Terrorism, Propaganda, Demographic...and Death

Posted by Rhizome | Sun Jan 5th 1997 1 a.m.

PERFORATIONS 7 -- Terrorism, Propaganda, Demographics --

is now available at:
http://noel.pd.org/topos/perforations/perf7/perf7_index.html

PERFORATIONS 8
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
v. 1.01

At Death's Door

"Perhaps the single most triumphant denominator in Western culture is
its tendency to thematize the real in terms of limits and their
destruction." - Joseph Libertson

"Where am I? Where am I?" - lyric from rock group, The Cranes

"You will see your own home, the attendants, relatives, and the corpse,
and think, 'Now I am dead! What shall I do?' and being oppressed with
intense sorrow, the thought will occur to you, 'what would I not give to
possess a body!'....Wherefore finding no place for yourself to enter
into, you will be dissasified and have the sensation of being squeezed
into cracks and crevices amidst rocks and boulders." - The Tibetan Book
of the Dead

"Contrary to what is normally thought, technological modernity doesn't
neutralize anything; it causes a certain form of the demonic to
re-emerge." - Jacques Derrida, "The Gift of Death"

The most persistent limit of life and thought is death and the
unthought. Thought has made incursions into those regions under the
aegis of (1) the mythos of life-that-comes-after and (2) thought that
tricks itself into the apparent exceeding of its own limitations. The
imbrication of these two regions, extinction and imagination, has now
reached certain levels of formalization through technological
extrapolation; likewise the exceeding of these limits seems to be
intimately tied to the ability to construct planar assemblages
(machines) which then ramify beyond the presentness of immediate
calculability ('constructed organisms' or intelligent -- and not
necessarily intelligible -- fields of force). The system of
technological invocation gives to the human organism a system of
'loopholes' in extant organizations. All aspects of human life become
increasingly portable and speedy, cut off from the humus that gave
them birth, both physically and psychically. But these technologcal
processses have not yet reached an absolute speed (remembering that an
absolute in these terms might only be just beyond the limit of human
thought and life, not extending all the way to that other absolute,
'god'.)

Is it premature to call for an end to end-ness or death? [...] Without
the escape valve of death for a population, how would a species arrange
its pragmatic life? What would be a philosophy of deathlessness? (Do we
already have such? Is the business of technology about the concrete
manifesting of those eternal forms, as we look suspiciously back at the
ancient Greeks?) Does an 'end' to death mean the return of the gods
(even as fields of force) and the end of the human? Do all of our
ghosts (geist?) disappear? Would it be the end of hauntings -- or our
final surrender, no escape from the most banal of revenants (returns).
And you thought re-runs from the Seventies were bad.

Even the present day increase in life span is forcing a need to rethink
work, genealogy, community. Are 'work,' 'kinship,' and social binding
becoming perforated beyond repair? To what extent is art tied to
mortality? To what extent is the possibility of the impossible and the
unthought itself connected with death? Is it the end of prophetic speech
or its radical efflorescence? Doesn't the phenomenal quality of time
itself feel different now, once we step into the clock stream of media
and the 'hypersphere', a heightening and densification of events? Even
death now becomes a fairly minor event in the bitstream. Yet, still,
Death -- and ends -- ride everywhere now. At what point in a species'
life does the impossible become necessary? Is it possible that the
final conquering of life means a final embrace of death?

WANTED:
technologies
death cults 2000
techniques for border crossings
phenomenologies of porous membranes
the ethics of living on . . .
philosophies of the end of the end
prophecies of the beginning
hiding places
tools

text, hypertext, audio, graphics, animations, and whatever else we
haven't thought of will be considered.

[Contact Perforations and FORT! / da? Press at info@pd.org.]
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