tombe des nues (fallen from the clouds)

The hut occupies a thin slice of land which runs continuously through the suburbs. The land meanders behind the houses like the creek which lies squarely in the midst of this green--now brown in the winter--belt of semi-wilderness; it undoubtedly spreads rhizome-like throughout most suburban civilization. Sitting there at night with the lights off I can still hear traffic in the distance. But closer I hear the large owl which I see in the beam of my flashlight, perching 20 feet above my window. It had been making a most UN-owl-like noise as I had been practicing the saxophone. Perhaps it wanted to mate. Or fight. It's sometimes difficult to tell the difference...

How bizarre it has become, making the 300 foot trek back up the hill side to the basement, to the muffled `reality' of a nature-deadened reality with its constant 6o cycle hum, clicking on and off of various pieces of household equipment, the whir of the computer, the television upstairs coming faintly through the ceiling.

We abandoned the green because of our fears, of the dark, of the creatures who live in it. But on the contrary, for me now, how soothing it is, how illuminating (even if I can't precisely say what is being illuminated.)

Working by drawing a magic circle around my 12 foot square, twice the height of a man, working by funneling energies into the circle, distilling them, intensifying them---and filtering out others perhaps.
A necessary crucible--a thing itself and a thing to allow other things. Perhaps we shall see if there is any efficacy to magic...certainly the sweat of desperation as it distorts vision can be almost as good as magic.


The hut is approached through suburban streets, in the heart of the suburban south in fact. In a bedroom community of Atlanta, the small town now does not really exist, all the streets being widened, malled, everything flattened into a planar assemblage of elements that are ready to be put together anywhere in the USA. I suppose we should make that, anywhere in the world now. `Smyrna' was a city in Turkey in fact but must have made the trip over of it's proximity to biblical lands. So after you turn down Church street, at the corner where the old horse stable used to be and is now a multi-acre townhouse development, after you pass the long white fence the development put up, past the newly remade bridge which the development undoubtedly had put, you see a large copse of woods that stretches from the bridge to your left on around the bend. The development left a swathe of land between it and the creek and from the creek to the suburban development--built in the early sixties to accommodate the expansion of Lockheed-Marietta, along with a good deal of Smyrna--was another `wilderness' strip. OK so its not much: an interregnum between developments, maybe even WAITING for development, the way these things go now. There, in the back, between, around the bend, at the bottom of the hill lies the hut.


"SMYRNA, now known as Izmir, is a large city and seaport in western Turkey, capital of Izmir Province, at the head of the Gulf of Izmir. In 1985, the city's population was about 1.5 million. It is one of the chief seaports of Turkey and is
served by several railroads. It is also a commercial and industrial center; dyes, soaps, and textiles are manufactured and foods and tobacco are processed. The chief exports include carpets, foodstuffs, and minerals.

Founded in the eleventh century BC by the Greeks; in particular the Aeolians who controlled the city until it was seized by the Ionians before 688 BC. Later in the seventh century BC, Smyrna was devastated by the Lydians, a people non-Hellenic origin who lived in Asia Minor. Antigonus I, king of Macedonia, restored the city in the fourth century BC, and subsequently it was fortified and improved by Lysimachus (circa 335-281 BC), a general in the service of Alexander the Great. Smyrna was conquered later by the Romans and subsequently became an early center of Christianity, referred to as one of the ``seven churches'' (see Revelation 1:11). During the fourth century ad the city was made a part of the Byzantine Empire, and from the eleventh to the fifteenth century was alternately ruled by the Greeks and the Turks. In 1402 Smyrna was ravaged by the Mongols under Tamerlane, and after 1424 belonged to the Ottoman Turks. The Greeks claimed Smyrna after World War I, and by the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres, drawn up in 1920, the administration of the city and its Ionian hinterland was assigned to Greece. Two thousand years of Greek presence in the city were brought to an end on August 27th, 1922 when, following the defeat of the Greek campaign in Asia Minor, Turkish troops entered the city. According to the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, the city was awarded to Turkey.

The Book Of Revelation

1.11: The beginning of the vision

Write down all that you see in a book and send it to the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis,
Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

2.8 through 2.12: Smyrna

Write down to the angel of Smyrna and say, `Here is the message of the First and the Last, who was dead and has come to life again: I know the trials you have had and how poor you are-though you are rich- and the slanderous accusations that
have been by the people who profess to be Jews but are really members of the synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of the sufferings that are coming to you: I tell you, the devil is going to send some of you to prison to test you, and you must facean ordeal for ten days. Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life for your prize. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: for those who prove victorious there is nothing to be afraid of in the second death'.

1.6.99 . voir le dessous des cartes. (to see the underside of the
cards; to be in the secret)

A dwelling has a persistence that causes it to disappear after awhile, perhaps much like people. It swells into visibility then recedes as its use value increases. Perhaps a witch hut, born in an uncanny dream, escapes that disappearance (only because it is perpetually disappeared, eaten on, run off on chicken legs, seen vaguely through the mist) because of its different kind of utility: the utility of revenge, retreat, hallucinatory vividness (the warning tocsin of certain poisonous insects or fish), wound-licking (the
witches motto above the door: tangere vulnus [to touch the wound]), winding up into itself rather than out of itself, like its suburban (non) neighbors; an epileptic visitation of matter on itself nevertheless seeking a host, someone to dwell, however fitfully, in its laby-rynth, spiraled into its shell, extruded both into and from an other (ANY other) dimension.

