living next door to alice (in W-LAN) (2010)

off with her head

i’m never really here
never really not here

this is the in-between
where we un-appear
in the web of day to day
it’s the back alleyway
that sucks us in

mind that gap, gal, you say,
it’s no zero-sum game.

ja-nee
it’s a dirty crack habit
but i’m not paying, pal!

i’m chasing that rabbit
i’m hunting that quark
i’m ripping, unzipping
tumbling through the dark

i’m pulled, i’m polluted
the vertigo’s heady
the jostling vacuum
blaring and unsteady

warrens of voids
streaming past
screaming future
endlessly new
have i seen this already?

uh-huh, it’s not pretty
these blown-up dead pixels
no taste, so not witty
they stink like nothing

on earth

in asunderland
nothing rots

i’m always here, not-here
it’s off with me ’ead
when bored, i bore deeper
through holes yet unread

i need more; drop a fresh tab

hop a window

and i tiptoe
past the daemon
with a keygen
while it snores
unlock the door

to

another tube flickr-ing
twittering, bickering
low resolution
there’s no revelation
there’s no revolution
just revaluation
search optimisation
and too many shares

i spin rumpelstiltskins’
straw dogs into gold
using worm-riddled troll jam
i scavenge ‘twixt threads

i needle this grey gunk
i snip it to shreds
i bump and i juggle
grind bones badly bred

i flip and i giggle
i slough off my shame
i slurp it up, spew it out
flooding the drain

logged in or logged out
i have no real name
if I do it is M.U.D.
and i’m out of my death

and where is my body?

my own flesh and blood
it sleeps with the ‘fiches
not holding its breath

see, it doesn’t do digital
it keeps crashing
so it’s chained to the terminal
wired to the grid
with a stay of execution

logged on or logged off
the haunted dimension
buzzes in my marrow
drowns out my dreams
howls me back
out of bed
out of the car
out of the street
from the supermarket
from the sunset
from supper
in a stupor
on my phone
into my inbox
unto my outbox
onto the blog

*welcome to [UR(hel)L]*

you can’t turn off a never-present stranger.

(2010)

alice1

holly herndon – chorus (2014)

Holly Herndon / Akihiko Taniguchi – Artist / Video Director Statements

Holly Herndon: “So much of Chorus was constructed by spying on my own online habits. It felt fitting to invite Akihiko, who I had been spying on online for a long time before my approach, to contribute the visual treatment of the piece.”

Akihiko Taniguchi: “I was interested in exploring the textures of daily necessities and the embodiment / physicality of the computer and Internet. One of the most striking contemporary images is that of the desktop capture, which is seen commonly on YouTube as part of software tutorials. I like the shots of desktops that are poorly organized and ‘lived-in’.

Referencing one of my earlier pieces “study of real-time 3D Internet”, I considered how it corresponds to the personal environment outside of the screen and how particular it is to my identity and my friend’s identities. I asked several friends to photograph their desktop environments and then rendered these images with custom 3D software, shooting video by moving throughout this virtual space. This video is a collection of records of life of friends and their Internet environments.”

Herndon: “I love the idea of depicting the mundane and quotidian in high definition, and how evocative and individual each of these spaces are. Thinking about intimacy and the laptop is familiar territory for me. I’ve also been thinking a lot about privacy, particularly in light of the ongoing revelations regarding the NSA, which add a more sinister sub-narrative to Akihiko’s piece.

The most crucial conversations happening in technology at the moment focus squarely on our work space, our email, our iSight and our smart phone, and how much we can honestly claim those spaces to be ours at all in an era of indiscriminate and imperceptible surveillance.”

___

In this audio-visual talk recorded at Ableton’s Loop summit for music makers in 2016, Holly Herndon describes the role process plays in her creative vision. Drawing on her experience as a recording artist, her studies at Mills College and Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Holly discusses the conceptual frameworks surrounding her process-based composition methods. Using audio and video examples from her recent work she reflects on how government surveillance, internet age aesthetics and collaborations with Mat Dryhurst, Metahaven and others inform her mission to capture the ‘sound of now’.

And here’s an interesting interview from 2015.

shilpa ray – posted by anonymous (live, 2013)

From the Deeper Down studio session (2013).

I’m pressed against a window
Flat
With a broken nose
Rhinoplasts and the bombs blastin’
Who’s scalping tickets for this show?

Lines round the block in
circles
A Human Centipede
I wanna be the victim
who gets the most sympathy

Don’t reward my participation
Or teach me about masturbation
I could fake your newest sensation
Steal someone else’s imagination
Microdermabrasion

Oh I’ve gotta feeling
I don’t have to be real
No I’m not real

I’M NOT EVEN HERE

Headlines talkin’ and your
Picture’s Squawkin’
You haven’t said a word
Hysterical Historical
How did you get your foot in the door?

Mass killin’s thrillin’
Public’s appealin’ on TV
And when you have your say
Starlings
What are you gonna say to me?

Don’t reward my participation
Or teach me about masturbation
I could fake your newest sensation
Steal someone else’s imagination
Crystal Blue Persuasion

What is the meaning?
I don’t wanna hear?
No I can’t hear.
No I can’t hear
I’M NOT EVEN HERE

animation explaining giorgio agamben’s “homo sacer” (2014)

Clear explanation of this important concept.

The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italy’s most important and original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy. Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of the individual within it.

In Homo Sacer, Agamben aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding. Taking his cue from Foucault’s fragmentary analysis of biopolitics, Agamben probes with great breadth, intensity, and acuteness the covert or implicit presence of an idea of biopolitics in the history of traditional political theory. He argues that from the earliest treatises of political theory, notably in Aristotle’s notion of man as a political animal, and throughout the history of Western thinking about sovereignty (whether of the king or the state), a notion of sovereignty as power over “life” is implicit.

The reason it remains merely implicit has to do, according to Agamben, with the way the sacred, or the idea of sacrality, becomes indissociable from the idea of sovereignty. Drawing upon Carl Schmitt’s idea of the sovereign’s status as the exception to the rules he safeguards, and on anthropological research that reveals the close interlinking of the sacred and the taboo, Agamben defines the sacred person as one who can be killed and yet not sacrificed—a paradox he sees as operative in the status of the modern individual living in a system that exerts control over the collective “naked life” of all individuals.

__

The blurb of Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life by Giorgio Agamben. Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen. (Stanford University Press, 1998).

warsan shire – “and were you being good to yourself?”

[love letter to self]

i don’t think so.
but i forgive you, girl,
who tallied stretch marks
into reasons why no one should get close.

i forgive you, silly girl,
sweet breath, decent by default.
i forgive you for being afraid.
did everything betray you?
even the rain you love so much
made rust out of your jewellery?

i forgive you, soft spoken girl
speaking with fake brash voice,
fooling no one.
i see you, tender
even on your hardest days.

i forgive you,
waiting for him to call,

i forgive you the diets
and the cruel friends.
especially for that one time you said
‘i fucking give up on love,
it’s not worth it,
i’d rather be alone forever’.
you were just pretending, weren’t you?
i know you didn’t mean that.
your body, your mouth, your heart,
made specifically for loving.
sometimes the things we love will kill us,
but weren’t we dying anyway?

i forgive you for being something that will eventually die.
perishable goods,
fading out slowly,
little human,
i wouldn’t want to be in a world
where you don’t exist.