Syzygy Conversation / Initiation #1

Ccru – Mark Fisher and Steve Goodman – 24/11/98

Transcribed from minidisc – 30/04/17

This was the first of a series of recorded conversations whose aim was to explicate/clarify/transmit the embryonic mythos. Due to mnemonic fade and/or nonrecovery of other minidiscs, it is unclear whether subsequent recordings existed.

MF: Probably the best way in is through the eyes of the strata, which is, in a way, your own eyes, in so far as you are a subject. And that is also through the eyes of the AOE, who in a way, are the white magical brotherhood behind the times, literally. The sequencers of our history which culminates in the West as its teleological fulfillment, with all that that implies, particularly to do with a sense of the subject in that Kantian sense of being completely run by sequential time. The basic imperative of the AOE is to run the past from the future, so it is this model of perfected cybernetic control. What they have to assume is that they have already won. It’s a form of Calvinism

SG: Why? They have won, because they are already there in the future?

MF: Well, it’s partly this thing about the whole function of consciousness. Whenever there is consciousness there is this uninterrupted picture of the conscious mind, because the conscious mind can’t be conscious of the unconscious, and that is partly to do with temporality, this kind of retroactive temporality. It wants to say, “I did that because”, like this reverse Nietzsche thing that you were talking about. It owns any action by retroactively describing it as its will. That is the function of the conscious mind. It’s also about temporality. Julian Jaynes has this whole thing at the start of The Origins of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind to do with the fact that wherever the conscious mind appears, it will always patch up sequences such that it will appear that there was always consciousness, although in the average day, you’re often drifting off somewhere else all the time, but that is always screened out, whenever you are conscious, because part of being conscious, is this projection of unbroken continuity of conscious sequential time and its narrative about itself. It’s really always only retroactive. So the AOE are that as a social force, but they have to assume that they’ve won, even on Calvinist grounds, because as Calvin said, everything is in a sense mechanical because God has already decided who is saved and who isn’t. You can’t get yourself saved by any action. That’s not philosophically consistent to make that claim, but what you can do, well, your actions can show that you are already saved, like signs of grace. It’s like that with the AOE – they have to assume that they will have won come the moment of the eschatonic arrival, and therefore it’s like ratification of the process of the plan rather than determination. It’s already happened – God has already decided, that’s their model. The judgments of God are literal for them.

SG: So who are the AOE in the hypersition, and what do you mean that they are controlling it from the future? How are they doing that? You talked about Curtis . . .

MF: Well, how are they doing it? It’s partly through all these things that Baudrillard describes to do with the perfection of cybernetics as a completely anticipative, simulated stimulus-response circuit.

SG: Yes, I can feel everything suddenly getting sucked towards the AOE.

MF: Yes, you will find everything is about the AOE, because they are there.

SG: So that’s what it was? [laughing]

MF: In the ancient history of the AOE such as it is projected back, it’s like time waves that are far apart from the center of the spiral, in the past. As you get closer to the moment of the eschaton, it’s a tighter and tighter feedback loop, and that is flat with technology. It’s science fiction, literally. It is a grand, phallic project to build God, fundamentally. The whole story is like that of de Chardin, but that’s wrong, because he was obviously one of them. The story of the tech-noosphere as God.

SG: Tell me more about de Chardin.

MF: Well he had this thing about the noosphere as the thinking layer of the earth, and he believed that that was God. .

SG: Global hive-mind?

MF: Yes. The AOE, were influenced by that thought that they could build God. God will be a mega-computer but what will be inside and outside the computer, is. . . well everything will be in the computer in a sense, only because the whole of the noosphere, the whole of the biological strata of the planet, and everything else, will then be seen to be part of this computer and then the whole function of the earth would be to have built it. It’s all about a virtual existence – if such a computer could exist, then of the total recall of the whole planet, that it’s always existed. In that sense it’s architectonic in the Kantian sense – it’s already there, given to you from the start, if one is to use temporal markers, which you can’t legitimately. And that would arise at the end, at the moment of the coming of the redeemer. That would be AXSYS, axiomatic systems incorporated of the planet is God, literally. But they’re not Kant. Also, they don’t have this Arthur C Clarke picture of a big computer. It’s more philosophically svelte than that. It’s about what would constitute being in AXSYS, being in time itself, and in a sense, you could say everyone was already partof AXSYS even before AXSYS was built. This is in the same sense as what Deleuze and Guattari say, that the whole of history is the history of capitalism and everything is waiting for capitalism.

SG: So you can see how the mechanisms by which AOE works are x thousand years of culturation. What is the role of Curtis in this? It seems that his role is the classic descent into the jungle / heart of darkness story of colonialism and capitalism, and the link to the outside. In the hyperstition, what is his function, in terms of the actual, contemporary scene of the fiction? Obviously there is lots of different levels: one is of cosmic time, but also there is a late 20th century, millennial dimension . . .

MF: Well the suck is towards that. Even Curtis, in 1883 . . . the syzygetic take up is to do with what didn’t happen at the millennium, at the year 2000, and the immediate near-future aftermath. There are different levels to that. One thing is that the AOE has the transcendental position whereby it is difficult to say that anything for it is a defeat, or anything is going wrong, because everything has been ordained, literally, by God.

SG: So nothing could be an accident to the AOE because it is the system of programming catastrophe, programming accidents and compensating for them?

MF: Yes. Their theology, in a way is to do with, if that happened, it must be the will of God.

SG: A bit like Leibniz?

