Category: Theory

Burden of Meaning: The Harsh Reality of Zarathustra

Burden of Meaning: The Harsh Reality of Zarathustra

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INTRODUCTION

What is it to know? What is to to feel? To feel the gnaw of mortality instinctively in the gut, from the pineal gland gliding all the waydown. The struggle for meaning in it all, a finality, some meaning to burden with truth, and some truth to burden with meaning.

Truth. Lie. Duality. Contradictions. The mind as experienced by the soul must live by its excess, and by its very nature struggle, the storm creates the perception of sea, the lonely wanderer in an ocean of chaos, is bound to it’s treacherous rages, it’s moody melodramatic odyssey. Metaphor for mood. Alone. Aspiring to being an ‘Organic thinker’ as Cioran puts it. This short document shall try to uncover in such a state what possible meaning can be found, and what escape hatch we may yet escape down, to hold at bay the drop into despair the very real sense that purpose, is but a long lost pipedream. Reclaiming. We begin by exploring the question of meaning, and then proceed to a multi-angled exploration of the downfalls and triumphs of Nietzsche’s Overman Ideal in history, and in the arena of ideas.

The scope of the Burdens in a field of confusions – The Questions:

Must everything contain meaning? It is the question that drives me insane on late nights, has me thrashing in consciousness again an imagined brick wall, banging head again again against a blunted and stubborn question. What is this burden of meaning? What gives it such a feeling of density? Must we as poets and philosophers lie to tell the truth, is truth that most exquisite device from which many lies are generated in some excruciating circular fashion? To sail alone with such questions is to be half mad, adrift in the ocean of disconnected relations to a world that escapes meaning. But is this a reason to despair or to hope? Does not a void of absolute imply an infinite potential? Acceptance is the burden perhaps. The burden of uncertain meaning. Love, hate, data, fact, the whole boatload of associations and relations, abstract language.

And what of language itself, the obscene syntax generator of multi-dimensional potential. Meaningless garbage, syntax – Is this then a problem for linguistics to argue over? Or a mathematical equation that can be found? some underlying universal standard;

Of course not. How then can meaning be philosophical? Analysing Intention is the realm of linguistics, syntax maths, what place then does philosophy have in the world of meaning?

A brief analysis on philosophical precedence through the Bestial forces of Nature:

A subset of meaning and associations follows forth from each object the human mind forges – the abstract result of the slow heat death of the universe, and being as entropy is certain and set as a law of nature as far as our observations can tell, but with inclination to chaos there comes the subjective forms that we as the conscious and unconscious co-creators and interpreters of Nature imprint onto our ‘objects’, our ’emotional states’, our distractions from animistic impulse, our escape into that most forgotten, deep and feckoned of realms – the imagination, residing deep in the collective unconscious from which springs forth all the visionary arts, the arcane poets, the self imposed wanderers in the dark, the beauty, the despair, the multiple spinning distractions of the ‘music of the spheres’ Platonic ideals? A mere humanistic imprint.

Conceptually sound, but chaos begat chaos begat chaos, divulge meaning and the universe will play ten more tricks on you. My intuition is that if consciousness could be said to represent anything akin to a mathematical form, it would be that of the fractal, a self generative feedback loop of information, constructed ‘reality tunnels’, imprinted meanings. Associations. The whole garbage pile of psychobabble can’t really describe it, and written language is as an inefficient beast. Art can visualise the meaning of specific moments in space and time, but always as a frozen infinity, not as all moments, all meanings. To know such a thing is to touch the membrane of the mind of God. And what is God you ask? The burden of meaning. Our desire to impose order, morale (man made) and structure.

Negation of God as ‘Absolute Meaning’

The real question then, if we can negate God, in the abstract sense of all meaning, which are after all unknowable by virtue of being the ‘top of the chain’ of associations, and that objectivity in everything is an impossible quest, what must we replace this void with, as spoken of in hushed tones in the halls of Atheistic thinkers and philosophers.

What void replaces the void of the all knowing God, some obscene Man Puppet? Some Man God, wannabe Superman? Some rent a day Zarathustra? Some man as God Idol, New Hitler, and Dictators? The 20th century was an exercise in such folly, millions burned for it.

let us not forget our responsibility to each other, to the very base of compassion, an attempt at least at suppressing the dormant Beast (you’ll all know its face all too well).