Settling like an infinitesimal spot of rust, ceasing to reflect but rather absorbing light within its voluminous folds, folded in on itself, a bit of oxidation (consolidation of water and air, shining brightly alone but encrusting into a dark space when meshed, like body-and-mind, fractal densities unparalleled, pulling in its surroundings, my Pretty. "yes, you must stay awhile m'dear" and never walking out again and changelings substituted in their cribs, borne away to the fairy hut under the hill, door merged to forest to star to moon to mist to dirt to dust, circulatus vivendi...the visitor asks `ubi lapsus?' (where have I fallen?)


My mother has seen a light down by the hut. A deft slip of the imagination no doubt, born of dark green forebodings as well as a certain wonderment that what is there is there--and perhaps shouldn't be, some suburban promiscuous unconscious peaking through the back green veil of the tight control in the front lawn. A certain invocation is maybe perceived, without naming it, a conjuring of some Other that has no name and is therefore all the more alluring AND frightening. What did she think she saw? corpse candle? elfin ring? fairy glow? papa's ghost?

And me? A momentary fright...maybe something IS down there, maybe I did bring something forth, some green energy --which I constantly court-- or worse, scarier, and more scarlet, some raw, grimy human energy, out of place, if not out of time. I have to cast about for a second wondering whether I would want to meet ANY other down there, human or otherwise. I don't go down there that night, my own fears (of what??) taking over, colonizing my own desires, spreading like nag weed into a well-trod path. I feel myself split as so many times: a reptilian hind brain, continually scouring the horizon for something to bite but then also: some one setting out the plates and cups for a new guest. Sometimes life seems like preparation for an event that never comes. and if it WERE to come, we couldn't see if because we had prepared for some other imaging/fear/desire. Perhaps it's true that we kill what we CAN'T see...


Three hundred feet from the house to the hut, down a 30 foot drop, then swing by the circled square of the hut, planetary gravitation swing around to the path leading to the creek. Past the first bend to take a piss. There, out of the corner of my eye, I spot two brilliantly yellow fungi, resting convolutedly on a large decayed log, brownish red with the verdigris of moss where the few pieces of tree skin are still attached. Zipping up while I stare at the fungi I notice what looks like reddish scattered elongated pellets the size of a quarter of a pencil. Whatever it is , it looks like it's covered with a gauzy skein of bluish-gray. From eight feet away it definitely looks strange, like a combination of fungus and spider web As I get closer I realize that the gauzy effect is caused by the delicate downy pin feathers of some bird scattered on part of the log. The reddish pieces--I now see larger pieces that have fallen to the base of the log--are actually the feathers of a bird, a cardinal by the color. Looking in that immediate area on the log, I spot half of the beak, a crimson red hook. a foot away on the log, and up a bit in the same spot where whatever it was that shredded the cardinal, I see what looks like a vivid red wishbone. I think to myself: it's amazing that the cardinal is red INSIDE as well as outside. I keep staring because something doesn't seem quite right about that theory. I turn the wishbone over and indeed it is the other half of the beak. I had been seeing the hinge points of its `jaw'.

I remembered the very large owl outside the hut window making very strange non-owl noises as I practiced the saxophone. I imagined it swooping silently at twilight on the unsuspecting bit of red and then flapping through the corridor I had built with a barely audible swoosh, until it rested on the log, patiently holding the cardinal down while it plucked away at it, leaving only a nebula of feathers and the two sharp points of its beak. Was that the way owls ate? I realized I had no idea. And I realized that I knew practically nothing about this whole little ecology that swarmed and tittered around me. The privet hedge had stayed green throughout the winter, low amidst all the bare, brown trees -- and even seemed to continue to grow, still providing a partial shield (not nearly good enough) from prying eyes on the hill. But then I sometimes felt like a spy myself in a somewhat foreign territory whose language I did not understand and whose `customs' gave two sides: one for the casual passer-by and the other, deeper, darker rituals of life itself unmindful of any apologies or facades for the human species. Certainly we humans carried these dark `rituals' at our very core also, bringing them coiling into the very density of the densest concrete jungle; and certainly we are just as distressed when we glimpse there, invariably inside. Even more distressing perhaps since it has seemed to some religions like a plague to hunt down, inhabiting the folds of flesh to the extent of becoming co-terminus with it. and only eradicable when both are burned.


In the territory of huts, I am tempted to say that something--anything really -- is everything. I can easily see WIlliam Blake living in a hut, surrounded by indeterminate grains of sand, morphing into worlds resplendent with verdant green encrustations. perhaps it's no wonder that it seems almost everyone wants the world to end now, at least the world which seems to be encrusted with that OTHER green, the kind that only morphs back and forth between power and technology. (Power meant here as a form of efficacy, sheer getting-things-done, leverage, movement, action).

The vegetable kingdom--what despots now rule it!--apparently doesn't work on that order of being. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that it can be made to fall into line with the circulation of that other green. At some point -- horrific thought! -- perhaps the codings that control capital flow will be the same codings that control DNA structures and permutations. Large sectors of agriculture already seem to be such, with seed allocations and manipulations. Perhaps it is the case that consciousness really does aspire to the density of `heavy metals' as Novalis thought and that life itself must be led into that state of ultimate compaction and instantaneousness. Already we see preluded in the so-called `bible codes' controversy an apparently infinitely nested ability to code and decode in language itself, pulling `natural language' into a cabalistic black hole of something that at least mimics some form of self-awareness. Such `discoveries' as the bible codes, and en/decryption in general, would not be possible except through the medium of the newest skotograph ( device for seeing through darkness), the computer, a machine that no longer needs light to see but can create its own virtual beams to illuminate the darkest regions of time and causality as well as the materiality associated with it. Its forever `forward thrust' is to continually collapse everything around it into pure simultaneous codings. (The impossibility of this is hardly in question anymore since the very question of what is `possible' anymore has become an open one--and one determined by these very collapsing.)

