"Humans, androids etc. It's a great pleasure for me to etc. In this delightful hotel in Fitzrovia etc. etc. etc.
I believe one should attempt to explain the theme of the talk with the greatest possible clarity. Referencing the future when the very notion of any history is impossible to talk about because it is someone else's property. Whilst the present is catastrophic and uncertain, fluctuating quite enough even without the help of Einstein and Schodinger, in which we are naturally enough just ephemeral phenomena sliding away into the abyss in the flutter of an eyelid, returned to nothing in the very act of conceiving it, whilst at the very best it is no more than a misconception in some writers eye, a non too clear working hypothesis based on a mechanical statistical anomaly and not a confirmed fact. (He sips from a glass of water) Not wishing to get trapped in a recursive moment that makes all thought doubtful let us make an effort to admit the reality of the present and perhaps even the past that places us in a known and understandable collective present, so then in front of us is the field of tabular projection of factors which enables us to see a vision of the future peaceful bipartisan state of Serbia-Croatia-Bosnia in the collectivity of Eastern-European democracies. In the auditorium a small organisation like ours represents only a single fragile carpet tile (pointing down and off to one side). This over-head projector is strange and concrete since its bright blue and evasive at the same time, is it a projector ? how do I know ? does it have projectorness encoded in its atomic structure ? what am I touching ? Aluminium beneath the cobalt blue paint. And in its generality a minute object, insignificant on the edge of our galaxy located between you and I, separating objects, worse than space, standing on a cobalt blue table from cursed Ikea (it has to be from Ikea), with its four legs, a hostility of compressed wood offcuts - whatever happened to pine ? Beyond this a mass of air, with goldfish of dust in the November sunlight, drifting after the food, has anyone any food for the goldfish that conspire against me ? So everything is still smooth and slippery like a Japanese movie.
How can we understand one another with such a huge number of objects separating us ?
Is that guy asleep over their with the large mole running around his face ? Pay attention ! Are you finding anything interesting under the projector ? It's a bit like those dreams I had of travelling across Europe on the Viking express - to be seen off by with damp handkerchiefs and scent of cologne, by a beautiful young Scandinavian woman and her terrible maiden aunt. A terrible silence follows. Why did they select such a horrible projector ? is it because it is dead like a tuna ? Hopeless to think that taking it away is going to help, because such things return like the repressed as Saint Lacan pointed out in the case of the Surrealist who killed his poem like a Messerschimdt bubblecar. Thanks for the suggested effort and sinews stressed ready for action but I think we should face the problem now. You on your side of the abyss and me on mine. Out object Out ! Well its not walking out is it ? get me a chainsaw ! (with a roar and looking puzzled).
The projector isn't worried that's obvious, it is giving off the ambience of a nest of insects in the second before the boot descends breaking the crust - in a word nothing, nada, maybe your imagination excels and you are flying with projector up into the clouds, except of course we are cursed by that idiot Newton having invented gravity, so that attraction manifests itself between projector and planet - just as it (gravity not the projector) holds your jackets, shoes, vests (do you have to wear such horrible patterned waistcoats sir ?) Even on the swelling curves of the loveliness in the second row whose eyes invoke silence and invite me to Soho without wasting any more time. I hear and see the signs of disturbances, the doorman is aghast, the St Johns Ambulance woman is treating the fat man for apocalecy, the customer services director will resign and I predict a pause in the development of the culture being demanded. This is entropy, a word that's like a drop in the ocean, the cusp in catastrophe theory, or a goldfish swimming in a bowl of porridge. Which is what the swine projector wants, to be alone in the empty hall so that it can relax its stiff legs, whilst we weep and kill each other on the other side of the door. But we will not let it triumph ! Let no one pretend to ignore this machine that mocks our communication with an excess of light.
Look at the projector humming between us, the bright light marking the wall with this hideous slide and between us it makes a wall with the air that exists in our asylum for idiots much like when a progressive plays the music of Steve Reich.
Ah.... so you thought we were free ? But we are not, well maybe between the Presidents wife who is holding a bunch of dead roses, reeking of decay and the sales director looking bewildered above his moustache we might be, but the roses were supposed to be given to me by her daughter, so I doubt it . Whilst you were supposed to stop your feet going to sleep by frequently clapping your hands. But no this will not happen because this thing is between us and which we cannot ignore it! Oh wWhen I came in you were sitting around it like an alter and I just walked past not knowing and then my jacket brushed against it and revealed its black and aggressive heart !
How could we imagine any non-existent freedom whilst thise abomination was in the room, standing here where nothing was imaginable and everythinmg is impossible whilst this machine hums between us and so we are reduced to the slavery of the object, unless we free ourselves from this ..... .....
Asinine collection of molecules complete with tales of the prefect machineness that we can never be free if this stands between us. I can never give this lecture until it is gone. So what awaits us ? wait wait (as people begin to leave looking bewildered, not used to long philosophical preambles) don't leave us to this machine. But the trickle will become a flood. What will it take to free us from this quasi mechanical object d'art ? When it makes the very idea of talking about management of an IT depart,ment sound like a childrens party. Who can concieve of IT department whilst we are strung out on the opposite sides of this ravine. And I was going to give a presentation and you were going to listen to it and ask questions. No its too much, let us have the strength to wake up and admit that the only thing that can save us is the almost unbearable valor of passing our hand over this topographical hell and say it measures N1 * N2 and then to know its size. But is it knowable ? No it will be useless, (moving forward almost stroking it it) here a switch, it reminds me of a screw in wood, and here a foot, here a light bulb, what is the meaning of this knurled knob. This black snake that traverses the floor, the carpeted floorm how it hums. Why does everything hum these days ? even my watch hums, listen its getting louder, louder, what is hiding beneath the floor, the walls..... Steve leaps over the machine and runs out of the door not stopping until he finds a decent bar on Upper street.
The lecture ends in chaos - much sooner than it should and when the last person has left the room and the machine and the table are alone they smile as they always do when they are alone.
Steve adventures in Bupaland
Introduction to the Hypertext Novel
Back to Outwork 1
Steve de Vos - London January, 97