[-empyre-] shedding wool while gliding down, some mail to scroll

Hi all,

For my first contribution here,  i'd like to elaborate some on my own
situation so that people can place me or get to know me a bit, for i am
after all a pretty obscure poet from the Lowlands doing some weird, but not
very sensational or bewilderingly new things with new media. As such i feel
most honoured and grateful to the Empyre organising team and especially our
esteemed moderator to have invited me for the occasion.

So i will first try to spin some strings around my view on authorship,
attempt to place it in a little glide from its literary sources over its
local conditioning towards a dissolving splash into the present discussion
and its theme. You might find this self-indulgent, with its apparantly
outdated focus on the personal and even arrogant and imposing because of its
length, i hope the following may inspire you to think different. The tiny
glide towards this discussion that i propose is a movement relating to the
time sequence of a peculiar sponge (1), sucking in rapidly lots of stuff
with little time to see what it actually is, quickly wiping an imagined
blackboard only to get rid of the accumulated garbage in a bucket, a
question that happened to be around. A silly hip-hop dance of
popopopopopo-momo, if you want, a sequence i value particularly in the
collection of rhytmical additions, timely constructs that my Cathedral wants
to be, because its rhytmn is decisive on how the Central Authoring Process
works within a Cathedral. Outside of it, its just another silly poohoo
capitalisation, the cap of C.A.P. i wear to make the source of all the
nAârty foundry known to the outside world, where the recursively inflated
and inflating self underneath it, quickly dissolves in the torrents of the
real and and disappears without a trace in the giant flow of the media.
Outside of my imagination, little is seen besides a monstrously allegorical
mess of arty looking fragments, files you can download and render in your
browsers from a three tier stratified business model of communication
defined in the nkdee.xml.  From Antiquity thus we have progressed to
building propriety software driven Java-Flash-XML web-apps, surely a capital
invention, an image of progress qua progress.

When i claim, in the few notes i had to offer to bridge the huge gaps in my
life, that i want to establish a form of digital writing i try to do this in
a very hard way, making sure the attempt was doomed to fail, so i needn't
worry about that anymore. Like Kabakov's fictional engineer of his Universal
System for Depicting Everything, the Cathedral aims for no less than
incorporating the whole of literary tradition, invites the other arts and
science as well as some perversions of todays IT industry to a sensual,
erotiscising all male dance in a quest to finding proofs of its own
existence.  While i'm at it, it's meant to last, so i throw in all i have
and all that i can gather. In its present phase, not much more than a year
after its conception its movements are jerky and and its motivations can
only appear chaotic. I include a theoretical framework that draws on a
Heraclitan-Leibniz-Deleuze philosophical strain. I seek out science on my
own terms that don?t necessarily coincide with the loci where science itself
claims it has need for artistic input. I prefer output to a  concluded
auto-grown audience over maximising my reach through commercial or
semi-commercial channels, whose presence i feel would be destructive to the
inner consistency of the things that i do. The little things i do ultimately
transcend my physical and even auctorial self. That may sound arrogant, in
fact it is extremely humble. With a fictional Cathedral-Mother holloring out
to me in the background  and scrutinizingly watching my every move, i am
quick to defend myself proclaiming that i do have a rather curious monadic
view on ?authoring art?, not intent on giving in to trends of collaboration
but preferring the look inward to discover perhaps a transhuman ethos
pre-included in the crack of the self as it progresses in time. I know
myself and the next fellow well enough to realise the insignificance of the
individual ánd its limitless capability of creating meaning, beauty, filth
and destruction. What one tries to do is bend the flow towards the positive,
infuse the rattling noise of mechanistic tunes of doom and glory with the
sweeter oil of invention. Untsoweiter.

