Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Digital Flux Personas

In the Grad seminar, we are reading and responding to Paul Miller's Rhythm Science. Paul, aka DJ Spooky (aka known as That Subliminal Kid, a phrase taken from a William Burroughs novel), believes in a "cut and paste as you go" collage generation aesthetic that taps into fictional constructions of identity. You could almost say that he is interested in investigating how an artist/writer hyperimprovisationally performs their digital flux persona in network culture.

His version of hyperimprovisation is cybernetic jazz. He says
It's an uncanny situation. The creative act becomes a dispersion of self. Back in the day, it was called alchemy, but in the hyperfluid environment of information culture, we simply call it the mix. Sampling seen in this light? I like to call it cybernetic jazz.
It's also related to Situationist practice and their idea of avant-presence, a space or tense of being that challenges our conventional perceptions of past, present, and future. This avant-presence that circulates throughout my day-to-day life feels both OF its time AND ahead of its time. Just like that phenomenon in the 80s we called "cyberpunk" explored imaginary worlds simultaneously happening in the present as well as the immediate future, this avant-presence enables me to operate in the machinations of the working world and its preset itinerary of bureaucratic functions, even as I imagine myself proactively engaged in a yet to be invented future-tense practice that resists the contemporary situation I am always positioning myself to move beyond.

But there are still other worlds or states of mind where I work or, once I'm there, play, and they tend to lose all of their presets. In these alternative spaces, I become the artist-researcher as pseudo-autobiographical work in progress. This is optimized role-playing, a gig that was MADE for me, where after years of nonstop dress rehearsal, I am now situated as the perfect person to play myself as is, although the pseudo-autobiographical work-in-progress cannot help himself and is always turning the role of the "as is" into the always premiering as if. Role-playing the "as if" allows the transmitting nerve centers of my processual image filters to initialize a performative thrust of narrative momentum that resists the machinations of Time itself so that I may continue distributing my many digital flux personas throughout the networked space of flows. Many times these digital flux personas, which I role-play via email lists, web chat, spontaneous net art creations, VJ performances, mobile blogging, and the like, often overlap and even converge into the one digital flux persona that my audience has tagged with the easy to remember name Mark Amerika. To me, this digital flux persona that goes by the name Mark Amerika intuitively becomes an indeterminate loci of readiness potential that precedes consciousness while transponding the fluid metamorphosis of a radical intersubjectivity to the point where there is no longer an "I" nor a place to effectively call home, there is only a networked SPACE of flows for my creative self to nomadically wander through as I invent my life as an artist at this particular moment in time. As if there could even be a particular moment in time (think about it – it just passed us by – was it ever really there in the first place?).

Or, as Paul says about "DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid"
[C]reating this identity allowed me to spin narratives on several fronts at the same time and produce persona as shareware.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous treehaus said...

Hallo Professor VJ,
you are surely not refering to the "situationist praxis" of the situationist international (1957-1972)? Or have you read Vaneigem? Please bear in mind, the S.I. were materialists and believed in a singular ontological totality along the lines on Lukacs. Read Lukac's 1923 work "History & Class Consciousness" for the jist of the situationist position on consciousness, being & becoming. It excludes anything that jumps around like a sack of hyperactive schroedinger's cats. They also believed in and demanded theoretical coherence. Which cannot be said of the post modernists, who DJ spooky emulates.
yours sincerely,
treehaus

1:57 AM  
Blogger Professor VJ said...

Actually, I can't imagine ever reading Lukac. The so-called work "History & Class Consciousness" is a ruse, something to lure ideological hacks into believing that their materialist positions on abstract concepts like consciousness, being & becoming have relevance in a world infused with the beauty and substance of the spectacle. For a more illogical and sense-deranging demonstration of the potential uses of Situationist praxis, go see this:

http://www.djrabbi.com/sos

9:04 AM  

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