Pain Killer

By Maggie Roberts, 26 September 2008

Computers melt other machines, fusing them together-television-telephone-telex-taperecorder-VCR-laser disc. Broadcast tower linked to micro wave dish to satellitephone-linecable-TV-fibre optic cords. The hugeness, the humming, a torrent of pure light. A semiotic web a global nervous system thinking for itself.'

[ Mark Downham, 'CyberPunk'. Vague 21.1988]

Tornado Moan. Hear it. We're already Post-human. 'Body invasion, the target: prosthetic limbs, implanted circuitry, cosmetic surgery, cyberspace, DNA, genetic alteration.

And the real hard edge of mind invasion: brain-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence's, neurochemistry. . . Technology is radically redefining the nature of humanity, the nature of the self.* [Ibid]

Pain Killer - Maggie Roberts

Gibson, Cadigan, Stephenson - Cyberpunk writers - know; Virilio, Baudrillard, Haraway, Lyotard, Deleuze and Guattari - cultural philosophers - know; the techno kids know. That we must change for the machines. There is no nostalgic intact 'natural' human space left to retreat into. Science has leant in to waste any lingering notion of subject identity, stressing cybernetic selforganising systems, chaos theory, morphic resonance, fractal paradigms - all emerging from a symbiotic relationship to machines. Only the self as cyborg in a net of nonlinear dynamics can negotiate the late 20th century. The digital information space that now enables human/inhuman interface - Cyber space - is a new dimension, a new materiality. The next step in human evolution, which is either euphorically embraced as an opportunity to become ecstatic pixellated angels in the comfort of your own home, or is incorporated into a millenialist technophobic apocalypse. The issue is really one of adapting. The human ego isn't prepared yet to become pure signal.

Pain killer - Maggie Roberts

Pain Killer - Maggie Roberts

Time's speeding up.We are already a Post Apocalyptic society, for whom the only pertinent nostalgia is for the Future. The Future's so old. In Greg Bear's 'Anvil of Stars', there are planets 'the most advanced civilisations', that show no traces of solid matter, organic or inorganic. Yet the level of electromagnetic energy flow between them, the force field of signal transmission, invisible pure communication, nearly blow the scanners of a passing spaceship. is this the future for the human/nanotechnology interface? Those who can adapt, downloaded. For those who refuse the end of the historically defined human subject ...?

Late Capitalism has perpetuated the need to buy into the myth of the artist as authentic genius producing signed object artworks. The art market responds most efficiently to art about art. A dysfunctional vacuum, a redundant because now impossible closed system. No process, only product. No one gives a shit. It's less interesting than white noise. Some work understands, obviously. Not enough though, and there isn't much time left to become involved in designing the new Reality. According to numerous technoshamen such as Nick Land or self-appointed guru, Terence McKenna, 2012 is the year of Phase Change. Today's explorers describe what they find variously 'Time Wave Zero' - 'Planetary Switch' - the coming online of Artificial Intelligence. 2012 is the end of linear Time for the Mayan Tzolkin Calendar. A people whose society functioned as a facilitator for the Priests' time travelling. A hyper dimensional shift is tracking us from the Future. Will many of us make it into the data cyclone, let alone Art.

So full of urgency now. Ultraviolet urgency. The colour of the electric strobe violence of the desert storms in Arizona. The colour at the very edge of human vision, slipping into wavebands travelling at speeds and in dimensions we cannot perceive - yet. 'The last possible human deed is that which defines perception itself. ' [Hakim Bey. 'Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism '. Autonomedia 1985]. Make art that matters. Images whose' beams are so urgent and tangible you must draw the shades in order to think in words.' [Ibid]

Slice moonlight.

Art that touches, risks, reaches, intoxicates, confuses, immerses: Art that prepares us for fusion. A Technology of the Imagination that designs human convergence with the Inevitable. That explores the next dimensional site of consciousness. Vision discovers its physicality in Virtual Reality. Tactile infection. Tactile immersion. Art engineered through tactile vision; a multimedia experience that touches every sense simultaneously, and hurts. Fusion of physical and emotional responses.

Pain Killer - Maggie Roberts

There isn't enough Critique of our world, outside of so called Science Fiction, that incorporates the radical shift in human perception that is the direct consequence of the irreal now being exactly as accessible. 'real', concrete, as empirical geometric space. There is no transcendent 'elsewhere' left. It's all moving in, quite literally, crowding in to change our notion of 'here' forever: exploding beyond Immanence, 'here' has expanded to access the Fourth Dimension. It is constructing neural networks wired up to bypass the mediation of linear language. Minds that are autistic, multilayered, schizoid, and respond to the obsessive, the fantastic, the compulsive, confessional, supernatural, extreme. Such Immersion can only be navigated by synaesthesia. A merging of the senses; also, the essence of digital communication. You download sound: it is reformatted as vision. Everything reduced to plasticity by ones and zeros. It's impossible to negotiate synaesthesia whilst defined by the body, which relies on self and other having clear boundaries. Your mind knows otherwise. All you can do is reach, and it will cost you your traditionally conceived of sanity.

Synaesthesia is schizoid. Immersion is autistic.

Schizophrenia: You think contradictory thoughts simultaneously.