Furthermore, my personal experience with how the business of art is
organised today has very much steered me away from wanting to produce
marketable art objects. Our societies are that much based on commercial
exploitation of self-inflicted lack, that any presentation of what you do to
the exterior, that which is very literally beyond the reach of your hand, is
immediately inscribed with a logic that is alien to its motivation. The ?I?
that writes my poems doesn?t write them to engage the reader in an attempt
to fulfill a spiritual (or sensational) need, it is an ?i? that attempts to
coincide with the process of desire production, an ?eye? referencing a point
of view, a receptory dissolving in an affirmation of life itself and wanting
to establish its meaning beyond its own existence, in the realm of the
super- or supra-human. The spaces we inhabit are temporary spaces, it is
only the machinery of power that wants us to localise our spaces, modularly
construct them, stratify them along predesigned lines of lust, arrest them
in the act of buying. The happening i organised in 1996 was an event of
significance because it went almost unnoticed by the media, but any
repetition of it would succesfully have reduced it to a show you could buy
into. The speed at which encapsulation occurs today no longer requires a hit
and run tactic, it?s more a matter of adjusting the flow to the moment,
driving a sufficient amount of stakes down to the ground in order to create
a gap allowing the real to be seen. Bend, shift, deviate, fold. Straighten,
lift, incorporate, unfold. A 4-takt engine gaining speed to force itself a
way out through the wholes it wants to make for itself.

Sobering up, putting a halt to all of this avoiding of the actual, you may
find me walking my dog in downtown Kessel-lo. Soon enough most of the places
on earth that fall within the priviliged zone will look like this, we're
almost there, at least Kessel-lo is a prime example of what most people
think of when they plead for peace and prosperity.  A pretty 'gratuit'
projection, again evasive of reality, but it's exactly what i can see from
my window. I've been exploring that world in a broader european context in
my series of Dutch poems. Most of you can't read those, but rest assured,
you're not missing much that can be considered as being to the point.
However, they make me realise that being part of a small cultural region, a
?minority? language like Dutch is a big advantage because it requires you to
rethink your actions at least once. A rose is not a roos n?est pas une rose.
As much as the alterity inherent in the language comes to ones rescue while
programming ? anyone not native English has the luxury of being able to
insert a splendidly consistent naming convention more distinct than any
English one can do- people belonging to smaller language communities
automatically have larger resources of individuation, their works are more
resilient to being commodified  to products with a capital P. It hurts but
it also helps in the whyO of artistry, enabling you to keep one eye on the
international standard of Modern business and another to your private
reality. Moreover, it invites you to play the part of a humanist or
renaissance wo/man of the world with the legs of Latin kicked from
underneath your culprit, but the position does have a distinct Imperial ring
to it just before the screens go blank and you hit the floor. Abstract
circles of periods of history seem to be in the air surrounding us. We even
find them in the newspaper malls where the news is thickly packed with
splendid gifts, almost for free: sections of books on Impressionisme,
cd-roms on the Baroque, collectible cut-outs for series on every imaginable
period of our history and its art. Strangely, they don't often go for
Modernism, do they? Maybe the news-vending industry isn't too comfty it will
sell, maybe it needs us to wrap it up further? Hm, i see some buckets
appearing down there.

In many formulations concerning art you?ll find a clear and distinct finger
pointing at Modernism, making it appear unacceptable as an abstract entity,
a body of beliefs that is disqualified for service in the current regime.
The finger itself is abstract too, a container for undeniable truths lining
up to be packed as gunpowder for a mercifull bullet. About half of its
explosive power is due to the undeniable truth of feminism, for even if we
allow ourselves for an unthinkable minute to forget the  TNT of common
guilt, grieve and anger inherent to any report on the twentieth century, you
simply can?t look past the insidious trail of mysogenic powertalk that is
picked up by Baudelaire right at the offset and passed on as the hidden key
to the encryption of the age. Yet here already cracks become visible in the
containing shell. If you abstain from pointing, obliterate the finger, the
abstract entity itself dissolves and you may in fact find yourself embracing
the monster, or at least shaking hands with one of its deceased proponents.
Antiquity was bad, the Middle Ages were bad, Romanticism was worse, in fact
it always is as bad as it gets. You also might notice a weird duality within
the entity, a delicate meandering away in two directions that lead to
opposite poles that may be recognised in the fields of 1 and 0 that are more
familiar to us. 

