∞ appreciation

I’d surely rank the lemniscate (from Latin, “decorated with ribbons”) among the most superb symbols, carrying such a wide breath of powerful associations and meanings. There’s infinity, eternal return, the Möbius strip, a strange loop, Ouroboros, and I’ll add one of my own: two sets/worlds with a point intersection (a threshold, a tunnel within the membranes through which strange things from the other side may infiltrate).

All these obviously interplay with each other. Think of Prof. Templeton’s episode, when he saw

strange-loop coilings of Ouroboros, the cosmic snake, who traces a figure of eight – and of moebian eternity – by endlessly swallowing itself

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Xenopulsions in Twin Peaks

A screenshot thread with some of the incursions from & egresses to the Outside arising in David Lynch’s 2017 Twin Peaks.

[Warning: spoilers, might take a while to load with e-lek-tri-city]

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Dark energy – bread and butter

The entertainment industry, advertisement – swelling like a cancer of enormous proportions, drooling in hype, exploding and execrating through mass media, propagating with unimaginable virulence, efficiency, and automation, consuming resources, disseminating across the network to rapidly reach each node and bombard it with titillating power, hooking attention, and replicating its memes.

The spectacle is incredible.

Show business achieved an utmost level of all-engaging potency. The game isn’t even meant for anyone or subordinated to “us” (whatever that is), it just is, a process probably inextricable from an accelerating rise of ICTechcapital.

That’s the glistering, viral info-tainment surface. Self-awareness is quickly capitalised upon – ‘The Matrix’ is part of the Matrix. The film’s conceptual bedrock (Red Pills, dark enlightenment, Machine City, an underground network of caves and tunnels), the dark unknown cracking the manifest surface open, intoxicatingly blitzes on the hyper-fast production line, reaching caves, trains, frogs, and back-alleys.

Oh how much potential for exhilarating darkness and overflowing energy there is in this circus and on our breakfast tables!

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Non-Euclidean Perceptual Space

It always amazed me that there has scarcely been a distinct characterisation of the geometry of human perception – how points and distances vary in space as perceived by us. There’s often talk about the vanishing point – the convergence of parallel lines in our visual field. This straightforwardly contradicts Playfair’s axiom, equivalent to Euclid’s 5th axiom in his description of geometry. Parallel lines cannot intersect in Euclidean geometry, essentially. Yet roads and train tracks pointing away shrink, until they vanish; is the far-away world unimportant and shallow to an ego-point capable of only seeing its own local environment, its neighbourhood? This is a feature of hyperbolic geometry: for a given point, everything is smaller the further one moves away from it, but this is true for any point. The centre of the universe is everywhere; seems so gratifying. But also lonely… with a prodigious unknown stretching out in every direction. Something is out-there, but I intrinsically have no idea what, and if any attempts are made to move elsewhere, one loses sight of another spatial subset; dynamic reconfigurations. Not only is every point different, but at each point everything else seems different.

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“Be it a rock or a grain of sand, in water they sink as the same.”

After my 5th viewing of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy yesterday, I realised that one of the many reasons why I find it so immensely compelling is for its overarching theme of the unknown and an ultimately calamitous struggle for ‘truth’. While still very much belonging to regions of human/subjective problematics (and thus not reaching an abstract abyss as such), the aesthetics and visceral-cerebral transgressions do knot the ‘truth’ as inevitably (un)being of a magnitude of chasmic darkness, escaping all comprehension, shattering the mental coordinates of existence, necessitating an undoing of being, a plummet to impossible nothingness, entailing utter futility.

 

[Warning: spoilers for Oldboy (2003, Park Chan-wook).]

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“and the water was flowing back into the jungle” (on DruGs&D&G)

“I just want to show you how I feel. Don’t you ever get this way?”

“I should say not!” he said, baring a fang. “Christ, if it got that bad I’d go to a doctor. I’d think I had the D. T’s, or something. You’d better put that glass down… that gin isn’t good for you.”

“You think it’s the gin? All right, I’ll throw the glass away.” I went to the window and threw it into the courtyard. “There! Now give me a glass of water. Bring a pitcher of water in. I’ll show you… You never saw anybody get drunk on water, eh? Well, watch me!”

“Now before I get drunk on the water,” I continued, following him into the bathroom, “I want you to observe the difference between exaltation and intoxication. The girls will be coming back soon. By that time I’ll be drunk. You watch. See what happens.”

“You bet I will,” he said. “If I could learn to get drunk on water it would save me a lot of headaches. Here, take a glass now. I’ll get the pitcher.”

I took the glass and swallowed it down in one gulp. When he returned I swallowed another in the same fashion. He looked on as if I were a circus freak.

“After five or six of these you’ll begin to notice the effect,” I said.

“Are you sure you don’t want a wee drop of gin in it? I won’t accuse you of cheating. Water is so damned flat and tasteless.”

“Water is the elixir of life, my dear Ned. If I were running the world I’d give the creative people a bread and water diet. …” (Henry Miller ‘Sexus: The Rosy Crucifixion’, p.254-255)

One probably doesn’t have to gulp it down rapidly, glass after glass. Small sips might suffice.

One probably doesn’t even need to drink it. Looking at it might suffice.

For the moment I can think of nothing – except that I am a sentient being stabbed by the miracle of these waters that reflect a forgotten world. All along the banks the trees lean heavily over the tarnished mirror; when the wind rises and fills them with a rustling murmur they will shed a few tears and shiver as the water swirls by. I am suffocated by it. No one to whom I can communicate even a fraction of my feelings… (Henry Miller ‘Tropic of Cancer’, p.5)

***

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Creatures from Outside

In ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ there’s this exchange between The Oracle and Neo:

The Oracle: Look- see those birds? At some point a program was written to govern them. A program was written to watch over the trees, and the wind, the sunrise, and sunset. There are programs running all over the place. The ones doing their job, doing what they were meant to do, are invisible. You’d never even know they were here. But the other ones… well, you hear about them all the time.
Neo: I’ve never heard of them.
The Oracle: Oh, of course you have. Every time you’ve heard someone say they saw a ghost, or an angel- every story you’ve ever heard about vampires, werewolves, or aliens, is the system assimilating some program that’s doing something they’re not supposed to be doing.

So this is what they – ghosts, angels, vampires, werewolves, and aliens – are: glitches in The Matrix. Malfunctions. Leaks. Infiltrations. Xenoprograms. Signals from somewhere else, carrying fibres from that distant cryptic elsewhere. The names and images we assign them are only figures of what truly lies beyond – machinic horror. Lovecraftian Sentinels.

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