Thursday, April 7, 2011


Goldsmith offers here a Watsonian self-image of the process of technicalities - the Nobel Prize of innovative aesthetics is cobbled together - a question then is who is the Chargaff in this picture?

Like Watson, Goldsmith describes the "name-check" and "cool-factor" that engineers the "bounce" of technical clout - Watson's role as X specialist is subordinate to his citation capacity, his Boing Boing power-base at networking, moving and collating varieties of information. The sensorial interactor and appropriative dissector then succeeded by the transcendental connector (thing > shreds > dissipation) - the fallacy of course is that you can move on from one without accreting onto the materiality of the other, not to mention that this isn't diachronically new, nor transchronistically unique. It's true that degrees of uniqueness are useful to highlight, but an ultimate basis may be argued in science, in art the precepts of free association above all find utility - thus such a division must be questioned (since as a result it's only use is the roll of patents-labels and artificial stake claims - artificial of course, because in this case all the referents are immaterial).

So, the innovation should be questioned (Chargaff - as well as Franklin - might help here) as should the paradigmatic shell that this aesthetic position represents.

Firstly, we should clarify that the distinction is relevant, and examples insightful, which motivates the point of this response to being with. The subordination of the textual what to the socio-political how essentializes the machinic satire of Issue 1, yet that this is a Google Alert fact (the counter-examples are endless, but just imagine how Luther's door-nailing or any political-textual issue foregrounds the how) begins to address the untenable guise of newness. Moving beyond the self-refuting precept of uncreativity itself (relevant how requires more analysis, yet why is contrasted with a proposed lack of the new), the urlinguistic novel push is seen throughout:

"it’s clearly the next move" - not simply a descriptive enterprise, but a hypothetical abstraction.

"how much human intervention will be necessary to successfully sustain it as a viable literary practice" - is any human intervention necessary? Is there a purposive need to explain and justify something - is there anything to justify?

Nothing is being talked about of course - the question of literature is no different, however the interrogation shifts towards how best to address that.

"If Issue 1 is any hint, then it’s clear that machines will need to play a much more central role in the discourse" - or is it that machines already do play a central role - who decides for the machine? This is a question-begging inquiry. Immersion, here, is appropriated as platform.

"I can’t name a writer — even the most radical and “uncreative” — who would choose the model of a bouncy meme over the slow roll of literary history." It seems to me the post-industrial poetic has this as an assumption, just as the social-theoretic pretensions of contemporary science are dictated (as Watson and his reviewers in Merton, Bronowski and Lewontin would agree) by it.

"But that too will soon be changing." inceptive trans-humanist eschatology - like the Nasca lines as alien invasion - what is explained reductively in parts is reproclaimed as a mysterious whole. Prophecy works best in reverse or the as in the Kierkegaardian maxim look back to live forward.

The second point - regarding the shell of an aesthetic position that this perspective has materialized into - is problematic not because of the position (which I so emphatically agree with that I assume it as given) but how it does little to manifest its sociopolitics but to point to its reality - a beginning no doubt, that led Warhol to Xerox and fittingly "measure the column inches" of his reviews (as opposed to reading them), but only a hinting start of the garbage-collating realizations of the new realist, or in the case of the Watsonian Goldsmith, the material-workers Chargaff, Franklin et al who ground and re-relate the assemblage. Like, perhaps, the politically-astute Ubu collection, whose content and social marketing might be said to express a technical creator's brilliance (cf. the Vitruvian man) over the cleverness of a non-descript positing.