Monday August 19, 2019

I establish as part of the “setting” of my “set and setting” the Visible Cloaks mix, A Young Person’s Guide to Unseen Worlds.

The mix forms a semi-stable backdrop as I sit with Eroding Witness, an early collection of poems by Nathaniel Mackey. He’s performing with the Our True Day Begun Soon Come Qu’ahttet on campus this semester, and I hope to read and discuss some of his work with students in advance of that performance. Horns echo and cascade across space. This work is challenging. One has to lift up one’s arms and breathe, like the colophons for Verso and City Lights. Sarah arranges for us an online baby registry containing beautiful friendly objects, many of them with faces. I read about the Ghede, a family of Haitian Loa said to embody the powers of death and fertility. Those who are “mounted” by these deities launch stinging critiques of bosses and elites. I note down Mackey’s “Song of the Andoumboulou: 6” as a work I might include in my course.

Wednesday October 18, 2017

Load up thy pipe and ascend with visual assist from Visible Cloaks & Brenna Murphy’s “Permutate Lex.”

Prisms, dimensions, patterns, layers. An analyst steps in and commands me to describe my internet use to others. Abstract matrices house people, as another self observes. Murphy describes it in her interview with The Fader as “an abstract narrative of digital morphing and dematerialization.” These are, she says, “themes that we are generally interested in and also employ in our methods of production.” Tribes and clans snatch us up and tether us to rule-governed algorithmic procedures. I teach because the operating system commands me to. I am a peon who has lost his freedom to self-evolve. My wilderness survival skills ain’t worth shit. “Reset me,” I whisper silently to the dice roll of the weed-pipe. Permit me a new way to approach the problem of living. When I come to consciousness again, I discover implanted there blurred memories of internet news articles, none of which piece together anymore into any kind of coherent, knowable totality. Just a bunch of text-generated consensual hallucinations. Others gather around campfires known only from a distance. People’s howls are about to go up in smoke. Assemble for oneself whatever knowledge-base one can scavenge. In my case, I assembled an indecisive radical skepticism. Not good for much. Regarded by my countrymen as offensively self-indulgent, I’ve been released back into the wild, too ill-minded to fend for myself. I live wholly amidst sequences of analogies, like the ones arranged in “Digitising Beauty (Cloud of Petals).”

Higher beings encourage me via dance to follow them. Skeletons in flowerpots. Wouldn’t it be sweet if, every time I hit it and went for a walk, I found bundles of dollar bills amidst piles of dead leaves? Weed as bottomless ATM. I picture myself, wavy lines, like stench rising off a hilltop. Prince Rama’s “So Destroyed (channeling Rage Peace)” plays from a radio in a campus bar.

Thoughts run through my mind. TV news programs spew toxic waste. My response is radical skepticism coupled with radical contempt for those in power.