Lo-tech website, text based and intended to bring to mind, by association, the graphic bleakness of Pasolini’s The Gospel According to Matthew (trumpeting good news).
Date: October 2014.
The philosophy of virtuality: a virtual allotment for the cultivation of virtual escape.
The Website of the Philosopher Rumpledsilkskin otherwise known as Roger Taylor.
Now and then truth (contingent truth): - no allocation of infertile space happens except within the medium of the commodity and all resistance to and escape from the commodity is contained within this medium.
Digging: all theory and argument will be at least double dug, meaning there will be no substitute for hard-graft, heart-stimulation, and sound-beds in an old English style. Means of production will be spade striking the old rocks of logic, objectivity and truth value and barrowing off-site, all post-modernist, polystyrene packaging.
Weeding: meticulous hoeing, burrowing out, poisoning, flame gunning of civilised cultivations in their theoretical forms - dialectical and apocalyptic weeding! Rank and gross, tap and fibrous rooted, weed-binding possessors of nature, include: - Morality, Politics, Culture, Religion, Free- Market Apologia, State, Law, Education, Family. (Marx identified these weeds but was an inconsistent or lazy weeder.)
Fertilising: scattering images and fictions in the spirit of virtuality, dressing virtual soil in readiness for main-crop seemings.
Planting: intercropping, and irregular planting throughout four seasons, free from global warming but contributing to same.
Perennial Harvesting: Materialist Virtuality, As Ifness, Modernism (hybrid), Invisible Cells, Optical Density, Simulacra, Subterraneans, Indeterminism, Rational Schizophrenia, the Unnoticed. (Irregular allotment visitors take home emptier baskets, but emptier baskets are easier to carry. You pays no money and takes your choice.)
Composting: “Art an Enemy of the People”, “Beyond Art”, “Invisible Cells”, “Mme Rousseau”, Historical Materialism, Fact/Value distinction, Ideological and Commodity theories of Art. Sartre. Marx. Unamuno. Richard Jefferies. Jean Seberg. Genet. Patrick White. David Mercer. Viviane Forrester. Michael Heim. (A virtual future’s past.)
Pest Control: Dialectical spraying: - determinism (evolutionary, neuro-physiological, philosophical, A.I. nonsense), non-dialectical conceptual analysis, sluggish Heideggerian and Post-Modernist abstraction. Plus days of reckoning, Rumpledsilkskin confronts his critics.
ON THE VIRTUAL ALLOTMENT:-
Advance Notice: Roger Taylor’s book of love poems to his wife, written over a period of fifty years, will be available as an e-book in December. The collection is called AMAMUS.
3 BOOKS associated with Rumpledsilkskin are now available from Kindle Books. Print versions are planned for next year.
Revised edition of ART an ENEMY of the PEOPLE by ROGER TAYLOR.
Revised edition of BEYOND ART by ROGER TAYLOR.
INVISIBLE CELLS and VANISHING MASSES by RUMPLEDSILKSKIN and ROGER TAYLOR.
For Rumpledsilkskin these books represent three of four steps towards a better theory of consciousness. The fourth step will be made available in 2015. The third step (INVISIBLE CELLS and VANISHING MASSES) is the most recent and the most substantial. It is a difficult, 250,000-word text. Its individual cells have the conceit of being prison sentences during which the prisoner battles with concepts of confinement and escape. A sense of the clamour of these battles is all Rumpledsilkskin feels able to offer as introduction to the whole. Rumpledsilkskin writes,
Part of my subject matter is to give serious treatment to the notion of “getting out of it”, another part concerns who is to get out. The inevitabilities of the poor are the factum, the starting point. What does Bear the surfboard-maker in Big Wednesday say as the surf heroes ride the unprecedented? “Oh! I’m just the garbage man.” Generally the poor are addressed to improve them, educate them, edify them, empower them, sensitise them, quiet them, control them. These are the stratagems for creating illusions of change. So it is argued, the rich are going to have to overcome hell of a hump to get into heaven, whereas queuing garbage men are the last made first. For this illusory privilege they are exhorted to love those who trespass against them. My work is firmly set in the notion of irreconcilable enemies. Being poor is to confront reality as problematic, something to defend oneself against, something to be escaped from. “Getting out of it” is defence and escape, and virtuality is one of the forms of “getting out of it”. Socially developed and controlled forms of virtuality are generally commodified, but commodified entertainment is bootlegged like booze and has its non-commodified forms like poteen and alpine eau de vie. And, of course the objects of art can be appropriated for any purpose whatsoever, just as art has appropriated the objects of not art as objects of art.
