[-empyre-] Recent work on 'semiotic splatter' / introduction
muratnn at gmail.com
Thu Nov 10 03:58:46 AEDT 2016
Here is the opening section of my essay "Eleven Septembers Later: Readings
of Benjamin Hollander's *Vigilance*" which was included in Benjamin's poem
book *Vigilance* in 2005. It related directly to what you are saying and
also connects with the discussions we started here last week:
I. Love and State
The genius of fascism is that it is based on love. Here the leviathan
of state turns into a performer of gentle punishment, loving duress. In
most fascisms, the public at large –for a short and brute period at least-
is in love with its leader. Freedom is falling politically out of love. In
capitalist fascism the eye –*petit-pointed* with pain, and yearning- is the
sine qua non tool of love. By his images, the leader ogles the public into
his erotic, protective, parental embrace; the public responds also with his
eyes to this embrace. T.V. is a pornographic contraption of communal fuck,
a bait and switch, double-mirrored peep show, while looking being looked at,
seeing while being seen into. A colossal move on our clits. Freedom starts
with an aversion of the eyes -a *moral modesty*!- a decision not to see,
the eye blurring in mist, choosing a mournful blindness, which puts a stop
to the erotic synergy. Freedom is a vigil towards stasis –an action against
flow – a “seeing” into oneself, transforming the eye into an ascetic
Freedom is photographic contemplation,1 contra incest.
send home my long strayed eyes to me.
which (oh) too long have dwelt on thee (John Donne, *The Message*)
But now I have drunk thy sweet salt tears,
And though thou pour more I’ll depart;
My picture vanished, vanish fears,
That I can be undamaged by that art (JD, *Witchcraft by a Picture*)
Photographic seeing wrests a trace of time into a process of
perception, on time. The computer is the supreme sublime dialectical
medium. Born out of military seamen, it is the womb of chaos. It is the
*asymmetric* weapon of subversion and the tool of extreme vigilance of the
state. Pornography is of its essence, sites of secret communication, loci
of yearning, condensations most monitored by the state, the place where the
eye is the common denominator of eros and control. Computer is where both
the extremely private and extremely public fuse, and are in mortal conflict
with each other.
Born out of a belief in the freedom of light, photography is the
anti-digital medium, the awakener from the capital’s illusion that anything
can be converted into anything, that gravity, the process by which objects
hit the ground, does not exist.
Thinning time and space out of air, computer points to both the
illusion, and truth, of the Oneness of God. "
On Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 11:21 AM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com>
> Alan, It is closer to me to a phenomelogy of abjection, of humiliation and
> being overlooked. (Not that what you are referring to is not true or
> relevant.) This election tilted in the rust belt states where for at least
> twenty years the blue collar population was in a rut, economically stuck
> with little expectation of improvement. Nobody did anything for them (with
> the possible exception of the saving of the auto industry). He spoke to
> them, and they elected him. The unfortunate thing is that nothing in the
> *concrete* policies he is offering, as far as I can see, has anything
> that will improve the blue collar lot. In fact, it will do the opposite.
> The gigantic tax cuts (the easiest and fastest laws the congress will put
> through) will aggravate the vast divide. They seem to have been taken by a
> snake oil salesman. I hope I am wrong. Of I am, it will make the result
> maybe a bit more bearable.
> As for the rest of the awful consequences of this result, you are right
> --desire (or hatred) will probably be the emotions stoked to get the engine
> running. Personally, I have been very reluctant to use the word "fascist"
> when I didn't like someone or some decision. But what happened here is so
> similar to what happened in the thirties in Europe, particularly in the
> case of Mussolini. A leader who jutted his chin out and projected sexual
> prowess, who inflamed the grievances (some of it justified) of the
> populaca, while at the same time making alliances with the privileged, the
> captains of industry, the Pope. A divided polity and spineless politician
> who supported him believing they could control the guy. Then a militia
> group that will "protect" the movement. Does it all sound similar?
> A year ago, I would have said all this is not possible in this country.
> There are laws, the constitution, etc. etc. But the open, unabashed
> contempt for the law that Trump showed without any punishment and
> rejection. Politicians for their venal purposes (a tax break here, a safe
> congressional seat there, etc.) supported him.
> On Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 3:14 AM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Not that it matters, but I've talked about a Trump win for the past
>> fourteen months; I thought it inevitable - not because of policy, but
>> because of a violent phenomenology of desire he played through. This is
>> covered somewhat in the splatter text below. I'm too distraught to have an
>> empyre discussion on aesthetic issues, at least at this point; I'd like to
>> discuss what a phenomenology of desire might be - not only in terms of
>> economic/sexist/racist fury, but also in relation to bodies and virtual
>> attacks upon them. The public misogyny was nothing I've seen before; I want
>> to understand this. We must learn how to resist, now, or at least open a
>> discussion about this.
>> Apologies if I'm wrong on this; it's difficult to think of anything else.
>> - Alan
>> On Tue, 8 Nov 2016, Alan Sondheim wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> My name is Alan Sondheim and I approve this message. I'm an
>>> artist, writer, and musician, working in entangled media.
>>> Recently, I've been think of "semiotic splatter" - fragmented
>>> and chaotic semiosis (the process of signification in language
>>> or literature, the production of meaning), and splatter both as
>>> control and dissolution. I use this term to indicate that
>>> semiosis is never totalized, that it falls apart, fails,
>>> coagulates and clumps; it's related to an incessant presencing
>>> of material which appears more and more stale and derogated.
>>> Semiotic splatter is related as well to strange attractors in
>>> chaos theory and leads to the problematic of semiosis and
>>> "coagulative hardening" - for example the rise of
>>> totalitarianism out of (political, economic) chaos.
>>> The semiotic splatter work is at
>>> http://www.alansondheim.org/splatter.txt - a good introduction
>>> to my work in general.
>>> A word about my practice - to write and produce as continuous
>>> praxis; ; I've been doing daily pieces (text/music/image/video)
>>> since 1994, as an ongoing meditation - first, on 'cyberspace,'
>>> but now extended elsewhere. The pieces are organized through a
>>> series of texts; the most recent are at
>>> http://www.alansondheim.org/uf.txt and
>>> http://www.alansondheim.org/ug.txt .
>>> Thanks to Murat, Renate, and Timothy, for the invitation to
>>> participate for the week!
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> email archive http://sondheim.rupamsunyata.org/
>> web http://www.alansondheim.org / cell 718-813-3285
>> music: http://www.espdisk.com/alansondheim/
>> current text http://www.alansondheim.org/ug.txt
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
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