Articles

Frankenstein, or the 8-Bit Prometheus – Micro-literature, hyper-mashup, Sonic Belligeranza records 17th anniversary by Riccardo Balli

The Reddit Controversy

Riccardo Balli, however obscure and enigmatic he might appear in his writing and featured on his picture discs, has shown that he can be highly lucid and brilliantly persuasive in expounding his ideas when he is provoked to defend himself by attacks, such as the one Toby Reynolds, the literary critic of Datacide, launched against him on Reddit in the summer of 2018.

In reviewing ‘Frankenstein, Or The 8-Bit Prometheus’, Reynolds warned his readers of the danger that Balli might become the messiah of the enemies of realism. “Here at last was a self-proclaimed advocate of anti-writing: explicitly anti-realist and by implication anti-reality as well. Here was a writer ready to declare that words were meaningless and that all communication between human beings was impossible. Reynolds conceded that Balli presented a valid personal vision, but “the peril arises when it is held up for general emulation as the gateway to writing or music of the future, that bleak new world from which the humanist heresies of faith in logic and belief in man will forever be banished.’ Balli was moving away from realism, with “characters and events [that] have traceable roots in life” – from the writing of Paul Virilio, Stewart Home, Bill Drummond, Mark Manning, Lester Bangs, Brecht and Sartre.1
Reynolds’ attack opened one of the most interesting discussions on this subject ever conducted in public. Balli replied that he certainly did not see himself as a messiah,

[Read more →]

A Fascist Tulpa in the White House? Right-wing ‘Meme Magic’ and the Rise of Trump

A review article of ‘Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump’ by Gary Lachman, 2018

Friday 13th July 2018 – The US President is on a visit to Britain and on the streets of London one of the biggest week day demonstrations in living memory is taking place, with as many as 250,000 people marching to Trafalgar Square to oppose Donald Trump. There is a wide range of banners, portable sound systems, marching bands (including ‘Trumpets Against Trump’) and home made placards weird and wonderful. It seems that every contemporary cultural reference point is being mobilised. A group of women in red are dressed as characters from the Handmaid’s Tale with a sign declaring ‘Gilead steals our babies too’ alluding to the caging of children of migrants caught crossing the Mexican border. Trump is satirised as a baby, as the devil (a placard pictures him with the caption ‘Not today Satan’) and as an evil dementor from the Harry Potter tales with the words ‘Expecto Patronum’ – the magic charm used by Potter to raise a spirit guardian to defend against the dark forces of Voldemort. )

But supposing occult forces really are at work in the Trump aeon? That is the thesis of Gary Lachman’s ‘Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump’ (2018), which sets out to explore the ‘new incursion of far-right occultism into the contemporary political landscape’ both in the USA and in Putin’s Russia.

[Read more →]

Talk: Revolution & Counterrevolution in Germany 1919 @ Vétomat Berlin 14-01-2019

Our new series of talks, discussions and presentations brought to you by Datacide and next:now is going into its fourth round on January 14th, 2019 with a talk about Revolution and Counterrevolution in Germany 1919 and beyond, by Christoph Fringeli.

As always at Vétomat, Wühlischstr. 42, 10245 Berlin

Doors open 7pm, talk will start 8.30

On January 15th, 1919, communist revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were murdered in Berlin. They were only the two most prominent victims of the counter-revolutionary white terror that followed the attempts at a socialist revolution in Germany after World War I.
Only two weeks earlier they had been involved in the foundation of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). It was at a crucial moment of the revolutionary development that had forced the Kaiser to abdicate and saw workers and soldiers returning from the battlefield to set up workers’ councils.

The biggest of the workers parties, the Social Democrats (SPD), created a coalition with centrist bourgeois parties as well as with the military and the proto-fascist Freikorps fighters, who they used to squash the uprising rather than supporting the radical changes demanded by their base.

CF will look at the historic dynamic unfolding from the failed revolution, the developments of the communist movement in Germany and the contradictory ways these events are remembered and commemorated.

Datacide Talk/Performance/Discussion with Joke Lanz & Christoph Fringeli at Vétomat Berlin 17.12.2018

Illustration by Joke Lanz for Datacide 18 (coming soon)

The second in a new series of talk and discussion events hosted by Datacide and next:now at Vétomat Berlin.

Datacide presents
Talk, performance, discussion
With Joke Lanz and Christoph Fringeli

17-12-2018

At Vétomat, Wühlischstr. 42, 10245 Berlin

Doors open 7pm

8pm
Christoph Fringeli: The Situationist International as World Cultural Heritage? A critique of the historicisation of a revolutionary group.

9pm
Joke Lanz: Spoken Word Performance

+ public discussion.

 

JOKE LANZ (*1965 Basel)

Joke Lanz has worked as a garbageman, factory worker, sales assistant, caretaker, housekeeper, carpet dealer, chicken farmer, record shop owner, night watch, sauna assistant, roadie, secretary, cleaner, nude model, part-time single father, chocolate producer, bike messenger…
Just to name a few! [Read more →]

next:now – Strategies to Resample the Future

„Once upon a time, pop‘s metabolism buzzed with dynamic energy, creating the surging-in-to-the-future feel of periods like the psychedelic sixties, the post-punk seventies, the hip-hop eighties and the rave nineties. The 2000s felt different. (…) Instead of being the threshold to the future, the first ten years of the twenty-first century turned out to be the ‚Re‘ Decade (…): revivals, reissues, remakes, re-enactments. Endless retrospection. (…)“

– Simon Reynolds – Retromania (2011)i

Atari emulators, electro-swing, Polaroid replicas, or Hieronimus Bosch’s triptychs in Virtual Reality: everything nostalgia related sells better than ever, and we’re not just talking about pop and mainstream. Every obscure fraction of a subculture had also its 15 minutes of …revival in the past 18 years.

An obsessive (therefore unhealthy) attention to the past is influencing all aspects of cultural production in these days. This is certainly a “Sign o’ the timesii.

Times of “Liquid fear””iii, that tangible feeling of anxiety that has only vague contours but is present everywhere. Dangers can strike anytime, everywhere: no matter what’s your job, tomorrow you can be fired, like those guys at Leeman Bros carrying their stuff out in cardboard boxes; you can be shot while you sip your cappuccino, in the name of god or the N.R.A.: or you can be killed by some multi resistant bacteria, and you have the same chance to get infected on a safari looking for the big 5 or in your local hospital having a proctology check up. To quote Bauman’s favorite metaphor:

We’re walking on a mine field, we are aware that all is full of explosives, but we don’t know where there will be an explosion and when. There are no solid structures to rely on, nothing in which we can invest our hope and expectations.iv

Or, using the words of Comité Invisible:

“From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. From those who seek hope above all, it tears away every firm ground. Those who claim to have solutions are contradicted almost immediately. Everyone agrees that things can only get worse. “The future has no future” is the wisdom of an age that, for all its appearance of perfect normalcy, has reached the level of consciousness of the first punks.”v

In this context the past can be seen as a cozy and warm nest, a perfect world that we can control as it is shaped by our selective memory, a safe place. And so, as thinks are like that, instead of struggling to build up an uncertain future (to go for an Utopia), a very common choice is to aspire to return to a golden past, to go for a “Retrotopiavi. The spreading of this approach is another “Sign o’ the times”, but one with very scary implications. [Read more →]

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