Tuesday, January 01, 2013


For the last seven years, I have selected one word on January 1st to trigger creative developments throughout the new year.

In 2006, the word was improvisation.

In 2007, the word was intuition.

In 2008, the word was illumination.

For 2009, I was feeling the heat and knew I had to go with intensification.

Looking into my miniscule crystal ball for 2010, I anticipated things remaining as intense as ever but also sensed a noticeable pattern shift occurring in the world all around me, one that I knew was having an effect on all of my new project development, a shift that would ideally enable me to transmute the intensity of daily remix practice into multiple and hybridized forms of actualization. Three years ago, trying to side-step the new age connotations of the term actualization while addressing why it stood out to me as a word indicative of a shift in my perspective [further signaled by the fact that my new words of the year would now begin with the letter 'a' instead of 'i'], I wrote down some thoughts which I am remixing below:
By creating more flexible life patterns we may be able to renew our energy (source material) in ways that trigger yet more intense experiences not just for ourselves but for others. Doing this at the level of daily remix practice as part of an intentional strategy to take the creative process deep into ones shape-shifting underground network via a process of mediumistic actualization feels like just the right thing to do.

As Whitehead wrote in Process and Reality, the primordial nature "combines the actuality of what is temporal with the timelessness of what is potential."

How do we network this potential so that it feeds into more intersubjective, remixological practice?

What does it take to access the source of creativity?

In digital terms, is it as simple as maintaining a net connection while proactively engaging with ones distributed social network?

How does one become an artist-medium that positions their daily practice in relation to the greater creative potential of what lies ahead while acting as an accomplice to an ingression performed by timeless entities whose concrescent formation manifests itself as an actual achievement in time?

Is actualization always already just-in-time?

Or is it always on the cusp of "becoming" -- the idealized condition of "being avant-garde"?
Actualization was a term that challenged me three years ago and two years ago "the secret woid" (Groucho Marx) was agglutination. On January 1, 2011, I wrote how my emerging art projects were
... driven by an adherence to my daily remix practice. The bottom line is that I need to maintain my practice as intuitive stick-to-itive-ness. Maybe the word I am looking for is sticktuitive. Setting my mind on autopilot, my aim is to continually remix the patterns into new forms of mosaic. But the mosaic, as fluid as it may be, needs to hold together in order for me to feel the need to proceed. It has to agglutinate.
Therefore, I wrote, "the trigger word for 2011 is agglutination. Even if some elements lose their 'stickiness,' dislodge, and drift away, I will be paying attention to those things that adhere to each other and create greater clusters of potential to actualize."

Last year's trigger word was even more difficult for me to write about than actualization. The religious connotations of the word I wanted to use were more severe than some of the new age connotations of prior words. I was thinking of what Whitehead refers to as the "Higher Phases of Experience" and, in some instances, quite literally the concept of soaring. A simple thesaurus check on synonyms quickly revealed one 'a' word for "soaring" and that was ascend. But ascend was too descriptive and lacked the intensity of what I was really feeling a year ago. So the word-trigger for 2012 was a stretch, even for me. That word was ascension.

Yes, there was something about the mystical act of ascending to another world before dying that appealed to me, but I was mostly interested in something that had very little or nothing to do with the more organized, religious uses of the term. For me, the idea of ascending was more about climbing, flying, soaring. What does it mean to "rise above it all"? To "take it all to another level"? And then I had some side thoughts that I remixed from my last book, remixthebook: is it possible to rise above it all while staying grounded? What's the relationship between ground and instrument? Instrument and medium?

It was relatively easy for me to come up with my trigger-word for 2013. My "long talking bad conditions blues" (to borrow a phrase from the title of Ron Sukenick's novel of the same name) has been going through a radical metamorphosis over the last decade. I am just as likely to spend valuable time improvising the occasional bon mot for my Twitter stream as I am creating a huge and complex work of art like Museum of Glitch Aesthetics (for more info on MOGA and many other developments up through October 2012, go to my linkfest).

But it was the so-called micro-blogging that I turned to time and time again, not to share my every act or thought with my limited number of followers (though that happened too), but to maintain my thought-flow and let it ride the social media network as if it counted as a kind of micro-publication performance that could then feed into more elaborate work development. In fact, some of my tweets have prodded me into short stories that have begged to become novels or anti-novels entering the digital unknown:
RT @remixthebook Is this consensual hallucination really a collaborative fiction generated by an actant-network parallel processing concrescent prehensions?
What was I really asking there? Was that a cleverly manipulated remix of every metafiction novel I have ever read and wished I had written?

Or what about this one:
The core artist-professor remix act mashes up ones immersion in The Festival with an on-the-fly management style that hacks the academy.
Only a 21st century Derridean remixologist who doubles as a practice-based researcher teaching / working with talented graduate students who are busily reinventing what it means to be an artist in network culture could have tweeted that and known exactly what he meant.

Or this tweet:
Each life is encyclopedic, an archive, an inventory of objects, a satchel of styles, and everything can be remixed in every conceivable way.
And this one too:
Becoming the clinamen, Our Lady of Remixological Tendencies is simply the unimpeded part of a flow which ensures such a flow has no fate.
What does it mean to lose ones own voice in a glitch-remix performance that metamediumystically embodies the voice of another artist-medium?
Seriously, there are ten books dying to grow out of those last three tweets.

Even if these short thought-takes amount to extraneous filler that will never amount to anything more than what they are, i.e. short tweets delivered via a social media networking service and micro-blogging site, that's more than enough for me. When you have successfully bypassed the need to use your creative work as an excuse to experience something like catharsis and have opened yourself up to the flow of trans-subjective performance/writing, anything is possible. Daily (remix) practice is more about achieving higher states of affirmation than, say, adhering to a set work protocol that routinizes the way one monetizes their labor.

2013 is the last of A words. This year's word-trigger is affirmation. Affirmation is tricky because it suggests that one has, in fact, found the truth. But for me, and this is really funny but typical for my own thinking, affirmation reminds me of Affirmed. Do you remember Affirmed? The last horse to win the Triple Crown.

Why do I think of Affirmed in relation to affirmation, besides the obvious root word significance? Because Affirmed had to fight hard to win every one of the three races. There was never any chance for the horse to pull back and take it easy. It was never in the bag. It was generally assumed that every race Affirmed entered would be a challenge like never before, and the horse would have to leave everything on the track.

Can I relate?

That would be affirmative.

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou.

Keywords: intuition, improvisation, illumination, intensification, actualization, agglutination, ascension, affirmation