Logo of the Museum of Vestigial Desire
The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Self tags: climax shop

Who are we? How do we know who we are?

Is there an absolute constant answer to these questions or only a wavering inconsistent one?

If there is an absolute answer then why are we not born with it? Why do we need to go around solving a puzzle and accessing a mythological landscape to know this answer? Why is the answer not immediate, why is it elusive?

How do we achieve the mastery over the knowledge required to know ourselves?

Answers to these questions are possible only after experiencing a deep personal stroke of a clarity that comes from self-observation and more important self-reading. How do we know? We read ourselves.

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Play tags: system

Spaces for play emerge in games, sport and often in the business of life too. Play cannot be hidden as easily as playful expression. Play seeps into everything that systems collide with. As an element of the wider epidemic of artfulness, play is a strong deterrent to the fossilification of the urge to create. The plastic of containment of artfulness in rigid modes of behaviour is the failure of the system to restrain from the process of smoothening and calcification as a knowledge terrain.

Playspace can be modelled specifically as a game or generally as a literary space that has ambiguous design parameters and require an experiential description to be conveyed. In the latter case, the description might not even bear the minimum descriptors necessary to make a game but can be accessed as a story with variable content.

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Laboratories tags: structure

Laboratories are spaces for iterative development of solutions for pre-defined problems. They also reserve the right to forget about the problem at hand totally and become spaces for play and exploration. Laboratories are essential spaces for academic tendencies to breakout of their non-stick, hands-free character and become viruses which can effect lives at large and not impose philosophical biases about the trajectories they lead to. Laboratories are wedded forever to a certain idea of industry and enterprise. If business was to be biologically grown and not fuelled by entrepreneurial lust and social warfare then maybe laboratory spaces would be of a different nature, maybe they would even be farms with ample sun and fertile soil.

Laboratories of course can also be oblivious to all of this and design a process with chaos and disarray at the foreground. It can be seen as a clown's errand, a halfway house between a space for therapy and full-scale nihilism. Doing so takes a lot of strength, so much strength that no one has been able to do it yet in the whole world. There was a time in the past when this strength did exist and such laboratory spaces did exist and that time is the sole reason for nostalgia still being meaningful. In that time there were no shared set of goals, no common objectives, humanity was a lost cause and any guess was good enough. The troops rallied in any direction that was clearly pointed out. The group dynamics was wonderfully cheerful. As no one had the answer and everyone was equally lost there was no diabolical layer to society. Politics was not about image manipulation in a terrain where no one was a star, but rather it was a game of chance where it did not really matter because nobody really cared and nobody really had any secretive schemes for taking over and displacing anybody else. Important decisions were taken over casual discussions over a marked table at the local bar. These decisions were then conveyed to the person who happened to be in charge and like a diligent clerk, the person went about implementing those decisions.

But the laboratories that we present here do not have too much to do with these histories. Maybe a little bit but not much. These individual specific laboratories do not even have distinct human minds looking after them. These are rooms in this building where diseases of different kinds can breakout, these are algorithms for predicting the pathways of outbreaks that may happen. When experiments go wrong here and things explode, things still have the potential energy to fly off in the right direction. Things still have a fair chance to conveyer belt that is connected to the main switchboard. These explosive fragments are charged with the laboratory's infectious ambience. In a way the laboratory travels in the particles of the dust, smoke and powder of things falling apart.

Laboratories do not necessarily invoke any cultural traditions at the first instance. Science, technology, industry, secrecy might be part of the history, might be embedded in the backstory but these do not enslave the idea of the laboratory, only co-inhabit it. Such co-habitations are many many and we would only be able to trace out a few here. These traces will emerge and get drawn out of things we do here and also the things we don't of course but also the things we merely sketch in words, merely write about. Because things being the way they are we figure that if you have to die you can die as much from holding a well-sculpted shred of thought in your head as you can from a bullet-wound.

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Value tags: value sshop

Exchange can only happen when there is an agreement on a common notion of value. Establishing this common notion is an important role and function of culture. This function is performed very slowly and sometimes take a whole generation. Because of the speed of this operation, any possible change of the common notion of value is almost impossible. But still most of us hold on to their notions of value dearer than their notions of themselves. I would like to design games (not digital,…

Fulfilment tags: scraps

What is fulfilment? How do we know we are fulfilled and when do we know it? This is a mystery. But it is one that can be solved. It will not shake our entire being up. It will just cause a minor hiccup in our mind. And hiccups always have silly superstitions to explain them. If they don’t, they don’t qualify to be called hiccups. What kind of superstitions? If you are hiccuping somebody is remembering you. And lovingly at that. What does loving remembrance even mean in this day and age wherein nobody even has the time to remember anyone but the carpenter.

