[NetBehaviour] Virus Diary: Day 3 Anything Can Happen Day: Mammalian tactics and Mickey Mouse

Patrick Lichty lists at voyd.com
Fri Apr 17 11:03:08 CEST 2020


Virus Diary: Day 3, Day 43 of Isolation
Abu Dhabi

There was a point over breakfast where I found out that a distant colleague, Toni Lane Caeerly, died recently. Not even 30, but a figure in the Blockchain world.  The cause are immaterial to me, as the discussion were for concrete plans, from locally to globally in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. My point was that as time passes, and the coronawave ushers in 21st Century socialpolitical aesthetics, it appeared to me one thing is certain; that nothing is certain as of mid April 2020.  I'm going to give doses of anxiety and determination at the same time.

Arthur and Marilouis Kroker, and many of us afiliated witht he CTheory community had the notions of  Panic Epistemology and Crash Aesthetics, which was a mix of Beat nihilism and Cybernetic Postmodernism, which at the time still had a tragic but hip and even a little post-utopian twist.  It was fun to look at the coming apocalypse as long as it was contained to the simulated mediascape.  The Clinton economy was rolling along  just fine, 9/11 hadn;t happened just yet, and the bimodern had collapsed to Fukuyaman post-historical times, where Western neoliberalism had won the day.  


Fast forward 30 years.

In the latest book by Critical Art Ensemble, Aesthetics, Necropolitics and Environmental Struggle, they acutely deconstruct the exponential politics of the Anthropocene, and speculate on the natture of the landscape fo the 21st Century. Early on, CAE states that while humanity has been employing various tactics to deal with the world at large, from Rumsfeldian Exponential politics of the Iraq War to cybernetic simulation of the Forrester/Club of Rome era, one of CAE's core arguments is that the systems of the Anthropocene are now so vast and complex that they are largely indeterminate in nature.  We are in the period of known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns, as the appropriation goes.

Kantian notions of universal history hit the glitch, at least for the time being.  The unipolar notion of power has, under the collapse of American power under Trump, slid into the polypolar spheres of influence, Brexifitifcation of the world under crash aesthetics of viral border closure., and worldwide Zoom conferences.  We are all online, except for those of us who are not. And those who are marginally in the former Third World are deluged with the crisis simulacrum of Fake News.  To quote Bruce Sterling at an Electronic Freedom Foundation pane, "This isn;t the dystopia I wrote about!" (roughly)

Crash aesthetics and panic philosophy were a lot more fun when they were in the distance, instead of the Jurassic Park TRex in the rear view mirror.
What I think about is trying to plan for the next six months, and I can't.  There are curves and projections, but everyday there seem to be revisions just as fast, and while the system seems to have a shape like some Lorenzian chaotic atttractor, there are new existential glitches.

A metaphor for this has to do with soem of the GAN-based visual experiments I am doing with imagined calligraphy. I did 256 of these over a year's time, and fed them nto the system, and began the simulation. the idea was to see if I was finding any hidden pattern in my automatic drawings, and while they slithered into asemic mercury on my screen, suddently:

BANG! A burst of noise, then a reconfiguration. This for me is CAE's aesthetics of indeterminacy; an attempt at keeping the simulation intact, but understanding that any time there can be a sudden change of direction without a determinate reason.  This is systemic chaos rearing its ugly head, as markets bob, and vultture capitalists hoover up money in the dips. 

It's a problem, but a dinosaur problem.

What seems to be happening is at least new social configurations and that at least that the vast gestalt of humanity has been alerted. The Thunbergian mammals are now running between the toes of the Trumpian Dinosaurs of the Antropocenic K-T Event (Sixth Extinction). the game is afoot, and the Illustion of the End is as well. 

History is back, for a time at least.

I love the fact that we are talking, or screaming, or something.  During the Industrial times, things weren't real, except perhaps for the World Wars. Even the Cold War wasn;t that real, as Bimodernism fell into posthistorical neoliberalism, glitched uner 9/11 and the 2008 crash, and is hitting the glitch again.

At least something is happening. The concern, of course, is what in the chaotic state CAEian Anthropocenic indeterminacy happens.  It is obvious that given sufficient discomfort and uncertainty, humanity can create its own operant conditioning, but again, the inderterminacy is the thing, doubling Shakespeare.

In the 1950's, the birth of the Cold War, there was a show called The Mickey Mouse Club. mae up with suppoedly "typical" young Mouseketeers and their leader Jimmy, the Biebers and Spears'es of the time woudl scamper about performing various skits for each of the five themed days.

One of these was 'Anything Can Happen Day", in which basically the writers did not have to hold to a given theme. Like a brightside Trump Presser, you ould get music, jokes, or a little drama. Just like today, except the jokes aren't that funny.

But the analogue to this is the 50's and its specter of annhilation to today's. 

Both are as potent and absolute, but perhaps the bimodern Mickey Mouse Club was more orderly.
This is too dark; A note for a more brightside politics tomorrow.


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