Friday, October 23, 2015

perforations anthology

Robert Cheatham, the constant gardener of Atlanta’s avant-gardes since the 1970s, has been willing Perforations into the world since the turn of the nineties, but nothing in this anthology—which goes all the way back, and sometimes appears to exist in the future—seems to have aged a single day. Within this reliquary there may be bones, but these bones live and breathe and utter prophecies. Here in giddy cacophony is the choir that only Cheatham could assemble and conduct: deadpan diarists and mystical glossolaliacs, French-fried cultural oncologists and all-American paranoids, offhand jazzmaster prose players and mastermind poet-critics thinking too fast for their pages. To dip into this book is to tune in to a flowering riot of signals from stations you can only find on the Perforations dial, broadcasting loud and clear from beneath/above the un-unheimlich real estate of Atlanta, a burg almost unaware that it harbors the dangerously joyous parallel city whose atlas is revealed in this book. Enter and be pollinated.

Available on or here:

Friday, November 25, 2011

UFO Drag Queen

It's Time! There will be a book release party on
wed. Feb 15th at Poem 88 in ATL, GA
you can find google map at

Music provided by Frank Schultz and Scott Burland

Here are a few blurbs a few nice people wrote:

"Against the lengthening shadows of Finanacial Zombification and Gigantism, the ominous darkening horizon of Climate Change/species extinction, and the technomodification of human soma and psyche stands the new Fort!/da? release. Perhaps in order not to scare folks too much, it doesn't argue for the most part on the reality or not of the UFO phenomena (whatever that is ), it instead posits the thesis of the increasing UFOification of the human sphere through a series of allusive essays on camouflage, mimicry and hoaxing, on apocalypse and the messianic impulse, the drone and other aspects of the uncanny in a thick unrelenting theoretical stew set up as a failed art exhibit."
Ture Bural
Reader, University of Muri
In a series of successive cultural interventions of which Fort!/Da? is only the latest iteration, Robert Cheatham has sought to keep alive alternative models and modes of thought about the human condition, modes that belong to no single intellectual camp, though interdisciplinarity reigns supreme in all his enterprises.

French and Italian philosophers are likely to find themselves keeping company with novelists, poets, and UFO researchers, with the results always happily unpredictable. Cheatham is indefatigable in his quest to unveil or reveal or point obliquely to the reasons that human beings know—or think they know and fail to know—and act—or are acted upon or kept from acting as they are kept from knowing. Social psychology and epistemology collide with the intrinsic boundaries of science and the implications of all of the above as transmitted through thinkers and artmakers both reputable and (in some quarters) disreputable. Intellectual transgression and the legacy of the literary avant-garde are both alive and if not well, then certainly kicking in the domains defined by Fort!/Da? and companions.

One memorable video collaboration with Chea Prince carries his early interest in alternative media into the realm of experimental videography in a form that simultaneously recalls the best of the classic generation of at-the-edge film and video makers and depends upon the fruits of the digital revolution that Cheatham has done his best both to promote (as an early adopter of whatever technical innovations his finances or capacity for invention permitted) and to interpret.

The continuation of the multi-contributor journal Perforations, returned from web-access-only to hard copy courtesy of today’s print-on-demand revolution of the word, is testimony to Cheatham’s willingness to operate at the limits for the sake of intellectual exploration. He deserves our plaudits, and our money. "
Jerry Cullum, editor-at-large, Art Papers

Perforations 33 gathers Sean Q. Beeching's wry meditation on lost-and-found camouflage; an entire subsection whose elements all ponder drones in their every aspect; and the irreal fictions (fictions?) of Nicholas Charis, among other unexpected (save in its own pages) literary fauna.

-- Ed Hall, photo editor of Noplaceness: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape and author of the forthcoming novel Chimera Island

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Theses on Freedom

Freedom means never worrying about which scale, gender, genre, code you have to use.

Freedom means never even having to even consider any of the above.

Freedom means learning to pay an instrument and then forgetting what you learned.

Freedom means never learning to play an instrument but play it anyway.

Freedom means never having to say you’re sorry.

Freedom means always having to say you’re sorry.

Freedom means being the King.

Freedom means having no kings.

Freedom means humming a Pooh tune.

Freedom means whistling.

Freedom means knowing how to read.

Freedom means playing it by ear.

Freedom means listening very well.

Freedom means never listening at all, just doing.

Freedom means cleaning up after yourself.

Freedom means letting the chips fall where they may.

Freedom means playing what you want, where you want, when you want.

Freedom means silence and letting things play themselves.

Freedom means making a hole or cracking something open.

Freedom means filling something that wasn’t a hole in the first place.

