Sunday, 26 February 2017

reconstruct depth

stop sending me noods

In 'A Berlin Chronicle' (1932) Benjamin describes a lost diagram:

I was struck by the idea of drawing a diagram of my life, and I knew at the same moment exactly how it was to be done. With a very simple question I interrogated my past life, and the answers were inscribed, as if of their own accord, on a sheet of paper that I had with me. A year or two later, when I lost this sheet, I was inconsolable. I have never since been able to restore it as it arose before me then, resembling a series of family trees. Now, however, reconstructing its outline in thought without directly reproducing it, I should, rather, speak of a labyrinth. I am not concerned here with what is installed in the chamber at its enigmatic centre, ego or fate, but all the more with the many entrances leading to the interior. These entrances I call primal acquaintances; each of them is a graphic symbol of my acquaintance with a person whom I met, not through other people, but through neighbourhood, family relationships, school comradeship, mistaken identity, companionship on travels, or other such hardly numerous- situations. So many primal relationships, so many entrances to the maze. But since most of them—at least those that remain in our memory—for their part open up new acquaintances, relations to new people, after some time they branch off these corridors (the male may be drawn to the right, female to the left). Whatever cross connections are finally established between these systems also depends on the inter-twinements of our path through life.

Walter Benjamin, ‘A Berlin Chronicle’, 1932, in One-Way Street: And Other Writings, trans. by Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter, London: Verso, pp. 293–346

The Science of Life

hybrid animals

In "The Science of Life" (c 1929) by H G Wells, J Huxley and GP Wells, the authors wrote "To-day it is possible to assert without any question that telegony is a mere fable, which could only have gained ground in the days when men were ignorant of the true mechanism of fertilization and reproduction. The supposed instances of telegony which are constantly being reported even to-day, invariably. Perhaps the most famous example is that of Lord Morton's mare. The mare, a pure Arabian, was mated with a zebra stallion, and produced a hybrid foal. On two later occasions, she was bred to a black Arab stallion, and gave birth to two further foals. These had legs which were striped even more definitely than those of the hybrid foal or the zebra sire himself, and one had some stripes on parts of the neck also. In addition, they had a stiff mane of very zebra-like appearance. Darwin himself accepted the evidence as sufficient proof of telegony. But when definitely planned and long-continued experiments were made, the proof escaped. Cossar Ewart, for instance, made a number of horse and zebra crosses to test the validity of the belief. When mares previously bred to zebras were afterwards mated with horse stallions, their colts were often without the least trace of zebra characters. In other cases, colts with some degree of striping were produced. But one mare gave birth to a striped colt as a result of her first mating, which was with a horse stallion ; while two later matings with other stallions, made after she had been successfully mated once and three times respectively with a zebra, gave unstriped offspring. In other cases, when striped colts were born to a mare and stallion after the mare had been previously mated to a zebra, Ewart took other mares, closely related to the first, bred them to the same Arabian stallion without having mated them previously with a zebra - and they, too, produced striped foals. In short, the production of striping (and also of erect mane) in foals is not a very uncommon occurrence in horses; it may appear whether previous impregnation by a zebra has taken place or not. The stripes of Lord Morton's foals were a mere coincidence, well illustrating the danger of drawing conclusions from single and therefore possibly exceptional cases, and the need for systematic and repeated experiments."


Saturday, 25 February 2017

gendered encounters in VR

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KISS YOUR NEW MACHINE πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—



When one goes deeper than the imputed absence of a sex, woman-reproducing-man becomes woman-reproducing-woman in an anorganic becoming that—as the cyberpositive formulation of the replicative economy belonging to the black circuit—recodes time as it inverts the user-tool relationship to reveal history as loop with a twist. This resistance to the straight line of the organism’s reproductive trajectory (that which provides the logic for progressive Western time) underwrites Plant’s claim—with its important agential marker—that “cyberfeminism is received from the future”:
Journal #80 - Amy Ireland - Black Circuit: Code for the Numbers to Come 