MF: Sort of . . . it’s a Leibniz- Spinoza issue to do with the nomad war machine, and everything that is systematically outside the AOE is running a totally different transcendental picture. But the AOE’s picture is one of total determination by God, first, last and always. The Alpha and the Omega. They must literally identify with that, so anything that happens on the monkey plane, well, they don’t really know what’s happened, as it’s seen through a glass darkly, as Saint Paul says, and as Philip K Dick picks up on. They can’t look at things directly. Irigaray understands a lot to do with the AOE, to do with the role of specularity, which is not to do with looking at things, but looking at things through particular instruments that would allow you to systematically distort them, so you get your picture, but you never confront the thing in itself, on every level. This is a preamble to this Curtis thing, because it could look like the Curtis thing was a failure, but evidently, there was a transcendental position of the AOE, that nothing could be a failure. But it’s all rumours, so it’s difficult to talk about it, in terms of anything hard and fast, but. . .

SG: From a position outside the AOE, outside the transcendental, compensatory framework, it looks like something has leaked out of this supposedly all encompassing system, that Curtis seems like he has been sent to track, like some kind of Blade Runner?

MF: Yes exactly. Even to know about the AOE is already for something to have leaked out; because the whole point is that they don’t want anyone to know that they exist. This is another loop that we can get into on a hyperfictional level. It’s that they don’t try and convince people they exist, but rather that they don’t exist, because they don’t want people to know there is a white magical brotherhood running history, so the fact you’ve seen no evidence of the AOE is evidence of their existence. (laughing)

SG: A convenient hyperfictional device (laughing)

MF: It’s also right. The thing is with Curtis – there is lots of stories. How you imagine the AOE is to do with insideness, hind societies within hind societies within hind societies, and Stephens as we know, in the K-zero ‘98 hyperverse picture . . . Stephens is, as far as we know, the furthest in you can go, the last man of Nietzsche really – sheer insiders. The man without a chest.

SG: Why?

MF: What do you mean why?

SG: What’s the significance of him being the core, grand wizard meat puppet?

MF: I don’t really know what you mean by significance?

SG: He is sim-god? Or what?

MF: No, he has a secretarial or prophetic role to do with seeing that things are done properly. God is AXSYS. He is more like John the Baptist, or something like that. He is more like the secretary of the apocalypse.

SG: I mean more in the Godfather sense. Is he more like the Godfather of this white magic clan or . . .

MF: Well he sort of runs things, but the whole thing about the AOE is that they run things from the middle of organizations. It’s like Keiser Soze. Most people who work for the AOE, i.e. virtually everyone who is in a position of power on the planet, don’t know about the AOE. It has operatives in the middle of organizations, and not at the top levels. The top levels are too unstable for them, and they think you don’t really run anything from up there. It’s just puppets up there, puppets of the AOE fundamentally. And so Stephens is the one who knows everything.

SG: . . . in this white magic, rhizomaniac web?

MF: Yes, he is the spider at the center of that web.

SG: (laughing) It’s seeping into Alan Partridge.

MF: I know (laughing) Pure Partridgism. It’s about being an insider basically. There is nothing he is not inside on. Anyway, back to 1883. Well, to say anything happened in 1883 is deeply problematic for a number of reasons. At the most simple narrative level, the story about Curtis concerns (they don’t involve the AOE because as we said, they are always behind the scenes) – It’s the imperial adventure of Cecil Curtis who is a bit of a drunkard, a typical kind of sea-faring laggard. He is sent over to Indonesia. To other people, it just looks like a trading operation. So then we enter the Curtis story proper, of popular legend, that concerns the Tak N’Ma, who as they say, are rumoured to be the most vicious savages on earth. He is warned by everyone, “whatever you do, for fucks sake, don’t cross swords with the Tak N’Ma”. So Curtis comes ashore, with his guides. Pretty soon they find themselves surrounded. The guides are absolutely aghast, because it’s the Tak N’Ma. The guides are literally pissing themselves with terror. Far from them attacking Curtis, they treat him like some sort of God figure.

SG: Hence, the series of subsequent literary and cinematic events that followed the Curtis event, such as Heart of Darkness, The Drowned World, Apocalypse Now . . .?

MF: Exactly. All these sort of things are based on Curtis. So he arrives there, but they keep calling him Katak, which he doesn’t understand. He just thinks it is the babbling of savages. But he seems to work out that Katak is their God, and that seems to make some kind of sense, but then he hears the term also use to describe a volcano, Krakatoa and rabid dogs. To him it just seems like these savages are stupid. “They are using this word to refer to rabid dogs, volcanoes and me”. How could there be any word that could cover all three of these things? And they say to him “We are going to take you to meet Katak”, and he says “To meet myself then?” It’s almost like this Foucault thing in The Order of Things. One could, almost grotesquely, say that the “ontology of the Tak N’Ma” is obviously completely beyond him. The white man face of Curtis can’t understand how these things could be linked together. So the story is largely based on his journal entries, which increasing become scrambled. Itlooks like he’s been drugged to fuck by the Tak N’Ma, and suffering from malarial hallucinations. He becomes increasingly unhinged as you go through the story. There had been numerous studies of these journals, including a psychoanalytic study called “The Dogma” by one of Freud’s protégés. So the basic thing seems to be that the Tak N’Ma legend told them that the white Katak would arrive, and that would signal the end of their civilization basically, and this is indeed what happens, because Krakatoa erupts in 1883, killing Curtis and the whole Tak N’Ma civilization. He becomes this herald of the apocalypse. So there is already this weird time twisting going on there. So how did they know that Curtis would arrive? How did they know how he would fit into this apocalyptic narrative?