No, the vegetable kingdom is in serious danger--unless it has some cards up its scaly sleeves we know nothing about. and of course it's always possible that the universe is much weirder--and things are more connected ANYWAY--than anyone can really be prepared to accept at a gut level at the moment. Every one goes on about how humans plants animals are all connected--but it most of the time doesn't FEEL that way except as an intellectual thought.


The power went out this morning for the whole area. Although there is a thin cord connecting the hut to electricity, and even though it was barely warm enough for it to be acceptable to stay there, still. . . practiced for awhile until my feet started to freeze, went outside to fiddle with some bonsai (I'm recycling the privet hedge stumps which I dug up in the hut area and which refuse to die -- so I shall reward them for their persistence by mauling and manipulating their little life impulses), then trudge back up the hill for a bite to eat from a gradually warming fridge. Can't use the computer. In fact this is being written in a coffee ship, no-near-by. Had to go through extensive roadwork re-routing to get there. Only two guys sitting here talking in the early afternoon. About IT and internet database solutions and overloaded commercial catalog sites on the web -- in Atlanta coffee shops, it's talk of relationships, school work and the screenplay that the guy with the powerbook is tapping out. This particular coffee shop is in a little area that become a `quaint' passthrough, with a few little shops in the midst of the tree-enclosed business high-rises, large expensive apartment complexes and strip malls, all falling around, folded into, rolling hills, Mercedes and BMWs. The two guys are now talking about the phenomenal gains in the stock market of on-line companies. They make me sick. Is this the future?

It's not enough to imagine everything in flames--everything ALREADY seems to be in flames. Yes, no wonder religious fundamentalists are looking for a complete collapse of this computerized infrastructure. It's participants seem smug, self-righteous, self-contained and apparently mindful of nothing but their own inter-connectivity. Mechanics. Some people will be very happy (because empty) in the future. Some people will be very UNhappy in the future. The existence of the hut on the margins of this culture seems to place it paradoxically right in the middle of the culture--while not being able to participate in it.

"The good fortune of my existence, its uniqueness perhaps, lies in its fatality...."
F. Nietzsche

Even with some people I know there seems to be an emptiness, an invasion of an abyss, a hollowing out. At first glance you wouldn't notice any of that, especially in a culture of distraction and ludic gaming. But living with the hut means that somehow a different scheme of existence comes into view, where OBSERVATION rather than distraction seems to be the operative element.

But there seems to be a developing culture of zombies and replicants, avant le clone, humans who only seem to exist in some purely immanent sense, who seem to be cardboard cutouts. It may be the case that this has always been so but that circumstances now reveal that state even more strongly--and also accentuates the reproduction of a zomboid state. Speed is always reduced the more physical (denser, heavier, the more external connections) are the individual elements involved. Best to only have `information' that's shoved around and in order for that speed (and hence Novalis' `heavy metal' density of thought) to develop, everything must be severed from its context, digitized, re-coded. Maybe its necessary for personality to undergo a similar transformation. But there is an uneasiness that develops on the margins, a true `Invasion of the Body Snatchers.' To step back from the culture even momentarily is to see the `pods' growing everywhere.

But of NECESSITY for this Culture of the Blank to further develop is--that it become a culture of the Game, hence a culture of tourism, a passing-through. Those who are permanently `attached' (to anything) must be shown the error of their ways. Total immanence--the essence of any game, combined with chance--is simply to follow the rules, arbitrary as they seem until one can invent one's own game and/or develop the authority to show that it too is just as fun and vacuous, just as useless and therefore necessary.

paradoxically, `hut consciousness' seems to be centripetal, a moving away from oneself, even though one is isolated with oneself, a phenomena no doubt many mystics have known, while a `media consciousness' seems to be centrifugal, tying one down even more to oneself, even obsessively, some sort of virtual mirror stage.

`Personalities' and `subjectivities' sometimes seem to be the tips of twigs on a vast `world bush', sprawling in profusion as far as the eye can see, with similar inverted root structures that lay underground and invisibly spread and inform the branches by means of predictable and similar structures but often totally unforseeable results, depending on what `nutrient streams' it taps into. Apparently separate, the root tips wave madly about in passing gales, colliding, shredding themselves, all the while secretly anchored, and anchored in a necessary mire that the airy tips can only have nightmares about .
Sitting in the hut this afternoon with the window open, warm breeze flowing through, sunlight puddling around my chair, wind shrusshing through the distant bare tree tops. no car sounds, no airplanes; peculiar summer in wintertime, lull in the natural progression. No wonder we were kicked out of Eden--nothing would have gotten done otherwise.