Freedom means looking around and thinking that everything could be different

Freedom means looking around and realizing that everything is perfect just as it is.

Freedom means looking around and realizing that everything is perfect…except for this one little thing.

Freedom means never having to look around.

Freedom means I’m always afraid someone is more free than myself.

Freedom means always being slightly afraid and paranoid.

Freedom means no one can tell me what to do and I can’t tell anyone else what to do…unless I have manipulated/seduced them to think that doing what I want them to do is the way to be free.

Freedom means that the idea of ‘freedom’ can be the biggest scam of all.

Freedom means, total freedom means, that no one does anything, everything comes to a stop.

Freedom means the ability to add two plus two and come up with five.

Freedom means following all the rules and being successful and happy.

Freedom means not following any of the rules and being unsuccessful and melancholic.

Freedom means noise and cacophony.

Freedom means a single pure tone, unstoppable, going on forever.

Freedom means it cost nothing and it’s dumb.

Freedom just the opposite and is the most expensive thing in the world and YOU my friend will be able to afford it.

Freedom means youth and time.

Freedom means age and timeless.

Freedom means nothing.

Freedom means everything

Freedom means there is no real stage without a curtain and there is no world without gravity.

Freedom means gravity turned on its head.

Freedom means something is always seeping out from invisible cracks.

Freedom means being lost.

Freedom means we have no idea where anything is…except ‘mything.’

Freedom means we have no idea whether there IS anything at all.

Freedom means, the very IDEA of freedom means, that everything is rapturous, glossy and shiny.

Freedom means an ecstasy so great, its density cannot be contained in the world.

Freedom means beauty is dead, dead to every general but special to the private who wanders lost on the battlefield.

Freedom means that, if it were complete, total, we would each crawl up our own black hole and disappear.

Freedom, total freedom, means all beauty would finally collapse into One Most Beautiful Thing at the End.

Freedom means total beauty is total freedom….one disappears into the other.

Freedom means the disappearance of memory.

Freedom means the remembrance of all the disappearances of every thing, leaf, entity since the Beginning and holding it back, preventing ghosting and haunting.

Freedom means “nothing left to lose.”

Freedom does not exist FOR the machine.

Freedom, total freedom, means there is no redeeming (saving, securing, repurchasing) anything or anybody.

Freedom is sort of LIKE a machine, a mechanical disconnect from ‘fate’ and ‘destiny.’

Freedom is incompatible with fate and destiny.

Freedom is the dissolution of all categories.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crossing the Great Divide

A recent issue of National Geographic magazine has a feature on the great animal migrations all over the world, that single-minded travel by all sorts of animals. Their travel is intense and often spectacular, braving incredible odds to reach Someplace Else.

Biologist Hugh Dingle has identified five characteristics that apply to all migrations: "they are prolonged movements that carry animals outside familiar habitats; they tend to be linear, not zigzaggy; they involve special behaviors of preparation (such as overeating) and arrival; they demand special allocations of energy; [ ....and lastly] migrating animals maintain a fervid attentiveness to the greater mission, which keeps them undistracted by temptations and undeterred by challenges that would turn other animals aside."

I began to think about the article while I was sitting at a local coffee shop recently. I looked up from my conversation and noticed that all of the small tables had a laptop whose user was also plugged into headphones. I commented to those at my table that we were the only people actually present in the room in a way, all the others had vacated to some virtual space or other.

It often seems as if the whole culture is in a migratory mood, in some great hurry to get to some unspecified Other Place. And yet there is probably no one who would own up to such a feeling of necessity or urgency (or at least any sort of ontological urgency so to speak) -- not that testifying to a mood is equivalent to actually HAVING the mood. And in fact such urgencies as migrations can hardly be considered as a mood but more like a drive, in the psychoanalytic sense of BOTH sexual urgency as well as a more generally applied meaning to the term 'drive', i.e., a 'fervid attention to the greater mission,' albeit 'attention' that defers attention from itself. Perhaps it's the sort of drive which addiction brings, trance-like almost, to connecting actions and goal, a goal which is itself a rapturous, trance state, an emptying of self and filling by some foreign (although never really THAT foreign since it is very very close, so close as to be largely invisible, occluded, most of the time; David Punter writes very rapturously, attentively, addictively to all the phenomenological pendants to this whole complex).

Of course the most visible and blatant of such such raptic transport is waht might be broadly termed the religious impulse..or maybe spiritual impulse if the term 'religious' makes you wary.
But as a pure phenomena, and as such must remain hidden, it would seem to be omnipresent in everyday life, a utopic, in a strict sense of nowhere as well as another sense of everywhere, impulse/drive which must be continually policed, both by secular and religious authorities.

