[-empyre-] empyre: engagement is all

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Jul 12 05:54:42 EST 2013

hi all

[Gary schreibt] >   'we have a problem houston.'

Actually, we don't have a problem here in Houston at the minute, nor in outer space. 

When the Apollo 13 crew member reported back to base, he actually said 'Houston: We've had a problem.'
The transmission became misquoted over time, misused and then abused, for restaurant commercials
and other things ["Wii have a problem"), and so on. Not sure about the Go Pro heroes....

We do have a lovely Warhol hanging in the entrance to the Menil Collection (museum) in Houston, it is his
1963 "Lavender Disaster," and it hangs across from "Camouflage Last Supper". 

Your reflections on accidentalism are interesting of course, and I appreciate these questions even though they hover in the Spectacle world
and the Twitter world, don't they? as such, i barely notice them as i find social media an intrusion into my privacy, and I rarely watch TV.

Your reflections do resonate very much with a film Jon McKenzie showed at the recent Artaud Forum, a filmic extraction from his writing called 
"The Revelations of Dr. Kx4l3ndj3r" in which he reiterates Dr Challenger's ideas on (Heidegger's) "question concerning
technology" and proposes that "disastronautics" is/has been a study of limits, of boundaries, of conceptual modelization,
and that cosmic thinking –  if we shoot our space ships far out enough into the multiverses  –   therefore structures disastronautics. 
Your accidentalism and Dr Challenger view the universe primarily as disaster? or failure as symbiotic? 
Dr Challenger, in cosmic mode,  thinks of a primal originary disaster — either in the form of the Fall or the Big Bang — iterating recursively, 
producing fractal reality of reiterative, multiplicitous disastrology. The world begins by ending, and continues to end throughout its modelization!

At the same time, Dr Challenger works in the university, and I think is trying to reconceptualize the place of technology in the academy  and for language/theory...
this is part of his broader project based out of UW-Madison’s DesignLab, and I wonder whether the notion of a need/compulsion for conceptual
modelization is not the problem here....

Well, just briefly, for comic relief, i found an article in the New York Times on "coming clean" which you might enjoy
(Matt Haber, A Trip to Camp to Break a Tech Addiction, NYT, July 5:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/fashion/a-trip-to-camp-to-break-a-tech-addiction.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0]
I think this is happening in California, so one might smile about the idea of a rewilding camp & rehab  (where all network communications and personal computing etc are forbidden),
and of course it's silly, but there are underlying diagnoses implied about the increasing social autism that I find worth reflecting on.

PS. Gary, were you seeking a counterpoint yourself (on wilderness and listening to nature) when you mentioned Chris Watson's sound recording?

Johannes Birringer

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