“Open the so-called body and spread out all its surfaces: not only the skin with each of its folds, wrinkles, scars, with its great velvety planes, and contiguous to that, the scalp and its mane of hair, the tender pubic fur, nipples, nails, hard transparent skin under the heel, the light frills of the eyelids, set with lashes–but open and spread, expose the labia majora, so also the labia minora with their blue network bathed in mucus, dialte the diaphragm of the anal sphincter, longitudinally cut and flatten out the black conduit of the rectum, then the colon, then the caecum, now a ribbon with its surface all striated and polluted with shit; as though your dress-maker’s scissors were opening the leg fo an old pair of trousers, go on, expose the small intestines’ alleged interior, the jejunum, the ileum, the duodenum, or else, at the other end, undo the mouth at its corners, pull out the tongue at its most distant roots and split it, spread out the bats’ wings of the palate and its damp basements, open the trachea and make it the skeleton of a boat under construction; armed with scalpels and tweezers, dismantle and lay out the bundles and bodies of the encephalon; and then the whole network of veins and arteries, intact, on an immense mattress, and then the lymphatic network, and the fine bony pieces of the wrist, the ankle, take them apart and put them end to end with all the layers of nerve tissue which surround the aqueous humours and the cavernous body of the penis, and extract the great muscles, the great dorsal nets, spread them out like smooth sleeping dolphins.

It is made from the most heterogenous textures, bone, epithelium, sheets to write on, charged atmospheres, swords, glass cases, peoples, grasses, canvases to paint.  All these zones are joined end to end in a band which has no back to it, a Möbius band which interests us not because it is closed, but because it is one-sided, a Möbius skin which, rather than being smooth, is on the contrary (is this topologically possible?) covered with roughness, corners, creases, cavities which when it passes on the ‘first’ turn will be cavities, but perhaps on the ‘second’, lumps.

The interminable band…has not got two sides, but only one, and therefore neither exterior nor interior.”

Jean-Francois Lyotard, ‘Libidinal Economy‘ (translated by my old tutor, Iain Hamilton Grant)

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“In insomnia one can and one cannot say that there is an “I” which cannot manage to fall asleep.  The impossibility of escaping wakefulness is something ‘objective’, independent of my initiative.  This impersonality absorbs my consciousness; consciousness is depersonalised.  I do not stay awake: ‘it’ stays awake.”

From ‘Ethics & Infinity’

Patricia 1#

Patty Hearst yelling commands at bank customers

“I’m not gagged or anything, I’m comfortable.”

“I’m starting and stopping this tape myself so that I can collect my thoughts…I’m not being forced to say anything”

“…I am a prisoner of war…”

These are the words of Patty Hearst, grandaughter of William Randolph Hearst, the progenitor for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.  Another name within a name. On the 4th February 1974 Patty, Patricia, Patty was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a small radical Left-wing group whose members totalled 7 at it’s peak.

In a manifesto of 1973 the SLA state: “The name Symbionese is taken from the word symbiosis and we define its meaning as a body of dissimilar bodies and organisms living in deep and loving harmony and partnership in the best interest of all within the body.” 

Throughout her period of supposed captivity Patrica, Pat, Patty, through the SLA, the SLA through Patty, Patricia released a series of recordings directly addressing her parents, distributed through the throats of all major media portals, in turn through which the SLA’s demands were voiced.  In a calm and collective voice, collecting voices, she tells of her well-being, safety and health and implores them to follow the SLA’s instructions to ensure her release.  Her sovereignty depends on the servility of others.

Their first set of demands for the release of Patty, Patricia, Pat not being met, they settled on a $2 million food stamp program from the Hearst family to be apportioned out across the country, which the Hearst family instigated within a matter of days, in turn causing riots at a number of the distribution stations.  Recipients of the Food Stamp Program in 1974 were estimated at numbering nearly 14 million, demand far outweighing provision.

Soon after the programs implementation, in one of the most famous cases of Stockholm Syndrome, Patty, Patricia, Pat was seen wielding a gun, voicing commands and barked warnings to hostages of her own as she participated in a bank robbery alongside the SLA, resulting in the ‘expropriation’ of $10,000.  Voices joyfully muffled with crumpled notes and wads of cash in a hotel room to celebrate.

Members of the SLA rejected their given names, instead choosing to embody monikers from the pantheon of past revolutionaries, reasserting a kind of sovereignty into the passive trackways of nominative determinism.  Pat, Patty, Patricia Hearst, ‘reclaimed’ herself as Tania, a noted Cuban guerrilla fighter, and lover to Che Guevara.  Her voice, they said, was washed clean, absolved of responsibility.  Patty was dispersed, doctored, carved out, possessed.

This throat is a cavern, a clandestine network of tunnels for concealing it’s occupants cover.

The SLA survived off the back of a network of safe houses, though whilst staying in Los Angeles their plight became increasingly desperate and they began commandeering houses and supplies from this previously pliant support structure, symbiosis straining.

Patricia #2

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Over-heard talking in a camera store, Pat Welsh was employed to provide the voice-over for Spielberg’s E.T., Spielberg’s E.T., her voice in a camera store, within her 67 year-old voice, two packs of cigarettes a day honed her gravel tone, honed to host Spielberg’s.  Host and hosted.  En-do-sco-pic.  Caressing it’s curved carapace with consonants.  In fact Pat’s voice, Patty, Patricia, Pat’s voice was but one within a whole collection of others, a hoarse baritone within an orchestral assortment of bodies.  The snore of an assistants husband, a cat purring, a burp, a belch, a murmur, a gurgle, E.T. had it’s audibility in a host of origins, a composite community-voice gives body to E.T’s throat, to Spielberg’s, to E.T’s.