When Simone de Beauvoir claims, “one is not born, but, rather, becomes a woman,” she is appropriating and reinterpreting this doctrine of constituting acts from the phenomenological tradition. In this sense, gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceed; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time—an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts. Further, gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gender.  Butler

the robocene and other presents // encounters, abductions and contagions

 Your people will change. Your young will be more like us and ours more like you. Your hierarchical tendencies will be modified and if we learn to regenerate limbs and reshape our bodies, we’ll share that ability with you. That’s part of the trade. We’re overdue for it. Octavia E. Butler, 1987, p.40

  Some Remarks on the Legacy of Madame Francine Descartes – First Lady and Historian of the Robocene – on the Occasion of 500 Years Since her Unlawful Watery Execution.
by Dominic Pettman
It seems likely that the (highly suspect) story of Rene Descartes’s robot daughter has its origins in the middle third of the 18th century — post-dating the philosopher’s death by a considerable margin, and evidently part of more general Enlightenment polemics over materialism, libertinage, and the embattled pieties of conventional religion. The tale itself? Multiple versions are known, but the core of the scandal goes like this: sailors aboard a vessel bearing Descartes to Sweden in 1649 are said to have discovered, in his luggage, a disorienting lifelike girl-doll; when she sat up and moved about they fell upon her and—decrying witchcraft—hurled her into the sea. The backstory to the legend is sad: Descartes’ actual (illegitimate) daughter, Francine, succumbed to a sudden illness at the tender age of five, and the loss deeply affected her father. The displacement of this real tragedy by an off-color farce of autonomic substitution speaks volumes on the stakes of mechanico-mathematical thought across the watershed of modernity.

Dismissed for a long time, symbiogenesis is acquiring a constitutive scientific importance, supported by molecular biology and biochemistry’s questioning of the classical division between plant and animal kingdom and the classifications based on this division. Symbiotic processes now in fact seem to explain the emergence of the cellular and genetic modifications of sex and reproduction, disrupting the the ‘zoocentrism’ of the theory of evolution (the priority of Homo Sapiens) in demonstrating that ‘each animal cell is, in fact, an uncanny assembly, the evolutionary merger of distinct bacterial metabolisms.’ (Sagan, 1992, p.363)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

omg it's gonna eat my face


I̖̫̦̰Į ͘k̕n͡o͜w̢ ͘w̶hat a̶
J̡P̧̧E̶҉G í̷s?̡҉͏
I̔̍͐I̵͜ ̸͞J͞҉U҉̵͘͢͟S̛̀T̶̵̴̴͜ ͏̷͝W̨͢҉A̷̢N̨͏̨̀́Ń͢͜͟A̸̧̨͟

P̢̡̀͠Ì́͡C̀͜T̴͠͠͞U̵̸͟͠R̷̀͞҉È̀͡͏ ͞҉̷Ơ̡̧F̨́͏ ̷̵̶͜A͞͏́
G̴͘͜͠O͏̶D͜҉̴̕͏Ḑ̴̵̨͝Ą̸́͘͞M̨͘͜͡͠N̨ ́͢͝҉H̀͏O͞T̡̕͝͝D̴̢̨͘͢O̶̡͡Ǵ̷̡̢



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woah spoiler

Thus, in France, four eggs "were placed before birth on top of drones while still inside the eggshell and, after hatching, kept them there during their early feeding period," Reuters reported in November.
The eagles were named after characters in "The Three Musketeers," and by February proved capable of intercepting drones in lightning-fast horizontal chases. "Soon they will be casting off from peaks in the nearby Pyrenees Mountains,"

According to a Dec. 12, 1912, article in The Gleaner, the Morganfield City Council yielded to a crusade by the community's "leading women" and passed an ordinance prohibiting such dances as the Turkey Trot, the Bunny Hug, the Jelly Wobble, the Tangleworm Wiggle "or other like lewd and lascivious dances."

"The eagles are making good progress," said the French air force's commander of a program that adapts the ancient art of falconry to the threats of unmanned flight.

Saturday, 11 February 2017