DIY Utopia: Floating Cities, Crowdfunding, Disruptive Technologies

The Dark Fantastic: Literature, Philosophy, and Digital Arts


J.G. Ballard believed that our surveillance society of unfreedom would soon lead its citizens into the dangerous territory of personal and collective forms of psychopathology ‘in order to enlarge the scope of their lives and imaginations’.1

The future is no longer a fictional site for your dreams, instead in our time the future is nothing more than a DIY Toolkit for your psychopathological dreams: a crowdfunding enterprise for building experimental utopias among the ruins of global capital.

Nicole Sallak Anderson tells us that for any technologically advanced society to move forward and truly become a technically and socially sustainable, we must change the story of our lives from competition to collaboration. She also lists the aspects of such a successful transition will entail universal access to information; decentralization of food, healthcare, education, currency, and manufacturing; decoupling of work and personal definition; universal basic income; servant leadership; and a participatory and cosmopolitan democratariat.


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The Death of Art


I wrote the following as a comment to a post on Levi Bryant’s Larval Subjects <TheWalkingDead>

This is something I’ve been trying to get my head around for a long time—what it means for an artist or poet to live in a  time without ‘posterity’. Hazlitt’s essay on Fame is the clearest statement I can think of for what we have lost. For Hazlitt, ‘fame’ was nothing like what that word has come to signify in popular usage, which is nothing more than contemporary notoriety; it was rather the consolation and hope for poets and artists unrecognized in their own time, who lived in obscurity, whose only reward was their investment in a belief that future generations will surely bestow on them the recognition they deserve, a belief that found support in the company of all the great artists and poets of the past. A kind of immortality akin to that of the Greek heroes of the Iliad. Even when this wasn’t as plainly articulated as it was with Hazlitt’s romantics, it has been present in one form or another, always—for as long as there been such a thing as Art. Walk through a museum. Thumb through the pages of a book on the history of art. Read Homer, or Shakespeare, or Cervantes. There would be your confirmation.

This is an idea that has a history older than history itself—drawing, before the written word, from oral traditions, stories and legends of the ancestors. But who can believe in such a thing now? –hiding in its pockets, as it does—its untenable teleological assumptions—some dreamt up culmination of the human story… or a future that has no end.

This is what the Death of God means to art, to the making of art. I feel this as something so immense, so important—that I’m a loss for how to think about it, how to express it. I suppose, for those who count success as material reward and notoriety, the very noise generated by of their misplaced desire is enough to mask the loss—but it doesn’t erase its effects. The noise of a Contemporary without a Present, exposes the truth… or the lie, as does the frantic, almost hysterical obsession with defending (even while erasing) ‘creativity’ –by demonstrating its usefulness, showing how it’s but another part of our blind collective frenzy to own control and commodify every last living cell and atomic particle in the accessible universe… what are these, but replacements for the old, dead transcendence with which we wrapped– and called upon to justify the erotic jouissance of our childish play–all that we have left now, of what we used to call “Art”? Because Art doesn’t exist without that false transcendence, without what was purchased with that belief in posterity and all that it assumed.

Art is as Dead as God.

And after the fear, the feeling of something precious lost—comes a sense of tremendous relief… terrifying in its own way… but relief! There is no one watching from above… no unborn critics holding our future hostage, waiting in eternally suspended judgment the works of our imagination… where we once had ART… what we have now – is but play, a joyful play that preserves us—for however long or short our stay on this transient planet, in a childhood we need never grow up or out of.

The Trauma of New Materialism, Speculative Realism, and Object-Oriented Ontology

Larval Subjects .

earth_crackedI haven’t been writing much here and hope to rectify that from here on out.  I suppose that I’ve found it difficult to write in this medium for a variety of reasons in the last couple of years.  Tonight I find myself reflecting on all of the controversies that new materialism, speculative realism, and object-oriented ontology have generated in the last few years.  In recent years I’ve heard these vectors of thought criticized for supporting neoliberal capitalism to hating humans to asserting the dominance of things over humans.  I’ve always found such criticisms surprising, wondering where it is from which they might come.  What is it about these trajectories of thought that elicit so many passions.  Is there something new here?  I’m not so sure.  This evening I came across the following passage in Foucault’s Archeology of Knowledge that speaks to something similar, albeit in a different context.

The cry…

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This Book Was Goby’s… now it’s yours.