This philosophical journey begun a long time ago, whichever moment it was when it began, is now to be completed in these cells. There was no way for me to have envisaged this precise ending at the outset, despite a determination to arrive where I am. In fact at the beginning I did not even possess my present virtual existence. The destination is virtuality and class and underclass and escape. The possibilities of virtuality have multiplied since I started my kind of life. Those possibilities are part and parcel of the aspirations of self-consciousness and autonomy, and all these particles including the aspirations were all interwoven, even if unrecognised, in the embryonic vision. And so, my kind of life, my sentence, starts by revisiting and reflecting on various stopping points on the journey, as well as striking out across a vast territory still uncrossed. Following will not be easy, it will not be an instant thing, and the subject matter is irreducibly difficult. For escape none of this is necessary, but for the defence of escape it may well be, certainly nothing “out there” goes half far enough.
There is a collectiveness to vanishing, a shared conspiracy. This is a global, empirical scepticism. The alternative worlds that are turned to and created take both individual and collective forms. There is nothing solipsistic about mass disappearance. Moreover, vanishing is always double-edged. Spasmodically the masses reappear. Suddenly they are in the streets pointing. The excesses of the existing order do not go unnoticed. Or they reappear as heroes to fulfil their own fantasies. But the masses will never again sacrifice a generation or two for a future that never comes. The masses are playing the long game now. The masses are playing games. Fundamentalists of all persuasions desperately struggle to bring them back. For fundamentalists the life of the masses is not for playing games, it is instead austerity, struggle and suffering, but this is a megalomaniacal game fundamentalist can play only at the expense of the masses and the masses have found ways not to pay the price.
And the clamour includes this digressive prolegomenon to INVISIBLE CELLS AND VANISHING MASSES (Kindle Books).
The Norwegian would not be a problem if he kept the world he inhabits to himself, just as his private fantasy.
His actual behaviour is unintelligible if thought embedded in wholesome Scandinavian society. Instead though, there, like everywhere, is as tight as an asthmatic seizure. Screaming Nordic noir! Pus-filled globules are expelled from the congested mass as the social body struggles for its breath. It is asked “Why?” That is why, no longer inexplicable horror.
Murdering someone is thought clearly wrong but imagining murdering someone is less clear-cut. We might then say the Norwegian could imagine whatever he liked. This is close to the foundation of the argument in INVISIBLE CELLS AND THE VANISHING MASSES (ICVM). But nothing is clear-cut. In Elizabethan, political culture (Elizabeth I) treason laws forbade any subject to “compass” (imagine) the death of a monarch. Today militant Islam is just as eager to repress deviant daydreams. How though do you police these prescriptions? Not by means of any regard for the truth. Instead truth gives way to suspicion and policing suspicion requires a reign of terror, in which case imagining is left intangible, the threat to it accidental.
The Australian Outback is a harsh place, and how did the aborigine cope there? By means of great material ingenuity but also by means of dreamtime. Walkabout is inhabiting a fantasy landscape formed out of stories about the old woman and the old fella. There is an element of religious belief about this but it is more comic than zealous, more fall-about than solemn. Unless seduced by bourgeois élitism Abos repudiate high seriousness. Dreamtime is for having a good time. It allows you to eat your babies when you’re starving.