Perhaps the coming Millennium is truly indicative of this Coming Blankness, the Aught Aught Generation. I'm reminded though, on this blissfully warm winter day, of the phrase from Heidegger's Beitrage: offene Stelle or blank space. For MH perhaps a bit of cleared land for the appearance of the gods. In that case what is blank is actually a form of waiting, even a prolepsis indicative of and prelude to a recharging of that space. Patience is not a virtue of industrial humans however. Previously connected with seasonal cycling, we often had no other choice but to be patient. Now it seems that almost everything can be jackhammered into place--no matter what, it only depending (from de- and pend-, or hanging from) our own, um, `prunious' desires, a climatic system that we now carry within and nurture. Maybe such internalization is something we need as we leave the planet. But will the teleological weight/wait be transformed into something else? Will it be too unbearable to have such a constant void as a driving force? Already that is so: we fill it with any manner of directives, forces, consistencies, apparatuses, desires, and Laws. Perhaps the extreme externalization of techne gives us humans a new focus point, the blankness not being seen clearly because of all the glints off sharp pieces of metal crowding the clearing, the 60 cycle hum permeating the summer evening, imitating, competing with, then eliminating the cicadas

"Fundamental discovery: what I have been told about my private life, about my inner life, is a lie. There must therefore be an `outside of myself' where my authentic depth would lie.

"Two possibilities: either it lies in history and the past (Greece, or some other period of history); or else it lies in whatever the contemporary world, experienced as an absence of myself, creates as my future; I do not exist for my contemporary friends.
Two ways of conceiving my own temporality; my constitutive elements are dispersed in past time and in the future.

"I am confined somewhere and I will never manage to find myself again: the message the prisoner sends to me is unintelligible; I am shut up inside language, and what belongs to me lies on the outside, in the time which the universe follows and which history recounts: the memory that outlives humans is my mother, and the Chaos that turns around on itself is my father."

Yes, there is a sense that we can only wait through our artifacts or through our progeny, an embodied and perhaps pointless patience since it only seems to be the apparently infinite patience of DNA, coiling everywhere in every bit of flesh and handful of dirt, surreptitiously, clandestinely waiting for its chance. At least that's how the almost infinite wait-state of conscious seems to find it. Although now consciousness seems to becoming wait-less AND free of gravity. Perhaps they are connected. A certain way of perception can see a chaotic state as an open state (if not entirely blank.

But I still think we NEED those clearings!! (he wails from the clearing of the hut)...I'm not ready for the infinite density of a heavy metal existence but...on the other hand...I saw the old original Invasion of the Body Snatchers last night and that was always the plea of the protagonist: They're going to take away all our emotions, love as well as hate (and what is a human if it's not this large proportion of animal instinct/emotion, our hero thinks). The forlorn pleadings of a forgone conclusion I think This taking over of the human and then the elimination of the human by substitution of some Universal Substance--wow, what a constant theme throughout the movies. I just saw The Faculty, which is precisely a restatement of that same theme...made me go out and start reading Spinoza again (who strikes me as the start of a certain contemporary valorization of that takeover, and even the start of the appreciation of what is always seen as the monstrous (i.e. `cosmic', a term even used toward the end of Invasion...as our hero was fleeing from the New Incorporation). And yet the theme is so constant everywhere because we so desire it (in The Faculty, the monstrous desire for cosmic fusion and sloughing off of the immediate was realized in the figure of a beautiful naked young woman!) as well as fear it. And we are even CONSTITUTED for god's sake by this monstrous coiling immanence (just read the most interesting book The Cosmic Serpent)---what a double bind we are in!!
Listening to Arvo Part in the hut: I once thought, while listening to John Coltrane, that a kind of transparency was essential to music, the music (or player) a conduit to larger forces where the player/composition opened up the gates for a certain kind of `spirituality' to flow through. I no longer believe that. or I no longer believe that in the same way. It now seems more like a `bleeding' to me, as a situation where a container is under pressure and has to `let off steam' or be or the pressure bled off before the container loses its integrity. There seems more of an hollowness or emptiness (not exactly blank) involved now. Take techno for example: static yet involving a kind of thrust and movement; linear yet textured and nuanced and, in the last analysis, rounding back on itself and in a sense not very linear at all...or linear only in the sense that a trance state is linear. just a track vanishing in the horizon...only to appear right behind you. And free improvisation much the same but the opposite of minimal. The very explosion of every possibility means an emptiness as to ANY possibility. In finite openness that goes nowhere except back to itself. These are not bad things. or rate are only bad things if one finds something wrong with the unavowable, the ineluctable, and perhaps even a peculiar form of the apophatic. (apophasis: from the Greek meaning `negation' but its construction suggests an un-speaking or speaking-away, characteristic of many mystical writers but perhaps its modern, empty, TRULY hollowed out incarnation is Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener who, who asked anything, would always reply "I'd prefer not to". Some activities and forms seem to be types of preferring not to ---yet doing it anyway and with a certain amount of performative intensity. I sometimes think that many forms of the abject that I have run across are forms of this `apophasis' [it seems to be especially associated with women]. The term allied with apophasis is kataphasis or affirmative speaking, or speaking-with.

"Performative intensity is a function of the frequency and seriousness with which language turns back upon its own propositions. At the low end of the scale would be an assertion of ineffability, followed by a full chapter or treatise that freely employs names and predications of the transcendent, and than at the end reminds the reader that the transcendent is beyond all names and predications. At the high end of the scale of performative intensity are passages, such as those discussed here, in which the mystical discourse turns back relentlessly upon its own propositions and generates distinctive paradoxes that include within themselves a large number of radical transformations, particularly in the area of temporal and spatial relationships."
Mystical Languages of Unsaying/M. Sells


I had two dreams last night, only one of which I can remember. I'm with other guys outdoors...a large herd of something, deer maybe, go running by at a distance..it's like we're chasing them...they plunge into water. We follow but now it's like the whole world is drowned...we seem to be following along some flooded ridge line. trees are poking up through the water. The water gradually climbs to our chest, then to our neck. There is nothing but water all around and a few isolated trees. It's like we are walking chest and neck deep in a vast surreal ocean. I begin to panic: what if there is a hole or a drop-off all of a sudden? there seems to be no way back to dry land from this water world...I try to wake up in earnest...
....I was watching a program on television called `Into the Beyond' when I remember the dream. The program was about hikers and travelers who come across buildings that have been torn down for many years and also about `fata morganas', or distant, distorted mirages.