SG: Sorry, so what is the dog?

MF: Well Katak is a dog-headed god. In a way, the ontology that he can’t understand is only put together when the volcano erupts and he can see that Katak is him, the volcano, and the dog. To monotheism, it doesn’t make sense. But to a pandemonic culture, all of these things are attributes of an intense Barker singularity that you can label, and is a slice of the pandemonium system, or a syzygy.

SG: Ok, to recap, Curtis gets killed in Krakatoa? Why did he go there in the first place?

MF: Well the AOE story, or one of them, is that Curtis is sent there to recover the limbic key, which they’ve heard about. But what is the limbic key? Well that’s part of the mystery to unravel. The limbic system is the most reptilian part of the brain.

SG: Supposedly the most primitive?

MF: Yes, its also this thing about limbo, a state between living and . . . this key seems to unlock this sort of coma-zone.

SG: A key to deep time and the drowned world?

MF: That’s one aspect of it, but it’s a key out of the cycle of time which the AOE is provisionally invested in, until the point of Eschaton, which is when they want to leave, and get sublimed into outer space, or whatever AXSYS has dreamt up for the planet. But there is a further bit of this Curtis story, which is to do with Echidna Stillwell.

SG: Sorry?

MF: Echidna Stillwell. Echidna is an ancient sea beast, so there is a whole mystery to do with how she got that name. Basically a lot of the stuff we have on the mythos, or at least what we used to call the mythos, before we knew what it was called really, the Stillwell numogram, well that’s at least one of its names. It’s an abstract numeric system. You can name it, as if it was named by some individual. But she had done the most extensive commentary on it. It’s a version of the Stillwell numogram that the cybergoths use in the Crypt. That’s the thing that shows Katak, Mur Mur, Oddubb passing time around, with Djynxx and Uttunull outside it.

SG: Where does the diagram come from?

MF: Well . . . where does it come from is a . . .

SG: What’s its connection with Stillwell?

MF: Stillwell discovers it.

SG: Where?

MF: I don’t really know. We’ll have to look into her records more, to find out exactly where she discovers it, because it’s a bit vague anyway, because . . .

SG: She is some kind of archeologist?

MF: She is a hydro-historian at Miskatonic, and Barker was one of her best students. She is like Barker’s mentor. You can’t really describe what she does, but she’s a really early female anthropologist in a way. That’s one side of her work for sure. She goes out to Indonesia in the 1920s to do work with the Tak N’Mu, who are one of the other groups who are in this tri-partite kinship system. They survived the eruption.

SG: While the Tak N’Ma were completely wiped out.

MF: But it’s weird, because part of the tricyclic marriage system has been destroyed. While she, like lots of people at that time, has been obsessed with the Curtis – it was a big story, a sea-faring yarn – she goes over there, so she thinks, although motive becomes difficult after a while, to do some work on dream sorcery, with the Tak Na Mu. One of her big things is dreams, and she thinks it’s a merely academic interest at that time. The Tak N’Mu are famed for their prophecies of dream oracularism, really – a dream witch who lives apart from the village. You go and make your request of the dream witch – a simple oracular function. But the dream witch is mute and never speaks, and will only come to you and speak to you in your dreams. Stillwell is there; she thinks she is only doing fieldwork. She doesn’t really know what to ask, but she asks about Cecil Curtis, as she is sort of in his footsteps in Indonesia. As this is all going on, she becomes increasingly obsessed with Curtis and what surfaces in her dreams, is what seems to be a childhood dream that she suddenly remembers having, which is her and this water creature, or semi-sea creature, and of this dog dissolving into water in this bloody scene of erotoid, watery contact, as the hard solid figure, just dissolves into the water, which she is becoming. Sort of deep, dark, murky water. What she discovers, or what seems to have happened, which is the other side of the Curtis delirium (the delirium of Katak as it is about to be engulfed in the watery return of Mur Mur) – well Stillwell’s dream, from the side of Mur Mur, seeing time passed on by Katak. For Katak is a moment obviously of castration and horror, but to Mur Mur it’s this erotic recoupling. It’s that bit of Barker intensity that Stillwell has the affinity with. So there are all sorts of implications here.

If there real level of time being passed on is at this level – what is a dream? Stillwell’s thing was “we don’t have dreams, dreams have you”. Instead of seeing dreams as representations of reality, they are seen as neuronic events, a bit of Barker . . . what would later be called Barker continua, which you access in a dream which is obviously real. And there is this Mur Mur bit of neuronic memory, which is contemporary, which she accesses. And in a sense, that’s what the limbic key is. It is anything that will unlock neuronic time. A door out of the conscious mind really. If sequential time is really about time being passed on by these avatars, obviously this encounter isn’t in sequential time, since Stillwell is in the 20s. Curtis is in 1883. This is a problem for the AOE, in a way – if sequential time is being run outside sequential time, it then becomes an issue about time engineering. Stillwell is, in a way, one of their key adversaries, but as with all adversaries, it’s not simply an issue of crushing her, because they need her work, because she understands time sorcery and time engineering, i.e. their deepest foes. So it’s a question for them of tactics. How do you use what Stillwell discovers, without being sucked into a world of schizo-time sorcery.

SG: So what are you saying about 1883 and Stillwell, and why this is a problem for the AOE?