Certain;y this Great Migration is not a recent one for the human species. It seems to have first started with the migration of matter to life and then to consciousness. And who is to say that is the end? or what might be next? Our immediate experience of ANYthing is just far too short to make certain judgments and even our archives have certain flaws, as we are occasionally able to see through tears and abrasions in the surface of those collected memoires of ghosts and revenants, perhaps other flows and times, perhaps NEVER to be really available to this tarnished and tangled flesh. But who knows really? This flesh is still mysterious; I love this quote from a radio broadcast in 1966 from Michel Foucault. It leaves hope of a sempiternal salvation lying in wait somewhere in the folds of our fleshy being, something beyond the bounds (and binds) of our immediate being and experience but waiting, always waiting. Perhaps this will turn out to be the reason for our machines at the end of it all.

"The prestige of utopia--to what does utopia owe its beauty, its marvel? Utopia is a place outside all places, but it is a place where I will have a body without body, a body that will be beautiful, limpid, transparent, luminous, speedy, colossal in its power, infinite in its duration. Untethered, invisible, protected--always transfigured. It may very well be that the first utopia, the one most deeply rooted in the hearts of men, is precisely the utopia of an incorporeal body."

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Domesticaton of Deep Time

This morning as I was meditating in the bathroom, I stared at my son's toy dinosaurs on the floor. I was struck for a moment at the ease with which the unthinkable becomes palatable and made digestible. Even the deepest time becomes a source for iconography, a way to protect the borders of the self/ego/group, a setup for enclosures of one sort or the otherm the Kantian limitation on human hope, through the categories etc, being perhaps the most sublime and intractable ontological enclosure. (W.J.T. Mitchell has written a book, The Last Dinosaur, which deals revealingly with the cultural implications of this particular shard of deep time.)

There is no doubt that the very concept of Deep Time has a Romantic resonance that doesn't sit well with the pragmatic, a-week-is-ancient-history, electronic tonalities of web 2.0 that we all must swim through daily. I have to give credit to some aspects of Speculative Realism for giving a certain amount of philosophical intensity and contemporary currency (at the always continuous risk of eviscerating it in the very ways which it uses to form and transmit its arguments).

But also one must wonder at such (purported) escape pods. since, to quote Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park: it starts in laughter and ends in screams. One can only think of the monstrous place of H. P. Lovecraft these days: perhaps a place where the Dionysian (the Left hand way) and the Apollonian (the Right hand way) merge. Whichever way it is the Terror seems to always wait in the wings... and WITH wings perhaps, as the ominous last scene of Hitchcock's The Birds seems to ominously indicate. That principal of collapse is always over on the Other Side ---best, as in Kant, to say that it is unreachable. Still, makes one wonder if nevertheless IT can't reach over to US, that isan inexorable movement which sometimes resembles fate and other times just arrogance, forgetfulness, and the sheer historical press of matter impinging in a negative way on consciousness---which leads to anothe kind of shear.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Secret History of Emergent Matter

I recently came across a blog site with the title "The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices" that so excited me that I was compelled to at least THINK about doing a post on the general idea (and of course often times the reason we find something fascinating is that it is congruent already with something in us)--and now I am actually writing something. Perhaps this will be ongoing for a bit, perhaps this will be it.

Two other bits of bibliography came to mind immediately. One is Jacques Derrida's 'Psyche-Inventions of the Other' article and the other is Colin Bennett's 'The Dream Life of Prototypes.'

There are some deep holds of a particularly Platonic variety on all sides of this discussion, which especially for web events (a Deleuzian environs if there were ever one) makes it dangerous--or perhaps only self-fulfilling prophecy...which makes it precisely the phenomena under discussion: was 'something' there (available in some sense, present w/o being present) before it actually appeared. One would assume a sociological truism regarding the social and cultural conditions that must be present before an invention can come into existence but that doesn't always seem to be the case, at least overtly, to wit, the ancient Greeks who had certain inventions (i.e. a rudimentary steam engine) but could never bring it into operability, consigning it to a category of parlor trick or toy. (I also think of the so called Antikythera Mechanism found not too long ago, sometimes called an astronomical computer as well as numerous other ancient 'gadgets' that never were able to form into a density enough to create a technological society per se: there must be another 'space' which forms before the thing itself appears.)

herewith a few quotes appropriate (i.e., 'timely' or 'untimely', both being of importance) or not:

ll cultures run out of time. Their states as programmatic states are only partial functions of their physical development in political and economic terms. Their economies may be quite sound, but if the psychic structure is incapable of producing new metaphors in terms of that thing called vision, they will certainly die.

