Weekend Reading


The press release for xxxxx, a new book jointly published by the collective of that name and Mute, slyly drops just about every academic catch-phrase and flotsam of jargon tossed about in the last thirty years. What else would one expect from a new media reader inspired, at least in part, by the postmodern writings of Thomas Pynchon? The book draws on literature, psychogeography, and numerous strains of philiosophy, science, and mathematics to pose as a guide for a 'thought movement which is radically opposed to the contemporary entropic system,' complete with code reprints and screen shots. It features contributions by Shu Lea Chang, Florian Cramer, Simon Ford, Graham Harwood, Stewart Home, Friedrich Kittler, Armin Medosch, socialfiction.org, and many others, whose pieces focus on everything physical computing to porn, endophysics, and monadology. Chapter titles like 'final revelations for a holographic binding OS [VALIS],' 'melancholia [auto] destruction and fascism,' 'the computational revolution in art,' and 'the executable's song' hint at the authors' parodies and contributions to the genre of media manifesto. The aforementioned press release makes many promises. Above all, it is argued that xxxxx 'liberates software from the machinic, and questions the transparency of language, proposing a new world view, a sheer electromysticism....' If you'd like to ease into things, you can download a transcript of Otto Rossler's recent talk on 'Endonomadology,' in which he professes, 'we are living in the interface of consciousness.' That ought to be a bit more stimulating that the Sunday paper! - Irene Wu