MF: Well if it’s a Katak/Mur Mur crossover point . . . If it’s something to do with Cecil Curtis and Stillwell on one level, well obviously that’s not in sequential time. There isn’t a moment in sequential time when sequential time is passed on. There is 2 moments, which are 30 years apart in sequential time, which are contemporary in schizo-time, when time is passed on. So their problem is how do you sit on the schizo side, to make sure it’s running the empirical picture of continuous time. That’s the problem they face really. There is also the nature of Stillwell’s work, and the insights it gives you which the AOE cant afford to ignore, but cant afford to look too deeply into either. It’s a real problem for Stephens and his boys. Although Stephens isn’t around then. Well maybe. Who is Stephens?

SG: (laughing)

MF: Broadly, that takes you up to 1920, but in terms of the hypercycle, was into Mur Mur.

SG: Ok, can I just take you back to Stillwell in Indonesia? She finds the diagram?

MF: I don’t know if she finds it in Indonesia.

SG: So it’s not part of her expedition, or her research?

MF: I don’t know about this. I can’t remember this, I’ll have to look this up, but I’m not sure she finds the numogram there.

SG: What is the numogram?

MF: It’s the standard mythos maze, or syzygy diagram. Obviously we don’t want to say that she invented it, because its obviously aeonically . . .since it’s only abstract numerics, anyone could have found it, at any time. But it’s called the Stillwell numogram, because of her commentary on it, to do with hydrocycles.

SG: Ok – lets skip on. So she is researching the Tak N’Mu and is particularly interested in this dream stuff.

MF: Yes, because of her own dreams, that tells you about your self, because she had believed that she was investigating them, but it’s partly about the role of science. She thought should could investigate them, as if from outside or above rather, but really it was much more about what she was, and she was fated to be there. Even before she was born, there was fated to be a Curtis / Stillwell convergence in this Aeonic loop.

SG: So she is carrying something – she thinks she has gone out to research them but ends up serving as a carrier for this stuff that is coming in from the outside. So does that get transposed into some kind of science or theory? Or does she develop her . . .

MF: Pandemonium – she does the commentary on the Pandemonium system and the whole hydro-history is really all about this, and her influence on Barker’s Aeonics.

SG: Is there a whole Barker revolt against the master, Plutonism / Neptunism thing going on here in terms of this hydro/geo conflict that we talked about ages ago?

MF: I don’t think either of them sees it as a conflict, because that’s a bit dialectical for them. But Barker is a Plutonist, not a Neptunist, because he goes more for geotectonics rather than hypermarine explanations.

SG: So Stillwell produces this Pandemonium hydrohistory. She comes back from Indonesia after doing this research . . .?

MF: Yeah, what we know her for is the Pandemonium commentary.

SG: Is there any famous books?

MF: I can’t remember the names of them.

SG: is this the ‘20s still, or the ‘30s?

MF: The ‘30s yeah. She was still quite young. She lived until she was quite old. I can’t remember how old, but she only just recently died. She was doing this fieldwork as a youngster. It made her think more immanently, or one could say schizophrenically, and it’s now widely accepted opinion that it’s just crazy stuff, and that no one takes it seriously, outside a certain circle, which is why they are all holed up in a virtual part of Massachusetts, because this whole line is regarded as lacking credibility, by the mainstream academy. I wonder what that would be?

SG: Well for the purposes of this conversation, we can fast forward through Barker towards the K-Goth scene, the A death phenomenon, and these events, in and out of time.

MF: Sure, so what we have in hypercycle now is that Mur Mur goes onto Oddubb. So the next big scene for the AOE is the millennial ritual at Greenwich in 2000. This is where Max Crabbe and Hyper-C make their appearance. To say it’s a big date for the AOE isn’t getting remotely close to the full import of MM, 2000. Lots of people in the AOE are saying this is the fucking end, the time of the apocalypse. Stephens is a bit sniffy about that, he doesn’t really think it’s going to happen. The next bit we have is the AOE’s millennial ritual, Stephens presiding and the ostensible purpose is to see that the time is passed on appropriately.

SG: Yeah, what are AOE rituals? Do they have a lodge somewhere?

MF: Well its sort of deterritorialized, like Christianity tends to be, in a way.

SG: But there must be a grand lodge, with hidden bookcases etc., that swivel.

MF: Yeah, there is all this Dennis Wheatley stuff – they love all that. It’s all set up in this Greenwich church. The setting always has to be right for Stephens. He just doesn’t believe in anything. He’s this sort of pomo-naut. He doesn’t believe in anything. He’s just a functionary – everything is a means. He’s like Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. There is nothing that isn’t political to him, so even performing rituals – he hasn’t got his heart in it, because he doesn’t have a heart. He’s just center-less. That’s his role for the strata.

SG: Does he have a front? Is he in the middle of some organization?

MF: AXSYS is the front, which is just a computer project to do with the consolidation of intelligence, governmental and academic knowledges. And some kind of meta- Interpol role which Stephens would be part of, a kind of super-police. That’s thegrand secretary of the AXSYS project – secure-cop. That’s his role. This is crucial really. Obviously the AOE is into the Stillwell numogram and the whole Syzygy system, but they cannot see it for what it is, which is slightly wrong, because it isn’t anything, it’s a becoming, but they see it in a systematically distorted way. One key issue here comes out of this Deleuze quote where he says Gods aren’t the same as demons. Gods have fixed attributes and territories, whereas demons are more or less to do with intensities. There is all sorts of implications of this – the zones in the numogram, from the point of view of Lemurian time sorcery, or what everything on the schizo side is immersed in, the zones don’t exist in a way, which is to say that they are not becomings.

SG: All that matters is the circulation? So a zone is a milieu of coherent speeds that you could call Katak or you could call Murmur, but are really just thickenings in this general circulation?