This crisis is real and reaches into every spheres of man’s contemporary existence. A natural question, and one that requires if not a complete answer, at least some attempt at such. I will return shortly to this truly horrendous and difficult question, like some mountainous question mark in the distance, but for now, I must visit some ghosts.

 

Conversing with Ghosts On the limits of the overman

The answer Nietzsche provided was that post-human Ubermensch, some being who transcended the limitations of the dulling culture of complacency of ‘The Last Man’, accepted their suffering and transformed them into strengths, denied the cult of the ‘Christian Slave Morality’, and laughed in the face of death, instead creating art in its place.

This seems to me at least to be a rough description of the Zarathustra ideal as described in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Few men and Women can work at such a level, by it’s nature the Overman is above man, and Nietzsche was a certain kind of ‘Cultural elitist, rallying as he did against ‘last man socialism and the weaknesses inherent in the Marxist interpretation of history, of which I would agree there are many.. But still the question remains, the will to power being the creative will, is a driving force, but the cult of the individual has driven us also into a willful despair. Unconscious but howling everywhere, from every street corner.

The children of Ayn Rand (herself unquestionably influenced by Nietzsche) have a powerful place and influence  in the world, and if Nietzsche’s idea have rooted and changed the world, beyond amongst the artists and the poets it is in her philosophy of Objectivism. But this is not about her, and her cult of followers. This is about the Overman.  

What is clear to me is that Nietzsche was one of the most painstakingly accurate philosophers of the 20th century, adequately smashing and reconstructing in the Ubermensch the ‘Ideal’ of the self created being, tragic but totemic. But if I were to say there were a flaw in this totemic statue of something new, a figure emerging from the shallow weeping  of a dying God, which is not known and evades easy detection, I would say it is the very mercurial description of what this Ubermensch would entail practically in man, for which one forgive Nietzsche. What other philosopher has set himself such a task!

Most certainly an impossible task, but a task for which yet more must pick up the baton, in this the – certainly the most complex, multi-layered and confusing of eras to live. How much of this is mere projection I leave to you. But the failure of the Ubermensch ideal is reflected in it’s inherent belief in the subjection of all societal moral values into a self created morality – no morals exist in isolation from the cultures that create them, and no man is without Morales, even in a universe as certainly burdened with meaning as ours, this much I can attest to. By which I mean of course that morals are abstract value systems, but this does not mean they are without ‘Meaning’ as understood via the prism of society, the suppression of the unchained Beast in man is never without purpose entirely.

The flaw of the Ubermensch in my humble eyes is Zarathustra’s tendency to blast the world open, it’s bombast and stern arrogance, whilst stemming from the most sublime arena of the human imagination, also has a tendency to veer into fanaticism when applied to society, and even worse when interpreted by the moronic, as in the 20th century when the ideas of the Superman was co-opted, leading to  a mass misinterpretation to a fatalistic Fascism and self destructive will to power.

Perversely instead of cultivating and refining the individual above the values of the  herd, inversely during the disasters of the 20th Century the herd became the powerful possessor of a weakened will via the false idol of the Man God / dictator. It is the opposite of the ‘truth’ of the ideal, a negation of the superman. He will not come from outside. Such failure, it is a good thing that Nietzsche got to see his ideals co-opted and distorted, mutated in such an ugly fashion.  

The Overman will certainly never emerge in any way we can imagine, it must remain by its nature enigmatic, this is the greatest strength of Nietzsche and also his greatest weakness. He created an ideal so perfect in its philosophical elegance that it is the most clarifying of ideals. That is, it must always remain so. A vessel trapped in a metaphysical chamber, separate and winking at the sufferings of men, forever, but pointing us occasionally to sweet moments of transitory bliss.     

