The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 10, 2015

Surge compendium


"Surge is the overthrowing of all values, ideologies, and
structures. It is the absolute overthrowing of all histories,
privacies, persons. It is the total extinction of all species,
including our own. It is the scorching of the scorching of the
earth. Let's talk about this. Let's build around the Surge.
Let's build around the dying and absolute annihilation. Let's do
it." (ca 2015)

A pixel is a digital object.
Between one pixel and another, there is annihilation.
Annihilation seethes.
There is nothing else but an epistemology of demarcated
positions and ontology.
Post-digital is digital; post-digital has equivalent
A digital object is substrate-dependent.
The substrate is an object and from this we adduce strata and
structures of digital objects.
The Surge is just that, the Surge of digital objects and
substrates, replacing everything in the world.
Annihilation is the potential for transformation of everything
in the world.
Annihilation to the limit is extinction.
Abjection and truth are intertwined.
Abjection and truth inhabit the substrate.
The digital object is a mapping of its substrate and its
substrate is subject to replacement, duplication, reassignment
and other transformations.
The substrate is a moment of the digital object.
The entanglement of truth and abjection within the substrate is
within a continuous state of annihilation and potential wells.
The digital object is an object of reading; the substrate is a
surface of writing.
The Surge loads substrates with digital objects.
The Surge replaces objects with digital objects.
Aura is always an entangled raster.
The Surge replaces aura with increasingly fine rasters.
Rasters are inscriptions and demarcations.
One might say that rasters are inscriptions within the
metaphysical, that substrates possess no rasters, that mapping
is from raster to substrate.
The digital object is a choice.
The digital object may be a choice of a substrate object.
If a substrate object is chosen or not chosen, it will be
If a substrate object is chosen, it may be inscribed.
The inscription of a substrate object is not a substrate object.
The inscription of a body is not a body.
The inscription of a body may inhere within the body, and may be
entangled within the body.
The substrate of an inhered inscription is within states of
annihilation and potential wells.
The digital object neither exhausts physical objects nor its
The digital object is an insertion into protocol farms and
networks, including translations fundamentally based on the
employment of process and power; to the extent that the digital
object functions as an insertion, it is subject to movements
across substrates.
The digital object is en garde.
The digital object is an instance.
The scorched earth of the scorched earth is annihilation to the
limit and the elimination of the instance.
Reproduction of digital objects is finite.
A reproduction machine itself may be reproduced.
At the heart of the reproduction machine, at the heart of any
object, digital or otherwise, is annihilation.
Annihilation inhabits the absolute, and the desire for absolute
annihilation constructs the scorched earth of the scorched
The Surge constructs a new earth, new habitus, new environment.
One cannot turn back, one cannot return, from the Surge.
The fundamental characteristic of the Surge, at this point, is
the simultaneous recuperation of every history, every culture,
every text, and the annihilation of every history, every
culture, every text.
The simulacrum of recuperation is a simulacrum.
Simulacra are simultaneously recuperated and annihilated.
The Surge proceeds from fundamental annihilation.
The Surge is simultaneously the relativization of the world, and
its absolute.
The Surge is violation fabric; on the nub of the Surge, we bear
witness to annihilation.
It is not even a matter of time.
It is not even a matter of bearing witness.
There are no matters of which 'it is a matter.'
The _mob_ of the Surge.
The _overwhelming_ of the world, of any other world.
Uselessness and annihilation of philosophies.



Bewails (ca. 1996)

An Older Mind bewails nations. It hovers dark, interconnected at
nodes, sprayed in star-configurations connected across night-
twinkling-stars, incandescent bulbs streaked with blue at
magnification 150 just across town. An Older Mind would bend
deep in Thought, would stir dark waters into dark and stillborn
Action. An Older Mind would enumerate Nations gaunt and hoary,
branches of trees rustling the sky stormed into carbon-russet
darkness. Lightning is sky-crack, cragged break of black
porcelain, Older Mind Sim-Symbolic illumination burned into
seven-layered blood-stained retinal booking down to bedrock
flaked with muscovite.

Older Mind is t = 0, is <=refresh> constant, emission into
screen-object, sound-object. Older Mind turns at t0 pace,
haunted as body heaves thrust onto side; it ponders for
No-Reason, is None. None hurtles downward into No-Reason; only
nations say split, no capital. Look elsewhere than there. Older
Mind shudders sky-bowl swollen, crusted with Sim-Symbolic.


Failure to Overwhelm (ca. 1996)

To theorize the Net, analyze it according to one or another
model (see below), to examine it without any philosophical
presuppositions (an impossibility), to include or exclude
metaphysics: A closed - an academic loop is formed, the
placement of a book or article (I try for this myself), but what
occurs beyond this, what reason, what point (reason collapsed to
a node)?