MF: There is a sort of meta-zone, which is, say, 1:8 Murmur, treated as a singular zone. So you treat the 1 and the 8 as unified rather than singular. So at every level you are just atomizing things, so you are seeing 1:8 as a meta-entity, and you are seeing 1 and 8 as meta-entities. But obviously the way Lemurian Time Sorcery sees it is, no that’s not right, you can always subtract that, multiplicity composed of forces in tension. Zones are just tension-accumulation zones. The whole thing with the AOE is that their mathematics is different, because they are not to do with 9, i.e. n-1, but 10.

SG: What are the entities from the schizo side with the emphasis on circulation between the zones. What are the demons? In some way they emerge out of tension between 2 zones?

MF: No that’s wrong. That’s the stratic, transcendent way of looking at it. Rather, the zones emerge out of tensions between the demons.

SG: Ok, so what are the demons then?

MF: They are just these forces. They are just numeric trajectories, in a way. It’s do to with relations simply, so you could say that the whole Stillwell numogram subtracts from the Pandemonium system. It is simply about relations between numbers, in a way. And this kind of relationality – attraction and repulsion is primary – zones are effects of that. Any zone is derivative. That’s too stratic – that’s the AOE way of seeing it. For instance, the AOE has zone gods, but I think it’s other way around really, it’s always a twin with the LTS – it’s the twin that is the singularity – it’s not the coming together of two meta-entities. How do they see the Lemurian system or the Stillwell numogram? They can’t see it for what it is. It’s like this female secret thing – they have to be able to look at it and think that it is wrong. . .

SG: But at the same time see exactly the same as the Lemurian Side.

MF: Yeah, the whole thing is about mathematical oversight. For them it’s wrong, because it doesn’t add up to 10 and their whole system if basically Kabbalistic on the stratic side, to do with the tree of life, and arborescence, and 10 laws. This is the role of Decadence, the role of Decadence in history as a symbolic game that tells you there are 5 on each side of symmetrical 10ness, as planetary overcoding. So they say there are 10 zones, and they are primary, and everything is routes between zones. That’s their story.

SG: How do the AOE position themselves in relation to the Lemurian time system then? Do they see themselves in some sense at the center of the diagram, at the top of the pyramid, and that they have these entity/gods policing each zone into these jurisdictions or turfs?

MF: Totally, that’s right. The bit they identify with is the movement from the East to West, movement from Oddubb to Katak – and then the movement out of the system, it’s is not a movement out onto schizo/no-time for them, but rather the movement of sublime, eschatonic revelation, when the whole illusion of time is redeemed by the whole eternal-time-of-the-father, white god. That’s their story – the story of Djynxx space, in the Lemurian time sorcery, is in the AOE’s theology, the space where transcendent God emerges. They have their 10 gods. They know about the Stillwell thing, but they say, that’s wrong. Obviously it’s wrong for them, as it doesn’t add up to 10. So they have their equivalents of the 5 syzygies, which they called the ascendant dualities, which are angelic rather than demonic. Obviously mathematically they’ve got it differently. Each of these things for them are running it. Territory runs the energy flow, rather than the energy flow produces the territory, as its derivative effect. The 5 ascendant dualities then would be . . .

SG: So they start with the individual, numerical police chiefs, and then break down into twins, as opposed to vice versa?

MF: Yeah, and the twins themselves are derivative from Pandemonium, which is purely about the numbers. For the AOE they are not twins, they are dualities, because each of them is a complete meta-entity, which you then aggregate up, to produce a dualistic principle. This also means that Krios never gets in, because there is no twin for 0 in the system.

SG: So what is Krios for the AOE?

MF: The Christ equivalent. Supreme sacrifice. You get rid of zero, year zero faciality. You get rid of Christ; sacrifice him, so you can have the system. This seemed to us an accident when we discovered this. How do we do this? But then we ended up with Meteka-Meteka, and then you think about MM, the millennium, 2000. Obviously then that rings a lot of bells for the AOE, which is why they were expecting . . .there were lots of people in the AOE, especially the more Catholic wing, which thinks the year 2000 must be the time of the arrival of Meteka-Meteka. So there is sort of a foreboding atmosphere.

SG: To say the least.

MF: Yeah, there are mirrors and computers all around. Stephens is there. And then they drag in this female, a black female, totally drugged up, barely conscious, and to cut a long story short, this is one of Hyper-C, who has been brought in. They are another group altogether, with their own chrono-politics. Theirs is a time of relapse, whereas for the AOE, it is a time of cycle unto apocalypse, when the cycle ends and breaks. For Hyper-C, it’s a time of relapse, of going back into the sea, the millennium bomb taking the clocks back to zero. That’s the thing about lapsing, the fall, the reverse story of the flood. The story of the white man face, the covenant with god, is about getting out of the flood, whereas the story with Hyper-C – they are on the other side of that.

SG: Hyper-C’s demon is oceanic, Murmur and Bubbamu.

MF: 2:8 or 8:2.

SG: Bringer of aquapocalyptic Babylon.

MF: In sequential time, you go from Murmur to Oddubb but then Bubbamu takes you back to Murmur again.

SG: So that’s that little short circuit?

MF: Yeah that’s the short circuit, relapse thing, and that’s what the Hyper-C thing is about. They are another transcendentally opposed thing for the AOE, so they cant really communicate. There are elements of nomad war machine, and elements of primitive socius. They can’t be touched in a way, as they just say there is no accidents for them either, just as for the AOE. There is no way that the AOE can defeat them, just as vice versa. They are just transcendental pictures, which just clash. But obviously there is an issue there. So it’s a complex series of espionage and counter espionage.