“I’ll be right here.”

I’m everywhere.  My voice is in your throat.

As Jean-Pierre Brisset, the Pataphysical saint, knew very well, humans are derived from frogs, our language, thus, and so our language thus, thus, has it’s origins in the guttural burps, grumblings —— and croaks of the frog.

“Ouch”

“I’ll be right here.”

E.T and Eliot calmly voice this automatic voicing of pain.

“Ouch”

“I wanted 2 swallow myself by opening my mouth very wide & turning it over my head so it would take in my whole body, & then the Universe until all that would remain of me would be a ball of eaten thing which little by little would be annihilated.” # ‘Our Lady of The Flowers’

“In jade aquariums human rectums and genitals grafted onto other flesh… a prostate gland quivers rainbow colours through a pink mollusc, two translucent white salamanders squirm in slow sodomy, lesbian electric eels squirm in a mud flat erect nipples sprout from a bulbous plant.” 

“The green things ate light” on photosynthesis in her

“Disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other… even dying is an act of eroticism.”

Extract from my performance at Enclave last year as part of this:

To give you a little background, The Cavendish Group were originally formed online, a couple of years before we were inducted.  A disparate collection of banana-enthusiasts, from countries all over the world, living in wildly different situations and contexts, with similarly contrasting world-views and motives, the group were nonetheless born of a singular shared interest: the banana plant.  Discussions were held on the group’s VPN bulletin, with factions emerging arguing for the central importance of a particular aspect of the banana plant’s life-cycle, or the primacy of the yellow of the banana fruit’s skin, or the banana’s own particular cultural proliferation.  But despite our differences the group developed it’s own reference points, it’s own private jokes and short-hand, the momentum of a conversation.

When we joined, a lot of this momentum had already crystallised, phrases had been formed, and we had to play catch-up, to attune our heart-rate to the group’s speed, though, like all language, it was not closed to modifications, and we watched and listened with pleasure as, what we considered at that point, our ideas were taken up, proliferated amongst the members of the group, like an echo that gathers in volume over time, a feedback loop that gains an unwieldy weight on each consecutive moment of feeding back on itself.  But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  Suffice to say, we joined the group and became a part of it’s growing body, a joint within a limb, and teething problems resulted from this, like an organ transplant, both the organ and the host have to learn to meet somewhere in the middle, but, in time, we were party to both the group’s organisation and it’s output.

We found it difficult at first, as suggestions we put forward were taken up by another member of the group and adapted, we watched this morsel of an idea get digested and regurgitated into something very far from our original conception, even if it was a smoother running, more workable version.  We wanted acknowledgement, we wanted acceptance, we wanted to know we mattered.  But we came to understand, these are alien concepts within the Cavendish Group.  This is not to say there is no place for the individual within it, but rather that as an individual, your ideas are only as good as what the group can make of them.  We were all neurons firing off inside the skull of the group, forming the group in each act of collaboration, moving it forward with every proposed counter-argument.  We were a cyclically Hegelian formation, incessantly revolving from Thesis, to Antithesis, to Synthesis and back again.

As our time with the group progressed, so did in turn the depth of this self-sacrifice to the life of the group.  Four times a year, the group would synchronise it’s activity, organising local gatherings of collective’s in close-proximity, in turn connected to other Cavendish Group gatherings around the world via Skype conference calls, or Instant Messaging.  On each of these occasions, 3 volunteers from each region’s enclave would put themselves forward for a form of banana plant possession.  During a ritualised moment, synchronised with all Cavendish group’s across the globe, these three would adorn the colours of green, yellow and brown, respectively, and join hands to form a triangle.  A unified consciousness would emerge, with all individual thoughts falling away, as the three would speak and move in unison, one single nervous system charged across the soft machine’s of these three bodies.  We say ’they spoke’, but what the three emitted from their throats was more akin to a gargled drone, spat forth in irregular bursts, all the more uncanny for it’s harmonious synchronicity between the three moving lips.  We performed this ritual only once during our membership, and so speak first hand of this garbled unity, though any such notion of ‘our experience’ of this moment is utterly alien to the phenomenon as it was lived, just as an ant has a unimaginably different conception of either individuality, or community, to us.  We felt in these moments, looking back, the banana plant to be speaking through us, and, after the rite, strange visions were universally experienced by all such initiates.  Although it was by no means the only reason, it was these visions which lead us to sign off, to erase our identity within the Cavendish Group.

Cavendish Grand Pentacle and Leaves

The Sigil

This choreographed pattern leaves a trace in the air, the bodies’ remainder, a picture formed of subtle dust channels and the tide-like movements of heat, the room’s XY axis striated with the ghost-glyph of composed intent.

There is an irony in speaking of this sigil.  By speaking it’s name, a risk is run.  The edifice of the sigil’s accumulated intentionality partly rests precisely on letting it go, on it’s own path of letting go.  For the sigil must travel, and must erase it’s own path as it goes, so that the sigil itself is ignorant of its route, even if implicitly understanding it’s direction on the level of the ether.  The sigil must trust in the ether’s own proficiency, without fully understanding it’s means.  In a similar manner, stating our intent must be avoided at all costs for the outcome to have any hope of fruition.