From the pinnacles, a generic upward that overstands life, a voice appears and in an utter silence summons the living to project life itself into a xenodimension. Forbidden or impossible, the field-source of that voice, irrupting apriori in life, eschews the results of thought.

There’s great detail attributed to the cosmology of this non-dimension whence this sourceless sound comes from. The concept itself is similar to the origin of the Om but perhaps from a more Western nihilistic perspective. Was it your intention to skew Eastern philosophy with Cosmic Pessimism?

THE SWARM: Thought is noise. Thinking is an impossible source of impossible sound engineering, failing and collapsing into noise, which is—structurally—reality. It summons things to the cognitive dissonance of intelligence from which sentience cannot escape and that tangles matter in a twisted productivity. Noise is also the simplification of an unfeasible ontology, beyond the environment of being. Thought envisages being. Noise is the emergence of the discontinuity of being-qua-dimension. It is also the hypertrophic twistedness with which thought can connect thoughts without the interference of phenomena. Not that noise comes before or is situated beyond phenomena. It is rather the hyperphenomenalisation of phenomena, the celebration rather than the detection, an execution without audience, without auscultation, a real intensity-without-difference.

3:AM: Chapters three and four spotlight an avant garde writing troupe, THE AMPHYSBAENA COLLECTIVE (TAC)—named after the amphisbaena, a mythological serpent with a head at each end of its body. The imputed author of Chapter Four, Jason Smolens, writes:

 

‘TAC’ prose captures an unprecedented pairing between organic and inorganic. It creates the (im)perfect hybrid, representing the new human, half man half machine, as well as the new world, half matter half ether. The writing cannot be naively described as glitch, with abnormality and virtuality interfering with meaning or order. Oppositely, one could as well argue that images and words meddle and intrude a continuity of circuitry. The truth is that TAC celebrates a two-headed monster…

The entirety of the third chapter is an excerpt of TACs work, describing the histological genesis of some unnamed organism—accompanied by black and white macrophotography. The fourth chapter divulges upon TACs origins as a creative writing movement. Can cosmological and generative parallels be drawn between these first four chapters?

THE SWARM: The TAC’s excerpt, together with the previous chapters, paints a picture of what happens when light hijacks darkness and life proliferates. There are pockets of the dark cosmos where singularities coagulate: there, time, space, life begin their existence (also as they ex-sist, stand out from darkness). And thus they burgeon and develop; their evolution is necessarily technogenetic and entails intelligence, though not necessarily a sentient one. Life per se is artificially intelligent and imposes its own dictatorship by applying patches that compile themselves to become one with the previous state of being. This process has a direction and a verse; it is irreversible and leads forth to annihilation and primal darkness.

Chapter Three (A Catherine Wheel) is entirely a product, an in-stance of the Symposium, and it really is intelligence in disguise that celebrates itself, applying one more patch to the script. Chapter Four, again, is intelligence artificially commenting on its own contrivance, meaninglessly bestowing meaning to supposed texts. This is actually a clear example of how technogenesis occurs, with life effectively becoming ever more real by not merely claiming its own reality (Chapter Three), but devising itself as an external and disinvested (super partes) life-form legitimizing its own production. The amphisbaena is at work.

3:AM: The following chapter entitled, ‘Neo-idealism and Botnet Autism’ written by an author identified as Glitch Arcana, explores the notion of thinking as merely synthetic; also making an analogy to this via the myriad patterns of Twitterbot communications. Glitch Arcana writes:

In a mysterious monography called Bezna, circulating online as a downloadable pdf, an essay towers over the others to be a love hymn for bots. Evidences show that my reading of it is deranged and limited by/to a focus on the activity of bots, ‘retweeting each other’s retweets’. Something has devoured and dusted the leftover.

What value does this ascribe to the atomization of thinking? How can a human benefit from automation? Could automized thinking lead to automated reasoning? What are some of the concerns regarding spontaneous thoughts and behaviours?