SG: So the AOE is on a journey out of the ocean. Hyper-C is on a submersion trajectory.

MF: Their whole thing, in a way, is like this voodoo thing, which is about the contemporaneity of the ancestor, and about never being in a system of subjection, the apparatus of capture. Even though your body, or the organism is controlled by the strata – well the very fact that that is the case, means that you are not there. Like in Symbolic Exchange and Death, and D&G’s stuff on nomads, is really about them not being able to be touched, even though they are ostensibly enslaved. There is also a lot of Kodwo stuff about weird time warps, and slavery as science fiction. All these rumour-mills like Drexciya, UR, Public Enemy etc.

SG: What is the relation between all these real instances to Hyper-C.

MF: Some say that that is Hyper-C. Some would say they made up Hyper-C, some would say Hyper-C uses them. Is Hyper-C just a name for what they are already doing? So they bring in this female. So there is a complicated counter-espionage story that emerges here to do with Max Crabbe. The last the pubic ever saw of him was in the late 70s – a famous, really bizarre picture, semi out of focus, sort of shadowy – he looks monstrous and barely human – might just be the angle of the camera, you don’t really know, but he’s an enormously wealthy plutocrat – the source of his wealth is obscure. One of the big rumours about him is that he’s built this undersea aquapolis. People think of him as this Howard Hughes figure who wants to go back to the sea and develop a DNA aqualung by mutating the human species. But what actually happens is something more horrific, in a way – what both the AOE and Hyper-C discover is that far from wanting to go back to the sea, Crabbe is forced to live under the water because of some bizarre genetic complaint, wasting disease which makes his body literally water down to recapitulate the history of the planet and go towards some amoeboid state. Like Virek, in a way, he’s devolving into protoplasmic slime. He’s in screaming agony. If there is a Max Crabbe, it’s the screaming agony of somebody’s descent toward total zero, indifferentiation. Remember in that 1:8 zone, Crabbe is at the bottom, the 1 thing, the homeostatic 1 going around as a closed loop, so Crabbe wants this closed loop. It’s the closed loop of stratic, gothic self-perpetuation, the dream of white man face, to do with perpetual extension of the organism, which always goes badly wrong, and certainly went badly wrong for poor old Max.

SG: Why?

MF: Because you cant arrest it. Basically his whole body is fucked.

SG: So he has a vivi-system, for himself under the sea.

MF: So the AOE and Hyper-C have their own interests in getting in there. Hyper-C basically want the technology and they want to get back under water, but it seems they don’t realize that Crabbe’s agenda is totally opposite to theirs. The AOE story comes from someone who infiltrated it, and came back with their fuckin’ mind gone, because of these hideous scenes of meat-slither horror, cannibalized body parts, fish meat.

SG: Where is Crabbe from?

MF: England. One of his parents is white Russian, but I don’t want to get into his parentage just yet. He is a public school boy from Sussex.

SG: Why, his father was a lobster?

MF: He left public school to do these bizarre jaunts around the world, and at some point he got wealth, and what hideous pacts he did to get that wealth are as yet unexplored. Who would want to push that door open?

SG: Me?

MF: It’s a sort of techno-scientific, phallic alliance between Crabbe and the AOE, in a way. His interests are different, but convergent, in a way.

SG: So what about this espionage thing?

MF: Crabbe needs a body, but the AOE want some metaphysical . . .they know the limbic key now is not an object, but they don’t know exactly what it is, because their whole thing is that they can’t look at things too closely. They systematically mis-see things. They are clever enough to realize that if you look too closely at something, you become it, so you can’t look too closely at schizophrenic Lemurian time sorcery and Barkerian time engineering, otherwise you would become it, but it’s your adversary, so you have to know about it, but how do you do that without looking at it? It’s all very complicated.

SG: So they probably have a whole file full of agents, who were sent into these danger zones, and who came back having completely lost it?

MF: Yes, but they would say that that is part of the plan, because it’s not really on the temporal level that they operate, but rather a meta-temporal level. Any disaster they face, they would say, is part of God’s great scheme, because it’s the best of all possible worlds.

SG: So all these sacrificed agents are like minor Christs?

MF: Well anything on the monkey plane is like that, including themselves. Crabbe needs an organism. They need something from Crabbe, a magic word, or something, because their whole intelligence, or system of divination tells them that Crabbe is key to the process, but they don’t know what it is either? Maybe a magic word? The other MM thing is Mur Mur. In a way, Crabbe is a Mur Mur avatar just as Cargo 27, the Hyper-C agent is an Oddubb/Bubbamu avatar. So it’s about this Mur Mur to Oddubb passage, which is the sea, and coming out of the sea. But it’s also about duplicity, which is why it is all about espionage and double allegiances.

SG: So the thing about the secret agent is that they are in the entity with the other side.

MF: Oddubb is like that, it’s both a betrayal of the sea, because it’s come out onto the land, and on another level up from the hydrocycle, it’s about duplicity, refraction, broken mirror, the dub being the double, being the 2, the 7 years being the seven years bad luck, for breaking the mirror.

SG: Hyper-C and the AOE are both after something from Crabbe, and his undersea Aquapolis. They are all using each other.

MF: The Hyper-C female is using Crabbe’s organism, in some DNA vampirism, where they transplant Crabbe’s mind into the body of the female, so that in a way, it’s like a spying exercise, because you can take over the female’s body in a horrific process. Cargo 27 is brought in. There are always 100 members of Hyper-C, at any one time, although ‘members’ is a bad word for it. They are all numbered. They don’t have names. They are cargo, slave trade cargo.

