Headless 12/05/20

1 – HEADLESS THE NOVEL

I didn’t finish The Loop yesterday, because I became distracted. I really do need to finish it. I’m going to have Jeremy on the podcast soon. He was my very first publisher and one of my best pals. Looking forward to the ride ahead. It’s a lot of fun so far. Something I’ll never get tired of telling people is that a character in this book is based at least in part on me. When he is introduced, one of the first descriptors is that he has bad posture.

I will finish it…but first, I have to finish this one. I picked it up on Kindle after another rabbit hole. I found Goldin+Senneby (the Swedish artist duo behind the novel) through “The World for the Trees” article by Gary Zhexi Zhang, which details various new ways artists are reinventing the way stories are told. Interesting sync: the article first mentions the piece Crying Pine Trees (2018-present), in which Goldin+Senneby have attempted to send a genetically modified pine tree into sap overdrive, in the interest of investigating (fixing?) autoimmune disorders. Katie Kitamura will simultaneously write a novel (IIRC a chapter every year) as the genetically modified saplings grow.

What a coincidence then, that for the past week or so Ms. Kitamura has been staring at me from the back cover of A Separation, right next to a Jeff Jackson ARC.

Anyhow, back to Headless. It’s a mystery novel that was written in conjunction with several live talks over the course of 2007-2015. G+S (more on them at some point) were interested in “investigating offshore companies” in the Bahamas, etc. If something doesn’t exist hard enough, it begins to exist. That’s what the novel is: the existence of something that powerfully did not.

2 – HEADLESS BY DOG FASHION DISCO

I will never not take an opportunity to shout out one of my favorite bands of all time. I used to spend summers with my grandmother, and on one of those summers I downloaded Napster on her computer. I was in a deep pirate fugue state, clicking everything labeled “System of a Down” (remember how you could find really, really deep cuts?), and one of those tracks, “Mushroom Cult,” was in fact a Dog Fashion Disco song.

It had Serj guesting on it. Remember though, how things would be intentionally mislabeled? You think you’re getting a Bloodhound Gang song, and you end up with something three levels deep into the Dark Carnival. What a time that was to be alive.

Anyhow, this isn’t their best song, even off of this album, but it reminds me of a different time. They hadn’t come for us, yet.

Loops 12/04/20

Yesterday I drew some cards to see what I should write about. I used the Robert M. Place Alchemical deck. I’ve heard that the symbology of the cards is too on the nose for some folks, but I sometimes I like my mysteries to not be too mysterious.

Loops it is, then.

1 – Martine Syms

The Interdependence Podcast is hosted by Holly Herndon (whose album PROTO is one of my favorites of the year [even though it came out in 2019]) and Mat Dryhurst (who co-created the AI “Spawn” with Herndon). The latest Patreon episode is called “Loops, Archetypes and being the Ian MacKaye of the art world with Martine Syms.” The episode references this talk, given by the guest:

Which sent me down a rabbit hole of Martine Syms’ work.

Check out My Only Idol is Reality.

2 – THE TAPE LOOP LABYRINTHS OF JUSTIN LAKES

Link.

3 – O, WHEEL OF FORTUNE

I found this extremely strange and slightly haunting video from 1985 by typing “tape loops wheel of fortune” into Youtube.

4 – ARGUMENTATIVE LOOPS

One reason I’m glad that I left Twitter is the endless argumentative loops. Over time, an argument will become a hyperstition, and all that’s left is for us to become possessed by its dual spirit. I am now this side of the argument, and you are that side. We know our roles. We open our mouths. In this case, we wiggle our thumbs.

Trying to put a thought out into the Twittersphere, it’s like a thousand tiny scavengers arrive to repeat the things that we’ve heard over and over again. Conner Habib talks about this through the Anthroposophic lens, this idea that repeated memes and phrases is an Ahrimanic practice and thus one to avoid. He recommends describing things in strange ways. Walking out of a movie theater and saying: that was like being wrapped in purple. Or some such thing.

Imagine walking out of a movie theater.

It becomes an evil process to doomscroll Twitter, to already know the ways in which people are going to piss you off and be wrong but to do it anyway. There is so much life to be lived. So many things to think about without getting trapped in endless loops.

That feels like a good place to stop for today. Maybe I’ll pick it back up with Jeremy Robert Johnson’s The Loop. Feels right.

Be well.