killing denouement

on silence

I figured I’d take some time to navigate attribution anxieties, deal with apartment catastrophes, and finally learn how to bake. Also figure out what I really want to do with this blog. Other collective print projects are now fairly dead; this could go either way. This said, some interviews and hopefully broader collaborations (or a new home) coming up soonish. And unrelatedly, editing at Lacanian Ink is starting to feel like karmic retribution for a lifetime of cooing over the impending apocalypse, castration anxiety and so on.

In the meanwhile, I’ve been thinking and writing about text versus noise/silence lately. (Text-as-ascii-characters certainly scream, shout, whisper. But text congealed as PDF and/or image? And on the other end, textually programmed coded music, like SuperCollider in 140 character twitter form. I can only dream of having SC code that clean … ) Here’s Blanchot, M. Dupont, and Zerzan:

“Silence is impossible. That is why we desire it”—Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster

Communications technologies are being superseded by anti-crisis industries as capital’s preferred futurological modality. In crisis, power manifests itself up close, not as itself, not naked, but in the manner of the Wizard of Oz, a roaring face. Noise is the proper medium of contemporary power, it occupies all wavelengths and prevents other sounds, you can feel it pinning you against the wall, but it is careful never to form any discernible words—Monsieur Dupont, Nihilist Communism

So here we are, with the Machine engulfing us in its various assaults on silence and so much else, intruding deeply. The note North Americans spontaneously hum or sing is B- natural, which is the corresponding tone of our 60 cycles per second alternating current electricity. (In Europe, G-sharp is “naturally” sung, matching that continent’s 50 cycles per second AC electricity.) In the globalizing, homogenizing Noise Zone we may soon be further harmonized. Pico Ayer refers to “my growing sense of a world that’s singing the same song in a hundred accents all at once”—John Zerzan, On Silence

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2 Comments so far
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Want to see more! Esp. re: text as congealed in image? Wonderful quotes. Read Don DeLillo’s White Noise (I know, I hate the DD empire … but it’s all about the above).

Comment by tobogganeer

fran i’m writing about the above for tni right now—plus zines, ie with pdf scans and the selector tool (?) as a return to the scissors and glue cut-and-pasting of making zine flats. will send if i finish before you’re back!

other side of this is digitisation projects ie google books, wish i could better remember the stats here but they’re ridiculous. even on the friendlier side, aaarg and no layouts etc = theory accumulating to the point where it becomes pdf.

also congealed in the sense that for many texts, they will soon live (if they don’t already) as image. and it seems a one way process with info loss, ie similar to when you try to open a doc in an obsolete format in say word. not sure if any of this makes sense!

Comment by ra

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