After the program (it's now close to midnight) I decide to go down to the hut and listen to music. It's 65 degrees Fahrenheit on a January night. from the ridge of the house the valley where the hut is located seems dark and forbidding, only the roof shingles glow dully. As I approach the bottom of the hill, I realize there is actually quite a bit of light. It seems to be emanating softly from all surfaces but is really scattered light from the clouds, which are now breaking up and revealing stars. I turn off the flashlight as I approach and as my fears subside--as they always do at that point, and a kind of calm sets in. I realize once again that nothing is going to jump out of the bushes and grab me. I put on a CD and a female voice wafts out through the open door. What a weird winter. I turn off the light and see nothing but the tops of trees against the ocean of the sky and a few scudding clouds. I feel about to drown.


The great quandary: how can SOMEthing seem like NOthing? From a H.U.T. (Horrendous Unutterable and Transfigurative) point of view, that seems to be the case more often than is comfortable. Driving to a movie past stacks of concrete, tons and tons of moving metal takes on an aspect of a bad dream. Even writing it, flattens it out, banalizes it, even as it seems an aspect of Babel sometimes. All of this "stuff" and it seems utterly empty and of almost to consequence--and all the more so, strangely enough, when one thinks: well, this is all there is. It doesn't enliven it, doesn't make it SEEM any more vivid and necessary. The Great Blankness...yes, that is what we are entering into, a great whited out zone--with a commiserate frenetic increase in activity. The great public spaces then begin to seem like zones of strangled silence--and a person whose air is being cut off can make a lot of noise.


The crickets and frogs are still making a racket down by the creek, yelling, croaking, stridulating like spring is here, like some switch has been flipped. Usually it's a comforting sound. But...given everything we've heard about the environment and the breakdown of immune systems, borders and boundaries, it's disquieting. And we are always told that it's just part of the big `wheel of life', just slightly out of phase for a bit; the times slightly out of joint...but the doors are still on the hinges:

" ...[these forces are communicated one day] [....] in the form of a movement around which something whose approach remained for ever forbidden, as if in accordance with a secret accord or liaison. First the ring; then the wheel of fortune; and finally the circulus vitiosus deus -- so many figures that, in themselves, presuppose a centre, a focus, a void, perhaps even a god which inspires the circular movement and is expressed in it, yet which is kept at a distance."
Nietzsche and Vicious Circle/P. Klossowski

perhaps the peculiar concatenations and imbrications of space and time (we speak of it/them as granulated entities, overlapping spore prints whose substance has disappeared leaving only the discreteness of their peculiarities, of the singularity of the event of the droppings), perhaps these peculiarities are not as ...cacophonous, as least as entirely, only, `fortuitous', as we think but are instead `cacodaemonic', breathed-into, given life in some fashion. After all: what are the solidifications, the 4-D `projections' of DNA--and who knows how many OTHER dimensions? Yes, that knowledge would truly be a monstrous one...

"Nietzsche thus situates the philosopher and the `abyss' on the same plane: knowledge is an unacknowledged power of monstrosity. The philosopher would be a mere histrionic if he did not have this power, if he refused monstrosity"


New Project: The Delirium of Tendriled Hut Space

"Space: The Last Frontier"

Although that slogan seemed to be suitable for the old star trek series, in some respects we seem to have moved beyond even this `last frontier'. Space now has a frayed, diaphanous feel to it, as if it were collapsing in and through itself, folding and supercoiling (a term denoting the metacoil of DNA stranding on itself), space now somewhat less mysterious than its nuclear counterpart, time. We now see space as the site of the catastrophe of time, space having become almost infinitely moldable, fractilizing itself into the quantum then scaling up past the sublime even, into regions that seem to mysteriously scale down and up at the same time, beginning to look suspiciously like the topology of some hyper-biology (what astronomer was it said that the universe was more like a brain than a machine?) Our design machines seem to be folding back into this hyperlogized techno-bio-logos, revealing (or creating? it's an old question) the joint between the molecular morphological foldings of DNA and mRNA, say, and the language machines we call computers. These foldings seem intent on encompassing ALL architectonics. After all, one might reasonably conclude that the whole `function' of DNA (and DNA as a kind of binary/quadratic language) is to serve as a template for the fleshy origami which serves to conduct it down the river of time (i.e., space). Architecture itself in its most `noble' aspirations (Goethe's `frozen music') is nothing but this `snapshot' of time, the next level above the origamized flesh, the spatial `cosseting' of this temporal flow. Increasingly, our machines are able to imitate this flow, these foldings and time sequences.

As Proust well knew, the final frontier (which is ALWAYS final and is everywhere, immanent yet invisible except through the way that it concatenates in space), is time--but the `containers' for time (a quaint Newtonian way of seeing/spatializing) seem to be coming closer to temporal movements with certain new technologies. All things must be altered to fit this coming flow/fold/fit...the `body', the `building' and the way the building (both the building of it and the conceptualizing of it) is gotten to, and the way the body (its genesis, its arrival, its caretaking, its farewell) comes into view/existence.

