Transmediale Infusion

One of the beauties of living in an existence torn between the 19th century (hemmed by Prussian systems, Schumannian aufschwungen, the epistolary desire) and the 21st century (all the while examining the positive wreckage of the 20th century) is that occasionally you can show up in the 21st century — in the present! — and just be there.  And, perchance, to dream about the future…to update yourself, to find genres interfolding, mash-ups going under, quixotic platforms heightening the rapture levels that one feels when realities so sharply collide.  And to figure out just what someone who writes a book entitled: Interface Fantasy: A Lacanian Cyborg Ontology really means when he writes.

Which is all just to say that I learned a great deal at the Berlin transmediale.11 festival and maybe, just maybe, will consequently have something more profound to say — or perhaps unearth a new genre to birth? — as a consequence of this experience.

It seemed to work for Daito Manabe, the Tokyo “BodyHack” performance artist.

And it worked for Adam Hyde, founder of the notion of a “booksprint” where books are produced within five days by a team of authors; as Adam described to me yesterday, this notion could be pure intellectual dynamite if incorporated into university classrooms.

To speak of certain outcomes in such circumstances of rapid connectivity and wicked fast corkscrews of individual ambition such as one encounters at transmediale is pure lunacy, but I can say quite clearly that seeing Japanese performance artists putting electrodes on their faces and turning it into techno has given me a rich parallax to my axe, a cello, and the need for metronomes.  Electrodes give commands, and the brain is a sovereign sphere, mostly.  This week my electrodes are centering on beauty from 1905, a German cello whose throaty sounds are almost certainly changing my own chemical makeup.  Further stirring things, Samuel Barber, P.I. Tchaikovsky, and R. Schumann now call, a semester in Seattle opens like a hungry universe, while the “forthcoming” queue lengthens…



  1. Interface Fantasy: A Lacanian Cyborg Ontology

    Lacan = the imaginary and the obscurity

    Cyborg = an automaton

    Ontology = essence of being.

    Put it all together and what you you get?

    Too good to ignore. Lacan. Try reading his Letters with indepth explanatory footnotes. Crikey, I would go for the 8 volumes by Kim The Elders works to be found in Shenzhen Library.

    Actually, I like my virtual image, but I don’t feel physical pleasure/sexual arousal when I encounter it on various sites. Just mildly chuffed.

    Try this one Adam.

    Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness.

  2. Thanks for the repositioning. Was thinking of my avator, got seriously aroused and posted in The Other op piece….catch that reference all you keyboard analysts. Cheers.

  3. Im impressed. MIT knows how to market a book. A couple of gratis chapters and the bibliography. What a teaser.

    And yes. I am unmasking myself as a complete wanker and am going to enjoy a close reading of the free offerings.

    Talk about academe being the ultimate play pen for adults. Mark Poster the reviewer in the op piece link began his public scribbling with an long and tedious article on Marx, Ricardo and agrarian economics in 19th century Russia. Marxism and the Social Division of Labour in Feudal Russia or some such title, which really impressed us first years. Then again, most of us were on a mission from a secular god.

  4. “academe as the ultimate play pen for adults!” fantastic….I am about 12% of the way into the book and enjoying it (kindle style, different pace of the read). I don’t know if it is typical for such theory heavy books, but this one seems to have contain all kinds of excellent taut passages (and to my mind insightful explanations of and expansions of Lacanian analysis) paired with the most pedestrian kind of writing in the second person. Such a text will certainly be considered arcane at some point, but the dude seems to have hit the Zeitgeist pretty well. In the meantime, you’re also right about MIT press, they do a bang up job overall, quality stuff.

  5. Adam. Since you are going all Kindle, I hope the device offers one of the
    great benefits of western civilisation, and a benefit specific to books printed in the US ie the paragraph on the last page identifying the typeface, its characteristics and inventor.

    Nothing worse than encountering a great read ruined by an inappropriate typeface and font size. I become quite psychotic….loyal subjects tremble/fear random executions.

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