The past (the tradition that leads to our electronic present) is, for the Web user, irrelevant, since all that counts is what is currently displayed. Compared to a book that betrays its age in its physical aspect, a text called up on the screen has no history. Electronic space is frontierless. Sites-that is to say, specific, self-defined homelands-are founded on it but neither limit nor possess it, like water on water. The Web is quasi-instantaneous; it occupies no time except the nightmare of a constant present. All surface and no volume, all present and no past, the Web aspires to be (advertises itself as) every user’s home, in which communication is possible with every other user at the speed of thought. That is its main characteristic: speed.
Smirt is the first volume of a trilogy. (Smith and Smire follow.) Cabell explains that these books are his contribution to naturalistic literature—an attempt to accurately represent dreaming experience. Cabell is very droll, one might say too clever by half, and these books are full of jokes at the expense of his friends, reviewers, the reading public, and himself. [via]
The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.
Lyrics were written and spoken by the French image slayer Dorianne Wotton.
Tension. Tension is the leitmotif of Luna’s Dogma.
Firstly, the way the track is built reflects tension with harsh words interspersed with naive music. Then the sound itself tries to render tension by the use of static as background noise. This reduces the violence of words by giving them a ghostly and ethereal feeling while giving a disturbing aspect to the music. That aspect contrasts with its simplicity, as if it came from the background of a nightmare. Finally, the tension is also created by the juxtaposition of several spoken elements spatialized so that the listener is trying to follow all of them at the same time which dissolves the meaning of each of them into une bouillie de mots, or word porridge. This tension is also that of an ascetic mystic, an anchorite, which seeks to achieve a celestial spirituality while feeling trapped in his earthly body.
The text, written and spoken by Dorianne Wotton, is an illustration of the “æsthetic of desolation”, as defined later by Dorianne Wotton and Exomène, that underlies both their respective individual and collaborative works since 2004.
The sampled spoken word of Dorianne Wotton from this track translated to English:
I am a heretic.
What enjoyment heresy can give us.
I am the ascetic of another mysticism, the priestess of another dogma.
What happiness, what sublimation, what transcendental moments my dogma gives me.
Behind the apparent barbarity of the acts that my almighty cult makes me do, there are short, too short moments that bring me closer to an impenetrable and indefinable ideal. The ascent to another spirituality far from pain, greed, emptiness. Agony for the common man, an orgasm for my emotional being.
I dream of another reality and perfection before I leave.
I want to live before I die.
Exalting my soul, I desert my body and especially the passing of time that ravages everything.
Like an anchorite, I hate my body and try to take refuge where no one can reach me.
Torn between inner violence and contemplation that brings me peace and serenity I chose to denigrate my body to feel the purity of my soul,
As required by my own religion.
The entire August 2003 essay by Dorianne Wotton is available in full on Exomène’s anthology profile page.
French artist Exomène is a soundsmith and digital apothecary.
A soundsmith because he works sounds like a potter his clay, or a blacksmith his metal: hammering, stretching, twisting sounds until they fit all together into a coherent piece of music.
As a digital apothecary, his approach is quite the same: playing with an abstract material as if it was physical in a more experimental way. The sound in itself is no longer triturated but what generates it is subjected to several techniques: data-bending, generativity, algorithm, glitch…
These two approaches stem from the same mysticism that holds abstract and physical materials are the same thing in different realms.
“Where am I? Seven days my spirit fell,
Down, down the whirlpools and the gulfs of hell:
Seven days a corpse lay desolate—at last
Back drew the spirit and the soul aghast
To animate that clay—O horrible!
The resurrection pang is hardly past.
Yet in awhile I stumbled to my feet
To flee—no nightmare could be worse to meet.
And, spite of that, I knew some deadlier trap
Some worm more poisonous would set—mayhap!” [via]
Miskatonic School for Girls caught my eye as interesting (Amirite?), but when I got to the image of the player’s board … yeah. Oh, my … This project is fully funded, and how; but, there’s still time to participate if you like the idea.
“The Miskatonic School for Girls is the first deck building game where you get to build your opponents deck. This unique feature creates a totally different play dynamic from other deck building games.
If you haven’t already guessed, Miskatonic School for Girl’s setting and themes are rooted in the Cthulhu Mythos. While H.P. Lovecraft may have written his stories with a far more sinister tone, our game is lighthearted and cheery, because we’re twisted like that. Play as a house of students at Miskatonic as they try to survive with their sanity intact. This is going to be a challenge as the entire faculty consists of mind-rending creatures and insane cultists! Gather friends to help stave off these wretches, and while you’re at it, why not send a few of those wretches to the other houses… Hey, nobody likes a tattletale, but when you’re sanity is on the line, you’d start snitching, too! If you can manage to be the last house with any amount of sanity left, you win!”
“During your turn, you’ll buy your new friends with friendship points and use nightmare points to send faculty after the rival houses. Eventually, those Faculty will end up in a players hand, where they will hold class, teaching your innocent students about the horrors around them. This has a detrimental effect on your house’s sanity.
Due to the overwhelming power of the dark truth, it’s just a matter of time before your house goes completely bonkers. The last house left with any sanity is the winner!”
Oh, and that image of the player’s board?