 

  

The Siren Manifesto July 2015

The Siren Manifesto July 2015

The Siren:
A manifesto for all and none
By Chris Godber

A poem to set the tone;
Blast!
The siren at the core of everything

There is a blast in every mind
a boom which blows a thousand embers
in twenty one or so directions
as mind rips itself intwine searching for
an answer or clue
The question is compulsion
obsessive drive
to mention the everything in a sentence
and bashing pen or key
correct the logic of the universe in
a heartbeat
To bottle up tragedy and beauty
scribbling equations on broken doors
in otherwise empty rooms
to designate
the meaning
the meaning
the meaning
Zooming through digital archives
searching for a memory which
cannot and will not resist / persist
internal contradictions will not hold
beyond the walls of this concrete cage
where we hold the Frankenstein at bay
clawed at wall with tortured fingers
Bombastic fireworks fly in mind, flaring up
memory of youth
looking at fireworks now with age worn eyes
and dreaming of space will not solve the riddle of this
loneliness or help the ache at half past 12
the ache that speaks of ‘seen it all before’
To blast open a book
to blast open a mind
to open the gates screaming in ecstasy
mad visionary rusting demons shouting
at top of lungs
for fuck sake, for love, for life!
Of lord there is nothing now
our solitude is as song
singing amongst the stars
a siren to call us to a new dawn
It calls us to a new dawn! The future cries from some infinite crack in space / time , cries to us to dig ourselves into metaphorical bomb shelters and arm our minds cannons to set off blazing art bombs in the minds of men.
Don’t ever fear the future, if you feed that fear you dispel the mind warriors / philosophers of past who dined on thought and suffered for it…

[Blast open your mind, smash your television, embrace your mother, father and lover with hugs glowing brightly with golden light]
Hack the syntax of reality – Hack and subvert the system which bind and control you through black humour.

Definitions of intent:

We start by defining that which we desire and that which we desire to obliterate

Desire:

Passion, Humour, Romanticism, powerful city vistas, burning suns swirling in infinite daydreams, the infinite, futuristic day dreams, metallic dream palaces… Nature and technology kissing with tongues.

Obliterate:

The conformity of consumer society, the chessboard of controlling politics, advertising bill boards, do not look at them – smash your tv’s and embrace the information society of future where all is free and the grids of information smile in joy every time they see our old weathered faces, deep in the mountains of Zu!

Forms

To further clarify the intent and vision here is a list of the forms our desperate souls expression takes

  • Music
  • Art
  • Noise
  • Poems
  • Multimedia
  • dream experiences
  • spontaneous improvised dancing and joy on the underground
  • destroying advertising through subversion
  • free art left on tube
  • ripping up messages from corrupt newspapers!
  • Anarchy of machine spirit
  • destruction of control matrix

Form breakdown

Music Our music will be loud, bombastic, experimental, unafraid of breaking boundaries and ears to search for something new, a nuclear bomb of sound waves reverberating through halls! Droning techno whales in a sea of information. Remote controlled robot orchestras. Laptop’s playing symphonies, punk rock cyborgs!

Art radical , sharp ended , violent love poems to the infinite will of man and woman to overcome himself / herself , bustling mind bombs of energy. No limitations on mediums, use materials in every conceivable way – love material, love the challenge, love the experiment.

Poetry Blossoming love beat poems, vortex riding words in a syntax of oceanic chaos dissolving into order – a new generation raised on hopeful words – an explosion of language, form, the click click of the keyboard serves as rhythm , the beating of our hearts to a double beat informs the flow!

Noise Take every idea and throw into the mixer – create noisetone and experimental noise tracks about your mother! Burn bright supernovas in your mind to keep away the dark black holes that drill away – make drill space poems about exploring our higher intention to travel!

Reversing the feed – subversion of newspaper

Don’t like what your newspaper tells you – rip it to shreds – draw moustaches on models and scribble over the lies of politicians – reverse the drip feed of information until information itself is free everywhere! Throw your papers in the canels of London, dance in the streets and party until your feet ache from the movement in the dark.
Dreams
Record your daydreams – every impulse – ride them to their logical conclusions time to dream a dream again…

The Artist Engineer [Extract from Kaos-Net]

The Artist Engineer [Extract from Kaos-Net]

What is an Artist Engineer??

Definition

The artist engineer is the paradigm of the artistic archetype for a new century that demands a change in methods of reflecting on ourselves, and the productive processes and meaning of the art we produce. The artist engineer reforms and re-arranges the world according to their desire, generated through the prism of all networks and energy flows. The artist engineer takes the tools of the present to make a better world for all, to reform and restructure the elements of the universe in a manner not unlike the alchemists of old.

The true artist-engineer is a free agent of creativity utilising and developing new technologies to expand the human potential for possibility and imagination, mining the corridors of the possible, intellectually, spiritually and technologically to create a world of symbiosis between pure art, design and technology.

