Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Bloodfast ‘85

[A slightly edited transcription of a resurfaced page typed in 1985. Some decent ideas but perhaps reading too much J.G. Ballard, which leaves me wondering what if I'd discovered Barrington Bayley or M. John Harrison back then? Still like the radio-borne virus, as there have been recent science papers about quarantining received SETI messages to prevent contagion by xeno-software viruses. Also, I still prefer the term CETI over SETI].


No one noticed when the remaining TV stations went over to continuous reruns and looping public announcements. Surely at this late date, appetite had triumphed over reason, or simply overwhelmed any pretense of logic. And yet, there was a logic still working, and not so alien as it might first appear. It was a half-forgotten logic, infantile, claiming itself as personal history. Too authentic to be denied, too thirsty for identify.

By the late Eighties, the sophisticates had reestablished their complacency, so thoroughly shook by the events of the mid-decade. To the few who still nurtured a need to know, the sophisticates this time had gone the championship distance to prove to be a sophisticated, cultured thinker was to be a domestic creature… It wasn’t the door kicked open at Trinity that spilled the slop. The door was pried open by Mr. Marconi, although the meat was already well tenderized by Herr Gutenberg.

Gutenberg, Marconi, and Oppenheimer, and all the Edisons and Fords, they laid the path to CETI... 

Communication, with or without purpose, driven by the nightmare of ultimate destruction, diluting, then sweeping away all transmission of the evolution of good and evil. Now there was only good and not so good. Maybe bad, or least desirable. But where was the Evil? How nature abhors a vacuum!

The theory of radio-borne virus was novel, but not without some theoretical underpinnings. There was no research on the subject at Arecibo earth station. The most able mathematicians and exo-biologists were the first to go.

The pulse of the galaxy was interrupted by a infinitely sharp lance, a dagger shaped signal, a scalpel driven at the speed of light, a precision thrust to the stem of the brain, wielded over cold dark light years, piercing a soft pulpy vestigial gland. Radio-borne, then airborne and ear-borne.

The body was replaced by a wound. A wound with a mouth, and eyes and ears and intestines, ass, cock and cunt.

A new birth perhaps, actualized on a fully traumatized population so eager to be entertained, enthralled by a message from space. Yes, space! Out there! Space indeed, not this oozing pulp we inhabit in our isolation. The  loneliness of a sterile earth-bound life, made personal, millions and millions of times over and over.

In the cities sodomic zombies ride out their flesh play, dimmed character of reproduction, coming in pools of pus and bile, torn by competing orifices permanently pried open by a ferocious hunger beamed from beyond. The highest species of the blue green planet pimped to the heavens.

In the fitness of our wounds we find vision.

[Written sometime in 1985]

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Drexel, Burnham, Lambert and a Drop in the Ocean to Go

East (DDR) German woman works finishing a typewriter, circa 1987

[The accompanying text for my first assignment in George Legrady's Art 410.1 course at San Francisco State University in the Conceptual Design/Information Arts Department. The reproduced page at bottom has the classic Chicago default sans serif font for the Macintosh. The top image is a DDR worker finishing work on a typewriter, circa 1987, source unknown. Drexel, Burnham Lambert was a investment bank forced into bankruptcy in 1990 and was associated with junk bonds and Michael Milken.]


Three US pennies and a five gallon plastic 'bladder' partially filled with water. Objects related by color: "transparent." A collection (of coins) and a body (of water). The discrete and the continuous. A soukous guitar solo by Franco. Chords versus marimba, rhumba! A string of readings; a rigged wishing well for corrupt travelers with car phone, a late 20th century cargo cult wristwatch (digital works and liquid crystal display), a chance operated processing device (I Ching with monitor cube), obvious (cash flow), less obvious (cold fusion), government agency ad for peace corps and conservation (the collected water vapor of a Peace Corp volunteer and his/her contribution to world understanding/national security measured in GNP units), etc.


A simple opening statement of interests. The quantitative is a fast lane to God. 320 shot glasses of water, 3 gallons, water gathered from the shores of an ancient (dry) lake in the Mojave (Trona). Pennies from a collection approaching the weight of a human body. Cerebral and computer-aided modelling proliferates in the masses, common objects are reassembled into machine/models appropriate for the task at hand. The "Romanian Model" running simultaneously at Los Alamos National Laboratories and across the squares and airwaves of a distant land. "We almost lost Detroit": "one of our algorithms got loose and it may be in enemy hands."


"The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins, subtited "Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design."
Two five gallon water bottles, one full and the other an inch deep in pennies.
"One Human Minute" by Stanislaw Lem, an essay/review of tomorrow's almanac.
Final scene of the "Creeping Unknown" (Hammer 1954) where Professor Quatermas leaves the scene of disaster averted to "start over" in the morning!

Ken Sitz
Art 410.1 (George Legrady, SFSU)