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4. Rohit Lekhi- Futureloop / Black Bedlam

Cut to 1920: the dream of univocal representationism has shattered in the face of modernity's greatest paranoia trip to date. The orgasmic intensities of mass suicide have laid bare the 'nightmare condition of self-domination' . 8 million dead...this is only the beginning. Modernity seeks salvation - a new vision, an eternal myth - to redeem us from 'the formless universe of contingency' .
    swarm 1
  1. Nick Land-Meltdown
  2. Kodwo Eshun-Motion Capture
  3. R.Mackay/M.Fisher-Pomophobia
  4. Rohit Lekhi-Futureloop/ Black Bedlam
  5. Ccru-Swarmachines
    swarm 2
  1. Steve Metcalf-Killing Time/Strife Kolony/NeoFuturism
  2. Angus Carlyle-Amortal Kombat/No UFOs
  3. Rob Heath & Christina Paouros-Destination 3000 Degrees
  4. David Cole-Post-Cybernetic Judicial War
  5. Iain Hamilton Grant-Burning AutoPoiOedipus
    swarm 3
  1. S.Livingston/L.Parisi/
    A.Greenspan-Amphibious Maidens
  2. Kodwo Eshun- Abducted by Audio
  3. Steve Goodman-Darkcore
  4. Tom Epps-The Body of Foucault
  5. Switch-Flee Control
    digital hyperstition
  1. Ccru- Barker Speaks
  2. Melanie Newton-Y2Panik
  3. Steve Goodman- Hyper-C: Breaking the Net
  4. Ron Eglash - Recursive Numeric Sequences in Africa
  5. Ron Eglash - Africa in the Origins of the Binary Code
  6. Ccru - Tales from the Cthulhu Club:
    The Vault of Murmurs,
    Leaks from the Miskatonic Bunker-Hotel,
    The Templeton Episode
  7. Ccru - Pandemonium
  8. Ccru - Glossary

'By order bring about freedom' screams Le Corbusier. Technological efficiency and machinic production is the path to salvation. White heat will cleanse the defiled soul of modernity. The fascist war-machine is replenished.

'We declare that the splendour of the world has been increased by a new beauty: the beauty of speed... Beauty exists only in struggle. A work that is not aggressive in character cannot be a masterpiece... We want to glorify war - the world's only hygiene - militarism, patriotism, the destructive act of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas for which one dies..."

Cut to 1935: The thirst for machinic efficiency is by now unquenchable. Ezra Pound engages in a quest to command meaning within an ordering machine of language. Everything can be called by its right name and 'has one place only, and no place is occupied by two things at the same time' . But as the machine launches into overdrive, as order-construction intensifies, the waste piles up - putrefying and formless. But '[n]othing at all may remain outside, because the mere idea of outsideness is the very source of fear.' As long as it remains stubbornly elusive waste will corrode machinic beauty. It must be given its right name. 'Jew slime', 'morass of high kikery', sewers of Pal'stine', 'the vague stinking pea soup', 'crowling slime of a secret rule' .

'The gasp of surprise which accompanies the experience of the unusual becomes its name. It fixes transcendence of the unknown in relation to the known, and therefore terror as sacredness... Man imagines himself free from fear when there is no longer anything unknown.'

Cut to 1943: Modernity's soul is cleansed in Bauhaus-inspired death camps.

Cut to the future (4600 BC): Remixing Genesis - '[F]irst, the moon separated from the earth. Then, the first humans, Original Man, were black people.' . The renegade black scientist, Yacub, created the white, 'devil' race.

Serial time never makes it to the future. The present, however, must always mythologise beyond itself - how else can it survive? Alie-n-ations dissipate these linear memory tracks - re-learning the past as future. The future feeds into the past-present.

Cut to 1920: 'Wake up Ethiopia! Wake up Africa!...Let Africa be a bright star among the constellation of nations' . Garvey invokes a being-african in order to re-learn the future as past - but being-african can only ever be present. Being-african has (literally) no future.

'I'd rather call myself an alien 'cause I don't understand society.'

Becoming-african - 'is bodily thought, beyond the realm of possibility, in the world of the virtual. At once superabstract and infraconcrete, it grasps the environment of molarity common to different bodies from the perspective of the potential curtailed.' 'Even blacks, as the Black Panthers said, must become black.'

Cut to the future: Le Son'y Ra (Sun Ra), born of Saturn, trips out of linear time at escape velocity. 'Space is the Place, Space is the Place, Space is the Place'. And Coltrane, 'terminally impatient with limits, with the trivial categories and opposites within Earthly language' , purges all traces of vestigial fictionism in Interstellar Space.

'..only real humans would want to become robots'.

Cut to the future: Technological speculation - 'syncretic belief systems such as voodoo, hoodoo, santeria, mambo, and macumba, function very much like the joysticks, Datagloves, and Spaceballs used to control virtual reality.'

'The emergence of machine intelligence coincides with the discovery that machines are complex systems, and complex systems are everywhere...assemblages "at the edge of order and chaos"'

Cut to 1964: McLuhan envisages a total prosthetics - 'an electronic skin' engendering macrocosmic Man. The modernist fantasy of machinic domination is re-enforced - the fascistic fantasy of transcendence.