Somehow i don't remember being on a glide now,  i?m just spinning from the
feeble threads at my disposal here, it's getting late in Kessel-lo.  I grew
up with Modernists, Modernist literature in the first place. I am one of the
lucky generation never to have to witness the immediate presence of war,
instead I have been able to relish in the luxurious gifts passed on to me
from the likes of Eliot, Joyce, Beckett to name but a few obvious and
English  names of those in my little field of clarity that I feel
priviledged to have read, to have watched while they fail so brilliantly.
Succes in art often  being a negation of the art itself, a failure to open
up the potential of the real, one can, i feel,  only aspire to an individual
failure within art of some proportion in order to ensure the continuing
power of its flow.

As such the question of Modernism or modernity is not one i want an answer
to, dead or alive. There is no more deadness in what happened  say from 1848
onwards, when Baudelaire first made the sociopoetic shift to Modernism,
?till the totalitarian catastrophes of the 20th century, then there is in
other periods we wish to delineate within history.  People?s imaginations
are full with live and living pictures of it because todays advertising
industry has adopted most of its inventions. Whatever process, whatever flow
one can discern within the temporal flow of art is by its definition a
continuation, the energies, intensities released in the Modernist era are
flowing in, around us, through our works, they are in the fingers of
engineers designing the plastic boards that cover our trains as much as
language of 16th century manierist Italian poets creeps into my poems, they
resonate in my childrens teachers guiding words looking over the
Schwitteresk quality of their collages as much as i attempt to scrape of the
patina of late Classicist paintings in order to spread it on pixel
arrangements in Photoshop, they even infuse the recombinant rhetorics of
politics as politicians find themselves affirming their lack of power by
denying/taking responsibility according to the booleans of the polls as much
as i play the part of a medieval court jester in flashy animations to escape
my gloomy, boring seriousness.

Ofcourse, looking in the mirror of Modernism and looking for aspects of
modernity in our present time, there are particular cracks discernible, and
as we look deeper into that timely part/past of our present self we will
notice some lineaments or even fabrics that bring us closer to a meaningful
analysis of our current configuration of things. My own project has the
encounter with such a looking glass/ mirror/miraging as a starting point so
I?m very much looking forward to intertwine the more expert traces and
broader vistas of my colleagues  in empyre?s Quest of the Month with some of
my loosely spun wool. The wool i spin won?t help me find a way out of any
labyrinth, but some of these strings might soften things and keep me warm
till spring. So where?s this minotaur of Modernism? Does Modernism exist at
all or is it equal to the sum of ill digested isms? Does it still inspire
the mode of the modern, the circling fashions of what appears to incorporate
'modernity' or does it only refer to a bunch of crazy individuals doing
weird things that don't sell if it hasn't urinoirs or moustaches in it? Are
we upholding major artworks of the twenthieth century as if pasted in a book
of truth while we ourselves are gliding down, preaching from it as we
tumble, keeping it dry because it contains treasures that will saveguard us
from the Big Evil? Did pomo break it down sufficiently to make it digestible
for todays market, or didn't we pomo enough quite yet? Or are we looking at
the shell of Modernism here, engaged in pre-romancing the ruine after the
egg of modernity has been eaten by the snake of media?  Is anybody feeling
the lack of the ambition so fiercely prsent within the Modernist mind, or
the Starry Force, the Bauhaus Blue of the Modern Way? A splash of questions,
if ever their was one.

With overdue apologies for the length of this ( i am in the business of
making scrolls, can't help it), its more than time for this old rock 'n roll
suicide survivee to wipe the board, 'cause answers i have none, well you all
know what Bowie sang.


Dirk Vekemans, poet - freelance webprogrammer,
Central Authoring Process of the
Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends
http://www.vilt.net/nkdeein a St

(1)sponge : cfr. http://www.vilt.net/nkdee/flash/dana_8_2.jsp containing
some pre-puberal debris of my youth rediscovered in an Edward Steichen
picture and an expandable table of tables

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