|Cybernetic culture research unit|
Communique Two: Message to Maxence Grunier: 2001
1. What are "pulp theory/fiction hybrids?" In France - the old old continent - we don't have any kind of cultural studies and " cyber-culture " means nothing. Can you explain your theories in newbies words... Many members of the Ccru had fled cultural studies, disgusted by its authoritarian prejudices, its love of ideology, and pompous desire to 'represent the other' or speak on behalf of the oppressed. To us, it never seemed that the real articulacy of the left academic elites was in any way superior to the modes of popular cultural expression which were either ignored or treated as raw material to be probed for a 'true' (ie ideological) meaning by white middle-class intellectuals. Ccru has tried to connect and cross-intensify with peripheral cultural processses (dark-side digital audio, cyberpunk, Neolemurian sorcery, numbo-jumbo, Afro-futurism, Indo-futurism, Sino-futurism …). It seeks to think, theorize, and produce with rather than 'about' (or -even worse - 'for') them. We think everything interesting happens on the periphery, outside the standard modes of 'developed' existence. Ccru engages with peripheral cultures not because they are 'down-trodden' or oppressed, but because they include the most intense tendencies to social flatness, swarming, populating the future, and contagious positive innovation, hatching the decisive stimuli for the systematic mutation of global cybernetic culture. Cyber-culture has come to be synonymous with Internet-studies. Ccru has a more 'fundamentalist' commitment to cybernetics, whose abstract principles of feedback dynamics, nonlinear causality, and machinic involvement are linked to numerous issues concerning digital technology and telecommunications, but in no way restricted to these. Ccru has consistently endorsed Deleuze and Guattari's insistence that machines are irreducible to technology. We consider cybernetics to be the practical science of excitement (amplification / inhibition of communication, mutation, and innovation). A Ccru list of important influences would include Deleuze and Guattari's two Capitalism and Schizophrenia volumes, with it's 'virtual materialism,' assault upon the privilege of representation, anti-evolutionism, and implacable hostility to the State. Fernand Braudel's rigorous differentiation (and even opposition) between capitalism and the market economy, with 'pro-market anti-capitalism' functioned as a guiding slogan. William Gibson's Cyberspace trilogy, which spreads voodoo into the digital economy, demonstrating (with the Cyberspace Matrix) how a fictional concept makes itself real. Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis novels, for their tentacled aliens, gene-traffic, and decoded sex. Lynn Margulis' bacterial microbiology for outlining the world of destratified life. HPLovecraft's gothic obsessions with time-anomaly, sacred horror of teeming, bubbling, foaming multiplicities … We are currently enthralled by the work of Jacques Vallee and it's extraordinarily sophisticated path to hyperstition through the UFO-phenomenon. Ccru is working on a cybergothic 'unnon-fiction' (to steal a term from Steve Beard) which interconnects the history of computing and AI research with UFO-phenomena (alien abduction, false-memory, and cover-ups), secret societies, and esoteric religion, amongst other things. Ccru is an ongoing experiment in collectivity, collective production, anonymity, and masks, dedicated to practically dismantling standard models of social existence, by pursuing ethics in the spinozistic sense (experimental production of collective bodies). Ccru feeds its own researches back into its own microcultural production. Its basic tool in this respect is 'pulp-theory/fiction hybridity' or Hyperstition (see below). 2. What were the goals of Virtual Futures, Afro-Futures and Virotechnics? These events sought to reinforce and energize the interrelations between elements of theoretical research and popular culture. It was important to us that they were characterized by a minimum of academic stuffiness, and that contemporary sonic culture (techno and jungle) were as thoroughly mixed into proceedings as possible. Ccru particularly encouraged polymedia presentations, involving spoken text, audio, and video or other visuals. Our assumption throughout was that philosophy/social theory could be exciting and that the deadening of all visceral response to intellectual exchange was a semi-deliberate strategy serving oppressive social interests. The three Virtual Futures conferences were large international events, and thus only diffusely focused. Over the years guests included Manuel Delanda, Pat Cadigan, Stelarc, Scanner, and many others. Afro-Futures was a smaller scale event in which members of the Ccru along with key ally Kodwo Eshun explored the interlinkages between peripheral theory, rhythmic systems, and Jungle/Drum&Bass audio. Virotechnics was organized outside the academy, and was dedicated to the theme of cross-propagation between cultural viruses and digital technologies. 3. What is the concept of the the Syzygy hyperstition matrix? Syzygy was the title of a five week 'art' show co-produced by Ccru and Orphan Drift. The name means 'twinning' or 'twin-system,' and this theme operated as a multilevelled guiding thread. It was during the production of this event that Ccru made contact with the virtual Continentity of Lemuria, which taught us many secrets that we have since attempted to formulate as 'Digital Hyperstition.' Digital hyperstition is already widespread, hiding within popular numerical cultures (calendars, currency systems, sorcerous numbo-jumbo, etc.). It uses number-systems for transcultural communication and cosmic exploration, exploiting their intrinsic tendency to explode centralized, unified, and logically overcoded 'master narratives' and reality models, to generate sorcerous coincidences, and to draw cosmic maps. The Lemurian biomechanical hyperculture propagates itself through decimal notation, whose latent interconnections are demonstrated in the Numogram (see web-site): an occult diagram of time and practical guide to the ethics of unbelief. An initial attempt to clarify this topic has been made in the most recent issue of our journal Abstract Culture. According to the tenets of Hyperstition, there is no difference in principle between a universe, a religion, and a hoax. All involve an engineering of manifestation, or practical fiction, that is ultimately unworthy of belief. Nothing is true, because everything is under production. Because the future is a fiction it has a more intense reality than either the present or the past. Ccru uses and is used by hyperstition to colonize the future, traffic with the virtual, and continually re-invent itself.