Why the carpenter? All hearts are made of wood. And for some or the other reason, they are always broken. So carpenters. Trying to fix our broken hearts…

We are also automatically fulfilled sometimes, if we actually do nothing about it. In a magical and illogical way the question of fulfilment works like a scarecrow sometimes. The things that offer us nothing back stay away and we end up feeling fulfilled without doing anything about it. At least in our minds we have thought about the question of fulfilment and reached for some kind of clarity. At least we know what action is likely to bring peace to our minds and what not. This clarity indicates that we have the capacity to know what is in our self-interest sometimes and what is not. This means that we can play the role of a healer to ourselves sometimes. At other times we come across as a complete stranger to our own interests.

This lack of symmetry in our behaviour is a rather strange phenomenon. It shocks us at least at times that we think of ourselves. Why do we have such a lack of tuning with our own selves? Can we do something about it?

We sometimes think that behaviour asynchronous to our own interests will stand out and seek attention. But it does not happen that way. It can also remain hidden deep within us for a long time. Because such behaviours are like seeds of colonial-instincts. Our personality is vulnerable. It can be taken over at times. And there is no defence acting in its favour. It is just a matter of choosing between two phenomenon. Special attributes cannot be associated between these them. This is a huge vulnerability.

We have many intrinsic ways of dealing with vulnerabilities. We overcompensate to make sure our vulnerabilities do not exploit our personalities. We overcompensate by letting minor indicators be major sirens. We then overcompensate by letting these major sirens be major alarms whether or not they deserve to be such.

But this play is not enough. When we get alarmed we are very observant about every subtle change in our personality. A temporary sinking feeling and we anoint it with a disaster of mega proportions — something which is difficult to overturn without massive effort. This is obviously opposite to the current of fulfilment being prominent in us. Thus we live our lives — incomplete and unfulfilled.å

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Civilisation tags: distant memories

If there is to be a conspiracy theory, let it be about how the civilisation was mounted externally into Earth from somewhere out there. This idea was essentially an act of aggression. A simple and sustainable model of survival was disturbed in its infancy and replaced with another. An idea that perpetuates itself through the constant urge to improve, innovate and push further. Nothing is good enough and there is no day like tomorrow. The tomorrow that never comes. Narcotics, business, culture, everything owes its existence to this open, empty and fraudulent promise. Even consciousness is locked into this loop. At least in the form that it is channeled through beings in bodies. Sketching the conspiracy further, the idea was transmitted to our atmosphere by radio and once it was in the air all we had to do was breathe.

The idea is ripe for conspiracy-seeking because it doesn't add up, it doesn't seem stable but has been a part of our fabric for so long. It can't be rationalised by history, experience or biology. It is a purely alien idea that suddenly appeared in our midst and then strangely also became the central idea. Without the idea of civilisation, we wouldn't be restless, paranoid and be so anthropometric. These are defining conditions to forever lock us in the loops of progression and recursion. There has been no reportage about the ascent of this idea. Maybe this happened before the development of culture and language, but that is purely speculative. It could also have happened in the silence of the night and the noise of our dreamworld. We have been confused ever since, not knowing whether we misremember a dream or remember a phenomenon that should be shared and reported.

The idea of civilisation has some more characteristics which might be more obvious. The details can be matched either way. So if the idea is to improve and be more sophisticated, then both the idea of domesticity and colonies on the moon make sense. There is no prescription of choices only a pattern and hinting mechanism for making choices. Potentially infinite things can fit. The myth of the prevalence of autonomy exists but in fact only the tyranny of civilisation prevails.

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Source tags: corn

The source is important because everything came from there and everything goes back there.

At the source of everything is the space for contention. Where is it? What is it? Who can access it?

The source can also be denied, but that is very difficult. To perform denial we have to investigate each and every source that supplies the world with the primary materials and sentiments from which culture is generated and demonstrate that we come up with nothing. This process needs to be exhaustive and empirical, leaving no terrain uncovered and so it is a time consuming process.

The only other way to perform denial is to argue with the very need to model channels of supply as sources and then project critical importance on them.

We will flirt with both these ways.

The SOURCE book was published by Banner Repeater, commissioned by Banner Repeater and Orbits.com for Banner Repeater's serial journal UN-PUBLISH.