(space has no need for teleology; time -- hence consciousness and subjectivity -- perhaps is nothing BUT teleology, it is Nietzsche's pilot-less train hurtling through the void, laying track as it goes.)

Can we begin to see these new `containers'? The nonpareiled aspect of the computer as a time machine, projecting both `back' and `forward' through spatial debris fields, making connections and junctures, uncoiling refiguring and then coiling/supercoiling, gives us the potential for a `process' architecture, non-static and individuated, allowing nomadic `spatial' drift while maintaining consistency of some (temporal) identity (much like software packages themselves).

The playing field for such concepts is literally gaming. If we eschew overt agonal displays (i.e. war) as development prods for tech then its simulated ludic counterpart, the game, seems to be, and is, one direction for further development. Theme parks are the most obvious example of this subversion of space by `ludic temporizing', whether `Dave and Buster's' or Disneyworld or, and most pertinently, the `theme-ing' of downtown cities. The most egregious, `non-necessary, fantastical, avant-gardist event/proposition/structure becomes acceptable when it is put into a gaming milieu. (A possible caveat: the possibility of this in a theoretical sense is obviously an outgrowth of poststructuralist ludism. Nevertheless, it may still remain the case that the PRODUCTION of this theoretical p.s.l. is cathected by a pretty much NON-playfulness and even productivity of a much older, even classical, model. It may always be a case of Moses unable to enter the promised land.)

In the realm of the ritual and the ludic, and away from the productivist imperative (which leaks over into/from certain moral imperatives on the place of `fun' ) almost anything goes because it is a bracketed environment. and this bracketing (after all much of twentieth century life is dependent on this `setting aside': the human `sciences' including all the psychoanalytic type disciplines--and the television talk show industries that plows those waters publicly; the universalization of education; and supremely and most recently the use of the computer to bracket off large areas of processes hitherto invisible to investigation) is now moving from formal methodological procedures into the very fabric of everyday life (by the way, it should not then be surprising that the most powerful of ludic adventures, the sexual, is also always the first to explore new possibilities via technology, whether the forbidden sensual spatiality of the red-light district bordello [has this been explored architecturally by the way??], or prosthetic devices [fetishes], or video tape, or CD-ROM, internet chat rooms or even writing itself).

As we move away form the inscription the Nazis inscribed above their camps (`werk macht frei', work makes one free: for the distaff side of the modernist bracketing as it turns into a concentration camp, see Giorgio Agamben, Home Sacer), as the computer drives that move, how will that form our external environment? Our internal environment? is the imperative to play as deadly in its own way? In a fully wired computerized culture, would `play' and `gaming' form the new epistemology for culture as a whole and not just a few playful mandarin decoders? Architecture has always acted, at least implicitly, to channel and help decode individual desires and orientations. If space becomes a function of individual
[blah blah blah...something about the emergence of demographic spaces which mirror rise of `spaces of chance', gambling, state lotteries, etc., literally a culture of `gaming' as adjunct/subset of ludic / game / poststructuralist/ self-organizing {nicolas Luhmann} culture}


"With the development of the new Extreme Wearables (tm), the line between work and play, the virtual and the actual had finally been breached. In any previous era, a stroll down a city block now would seem like a walk through Bedlam, with individuals and groups reacting in invisible stimuli, a whole city scape turned into a series of stage sets. The architecture itself was developing a certain frayed, diaphanous quality, as if part of it had been left out or had disappeared. As indeed it had. The designers were now incorporating the indeterminate virtual elements of the new pocket supercomputers into their structures. Parts of the new structures were virtual and reprogrammable by the architects, including force-feedback loops for the wearers of the feelie suits. If you bumped into a virtual wall, you actually felt the bump. At least if you were tuned into the central city frequency. And the imminent passage of the new Common Frequency Law would insure that."

Living in the present is never the problem, per se; it's the way the past and future cast interference patterns that causes trouble. One is always a fugitive, living threadbare and impoverished. and no matter how well clothed and well fed on is, that remains the case. The impoverishment almost seems like a necessity of civilization now. Why is this not perceived as such more often? In time, now, it is always the case of the Emperor's New Clothes. Perhaps its the case that isolation wipes the eye clean--I realize also that it could be the case that the wiping smears the vision as well. There is no clear `place' in Time---not even in Hut Consciousness. But if nothing else, one can at least perceive the disturbances in the field--alongside the lilies. Always the distraction of the dry rustle of memory -- and the viscid ooze of next week. Like the science experiment where an invisible heavier than air gas is released from a bottle and slowly rolls down an incline toward a candle, slowly engulfing then extinguishing it..

A siege state. and space for resistance.

(I've just learned that one of the possible etymologies for 'hut' is from the Greek then German for 'hiding', possibly of military origin.)
I had first written `spaces of' resistance...but `hut space' doesn't provide (or dictate) plural advocacies. It doesn't constitute a pre-determined registry.. I don't even think that it is a T.A.Z (temporary autonomous zone) though it can be---for the most part though it is NOT autonomous, but freighted with its own peculiar weights, `secret' codings, measures linking it inexorably to some incommenserate `event', simultaneously and inexorably receding and advancing, leaving some residue as the waves pass though each other. The fine precipitate powder of Now always susceptible to dispersal, even before the rains begin to dissolve us back into the rounds.