What can theory _provide_ if it is not, for example, descriptive
kinesics, software design philosophy, standardization of
protocols, typifications? It remains an augmentation, appendaged
to what? Half in and out of the corpus of philosophical
discourse, applied philosophy, but towards what ends? What?
(Consider _here_ the onset-characteristics of a trumpet tone.)

There is of course the theorizing of the virtual - from a
phenomenological viewpoint, theory describing _stuff_ on several
levels, the _stuffing_ in fact of cyberspace itself, however
that term is defined, split, deconstructed. Of course there are
no conclusions; there are, instead, parallels, analogs,
interstitial or liminal displays of language.

Statistics appear in sociological analysis, almost always soft.
Structures may or may not emerge. Whatever they're made to speak
is manufactured. On the other hand, considerations of Being,
etc. lend themselves to curious metaphysics. These can go
anywhere, routed in roots.

This _applied_ theory centers it _on topic,_ a source of decay.
What if there's no theory-otherwise? What theory-otherwise would
apply? What ghosts enter the maelstrom, alternative selves,
ectoplasms, staggered or schizzed personalities inhabiting the
same flesh?

Theory vis-a-vis topicality _here_ is already abject, a vestige
of territorialized minor philosophy, slide-rule humans
approaching the discarded object, still clothed and
canvas-wrapped. Minor philosophy, perhaps in the sense of
Deleuze and Guattari, minor literature.

Even the psychoanalytics of the space generate ghost shots at a
new subjectivity - but these things change on an almost daily

All this spells ennui, the peculiar analytical burnout where
cyberspace theory is concerned, entrance and exit _the
doldrums._ It's partly the socio-political atmosphere of "the
times," exhaustion as theory becomes mechanism, predictable,
unused, negative dialectics. On one hand, articulation is all
there is; on the other, overwhelming information all the way
down/across, well-definition literally ruling, graduating the
day. The liminal fails to erupt; the liminal is theorized.


Paul, Sail On (ca. 1996)

If I gather up, will you bury me, will you bury me if I gather
Your ambergris, your bronze helmet, your amber, your bronze
Swollen by river's wake by cavern opening cavern awakened by the
   river's swell
Motivated by gutted reeds cut stuttered clay, read in gorgeous
   monuments gone motivated
If I lie with you, will you lie with me, if I lay with you will
   you lay with me
Near the pregnant cow near the gutted horse near the emptied
   house by the coward's prayer
Through the dim dark night by the knight's despair by the armor
If I wash for you by the river's edge and I wash for you by the
   same edge of the river
Where down the river there is a gathering of knights and women,
   I think they are celebrating Telipinu at the moment

Yes, I will lie with you, I will lay with you, I will sacrifice,
   you will sacrifice
Your horse, your cow, yourself, against my golden hair, my eyes
   of blue
Sparkling in the waters pooling by the marshes, waters sprinkled
   with blood, swollen with whitened
Bones you have slaughtered, your bones you have slaughtered
While I, while I
   I'm leaving for Telipinu.


dawn* (ca. 1996)

cancers flooding the body in part or in full, tumors attacking
one or another organ, membrane-spreads of _illnesses of the
surface,_ attacks on bodies non-virtual of all ages, genders,**

there are millenarian warnings as the human tide heats up,
microbes approach with landing-gear erect, this is serious as
insecure bodies escape to the cybersphere, sloughed skin
dragging them back,

we are close to degeneracy genes gone bad in polluted air not
responding to antibiotics lost, no longer fortification bunker
against molecular transformations, lost, in other worlds, the
air itself,

wires clean wires with electrons, cloyed filaments, carbon dark
against smoothed electron emissions, tunneling, run around the
sync clock, skin a sin or shame a dark shadow, no longer named
but ceased symbolic,

so we slough skins, our poisons trail behind us, so our
membranes turn translucent, troubled, and there were no tomorrow


*dawn's brilliance cuts the eyes' retinal spoils, dwelling and
source of disease, scoured in the heat of day

**so many I known have been cut down in the dawn of life,
suppurations suddenly appearing in the half-year past,
portending uneasy crawl towards overpopulations, extinctions***

***for real, the theory appears simplistic, pollution,
extinctions, ozone, desire, capital, technology, spills,
desertification, violence for real for sure****



Justice (ca. 1996)

There is no justice in this world! That is, because justice is
never _of_ or _in_ the world, nor is it a horizon of the world,
nor of community, nor of the subject. Then one can never be
just? One can act accordingly, as if justice were a past that
still encompasses the present. This is the dream, the opium, the
simulacrum, abstraction, but without it, irrigation disappears
and selves dissolve, as if they had once existed.


Corroded substrate hammers.
Violation fabric of disappearing languages.
Dead tech and dead life.

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