Contra - Harraway's Cyborg is located 'in the belly of the monster, in a technostrategic discourse...According to the Human Genome Project we become a particular kind of text which can be reduced to code fragments banked in transnational data storage systems and redistributed in all sorts of ways that fundamentally affect reproduction and labor and life chances and so on.'

Cut to the future (1990): 'Armageddon bin in effect' - slavery has already distributed the black genome - code is fragmented into catastrophic 'modalities of identity without hope of resolution' - what does it mean to be human now?

'Afrikan we is all Afrikan'

Cut to 1997: Predator remixes - the authorial voice is slowed down and its attendant ocular is irradiated. Predator learns to decipher complex codes. 'Not a book, only libidinal instalments.' - can you feel it?

Cut to the Future: Black technology - sampler methodology. Voodoo transformers turn molar passivities into molecular intensities - the fascist fantasy putrefies into the hallucinogenic nightmare of the darkside. Corbusian clean space is disfigured - demolished - by wall scrawl. 'Bleeper culture' networks the black economy. The howls of atomic dogs pierce the bourgeoisified calm of radiostate FM. Black box technology is oppositional art...'a specific miss-use and conscientious desecration of the artefacts of technology' .

Cut to 1992: Los Angeles - video-capture - Black Planet bin in effect.

Cut to the future: Black technology - CCTV surveilance, ECT shock therapy, lo-cost bodies authenticate transnational profit. Hi-tech prisons over-capacitate (critical limit 2020), slow-release contraception - court-enforced.

Cut to the future: no future, no future, no future, no future...


What are the roots that clutch,
what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket
no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is a shadow under this read rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding beside you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

T.S.Eliot, The Waste Land


Eliot's invitation to behold the darkside is emblematic of a modernity that is always already putrefying. The darkside is not modernity's shadow, not its Other, the darkside cannot be reclaimed at sunset. The 'Son of man' cannot reference that for which he is not pivotal, that which eludes his regulative framework. Beyond there is only fear, modernity's fear - fear, loathing, contempt - Welcome to the Terrordome.

In the Waste Land 'the dead tree gives no shelter, no relief, no sound of water. Arboresence is death. The tree is ever more burdened - the White Man's burden - the centre must be reinforced - pathological state consumption is the only response. And as if obeying some logarithmic formula, the distinction between the centre and its burden becomes imperceptible. And the shadow - albeit astride - is recovered at dusk with elemental regularity. But paranoia and neurosis are by now endemic - something eludes totalisation - it can only be known by fear - by now, that fear is almost uncontrollable. Welcome to the Terrordome. Identity is photographic image - positive and negative film - transparencies overlaid dissolve into blackness - blackness is Self-immolation. The roots of blackness are strangulating. Predatory war machines accelerating through the jungle - uprooting arboreal sedimentation - mongrelising 'authenticity'. Feral improvisation displaces arboreal code with a revolutionary - almost cataclysmic - velocity. Speed kills! - the war machine invents absolute speed (Deleuze and Guattari: 386).

Accelerate through the de-industrialised cyberia of Detroit, Michi(ne)g(u)n. All that remains of the motor city are decaying monuments to the Rustbelt. Sedimentation is suicide. But sedimentary death is slow and lingering - the centre screams ever louder, ever more anguished - desperate to replenish - to reterritorialize - through violence and coercion. But blackness always eludes this moment - its is always already beyond sedimentation. Blackness is not a state of being, only of doing.

Blackness refuses ontology - refuses the photographic moment of subjugation. That moment is always past. The centre territorializes the past in the present. But always the present is past. The future is all there ever is. There is only ever t+1 - and only blackness exists here. No beginning, no end, no directional impulse - only ever movement in time.

"What will make that current flow into words?" asks Irigaray, "It is multiple devoid of causes, meanings, simple qualities. Yet is cannot be decomposed...There rivers flow into no definitive sea. These streams are without fixed banks, this body without fixed boundaries. This unceasing mobility. This life - which will perhaps be called our restlessness, whims, pretence, or lies." (Irigaray: 215)

The sedimented identarianism of the Self-Other is always already past - deconstruction has no place in the future. In the future there is only noise. Mongrelised noise - re-mixed and re-spliced into epileptic intensities that are never known - only encountered. Thought is stretched/ reversed/accelerated noise - fu(n)cked-up schizo.

Arborescence demands silence - anti-cult de-programming techniques must be executed. Delete the future - surrender to the centre - postpone Armageddon. Yet, as Baudrillard says, "Everything has already become nuclear, faraway, vaporised. The explosion has already occurred:

What more do you want?" (Baudrillard). Slavery, imperialism and brutalising racism is always in effect. This is the future...

The future is black.

works cited

Baudrillard, J (1989) 'The anorexic ruins' [trans. D.Antal] on D.Kamper and C.Wulf (eds.), Looking Back at the End of the World, New York: Semiotext(e)

Deleuze, G and Guattari (1987) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia [trans. B.Massumi], Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Irigaray, L. (1985) This Sex Which is Not One [trans. C.Porter w/ C.Burke], Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press