Hut space constitutes a certain vigilance--perhaps it would even be better to speak of an ATTEMPT at vigilance. Lassitude is always threatening one--and no place more directly than a space of comfort. And yet--no place is more conducive to `true seeing' than such a space. (We could quibble here; there is obviously an ethical vector in my statement and a vector AWAY from the `perception' of the space of work as a true seeing -- yes, that's right.).


Uncanny Beauty.
I saw a special on the cuttlefish, a cephalopod. It has colored ink packets in its skin, at nerve ending. Like an octopus, it can change color, even strobe rapidly and cycle through vivid colors to hypnotize its prey. Like many insects, sea slugs, etc., bright vivid colors act both as a warning and a lure, a klaxon yelling `poison!' -- at the very least, almost always a pharmakon. `Uncanny beauty' -- of WHATEVER sort -- is an insigne, a mask over an abyss, an intense singularity that has a gravitational pull, a pull which promises some sort of `consolation' (really, a form of `consolidation' or gathering together of various sorts of energies); in fact, it just as often acts otherwise, DISPERSING energies -- which simply means funneling them into other `mouths'. Uncanny beauty is veil for an abyss, a void. And it seems to ALWAYS signify the arrival of another system of, an other so radically Other that it seems like a bottomless pit, whether of a psyche or a stomach. It is a boundary phenomena par excellance.

I think these thoughts as I meditate on the bright colors I have painted my `witch's hut'. As the story goes, witches plant bright red flowers around their huts, indication of an abyss within. And abysses are always poisonous, they are always destroyers. There may be a reconstitution -- after all, the predator/prey relationship is a necessary one, the prey being reconstituted in the flesh and energies of the one who did the eating. From larger systemic considerations (Baitaille's open economies), there is no such thing as simple dispersal or simple consolidation. Energy is never really lost or destroyed.

What was it the Victorians called their gaudy dwellings? `Painted Ladies' I believe...And there also was the cauldron forming (if we believe Foucault) that was to result in modern sexuality and gender relations. Trauma (as a wounding form of an abyss) is often a scarlet cicatrix, one that is now bandied about freely in the socius as proximity to the abyss (the abject as a correlate of that terror) and the signs it generates become badges of honor (the rise of tattooing, scarification and various other markings on the body). Signatures left on the body of various wasting voids -- which we must hurry to make into a promise: rather than the past closure of a scar, the markings of a future opening into ... well we don't know what into. What does the vivid cuttlefish know of the prey it has consumed and which goes to fuel its insignia? it `only' knows (what a knowledge!) the DNA structure of its new energy, an inchoate bobbing of matter through information.(..and if we believe the biologists [a teleological bunch when push come to shove]vivid color seems to be a ruse of DNA to perpetuate itself in mating rituals, estrus displays in baboons, Bowery birds, etc. This doesn't obviate my point about the abyssal quality of uncanny beauty--it only augments it as far as I'm concerned.)

Yes, uncanny beauty always `promises the moon'---and it always delivers but not in the clear light of the sun. Gestation, digestion -- maybe not that far apart. And both riding on the rim of a mighty abdominal void.

A thought: the only beauty now acceptable to modernists is (was?) uncanny beauty. I now think this though: beauty is ALWAYS uncanny at some point in its trajectory. The postmodernist attempt to quell certain notions of beauty is only testimony to its return. The one salient point about postmodernISM is that it attempts to create closed economies....well, who wouldn't??! it's a fearful world...Otherwise there is nothing but scaleable abysses fractically moving up around and through every corner. ....including a final UNscaleable abyss. Though from the point of view of dark matter, it's simply another notch.

My therapist always hated it when I tried to speak in `theoretical' terms about my situation. I guess it seemed to him like a `painted lady', some mask hiding the thing itself.. But...the face is inexorably connected to the vast drifts it faces. It seems no more `healthier' to me to rest among the paramecium in the intestines than it does to drift in the void between the stars. It DOES seem necessary to find the gateways. Although nowadays they seem most intent on finding YOU...

A banal observation but still astounding: there is a whole other layer of existence above the hut. Large crows surround the hut at the tops of the bare branches, always sounding irritated in their calling caws, obnoxious and bullying among the timid tweeps of the cardinals further down in the green bushes. Squirrels twirling around the gray trunks, the skittering of their claws on the bark barely reaching me. Occasionally one of them will confront something with their own peculiar brand of rapid chittering. (notice that I said `their' rather than `its' -- mostly it just seems like there is one squirrel...and it's everywhere.) An occasional scurrying in the leaves, indicating a chipmunk. The whole space actually seems permeated with life and movement, from top to bottom. The human tendency is to want to extend that imbrication into unseen spaces. We know that's true of time. Yesterday is `unseeable' except through the peculiar human ability to navigate backward in time -- and so we want to extend that into the future unseen times too. We want to see invisible hierarchies of angels. We even want to see the legions of the hindmost, the devils and djinn, that other grim hierarchy outside of sight. And if these don't exist we will make them up, we will create them inside our computers, we will create ourselves in their images . . . which were inside us to begin with (but how did they get there?) But how pleasant not to have to work so hard for it, to just sit and be bullied by the crows.
A curious bit of info pertinent to hut consciousness from an Ernest Junger list serve:
"Curious that the seeds of EJ's distrust of technology were planted in
the Caucasus--not a technologically advanced area at all. Can it be
that the contrast between the pre-technical and the future technical was most evident there? Or is the contrast between the German technology (advanced) and Russian (backward)?"
After the above, I started reading "Multiple Meaning-Techno: An artistic and political laboratory of the present." I got it primarily because I thought it was by the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. It isn't but it does have an interview in it, part of which I'm going to quote. He's talking about the characteristics of modern digital music, especially sampling and mixing: [He had previously been speaking of the `mixing' of DNA} "This is already `mixing.' All forms of organization derive from mixing and metissage. And at bottom, pure things are never anything but extracted. Pure gold pure water, not to mention pure race, are nothing but extracts, artificial fabrications. Indeed, one of the main features of modern technics is precisely that it introduced a number of new forms of mixing and metissage...." In the margin I wrote "But alto to allow the `idea of purity' -- which is a technical construct -- in fact may be the technical construct par excellance. Thus we can see that the Nazis, in at least that purity/technicity aspect, were no accident but in fact a product of modernity's search for `purities' (I think it is also very close to `transparencies' and exposures also) and were obviously preludes to even greater `manufactures' of `purities'---and at the same time the Germans also produced the great abject `antibodies' like Schreber, Freud...(and which a great deal of art now abjectly acts out---Schreber was right---we have become his children! and precisely by the only means possible -- the technical --by which monsters can have progeny.