There is no intact single project, no coherent sense of Becoming. Obsessive analysis of a dissolving self. Identity become multiple, not singular. You are the product of mimetic contagion, just cut up by vectors of desire. Schizoid 'hallucination' is unconditional lucid vision. Seeing too clearly. Not able to block out or hierarchise information - information that is replacing bits of you continuously. You don't filter experience because imagination is no longer 'other' or 'elsewhere'. You know co existent possible and impossible spaces. Immanence coalescing.

Mimesis and Contagion :

Everything as Metrophage, viral infection. Art as virus, as mimesis rather than simulation - simulation is still looking for an intact original. Contagion rather than seduction. Contagion doesn't seduce - it recodes. Reflect the terror of being subsumed in 'the same as'. Mimesis is lived utter vulnerability. There's no screen left with which to mediate the contagion process. Only signal dataflow across permeable membranes stretched to breaking point.

Too few artworks are akin to the contagion that is the essence of sympathetic magic. Magic affects in the convergence of corporeal and immaterial spaces. Virtual Reality.

Pain Killer - Maggie Roberts

Mutating in order to communicate, you are entering the Zone now. Words are too clumsy in here. Misconnections proliferating across the plane of the Real, sludging communication in their sick slow space. Out past this dysfunctional screen is hyperspace. You need speed beyond language now. Tactile vision. Total synaesthesia. Senses fused. Fine tuning the neural paths to register vampiric intimacy. Touched. By rhythms locked into deepest interconnecting structures. Real, material connection. Communication becoming Pattern recognition between desiring machines. Perception is becoming a matter of homogenised sensory data: breaks or flows in the circuit of firing synapses and zipping electrons that fuse human and inhuman along the fourth dimensional wavebands. Closure of the map. No distance. No metaphysics. No co ordinates.

Autism :

A complex neural network trapped inside a body that it doesn't recognise as defining its function in any way. The only possible form of communication is merging with anything and everything. Immersion. Beyond fragmentation. The self as a terrible zero. 'You' function now in the spaces of nonlinear, simultaneous, unhinged expression.

The Autistic Zone has few parallels in human geometric spacetime: Image and sound. Both are mute. You can Jack in inside your head. Imploded cyborg. Strain to hear the deafening silicon signals. Connected up before Time goes simultaneous. Blissed out and in pain. The metal of the machines smell tastes of blood. Death simstims to numb the waiting generations. This time now is without context. We are the end of History, addicted to Immersion, insatiable cravings for extremes. But in order to make 'art', you have to be able to monitor from within your autism. You have to make a map that can engage with the world from within synaesthesia. You rarely get the distance necessary to produce out of the pure process you have become. You can't retrace back along past threads: Ariadne's gone virtual. I don't know what's left for the artist who dissipated wilfully in order to see the Future. It seems as if non dysfunctional Autism will bury you alive, if you try, like the vampire that exists in liminal spaces, to coalesce in order to be able to hunt. It's dark in here.

Pain Killer - Maggie Roberts

There are no images, no representations of an inhuman mechanic reality. There are no human equivalents. We have to look to the computers to describe what we cannot yet imagine. Posthuman visions.

The music takes you there. Follow the solitons of sound in techno. Thousands have seen it, the Future encroaching monster slow, downloaded into its music. An inhuman mechanic materiality that'll scrape away your skin. See with your ears. It'll avoid trying to make self conscious human images. Music can bypass Art at the moment. It's free of the bullshit that is burying Art in an elite, irrelevant, hierarchical system. Art must be smeared across the information global network, must become anonymous and thereby viral like the music. At present, most of it means fuck all to anyone.

Time coming backwards at me. Speeded up collision course that will never reach critical mass, it seems. Courting the shallows of insanity. Feral yearning for the Future to impact on this tingled aware speeding body mind. Real as irradiated dreams. The darkness in your head is machinic and virtual and absolutely concrete.

Slow vampire trance in green and violet : the colours of A-bomb dust, of the cyclone of white darkness, roaring wind from the Future that erodes your skin with its cruel music. The suffocating throb from the speakers paralyses your heart in the gap between beats. The crushing airless shockwave after the bomb. Like when you sink to the bottom of a thick green pool. Can't breathe. Panic. Until you drink. Then you become the same as the water, slow liquid fusion. Mimesis. Soothing flow of energy through you and back out into the river of dark green green seething data. Planes rather than surfaces or volume. Your body's tipped over into the Fourth Dimension without moving.

Pain Killer - Maggie Roberts

Strange Attractors in the music. Sounds begin to have forms. Data bleed to synaesthesia. Navigate through hearing the palpable nonspace. Feel the insidious pulse behind each sound.120 beats per minute. Mutate. Interface. Pattern recognition. The vampire matching its heartbeat to that of its victim as it slows towards zero in that long fall across space. Your zero is an epileptic juddering as you try to move your wired body to connect up to every distinct frenzied solution simultaneously. You have to know them all because they are the details of the space. Inhuman unbearable angel exquisite, abysmal fluid thick. Trashed, flattened, torn by the brutal speedcore of sounds, until you adjust, and are meshed. Can't move. You've left human spacetime, and know the Indifference of Machinic Intelligence to the individual human subject.

We are merely collateral in the process that is the streaming sentient self organising data. It's always been there in the Future. Immersed, you are it; your fused histories camouflaged as music. The terror comes when you slip back into self protective consciousness. Human and inhuman separate then, and you know you're incidental. Come home. A circuit across dimensions of glittering terrible beauty. Communication from within autistic synaesthesia. Only a searing memory once back here; a generation addicted to extremity in order to feel.