Communism is the utilitarian solution to perennial exploitation of the masses. It was once popular aspiration, now it sounds like “smoking is good for you”. ICVM will demonstrate the rationality of communism and will expose the repression of this truth. However, although communism’s moment could come again, its use in ICVM is as an exemplar or measure, rather like the kingdom of heaven is used to measure earthly reality, or like Rousseau’s general will measures existing power relations. Moreover, one reading of communism’s end-game is of virtual existence in a virtual universe, and what ICVM argues is not only is a strand of this always possible but now its possibility is extensive, yet it only exists by proxy in the form of mutant virtuality, which is virtual escape nonetheless but, therefore, dismissible by the media as criminal insanity. Maybe this is where everything is stuck for a virtual eternity.
If you think that working hard, rolling up your sleeves and doing the right thing is sick, if you think that all of morality and all of politics is sick, if you think all religion is sick, if you think the pursuit of knowledge and progress and economic growth is sick, if you think all of these are diseases of private property, and if you think virtual existence for its own sake is freedom or escape, then you must be criminal and insane. Musn’t you? This is not the prerogative of a starry few, as Nietzsche thought, but the mass nebulae of the celestial herd. This criminality and insanity is the commonsense repudiation of received sense, and things are so fixed that what repudiates received sense is axiomatically criminal and insane. These then are the norms and whatever challenges them. Hegemony creates this criminal insanity.
People are leaving the social space but media society does its utmost to prevent this. Every pretext is used. The economic crisis is used to preach the doctrine of all being in it together. The Olympics presents an idea of the world coming together. Every trick is used to secure a global, secure, benign community of consumers. Awaiting the aftermath of global bonding in the stadia is a giant landscape of corporate selling.
In opposition to received sense what we have is a dialectical materialist treatment of virtuality, and this generates both a critique of morality, politics, culture, religion, global capitalism, science, philosophical logic, theory of mind, celebrity, as well as a defence of the unnoticed, anonymity and dreamtime.
What is completely wrong with professional psychiatry’s analysis of mass killers, apart from the spurious idea that it (the analysis) is the first port of call in order to achieve understanding, is that it supposes everything is revealed by the set of lonely, angry fantasists. How imprecise is this? It is from this set also that critical theory emanates. “All the lonely people where do they all come from?” The antidote to conformist socialisation is what inflates the set beyond any of the uses of psychiatric explanation. As though the distinction between fantasy and reality is self-evident. Was monetarism fantasy or reality? Was Thatcher essentially lonely? Certainly she was angry. Oh, but she was a mass killer too! So the theory is correct then! But something has gone wrong. “Of course it has, don’t you know that everything is measured by received sense?” Well yes everything is but as every madman complains “You measure with electro-convulsive shock and how long is an electro-convulsive shock? Oh yes! However long you say it is.”
The vanishing masses and their invisible cells now have a startling analogue or image. The Dutch art-scientist, Jailia Essaidi in collaboration with Dr Abdoel El Ghalbzouri are progressing a new material. Some are calling it Rumpled Silk Skin. Human skin and spider silk have been synthesised by way of first adding spider genes to the genome of goats, then separating from goat’s milk its resulting silky content, and then spinning and weaving this content into a material on which human cells are grown. Why should you do this? Jailia was inspired by a tale about Genghis Khan’s horsemen riding into battle wearing silk vests as armour against enemy arrows. Jailia tried firing bullets at her Rumpled Silk Skin to find that although at full speed the bullets penetrated, at reduced speed they did not. She said, moving the idea even further, “…why bother with a vest: imagine replacing keratin, the protein responsible for the toughness of human skin, with this spider silk protein.”
The idea of Rumpledsilkskin (this web-sites avatar and co-author of the forthcoming ICVM) predates this armour of mass defence by some 40 years. Both ideas point to protection from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes!
Marlyannova (Rumpledsilkskin’s web-girl)
Links: http://www.rumpledsilkskin.co.uk (where invisible cells are just visible)
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