but `H.U.T. reality' is anything but pure...or rather pure only in the sense that monstrosity is pure, unchallengable in the non-productive, non-reproducible space it has carved for itself. Some half-baked attempt at something which, like a mule, does its thing, pulls the plow and dies. No species for the monster--or maybe it has to find its species (that is, its relationship to the future) in the technical means open to it. After all, don't forget that it was the cobbled-together, very-unpure monster who wound up trudging through the frozen North, becoming a diminishing speck on the horizon and not Herr Victor. F. Unfortunately for the technical impulse, `purity' is a messy affair and usually involves SOME sort of sacrificial economy. . .The obvious ideal for the technical is to be able to use up the egg yolk of the earth itself and get to what seem to be the open economies beyond gravity...and meaning...and reality. and only monsters can make THAT frozen trip.

The folks in the `burbs hate secrecy. They're all trying to keep tabs on what the neighbors do. And in a community of mostly retired people who have nothing else (apparently) to do it can reach absurd lengths. I watch (or rather hear the creaking of the floorboards above my head as I type) my father as he patrols the house from the windows on one end to those on the other end. If anyone is outside, there ensues a running commentary of speculations on the person's history, their position, or lack of it, in the community, etc. Perhaps a normal response of bored humans. But it also strikes me that the hatred of secrecy is one of the prime components of modernity itself. So it certainly makes sense that the `hot bed' of modernity, the suburbs, should be the prime existential expression of that drive to expose, to lay bare, even, then, to lay waste. There is an etiolating, centripetal pressure in the suburbs, a suffocating intensity of isolation (if that makes any oxymoronic sense--after all blanching takes a certain amount of heat). Looking through this fractal `moment' almost the whole of the modern opens up--or at least by way of the blank gaze that one engaged in exposure usually exhibits.

The hut, hidden away, down the hill, is apparently quite vexing to some, since they see material disappearing down the ravine. As long as they don't storm the hut with torches, looking for Victor, they can speculate all they want.


I hate to buy rocks. I have done so but it always seems oddly distasteful. Like buying air at one of those `oxygen bars'. I will go to almost any length to get (or steal) rocks for projects. Although I don't consider picking up `wild rocks' I have no doubt that under certain circumstances, the constabulary would think otherwise. Usually getting them requires a certain amount of stealth and speed, which means a great deal of struggle since some of them are fairly heavy. And generally speaking, in a developed area, everything is public and out in the open, not countryroads to wander down (yes, the panopticon is EVERYfuckin'WHERE in modernity, and nowhere more so than in the suburbs--I have only been confronted once in my rock hunting. In getting rocks from a bridge reconstruction project -- wild rocks that had been uncovered not construction/fill granite -- an old man in a walker came out of his house and demanded to know what I was doing. I didn't handle it well. Bit I didn't stop getting them either....I just became more careful. The LAST thing I want to do is draw attention from any authorities concerning these projects.)

So in my jaunts to find rocks I've covered quite a bit of territory, especially along the course of the creek in back, which wanders quite far and into an area called the Covered Bridge area. It's called that because of the old wooden bridge which crosses it quite a ways down from the hut. The creek meanders through a high tech silicon valley type area which the county is trying to promote; it wanders past hundreds of almost-exact housing estates, which nevertheless are very expensive; it wanders past the `old' Smyrna: small asbestos-sided houses from the forties and fifties merging into the small brick houses (like the basement of the one I'm writing from) from the military-industrial expansion of the early sixities. . . The search for the obdurate, i.e. rocks, seems to be leading to a view of a psycho geography from the ground--bed rock perhaps--up.

Whenever I tell someone I'm now in `Smyrna', the invariable response is: "oh, the Vinings area" , the center of which has the coffee shop I wrote from when the power went out. This is a new term for the area and obviously one based on money and the arrival of the baby boomer culturati of the sixties. The `old' Smyrna is gradually disappearing...no great loss really, never WAS much there `there'---nevertheless it's interesting to see the mutation--right before my eyes as it were, of `place' into `money' and then the reinsertion of a simulacrum of Smyrna into `old Smyrna'--it's already happening in the covered bridge area. Some great rocks there though. At least until the guard gates go up.




February  March  April  May  June
 July  August  September  October  November  December