Pd Manifesto

pd manifesto
may 5 1992

This is the last human manifesto.

Whereas both art and theory have been declared dead we assert that this is an impossibility since art, like theory, never “lived” but is rather the ghostly trace of a mark infintessimally thin that distinguishes One from the Other (This from That) and is ever-occurring … always returning … perpetually New: the undefined arrival of an unceasing desire that cuts absence from an uncanny, haunted future.

All our efforts begin as a system of initial imaginary marks leading to increasing complexity toward unconcealment of simple content defined loosely to be an object. The object can indicate either the existence or non-existence of real form, and substantively, is neither true nor false. What is True is a matter of ideology. What is true is imaginary. Generally speaking, the question of existence is irrelevant. Either/Or does not provide a viable descriptive state. Only the real AND the imaginary can produce an initial mark, the beginning of a system, however fragmentary or broken. Wholeness is an unfulfilled wish.

Analysis of a system increases its complexity. Analogy simplifies it through a series of erasures.

Systems — force fields of interactivity — are dominated by push / pull, attraction / repulsion and construction / deconstruction. A spiral of steps beyond leads centripetally to tension within a centrifugal fiction. Through a process of unfreezing, followed by confusion and adaptation change occurs within the fiction.

Systems are predisposed to nervous (jittery) organization. All content (in the case of art … a thoroughly human activity … every thought, every image, every feeling and action) is demonstrably mediated by this nervousness. Extraordinary states are most highly desired and are often the result of confused ordinary actions. This confusion creates motivation for transcendence of a given state which requires enhancements and prosthetics, language and symbols.

Evolution — a process of interaction among systems — is producing a technologised human — one that was first dependent on simple tools and skeletal augmentations, then muscular augmentation, peripheral nervous system augmentation and finally, eventually, brain/machine recombinations.

The crossing-over from human to technohuman is a slippery slope of machine-desire and opens the possibility that the human factor is soon to be submerged under layers of digital, machinic-biological cybernetics (perhaps a highly efficient augmented brain … but equipped with a governor — a centripetal feedback valve for controlling the speed with which information can be processed to facilitate necessary social control (currently a role performed externally by mass media). Here and now the fine art of hacking becomes a matter of survival.

Within what has become an oceanic temporality of informatics the intelligence of artificially enhanced posthumans seeks something akin to meaning. Dada like everything else is data. Surrealism’s prescient embrace of automata prompts further imagineering of the ur-realism of an ineffable real. Somewhere near the margins activity occurs and is packaged for sale by and for a laissez-faire cognoscenti. It is activity Marked for consumption. Other work remains unmarked … work that can only be called unworking.

We are still living under the reign of logic … but it is now an inescapable binary logic … a machine logic … that requires a carefully cultivated introduction of fuzziness into every system. In dutifully manufactured confusion the imaginary, the true, will find sanctuary from common sense and liberation to pursue responsibilities that do not conform to convention. Let us continue a disinterested play of thought dreaming the existence of the human as a future memory of future machine intelligence.