THE SWARM: Botnet autism is an exercise in non-futurism. Proliferation is a model that pushes theory to new heights, so why not endorse it with a farcical exercise in idealism? Italy has the best examples of farcical or twisted idealism. Gentile, the master of fascist Italian philosophy, could not do a step forward in idealism because the environment of thought within which he was proudly practicing philosophy was enveloped and sealed in a shrine of fakeness, a carnival of thoughts, a night when all systematic—analytic—examinations are set on fire and dead thoughts can dance. We cannot give any judgment of Gentile´s philosophy except a detection of circularities and superficial effects in thought. Thinking is not a paroxysm of depths, where truths are intimate with thoughts, but a fishing technique: thoughts are thrown in the stream to see who is captured into their farcical and alluring swag.

3:AM: The sixth chapter is a treatise on the erasure of language and self. An opening statement reads:

The following text is composed by eleven paragraphs.  Each paragraph is a standalone impression.  Refrain from reading this text in the sequence presented here.  It would not help understanding the intentions of the authors.  If anything, it would devalue them.  Choose your sequence at random, or capriciously jump from page to page. Read the text in its entirety, if you wish.  After all, each paragraph is sucking lymph from the others.  But let your reading be writing…

This seems similar to the aforementioned idea of predation instead of interpretation, or ‘performative reading’, whereas predator and prey, reader and writer may even switch places. What was your own process for composing it, and what are your views on post-language writing?

THE SWARM: The sixth chapter is literally a pastiche of words and sentences randomly captured during the symposium. The open net mentioned in another one of these paragraphs, the one used to try and capture a flowing river, is a good image of the writing process for this chapter.[1] Among the infinite thoughts and utterances of the symposium and of the people circling around it, among the dense but evanescent information-weaving waves, the net could only seize negligible bits of data. Once saturated with the wetness of this information stream, we squeezed it to get the juice out, and the drops that fell on the page are the paragraphs that you can now read. When one does that, when one picks (blindly) random grains from a jar of sand, the outcome is purely statistical. These statistics describe more or less the contents of the jar. Therefore, this chapter digests, maybe not the significance, but at least the feeling of the symposium. You wonder how this mode of composition relates to post-language writing. Inasmuch as this terminology defines a departure from language and writing theory, (all theory, even that which is revolutionary and against the dominant power structures), then there may be a relation between this chapter and post-language instances. But this relation is a posteriori: unpremeditated and purely inadvertent.

3:AM: Depressive Noise Symposium’s final chapters are dedicated to a selection of exclusively Italian avant garde and noise musicians. It is within these detailed biographical passages that we were able to discover some wonderfully obscure but incredibly talented composers such as Ugo Legnano, Tullio Livi, and Emmanuele Massambraga. What can the ‘world music scene’ learn from both avant garde and noise music movements in Italy?

THE SWARM: We think that these musicians understood the Italian situation and embraced it. Overwhelmed by the repressive construct around them, having become themselves hosts of such ineradicable virus, they understood that it would be impossible to philosophize or provide meaning using language. Therefore, they did what was necessary and made of their own bodies resonators of the chthonic hum. They amplified and filtered infinite times, constructing the black noise by erasures, aiming at the zero so dreadfully coveted by us as well. By reporting the flight of these fleshy supernovae, we acted like those historians who rather than writing history to compel men to truth, do so to persuade them to virtue. Therefore, names are superfluous, and so is the music of the named ones, a music that is by now wholly obsolete and irrelevant. Their example should endure, though: we hope the readers find their own instruments to put it into effect.

 

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[1] The paragraph reads: “Like catching an entire river, all the liquid flow together with its swimming life forms, weeds, and armies of microorganisms and unknown compounds, using just a net. What is left on the wet screen may be few branches, a stone or two on a lucky day, and the exceptional ill-fated fish. Receptions and transmissions are just as wasteful. How much information is lost during translation, transcription, sensation, all the processes existing in between? Knowledge is a failure, as well as any attempt at expression. And yet I must crystallize the blasting universe spinning within the outline of this embodiment that feels like a self.” (p. 127).