Before we lean back to contemplate our next move, let us sort it out quickly and see how our communication tunes with the concept of ad hoc
clubs, the temporary site-specific projects we have been popping up around the world. We compiled a list of riddles and threw it – the whole sixpack – at Schiz Flux.
Who is Schiz Flux? A reasonable question! This entity is a ghostly presence in our midst. While some report his sightings (nearly as frequent as those of UFO), others, the vast majority of our club members, suspect it's a script. Always a possibility in the age of globally distributed processing. So here we go: A Communication Primer. After all, communication is that which interlinks any organism and keeps the society together. Or the Turing Test.Amor De Cosmos and Moon Unit are real personal names. In their light, Schiz Flux sounds like a proper one, too.
Not even a real pseudonym
. It's a matrix registration requirement, fulfilled. Years ago as a graduate political philosophy student at NYU, I was signing with a social media network while taking a break from my course reading. I just pulled it from the book in front of me – Mille Plateaux
et al. I thought the name would be spot on to describe my presence online – all processes in the decentralized communication networks – and to reflect the postmodern Zeitgeist.
The author – not to forget Foucault
– was one the major proponents of the view that there is nothing stable about human subjectivity, nothing autonomous about our individuality, and nothing final about knowledge we construe as truth
. Who we are, what we think and do is an effect of power – hard or soft, pain or pleasure – imprinted on us from even before our birth and being impressed each moment ever since; the power which is itself disembodied, without a single or fixed source, inconsistent and perpetually shifting. Each of us is a multiplicity
doing this and that, believing or desiring things which are often mutually exclusive, navigating in between conflicting rules, living different public and private lives... This is to say, one's real name is as uninformative as no name. How much of this "multiplicity" is embedded in your work including the current one?
A lot. We are a small collective. This spells multitasking for all of us involved. Communication is a complex field itself. It is not just about having something to say, but also to be able to say it in many different ways, addressed to specific audiences, and just as about how not to say so you don't sound as dull as a corporate press-release. It requires language, but so much more – philology
, the cultural context of language: the message is a thought
, not the words. As a thought, it never develops in isolation and at once if it aims at universality addressed to further than itself, to people from different cultures, with different backgrounds within each, to different generations.
To communicate is to pour your thinking out, but so much more, as a prerequisite, to absorb plunging deep into the noosphere
, the sphere of semiosis, into the universe of human mind that stretches all the way back to the Ancients. They are responsible for the notions deemed most important today, from which all others stem – from self
… Reality is a communicative construct – social
reality, in any case. Without this semiotic immersion, our existence is rubbish coded in the fuck-me patter of soap ads and bait-and-switch blurbs of political campaigns.
On top of that, communication today involves technology – nothing stable about it either. Knowing your tools which are in flux constantly upgrading is a huge part of it. Photo, video, sound, graphics, text. Some go as far as to argue that the message is nothing more than its medium. What you are trying to convey – the meaning – is predicated on how capable you are handling your technology with all its possibilities and limitations. The same in music as we know it today – anything but three chords. It is noize if you fail to press the right buttons which are near infinite and multiplying. Troubadours are now sound engineers. Your projects are short-lived (as the recent in Lisbon lasting barely a week), programs are concise, the setups are... unboastful, sometimes almost self-effacing (as in Berlin where it is just an old military tent with the winds tearing apart what remains of it). Yet, these campaigns are quite "stable", to borrow your term, in the sense that they leave distinct trails of documentation, which are gripping beyond their immediate practicality. Is communication part of the concept and what's the point?
Yes. It's called for by the very nature of our projects and in part motivated by some general considerations. The main point is that our concept is detached from any particular location – connected to places if only circumstantially. It's literally what it is – a pure concept with an implementation plan and modus operandi
adjustable to various situations. We apply it where we feel it may stick for a while making waves and take it elsewhere (or reformulate) as soon as its novelty begins wearing out. Stagnation impacts all projects locked into a static milieu for some time. Till Harter can speak volumes on this topic explaining how "fixed positional" concepts get habituated and degrade in the course of just a few years, if not being constantly reinvented somehow. We avoid stagnation by being momentary
and achieve permanence through mobility popping up around the world – one case is unlike the next one and they are all on the record.