If I had kept all the books that have rested on shelves where I’ve lived— I’d likely have near 10,000. Maybe more. With each move, the first thing I would do in the new house, apartment or room, would be to find places for the bookcases, unpack the books and put them in order.

When I moved from the efficiency on Morris Street to the Ox, I had more than 40 boxes of books. Each trip up the stairs I wondered what I would have done had I not left so many behind. It had always been a great comfort to me, having my walls lined with books, but something began to change over the next two years. They came to feel like, if not a burden, an anchor holding me in place when I felt a growing need to free myself of Things. I began to weed and cull my library—and by the time I left the Ox, I had maybe 200 books, fewer than I’d had with me since I lived in the garage where I’d set up my pottery almost 40 years ago.

For the past few weeks I’ve been on an obsessive reading binge. Done little else. Reading all day and hours past midnight. I need to take a breather. I have work to do—my art, writing. I looked at the stack of recently finished books—some new, some picked up from bins in front of A-Space. My room is quite small. I don’t even have room for a bed (not that I need or want one, certainly no room for another bookcase, and I feel no desire to hold on to these books—to turn them into possessions. Why not give them away? Return them to the A-Space bins. Leave them on sidewalk for others to find and read? And while I’m at it… go through the books I have—there are some I will never give away, my poetry books, books that are that dear to me, like old friends—sort out those I could leave in the bins at A-Space, or on the sidewalk with a GIVE THEM HOMES! sign.

I picked up Lillith’s Brood, which I’d just finished: three novels in three days. Wrote inside the cover:

This was Goby’s book
… and now it’s yours.

I imagined how a personal library might be, not a permanent, expanding collection—but a place where books might stay only while they were being read, for some… longer, for a few, longer still. A waystation for most.

And that’s what I think I will do.

Maybe that’s what I should do with my art… leave it on the curb with the books.

What if we no longer have a democracy–but go on pretending we do?


The Nazis were financially underwritten by German industrialists–with American and British help… with the expectation they would be able to control them. I should say, with help from American and British citizens. We know who they were. Names like: Ford. Bush, the DuPonts. …Rockefellers… the Royal family…
Makes you wonder… if a plain out and out oligarchy wouldn’t be better… than one marginally dependent on the facade of ‘democracy?” Which means… stirring up populist support… (tea party… etc) uncorking the collective irrational unconscious. (Trump gets it… )
That’s not a djinn you want to let out its bottle. So every time you go to the polls, if all you’re doing is reinforcing the illusion that we actually HAVE a democracy, you will strengthen the oligarchs hands… and their need to dip into the dark well of the unconscious… stirring up latent resentiment to come to their aid… but sooner or later, the djinn will prove more powerful than its Aladdin.

A Prison Nurse’s Look at Sandra Bland’s Death

No Sellout


By Paul Spector RN, EMT-P, CPT. U.S. ARMY Ret.

I worked as an RN in a California State Prison where staged “suicides” occurred regularly. I fought for my patients, know how the cover-up works and have some insights. In 2012, I was hit by a truck, so this paper is done with a lot of help, individuals risking jobs and lives.

Behind badges and Rank, Sociopaths lurk in American prisons. Cameras are their enemy.
With scant information, some of our conclusions will be proven wrong. As more is known, we feel there will be more lies, inconsistencies and abuse uncovered. With more data will come more clarity, but the Code of Silence must be penetrated.

Prison deaths from mistreatment are mislabeled “suicide”, allowing continued abuse and avoiding lawsuits. I’ve spent 8 years trying to stop the practice…

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Predator Nation: American Exceptionalism and the Global Imperium

The Dark Fantastic: Literature, Philosophy, and Digital Arts


In recent years, the United States has pioneered the development of the most advanced killing machines on the planet. In the process, we have turned much of the rest of the planet into what can only be considered an American free-fire zone. We have, in short, established a remarkably expansive set of drone-war rules for the global future.

Naturally, we trust ourselves with such rules, but there is a fly in the ointment, even as the droniacs see it. Others far less sagacious, kindly, lawful, and good than we are do exist on this planet and they may soon have their own fleets of drones. At the time of Brennan’s speech, about fifty countries were already buying or developing such robotic aircraft, including Russia, China, and Iran. And who knows what terror groups are looking into suicide drones?

As the Washington Post’s David Ignatius put it in a column about…

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