulf War. "Faced with the significance of the screen of control which has become decisive for the stature, the scope and the very performance of the diverse vectors of terrestrial and aerial armaments, we may more easily infer the eminently strategic function of the central control of information and military intelligence; this nodal, which henceforth reunites the collection of multiple screens, these monitors which make up the latest C3I miltary command post (Control, Command, Communications, Intelligence) implemented for the first time in history, during the Gulf War, by the American military." (DC 168)

Cutting [in]/[Out]

CUT-[IN]/[OUT] – UP As Burroughs established, cut-up is now the mode of realism most flat with capitalist multistim and its MTV power lines. Describing the program for 1980s MTV juxtaculture back in the Sixties, Burroughs showed that associationist collaging can flash-cut any random image into a neuronic series and libidinize it. "Flash from words to colors on the association screen - Associate silently from colors to the act - Substitute other factors for the words - Arab drum music - Musty smell of erections in outhouses- Feel of orgasm- Color-music-smell-fell to the million sex acts all time place -" (NE 140 But, as both Ballard and Deleuze-Guattari have appreciated, that’s why cut-up cannot be disruptive; it merely traces the postmodern capitalist ecumenon. Like Baudrillard, Ballard retains little enthusiasm for the political ambitions of the surrealists, whose celebration of the revolutionary power of the ludic and the random appears naive in an age where cut-up and associated techniques of juxtaposition are routinely deployed in even the most banal media object. Baudrillard: "The ludic is everywhere, even in the ‘choice’ of a brand of laundry detergent in the supermarket." (S 159) Capital, Lyotard's "surgeon of the cities" is the greatest cut-up artist of all. (As McLuhan had realised, when he argued that newspapers were symbolist poems.) "Using assembly kits constructed from photographs of (a) unidentified bodies of accident victims, (b) Cadillac exhaust assemblies, (c) the mouth-parts of Jacqueline Kennedy, volunteers were asked to devise the optimum auto-crash victim." (AE 110) Impersonal Mesh multiplicity is the real problem for tree-entity’s project of reconfiguring cut-[in]/[Out]s as cut-ups.

[A] flash is:

BRADLY MARTIN. Conflict isn’t tension. The Fuzz love dualistic antagonism. (Stephens: "The more they’re fighting amongst themselves, the easier our job is." ) "At any given time recorders fix the nature of absolute need and dictate the use of total weapons - Like this: Take two opposed pressure groups - Record the most violent and threatening statements of group one with regard to group two and play back to group two - Record the answer and play it back to group one - back and forth between opposed pressure groups - This process is known as 'feedback.'" (TE 55)

"the power of this affect sweeps me away." (TP356)

TRIALECTICS. Dialectics is really Three (Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis). It entails Trialectics, since any basic dualism also calls for its own pseudotranscendent resolution (which in turn serves as the basis for a new dualism (which calls for its own pseudotranscendent resolution (which in turn …))). This is AxSys’s basic problem: how to complete ((the catalogue) of the) set of all sets? Apparently infinitely Self-perpetuating, the metanoiac hunt for final transcendent layer is, by the same token, infinitely null, and should chase its tail forever, even though Eschatologos anticipates the termination of the process at the Omega-Point coming-together of the "Cybernetic godhead." (MLO 238) But something else, someThing Dreadful, is waiting in the near future. Just Outside.

It’s "even got God scared" (Tricky).

"… because no-one, not even God, can say in advance whether two borderlines will string together or form a fiber, whether a given multiplicity will or will not cross over into another given multiplicity, or even if given multiplcities will enter symbiosis, will form a consistent, or cofunctioning, multiplicity susceptible to transformation." (TP 250)

Catatonia is:

Sorcerers don’t create, they participate. With someThing "‘teeming, seething, swelling, foaming, spreading like an infectious disease, ... [a] nameless horror ‘"(TP 245). The Unutterable. The It. The Id, "the thing, the unnamable, the generalized decoding of all flows" (AO 153). In the Mouth of Madness: "First it took the children, now it’s coming for us." Makes no bones about It, there’s no talking cure for this spine-chilling dis-ease. There’s no case for It. Only holes for It to worm out of.

Like you.

"This affect is too strong for me." (TP 356.)





AD- Virilio, The Aesthetics of Disappearance

AE – Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition (n indicates annotation by Ballard)

AM – Virilio, The Art of the Motor, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.

AO – Deleuze-Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane, London: Athlone Press, 1984

BA – Grant, Burning Autopoiedipus, Abstract Culture 10, Cybernetic Culture Research Unit

BC – Gibson, Burning Chrome London: Grafton, 1986

BPB - Haraway,"The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies", in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature London: Free Association Books, 1991

D – Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues, trans. H. Tomlinson & B. Habberjam, New York, Columbia University Press, 1987.

DS - Virilio, "Desert Screen", The Virilio Reader, Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.

EF – Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash: A Journey into Rave Music and Dance Culture, London: Picador, 1998.

FC – Switch, Flee Control, Abstract Culture Ccru, Swarm 3, Issue 15.

GEB – Hofstadter, Godel, Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, New York: Random House 1979.

MLO - Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive

MBS – Kodwo Eshun, More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction, London: Quartet, 1998.

NE – Burroughs, Nova Express, New York: Grove Press, 1964

NL – Burroughs, The Naked Lunch, London: Paladin, 1986

PFL – Freud, Penguin Freud Library

S – Baudrillard, Seduction, New York: St. Martins Press, 1990.

SED – Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death , trans. Iain Hamilton Grant, London/ Thousand Oaks/ New Delhi: Sage publications, 1993

SRPKD – Dick, The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings, New York – Random House, 1995

TE – Burroughs, The Ticket that Exploded, London: John Calder, 1985

TP – Deleuze-Guattari, _ A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia , trans. Brian Massumi, London: Athlone Press, 1988

UM – McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964


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