To try and avoid such a systems-death, cultures generate closet subtexts rather like a liner carries life boats. Such boats are kept under wraps, and are hardly the subject of general conversation on board since they are reminders of the possibility that the strength of Nature may be far stronger than the strength of the most powerful ship or the most convincing paradigm.

If we see the lifeboats as anomalies, then we can see alternative thinking as hidden sub-routines and covert agendas which are kept sustained at a low energy level as semi-legal experimentation. The paradigm, as a form of information-life, keeps its options open therefore, ready to change the goal posts very quickly if it senses that resources and processes are becoming exhausted, emptied of metaphor by being deprived of fresh psychic resources, and therefore incapable of imagining beyond itself.

In this model, we have disembodied intelligence itself acting rather like a live foraging animal, using all the tricks and deception and camouflage needed to stay alive as an entity.


Therefore we may have to consider seriously the rather uncomfortable idea that pure information is forever an evolving and unprecedented form of life, complete with its own intention fields.


In these terms, parapsychology, metal bending, UFOs, and remote viewing, may be looked upon not as anomalistic areas within the traditional sterile “real” versus “unreal” debate, but as sub-routine options for a possible evolving world-modelling of belief systems. This represents the Post-modern view that sees the birth of anything and everything as a creation of an ideological flux within time-elements which are kinds of symbolic dream-theatres.

In this sense it is possible to conceive of “matter” as a form of information-life whose “body,” as it were, consists not of atoms, but of advertisements, presentations, shows, acts, and endless performances struggling for cultural prime time.

Colin Bennett

Those who are familiar with certain image theorists such as W.J.T. Mitchell's What Do Images Want? will find a kindred spirit here when Bennett writes later on that certain images seem to have an almost-evolutionary strategy as "information-animals grazing on the cud of belief, having evolved into pure techno art form". Indeed, the idea of autonomous agents operating within the human sphere yet somehow not fully attached to that sphere has become almost a common place in modern life and culture, whether in the many varieties of conspiracy theories, or the object-oriented ontologists, going back to the dialectical image of Walter Benjamin, perhaps all drifting lazily outward from some sort of Leibnizean monadalogical concern. (I drag the monad into this because, well this is a blog after all, but I began to think of the very elegant book by Daniel Tiffany 'Infidel Poetics: Riddles, Nightlife, Substance' which, while not dealing with the image as such except in terms of the poetic image, there is incredibly rich material dealing with the grounds of cultural constructions and the blurry topographies which "would seem to be the inevitable condition of a road that is also a way of singing or thinking"...and here also: "Like monads, works of art are forms--centers of reflection--which mirror all other forms. Hence the modern doctrine of formalism in the arts promises to deliver through reflection--through continuous experiment--a 'peculiar affinity' of expressive [i.e., 'magical'] correspondence between forms [which are denied relations as objects]" and in general, the idea of the enigma and of 'perception without consciousness' in general. And in turn, in thinking of Benjamin, dialectical image, monad I am drawn to Peter Fenves excellent book 'Arresting Language: from Leibniz to Benjamin' and the chapter on Leibniz and the name: "Leibniz never ceased to investigate the relation of individuals to the species of which they are supposedly members".)

And the Derrida article will have to wait. Thanksgiving and a two year old are competing for attention.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fastners Pasquill: new FORT!/da?

A new book available from FORT!/da?.
A diificult to characterize offering from Mr. Derek Pasquill (but stylistically let's call it Benjaminian in at least it's pulling of quotes to illuminate a somewhat hidden center) but entries organized encyclopedically

Herewith a few pages:

Fastners Pasquill

An A to Z of the Islamic Prosthesis framed by diverse material

'Why is it all so important to you, Apthorpe?'

'My dear fellow, it’s taken me years to collect.'

'Yes, but what’s in it?'

'That, old man, is not an easy question to answer in one word.'

Evelyn Waugh, Men at Arms



A1: 'Azm – Islam's civilizing mission

B1: Baldwin's Effect – culture genetics

B2: Balthasar's Feast – nocturnorama

B3: Bamboccianti – divine truths probed through indirect means

B4: Bathing – based on reality

B5: Battlefield – shaping

B6: Belly Laugh – laughter, Enlightenment stage

B7: Berserkr – ecstatic battle fury

B8: Biffed – attack, element of surprise

B9: Blasphemous Lingering – upward striving

B10: Brazil – nausea, ontic greed

B11: Breenbergh – fuses figures and landscape into a smooth unity

B12: Bricklaying – concerted but unregimented enterprise

B13: Brocken – Coleridge, upward striving

B14: Buffo – animeme bites man

B15: Bum Bil Bee – repeating act, ashes to ashes

B16: Bumbles – unimaginable rise of Islamism

B17: Bumptious Buckeen - Queneau