the Density, the Destiny, the Sign and the Sign (prelude)
My love for the experiment had led us all to ruin.
But I flatter myself (for who is left to flatter?) This is what
I thought as I narrated to myself softly, huddled under the desk
in the lab as things only describable by their shadows swayed outside
and got worse.
Amerika and semiotics had invited me to share my research at the
symposium, but as I made my way down the high street, the seasons
shattered, cars heaving upwards through space, tracing beats and
the screams jumped around like fireflies. I'd seen this all before,
this apocalypse. In the summer of 2001 I'd recorded it, improvised
its contours, edited its nuances, just as I had written the liner
notes and submitted them now. But it was I who was submitting to
the liner notes and the experimental method - the method that had
opened and elongated like soft hidden flesh to manifest a sphere
of dense pleasures. This is not a classic Frankenstein tale. This
is a story about the density, the destiny, the sign and the sign.
I began with Acid (TM) and samples of the cultures
(IN) which I had grown. Mixing these incongruous elements resulted
in a series of defeats and challenges. I recorded over 10 hours
of attempts, tactics, guises - entranced and ensconced in a strange
house of wonders. It was as if this war-of-the-worlds that even
now mutilates our home planet and eclipses our solar system (leaving
us with nothing but the seductive cold of deep space) was foreshadowed
by my perverse experiments.
My results were infuriatingly inconclusive, yet I knew I was on
the edge of a terrible discovery. I was too close, hanging on a
precipice, my feelings unnameable, my tragic flaw ambiguous. I wanted
to dance and sing, but I just cut myself, my samples and my rhythms
again and again. The Love Interest made various appearances but
I told it that, in this story, it was only an object - I was so
cruel. Little did I know that, between you and I, we both carried
a womb and a seed of a madness, of a psychosis born in the incubation
and synthetic fluids of a society ashamed of its own body and narcissistically
devouring its own spectacle waste. Little did we know our love would
grow into the end of our species, of all species, and worst of all,
a stillborn specious hypothesis.
I was at the end of my rope, going mad. I could not
stand to stare at the monstrosity a moment longer. I sent the strange
work to Dr. Jon Vaughn, my close colleague and friend, who was safe
in the flatlands, away from the ocean which threatened me and my
institutions. I was reminded of Tarkovsky's Solaris, the cellulose
of that film could only barely contain that malevolent and infinite
tempest of dreams and desires. I needed a break and I went to the
club where the young and the old devoured each other, forgetting
their tenses and speaking alone in verbs and articles. Dancing to
the beat, I saw your eyes and we made contact, touching ever so
briefly in the carnage of one thousand years of rhetoric. You were
wearing only technotechno and you said that it's the destiny, the
density, the sign and the sign.
We had loved for months when Dr. Vaughn returned the
work to me. It was as you and I and the others were lying on the
beach. Waves of radiation filtered through our soft flesh and burning
its memory into us and I can still feel it today, even in this body
we could never have imaged. There won't be any more days like this
I said to you, but you said that someday you would read these liner
notes and remember me and how it was in the days before all of this
nonsense and inter-tense and density. Dr. Vaughn had butchered my
work in his mystical way, carving off hulks of meat, fat, sinew.
In places he had added his rare secret seasonings and flourishes.
I was pleased. I left you so as to run back to my lab, my heart
divided as the earth itself would be only a few hours hence. I could
almost taste the truth: that we would only see each other again
in the reflection of a compact disk, each laser-burnt micron a tiny
holographic reflection of the times we had spent together, waiting
for what we knew would come but of which we could never speak.
Back at the lab, I assembled the necessary components, mastering
with ease those flashes and edits. As I reacquainted myself with
the mutated and matured work, its dark logic and desires were becoming
clear. I was at once as cold and as hot as deep space and your deep
spaces. Fear and exhilaration - I began to glimpse what I had done.
Across the communicator came the vector analyses and graphical diagrams
prepared by my colleague Dr. Gates, illuminating the dark corners
of the project. My greatest hopes and terrors were confirmed. But
as I worked, shadows grew. I was too blinded by passion and fear
to see them. I collapsed after hours of work, letting the pieces
incubate as I slumbered.
I am having a dream that you and I dance under a red
sun, that we dance as four moons rise off a jade green horizon of
a planet made only for us. A planet that was not a planet at all,
but a sphere that we shared in our souls. I fell and I fell. I awakened
to discover that Amerika and everything around it was gone: I knew
this was it. The earth was coming apart, the sky was crumbling,
the oceans were raging in their blindness and thirst. I knew it
was time. Weeping hysterically, I secured what I remained of my
tragic experiment in the shuttle. I would have enough for 4 more
doses: 4 more chances to pierce space and time to nestle in the
light of eternity. I picked my headphones, now covered in unspeakable
fluids, off my desk and placed them on my head. I initiated countdown...
(Parts two-through-five of Chan Son In will appear
in the near future, provided we exist to hear it).