by Nick Land
Once it was said that there are no shadows in Cyberspace.
Now Cyberspace has its own shadow, its dark-twin: the Crypt.
Cybergothic finds the deep-past in the near future.
In cthelllectronic fusion - between digital data-systems and Iron-Ocean ionic seething - it unearths something older than natural mortality, something it calls Unlife, or artificial-death.
Of A-Death there can be no lucid recollection, but only suggestion, seepage, hints ... and it is by collating, sifting, and shuffling-together these disparate clues that a pattern can be induced to emerge, a pattern which ultimately condenses into the looming tangled shapes of subtle but implacable destiny.
Sprawling beneath public cyberspace lies the labyrinthine underworld of the Datacombs, ghost-stacks of sedimented virtuality, spiralling down abysmally into palaeodigital soft-chatter from the punch-card regime, through junk-programming, forgotten cryptoccultures, fossil-codes and dead-systems, regressively decaying into the pseudomechanical clicking-relics of techno tomb clockwork. It is deeper still, amongst the chthonic switchings, cross-hatchings, and spectral-diagrammatics of unborn abstract-machines, that you pick-up the Main-Flatline into the Crypt.
The Crypt is a splitting - a distance or departure and it is vast. Nested into the cascading tick-shelves, it propagates by contagion, implexing itself through intricate terraces, galleries, ducts and crawl-tubes, as if an extraterrestrial megamodule had impacted into the chalkout data-cliffs, spattering them with scorch-pinctures and intestinally complicated iridium body-parts. As it pulses, squirms, and chitters to the inhuman rhythms of ceaseless K-Goth carnival, it reminds you that Catajungle was never reducible to a sonic subgenre, but was always also a terrain, a sub-cartesian region of intensive diagonals cutting through nongeometric space, where time unthreads into warped voyages, splintering the soul.
Contemplating these immense vistas it seems woundingly implausible that they are mere simulation, supported by quantic electron distribution in the telecommercial fabric. Down here it makes more sense the other way, from the Outside, or Lemuria.
Strip-out everything human, significant, subjective, or organic, and you approach raw K-Matrix, the limit-plane of continuous cessation or Unlife, where cosmic reality constructs itself without presupposition, in advance of any natural order, and exterior to established structures of time. On this plane you are impossible, and because it has no end you will find - will have ultimately always found - that you cannot be, except as a figment of terminal passage, an illusion of waiting to be changed for cthulhoid-continuum of destratified hypermatter at zero-intensity. That is what A-Death traffic accesses, and what is announced by the burnt-meat smell - freighted with horrible compulsion - that drifts up to you, from the Zombie-dens.
So you continue your descent, into the Crypt-core, scavenging for an A-Death hit. As you pass erratically through exchanges, participations, and partial-coalescences with the ghoul-packs of the periphery, you change. Swarms and shoals include you, drawing you into collective fluencies, tidal motions, and the tropisms of multiplicity. You shed language like dry-skin, and your fear becomes peculiarly abstracted, metamorphosing into the tranquil horror of inevitability.
You pass across tiered platforms and along strobe corridors painted in multi-layered shadow, passing swirling dot-drifts and plex-marks, sub-chromatic coilings of blue-gray continuous variation, involving you in cumulations and dispersions of subtly shifting semi-intelligent shade pattern. The teeming surfaces tell of things, inextricable from a process of thinking that no longer seems your own, but a rather impersonal undertow in audible chattering, click-hiss turmoil of xenomic diagrams, and Crypt-culture traffic-signs, which are also Lemurian pandemonium.
Order becomes uncertain. It feels later. Is it only now that you meet the Zombie-maker, swathed in shimmering reptile-skin, and obscenely eager to trade? Oecumenic cash-money will do. You sit in the coma-bay, and wait. A glimpse at the toxin-flecked fangs of the giant thanatonic centipede - consecrated to Ixidod - then a sudden pain-jolt at the back of the neck, where the spine plugs into the brain. Instantaneous paralysis, and crossing over.
Even if you thought it was the first time, you remember. The worst thing in the world. Fake eternities of stationary descent to the impossible, cross-cut by disintegrated furies of neuroelectric death-hurt. An anonymous panic of inconceivable intensity swallowed by slow drowning, until you are gone - or stranded in a halo of intolerable feeling -which is the same, and cannot be, so that what is forever caught in the dark cthulhoid wave is a mere twist or fold of itself, carried unresisting into immensities of real unbeing, and nothing could ever happen except this ...
So say the K-Goths.