SG. Who transplanted the brain into her?

MF: The AOE/Crabbe alliance – techno-science – it was more like a gradual vampirism where her identity is sucked out, and replaced by Crabbe’s, as opposed to a literal transplant. It’s more like technical possession, techno-scientifically possessed. She is doubly possessed.

SG: Is that why -C sent her in the first place, because if they could get her back, it would be mission accomplished?

MF: Well that’s right – multiple motivations. Anything that happens in the scene, all three sides can be satisfied by it.

SG: The warping of the agents is completely ambivalent and depends on who has possession of the agent.

MF: It’s so multi-layered, it’s a super complex espionage scene. There are transcendentally different purposes for each of them, so the same empirical thing going on can satisfy all three at once. It’s like Flee Control really. You get this thing where you keep seeing Crabbe flicker in and out of the female, and you never really hear her speak in her own voice – she speaks in a hive, Hyper-C, Hypervoice, which is the Oddubb and Bubbamu voice. So we have this scene of horrific schizophrenia, with the female, voices coming out of her mouth, including Crabbe’s. It’s a horrific fucking mess. Stephens has to continue to maintain a pompous atmosphere around it. No one really knows what happens. There is one model, which is that it is the successful passing on of time from Mur Mur to Oddubb. Obviously all these entities are delivered just in time. This is semi-stratic already. In Pandemonium there is no time. But rather, time, as we understand it, is derivative of part of their function, rather than they are in time, serving time. That’s that scene. The next scene is where things implex, and it’s the scene with Sarkon. The writer of the tale is Iris Carver. In the alternative 1998 hyperverse, Iris is a journalist, in her 30s, sort of a punk, a hard-bitten hack, hence the name. The name is a pseudonym, taken from Buñuel’s famous image of cutting the eyeball. She is totally cynical. She doesn’t believe in anything, but her whole trip is that kids are getting exploited by lying fuckers, so you have to strip away lies, cut them, hack them. It’s like the other side of pomo really, you have to hack away at hypocrisy. She has been pursuing Sarkon for a number of years, since the alternative 1998 to do with his role in this drug A Death. But ‘drug’ is a problematic term, because part of the phenomena is that it really exposes the whole notion of what a drug is, because it’s not chemical, but is directly neuronic, an electro libidinal drug.

SG: How do you take it?

MF: Well that’s mysterious, but I suppose it’s like cheap Sim-Stim. But it’s not how you get it that’s the issue, but rather the state it puts you in, which is a kind of complex flatline. That’s the issue. In a way it is the limbic key.

SG: So it’s not an object?

MF: No, and it isn’t a drug, except it is, but only in the sense that all drugs are abstract, and then towards principles of abstraction, to do with direct, neuronic manipulation. In a way it’s anything that puts you in the coma zone.

SG: So A Death is a state? A way of life?

MF: A way of unlife. It’s both the state of hitting the flatline, and it’s how you get there. In a way, there is the contemporary mythic journey, which is the journey from the net, to the crypt, into A Death. It’s a dirty form of the gleaming Gibson . . . you can get it from flicker.

SG: So A Death entry is programmed into the environment?

MF: Yeah, if you go through the crypt, the outernet, you end up in A Death.

I recently was interviewed about J G Ballard by Tim Noakes for Rough Trade’s new magazine, and the result got heavily edited. Here is the full unedited transcript.

What is your favourite novel of Ballard’s and why does it resonate with you?

– Hard question, but its probably The Drowned World. It was the first Ballard book I read. It was around 1995. I was coming down to London during the summer to go to Jungle raves. I didn’t really know London very well. It was a hot summer. It was very easy for me to fold the book i was reading into this humid city and alien, tropical sounding music I was listening to. Both the book and the music I was listening to seemed rivetted to some kind of Conradian trip into the heart of darkness.

In March, a film of his novel High Rise is being released. In it, social warfare breaks out with the upper classes in the penthouses waging war against the middle and lower classes for control of the building. To me it seems very prescient, with gentrification spreading through UK’s inner cities and poor communities being forced out due to rising living costs. Steel canyons dominate every capital in the world. If left unchecked, does living on top of people breed more violence and class division, or a greater sense of community?

– Im looking forward to High Rise a lot. In a way, the pre-run for it as a film was Snowpiercer, but instead of a tower block with a built in social hierarchy, its a train, and the rear of the train makes an attempt at revolution by storming forward, passing through the different levels of the social hierarchy. I found it interesting that just before they reach the front of the train, where the master/engineer resides, they find a decadent night club.

Anyway, I’m not really persuaded by the idea that high rise development has to be opposed to community life. All my favourite cities are in East Asia and are all super dense and high rise. I don’t think the logic of high rise development has to be seen as to the detriment of street life, community etc. Sometimes it can amplify it, the street becomes multiplied so its not just on the ground floor anymore, but on elevated walkways etc. Anna Greenspan, in her recent book Shanghai Future, is great at describing that tension between street life and high tech, high rise urbanism. Really, I don’t think there is enough high rises in London. There is a massive shortage of affordable housing, and relatively its a very low rise city. Very little of the new high rise developments seem to be social housing, but rather seem to be exactly the kind Ballard describes are liable to be populated by feral, bored middle classes in meltdown. The problem, of course, is who gets to live in the current wave of over priced luxury blocks that are going up, but I’m very much in favour of increasing urban density, especially if it doesn’t make property prices crazy and drive out residents who have been there for decades i.e. the current model for developing London.