Theory – Not Slaves to reason alone

reason arose out necessary phase in the history of intellectual inquiry into nature, and as a reaction to the repressive and controlling hand of ancient religion. Reason helped forge a new world in the wake of the renaissance that led to the scientific cultural evolution of man beyond the dark ages and into a world of light and knowledge. But reason alone breeds monsters, to twist the well known ‘the sleep of reason breeds monsters’. That is an overemphasis in logic and reason to the detriment of a creative and meaningful chaos represses and makes silent an essential element of our souls and nature, namely the creative and fiery spirit of innovation, that Promethean will to power that marks all great men and women from the herd of the moral masses. We propose that reason alone cannot breed the new art, and that indeed art requires imagination and vision to progress into new and novel fields.

The artist engineers must first delve into themselves,
before they can output their visions into the mould of the Earth

The importance of the visionary experience to digital art

An inner vision has been the driving force with all breakthrough in art , from El Greco through to Van Gogh and Bacon, all greats artist use the raw material of reality to reform and restructure the possible into the impossible and visionary, breaking through to a world previously unimagined, the metaphysics of depths and the flesh of things unsaid, and unseen. At our current juncture we have access to unprecedented tools and materials as artists, paint, metal, computer systems , technology, paper. Increasingly these mediums should intermingle into the newer conception of art – the unified art of chaotic unreason, the visionary and interconnected world of meaningful relations, a new unveiling of the word made art. The Artist engineer must plunge deep into their self in order to wrest out their nervous system, plug into their own nexus of nerves and wrest out the meaning of our confusing and constantly shifting post-modern world of wires, sex and the it’s opposite , the controlling industrial violence of the military – corporate complex and corpo-sigilism (The creation of symbols in the service of extreme forms of consumption and capitalist monopolies and their continuing influence on the biosphere).
Any artist worth his or her salt will confront these issue, any less is to be a servant of the corporate interest artists in their ideal should be seeking to dismantle and rebuild, and in my view forms the antithesis of the artist engineer – the artist producer (I.e an artist who produces purely for commercial aims)

Creating a new language of forms based in catholic symbolism. To take religious imagery in its literal form and reinvent it in human terms.In an attempt to establish the human as the centre of society rather than anything divine. A symbolism and structure that reshapes the realm of god as the new non representational art that is the new spirituality of the body via a re-imagining or reinvention of the spirit.

The Artist as Cybernetic Feedback Loop

Definition of Cybernetics:

The science of communication and control theory that is concerned especially with the comparative study of automatic control systems (as the nervous system and brain and mechanical-electrical communication systems)

The Artist in the 21st century exists in a world of information overload and the emerging information society, the question should be then; how then can artists make sure that they steer their desires and will in a direction that guides whatever will emerge from the ruins of our post economic crash / post 911 world in a positive direction?

We propose that we can start by embracing a constructive chaos, and by becoming the cybernetic feedback loop in the flows of information that now largely dictate and guide our destinies. This means a constant reinvention, a perpetual reorganising of the collective unconscious, how does this relate to art? We must seek to create an art that reflects this informational chaos and seeks to reorganise it into a form that re-crafts our current story into an order that makes sense and both reflects and directs the energetic flows of the coming information society into systematic feedback loop of imaginative energy and information.

The Artist must become the loop, so that he may reassemble
and create new loops in the system of reality

Practical Theory – The Tools of the artist engineer
What fields then should the artist engineer seek to probe in search of novelty and creative / technological symbiosis? To my mind there are many, both familiar and emerging that the artist engineer could turn their attention to, to create and form new ideas, idea and methods of visual communications, beyond that which has previously existed.
These include but are not limited to the pulse of the electronic machine that underpins our networks and communication tools which increasingly dominate and dictate our time and lives, to use these tools for purely creative means. Emerging virtual reality tools which can be used to create new landscapes and stories that inform our current narrative, and help esteem a sense of wonder at unknown territories. Computer software that is meant to educate, entertain in equal measure. We speak of a digital method that incorporates all of these technologies and more, including of course the most ancient and arguably effective of visual communication tools – painting.

I also made a PDF version of this with some variation which can be downloaded here (this is the original text which this final text is an evolution of)