Reading the Wind

Reading the Wind

2014-03-01

In his video-poem “Reading the Wind,” Dave (Jhave) Johnston identifies the current environment for electronic literature, and in doing so, claims the impossibility of knowing its future.

This series of short interventions were made at the “Futures of Electronic Literature” discussion at the bi-annual Electronic Literature Organization conference in 2012. Titled “Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints,” the conference took place at West Virginia University in Morgantown on June 20th to June 23rd. The contributors were organized by Stephanie Strickland to offer suggestions on how to improve the organization as it attempts to re-define its mission in a shifting cultural, economic, and technological landscape. Ranging from the concrete to the poetic to the theoretical, the following nine short statements were made by a group of emerging artists, scholars, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

This video documents a presentation 
developed for the ‘Future of Electronic Literature’ panel 
at ELO 2012: Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints
June 20-23, 2012
Morgantown, WV

The video was made in 2 weeks prior to conference using 123D. 
Voiceover was partially improvised at conference, then re-recorded afterwards.

 

[Text voiceover from video]

 

I have no idea 

What the future

Will really bring

 

I have no idea 

What time sings

 

People and cats

Laptops and tools

Writhe as they evolve

 

But temporarily 

I know how I am

Saying my non-saying

 

The future is not,

Cannot, and will not 

ever be

 

Known 

Remembered

Or forgotten

 

Knobs 

murmuring 

To themselves

Make more sense

 

Telling the future 

is like

Reading wind 

 

Plush rushed delirious

Overwhelmed

Matter muttering to itself 

 

Obsolete before it 

Even begins

Wrinkled at birth

 

Intuition turbulence

temporary trajectories

perpetual calculus culture

 

All results

Are input

Again

 

Climate change is accompanied by …

Device change

Infrastructure instability

Paradigm extinction

 

gliding down into the silence

of absolute information

 

Historians walk upwind

against time

Seeking patterns

 

In the smog of gestures

The tailing ponds of words

 

(gleaning from the air 

scents of resonance

organism motion)

 

(is the machine an animal yet?

Is the animal, a machine?)

 

Float with the wind:

lighter than air 

cling to nothing

 

No more mastery

No more apprentices

A universe of babies

 

As Hayles of cyborgs

Form committees

To discuss literature

 

In feathered networks

Of fragile labyrinths

Agile labile rage fragrant rags of flesh

 

Fading specks

Packet signs

Sporadic horizons

 

Crucial tangents sprout

Deft hydroponic

Drone ready 

Augment implacable

Drifts

 

A white beach ball

Crushed under technology’s truck

 

Bodies forming wet works

Porous spaces sharing

Perception

 

Tilting moist 

warped words

Enter taste

 

Crones bend time 

Praise density

 

And it is enough

To be moles

Roiling thru the wet 

 

While at the limits

Of legibility

Something that is almost us

Is beckoning

 

The world is not flat

It is folded

Undulant reckonings

 

And as the shroud of nano-lit

Falls off the coffin of authorial intent

We recognize it never existed anyway

 

Autonomous cells

Inside

The infinitely small muses

 

Collapse all certainty 

About origins

Collapse into

 

meta-stable instability

Cruising raw devotion 

Toward the utter annihilation 

Of doubt

 

Shy slugs

Caressing their

Dreams as

 

Entropy entails

A taxonomy of (ir)reverent

obsolescence

 

The goal being

To give up wht is

Already for given

 

The sea changes

The light changes

Love changes

Life changes

 

Me changes

Sight changes

Cove changes

Ripe changes

 

Themes do not change

Death does not change

Embrace

Techno ephemera

 

The book was 

Lazarus, computers

Are quarks

 

& I am always signing in or out

Down or up loading

Waiting or sitting

 

While

progress bars

Process products

 

Conflated speech

reaches inside

Itself

 

The only organization

Worth living for is love

 

The curved feature detecting

Rupture of ratpture

 

Folding Vulvic & lucid

Slowly around 

Time

 

Compused?

Opal foog confuters 

Proliferature

 

Syllables crumple under

Leashed loax lozenge rack

Flax server dos assacks

 

Questions

A bound

Breeding round

 

Stephanie Strickland and Marjorie Luesebrink:

Luesebrink & Strickland: Jhave Johnston’s lyric approach to temporary trajectories, perpetual calculus, and paradigm extinctions puts us on notice that we face headwinds of every kind drawn forward, as we are, by something beckoning at the limits of legibility.

See the full commentary

2014-12-09
Dibs:

E-Lit Futures 2012 Forum: Next in Line LeMieux 

2014-02-28