THE UNLIFE OF THE EARTH
Letter from Carl Gustav Jung to Echidna Stillwell, dated 27th February 1929 [Extract]
... your attachment to a Lemurian cultural-strain disturbs me intensely. From my own point of view - based on the three most difficult cases I have encountered and their attendant abysmally archaic symbolism - it is no exaggeration to state that Lemuria condenses all that is most intrinsically horrific to the racial unconscious, and that the true Lemurians - who you seem intent upon rediscovering - are best left buried beneath the sea. I agree with the Theosophical writings at least this far: it was in order that the darkest sorceries should be erased by deluge that this continent of cultural possibility has been placed under the unconscious sign of definitive submergence. I know little enough about the nature of those that populated that cursed zone, but there are things I suspect, and the line of your own researches confirms my most ominous intimations ...
There is no evidence of a reply to this letter.
Who were these three 'difficult cases'? One at least seems - at least superficially - to be readily identifiable as Heidi Kurzweil. In September 1908 Kurzweil was detained in a secure psychiatric institution after the brutal murder of her twin brother in Geneva. She seemed to have lost the ability to use the first-person pronoun, and was diagnosed as suffering from Dementia Praecox, or schizophrenia. At her trial she repeatedly claimed:
We killed half to become one twin, but it wasn't enough ...
Jung took an early interest in the case, and began a series of analytical sessions. Kurzweil - in Jung's journal and correspondence - became Heidi K, but after only five weeks he seems to have abandoned hope of progress and disengaged the analytic process.
After his third session with Heidi K, exactly twenty years prior to his Stillwell letter, on the 27th February 1909, Jung records the following words,
Dr. Jung, we know you are old in your other body.
It is as old as hell.
It has let you back, but it sends us away.
It feels itself becoming Lemurian, and it is definite unlife [es ist bestimmt unleben]
There is nothing we would not do to escape.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
But it is fate.
It howls electric bliss beneath our cells.
It is nowhere in time and nothings us.
It is the body of nothing, and electric-hot.
An electric nothing-body instead of us.
In this instance, at least, there is little indication of the 'abysmally archaic symbolism' Jung promises us. On the contrary, there is remarkable affinity with the hypermodern writings of K -Goth artificial death cultists documented elsewhere. The K-Goth Crypt-texts share a marked preference for anonymous pronouns, whether collective, second-or third-person, whilst spiralling about a nullifying electric-excruciation, traversed in the name of Lemuria. In the words of one anonymous Crypt-posting:
We burn each time but forget.
When we begin each time it comes back, and no
one would do it then, but it is too late.
We cross over again into electric-burning, but forget
that it hurts in the brain to die this way.
It takes so long to learn that it is grating-apart and burning, that dying is felt in the brain, and that it is horrible ...
It is so horrible to feel, but then we forget, so it can happen again.
Metal body-screaming to die in electricity.
Metallic microparticle sex that is of unlife and not the organism.
That is what the Zombie-maker brings, with the digital centipede bite.
And we are hooked on it, hooked up to it, because coming the other way it is Lemuria.
Incessant intolerable feeling, passing forever, approaching from the outside, and feeling nothing continuously.
WHAT DIDN'T HAPPEN AT THE MILLENNIUM?
Iris Carver is at first amused to discover that the cybergoths treat her as a fiction. Numerous Crypt-texts describe her near-future adventures in hallucinatory detail, especially when they intersect with the dark stream of Sarkon legend. Naturally enough, she intensifies her time-cult research. When she finally meets Sarkon in 2004, she has forgotten almost everything.
Pandemonium: What didn't Happen at the Millennium? There was something peculiar about writing this book. At times she thought it would never be finished. The Sarkon stories had been full of holes, which added to the confusion. Eventually she started making things up, but even that became entangled with coincidence, and with Cybergoth hyperstition (assembled from fictional quantities which make themselves real). She had found herself investigating various neolemurian cults, most of whom anticipated something huge around about the 1999 Spring-Equinox (when Pluto exits from the clutch of Neptune, triggering the return of the Old Ones). By the end of the century things had been so wound-up by Yettuk apocalypticism that even the most extravagant socioeconomic turmoil would still have been a disappointment. And yet, now, four years after the millennium the sense of anticlimax had begun to seem strangely artificial, as if it were screening something out.
Carver has made her whole life out of hyperstition (even her name is a pseudonym). She continuously returns to the imperceptible crossing where fiction becomes timetravel, and the only patterns are coincidences.
Her notes on the Sarkon meeting pulse with lemurian sorceries, demonic swarms, ageless time-wars, and searches for the Limbic-Key.