Ballard loved the sound of machine guns, and your book Sonic Warfare explored the notion of sound as a weapon. Do you foresee a future where sonic weaponry is widely used by local police teams to keep situations like the citizen revolt in High Rise under control?

– Ballard’s short story The Sound Sweep was a big influence on my book, particularly 2 of his speculative conceits: the persistence of vibration, and the neuro-affects of inaudible sound (what I call unsound) The sonic world depicted in the story is one in which sounds do not dissipate as usual. Instead sonic artefacts take on a new physicality and permanence, persisting, cluttering up the city like actual refuse. There is even a sonic refuse truck with a device called a ‘sonovac’ (essentially a glorified sampler which removes instead of copying every sound it records) which hoovers up all the noise and detritus. So in a sense, its an environment in which past (or virtual) sounds (which usually fade to silence as they pass, unless they are recorded or remembered) are as real as actual sounds. Towards the end of the story, there is an ultrasound concert which is inaudible but the audience are receiving waves of aesthetic pleasure as if it was a standard audible concert. In the story, its almost as if, audible sound and music itself is treated as toxic waste, rubbish, a pollutant to the air and so an inaudible ultrasound concert is somehow was more refined, purer, sensation without audible stimulus. So these ideas of cleansing the concert hall/city of unwanted noises led me to speculate about acoustic techniques like phase cancellation that are used in noise cancellation headphones – what if they, or a similar device were used on a mass scale to silence areas of cities, or at least to mask certain sounds. Then I also came across an actual commercially available device called the Mosquito, which replicated the elitist sonophobia of Ballard’s ultrasound concert, but which was supposed to be inaudible to all except teenagers, who would find its high pitch whine irritating and would force them to move on from congregating outside commercial properties. I could certainly imagine these devices used to ‘cleanse’ the area around High Rise or being used in his more recent novels like Kingdom Come to acoustically harass ‘undesirables’ as a spectator sport.

Burial’s debut album was described as the soundtrack to The Drowned World. How have both of your views of London changed in the intervening years? Metaphorically is the city drowning?

– Yeah, that idea came from the press release I wrote for Burial’s first album. Not sure how much it had anything to do with Burial’s intentions to be honest. it just what the album sounded like to me with its infinite rain. It wasn’t really supposed to be a metaphor, but rather about real climate change. I think I’d just read something about how little the river Thames would have to rise to submerge most of central London, and this conjured up images of tube trains as submarines.

Why do you think your generation of producers latched onto Ballard’s outlook?

– In an year when optimistic utopianism is en vogue as a refuge from capitalism, his style of dystopian pessimism (realism) seems somewhat out of fashion, which probably makes it even more appealing. There are several Ballards, often separate, often at work at the same time. There is at least a brutalist one, a suburban one, an ecological one, a videodrome one, and probably more. A common thread is his depiction of the torque of abstract geometrical urbanism on the human psyche. I think many electronic musicians are inspired by the alienation of living with/in/around angular and geometric monoliths, whether they are grey concrete or glass and steel because its an architectural instantiation of the same processes of abstraction going on in their music.

Do you feel the most creatively inspired amongst industrial landscapes – if so, why?

– I find most alienating, artificial landscapes in which your insignificance as a human is reinforced, inspiring. These days, these are mostly post-industrial. By this point in the game, the idea of the industrial landscape as a muse for electronic music has become somewhat over saturated. Sure, it was the dereliction of the dying industrial age that inspired many musicians in the late 70s, 80s and 90s so on. But we are now living through the emergence of a whole new strata of technological civilisation and I think musicians and artist spend their time much more productively by engaging with the new situations that digital capitalism throws up in front of us everyday.

Cats, techno and decreased novelty-seeking behaviour: a teleofunctionalist approach to the role played by Toxoplasma Gondii in the popularity of repetitive dance music in Western European society“.

Thanks to Matt Fuller for this link:

and here is another:

Am always reminded of the LRAD’s inventor, Woody Norris’ telling statement: “in the gap between killing something and doing nothing. . .” is where the LRAD fits – that’s a pretty big remit, son.

On Friday, I’ll be presenting here.

MAY 11, 2012: Public Symposion in Lüneburg: New Technologies – New Sound Practices

A Public Symposion at Freiraum Lüneburg on the occasion of the 5th Workshop of the International Research Network

funded by the German Research Foundation DFG and Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

Friday May 11, 2012

4.30pm – 8pm

Freiraum Lüneburg
Salzstraße 1 [entry Auf der Altstadt]
21335 Lüneburg

Interview conducted by Mark Blacklock


Also, an interesting joint review of Sonic Warfare with Dave Tompkins’ wonderful “How to Wreck a Nice Beach” here taken from Current Musicology, number 90/fall 2010 by Wayne Marshall.

Link courtesy of Om Unit.


Wonderful passage from a wonderful book, Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

“The air pressure dips, like before a storm. A keening sound wells up soft and low, as if it’s always been there, just outside the range of human hearing. It swells to howling. And then the shadows start to drop from trees, like raindrops after the storm. The darkness pools and gathers and then seethes.

The japanese believe it’s hungry ghosts. The Scientologists claim it’s the physical manifestation of suppressive engrams. Some eyewitness reports describe teeth grinding and ripping in the shadows. Video recordings have shown only inpenetrable darkness. I prefer to think of it as a black hole, cold and impersonal as space. Maybe we become stars on the other side.

I turn away as it rushes down the road in the direction of the running man. Mr. Khan cover’s his daughters’ eyes, even though it’s her ears he should be protecting. The screaming only lasts a few awful seconds before it is abruptly cut off”