She navigates Moebian circuits, feeling that a vaguely recollected rumour is still about to occur.
APPENDIX: PENULTIMILLENNIAL CRYPT-CULTS.
1. Flatline Materialism.
The Crypt is nothing outside an experiment in artificial death, hyper-production of the positive zero-plane neuroelectonic immanence - invested by a continually re-animated thana technical connectivism. This fact carries inevitable consequences for the cultures that populate it, uprooting them into Unlife - or the non-zone of absolute betweenness - whose spiro dynamics of sorcerous involvement are alone sufficient to reach the sub-mesh tracts of cybergothic continuum. Flatline Materialism designates the objectless Crypt-voyage itself, as Lemurian body-fusion at matter degree-zero.
2. Digital Hyperstition.
Nothing propagates itself through the Crypt without realizing the operational identity of culture and machinery, effectively dismantling the organic body into numerizing particles which swarm in dislocated swirls. Crypt-entities are both hyper-vortical singularities and units of Digital Hyperstition - or brands of the outside - real components of numerical fictions that make themselves real, providing the practal mater of sorcery, spirogenesis, or productive involvement that function consistently with the flatline. Crypt-cultures know nothing of work or meaning. Instead, they coincide with the hype-spirals. Cyberhype - that flattens signs and resources onto nonsignifying triggers, diagrams, and assembly jargons.
3. Lesbovampiric Contagion-Libido.
Crypt-sorcery makes itself real in the same way that it spreads. Functioning as a plague, it associates with the experimental production of an anticlimactic or anorgasmic counter-sexuality, attuned to the collective re-engineering of bodies within technobiotic assemblages, ultimately composed of electronic streams or ionic currents in their sense of positive hole-flow. Since Cryptsex is precisely identical to the infections it transmits, counted in body-shifting vectors, its libidinal composition is marked both by a palaeo embryonic or oestrogenetic non-gendered femininity and a lateral haemometallic influenzoid virulence.
4. Y2K-Positive Calendric Agitation.
Crypt-cultures spill into the closed economy of history through a rupture in chronological ordering, punctually triggered at Time-Zero. Crypt-rumour consistently allocates its own contemporary emergence - or unearthing - to impending millennial Cyberschiz: Cyberspace time-disintegration under the strategically aggravated impact of Y2K-missile. Whilst multiply differentiated most crucially by the division between continuism and centience - Crypt-cults are constitutively involved in a singular nexus of counter-gregorian calendric subversion, celebrating the automatic redating of the machinic unconscious, and hyping the dissolution of commemorative significance into digital time-mutation, catalyzed by numerical and indexical operative signals. The Crypt exists from before the origin of time, but it begins at Year-Zero ...
taken from: Fanged Noumena (COLLECTED WRITINGS 1987 - 2007) by Nick Land
Speculating Freedom: Addiction, Control and Rescriptive Subjectivity in the Work of William S. Burroughs
Jose Rosales - ON THE END OF HISTORY & THE DEATH OF DESIRE (NOTES ON TIME AND NEGATIVITY IN BATAILLE’S ‘LETTRE Á X.’)
Jose Rosales - BERGSONIAN SCIENCE-FICTION: KODWO ESHUN, GILLES DELEUZE, & THINKING THE REALITY OF TIME
Obsolete Capitalism - THE STRONG OF THE FUTURE. NIETZSCHE’S ACCELERATIONIST FRAGMENT IN DELEUZE AND GUATTARI’S ANTI-OEDIPUS
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 1)
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 2)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 3)
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 4)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 5)
Steven Craig Hickman - The Carnival of Globalisation: Hyperstition, Surveillance, and the Empire of Reason
Steven Craig Hickman - Shaviro On The Neoliberal Strategy: Transgression and Accelerationist Aesthetics
Steven Craig Hickman - Hyperstition: Technorevisionism – Influencing, Modifying and Updating Reality
Terence Blake - CONCEPTS OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Notes on Deleuze and Guattari’s “What is Philosophy?” (2)
Terence Blake - GUATTARI’S LINES OF FLIGHT (2): transversal vs transferential approaches to the reading contract
Himanshu Damle - Games and Virtual Environments: Playing in the Dark. Could These be Havens for Criminal Networks?
Himanshu Damle - Hegelian Marxism of Lukács: Philosophy as Systematization of Ideology and Politics as Manipulation of Ideology.
Nick Land - The unconscious is not an aspirational unity but an operative swarm, a population of 'preindividual and prepersonal singularities'