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Who is a user? tags: distinction

Users are people who are relegated no agency in the product lifecycle. They only receive the benefit of the product and offer participation and membership in the community surrounding the product. Users are consumers. When they have an extended role in the product lifecycle, they are called prosumers. Prosumers labour without expecting a reward that equals the value of their labour. They get willingly exploited in exchange for functionality. The functionality often offers them a critical use…


Cinema tags: bread soap-bubbles shop

Cinema, the original grand narrative which has tried to replace reality itself as a reference frame, is misguidedly celebrating that it has survived all these years. We hold this celebration to be a mistake. We believe a mourning is more in order. Mourning how over the years it has slid down from its pedestal of spectacular magic to becoming a random image on a fifteen inch screen that fills time between advertisements. Mourning how at one time it was actually a living manifestations of the urge to create a life-like fabric, with bends, folds, ruptures, tears and mirror-work. In the act of playing God, very quickly what happened was a break down of the shamanic aura to a material logic of what propels it, the wisdom of awe broke down to the very base conversation about the mechanisms and techniques. So when video offered a fraudulent image as an alternative, cinema got distracted for a moment. Cinema started talking about method, viewing experience and technical quality. Cinema should have remembered that people still go to spas, temples, churches and still crave for a little bit of insulation as long as it is coupled with mystery, sour suspense and emotion. The cinema theatre could have grown up from a popcorn restaurant to so many other things.

But now we have a television at a home and a television in a darkened room. We have home theatres at all because cinema theatres are nothing more. Even commercial jets offer a more adventurous experience. I go to the toilet on a plane and I flush the toilet and I know I am flying through air.

Cinema is deeply wedded to the idea of continuous narrative, an illusion of space, time and emotion. Where does this come from? How did anyone ever think of a storybook which one could stare at and go home with a complete dream running in the head. Insomniacs to this day watch movies all night long, because it is an experience so close to sleeping. Even wet dreams are possible. Cinema is sleep. Cinema is dream-time.

To lovers, embedded deep within the love moment, this will remind them of something else. It will remind of love itself. When you stare at another person and track the fluctuations in their gestures across temporal landscapes, you are experiencing cinema. The first war known to humankind started when she said to him, "You are my cinema."

But how do you experience this when you are sitting by yourself on a dry rock in the middle of what was once a river? Only lovers have the automatic, continuous supply of cinema. Other folk, the cynics, the religious, the traders, the romantic, have no way to ever know this person-propelled-cinema experience.

And the world of cinema, the world of cameras, lights, actors and simulated sex was made to mimic the world of lovers for others. What shall we call the others, we don't know. The desire to copy this world is an unfulfilled desire. Unfulfilled in perpetuity. Vestigial. And this leads us back to the source of the desire. It lives in the heart of yearning. The same organ in the body of our emotion that years for love, yearns for cinema. When you are looking into the eyes of your beholder you don't need to watch a movie.

The need to watch a movie arises in the moments that you are disoriented, lost, joyless, dry, opaque, idle, wasted or nonchalant. And no movie ever made has been able to address that itch. They try to substitute the cemetery of dry as a bone hearts with lush green fields of evergreen emotions. But the replacement only lasts till the movie lasts, the landscapes are reset after that. And because you can't rent an apartment in the middle of the limelight, can't be the movie star's next-door neighbour cinema is peddling biscuits to the dead baby. Just peddling biscuits to the dead baby.

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Being tags: destruction

Being is simple but not easy. To be you do not really have to do anything at all, that is the simplicity of it. But being is a process that is multi-variate and somehow becomes complex. This happens because in the flux of each moment we experience the noise of our mind, and this both distracts and confuses us. Even though we know that we can just slip into the default mode, our cultural programming demands us to listen to the noise in our minds and weed out a voice that we should most give…

Music tags: hunger

Music is a means to measure time. Clocks measure only absolute time. There is one distinct start and stop point. Continuously staggering sequences of events also need to be measured. These measurements are discreetly performed and have an infinite scale. The scale is vast at all scales of perception. How does this measuring help us? How does this expand the depth of our silence? What we know is that the abstract nature of our experience, our capacity of claiming perceptual drift at slight…

Journals tags: gambit

Journals are regular editions of content that has a changing sequence of relevance for us across time. After every particular interval of time, the points to be made about the issues at hand change and need things to be articulated again. Once we start a thread, it can be woven further by public narratives. The kinds of fibres, the colours and the texture of the thread will surely differ. But these differences only help to construct the pattern in a more renewed fashion. The personal and the…

Presence tags: fig-leaves

We still have hope from presence. When you take the trouble to withdraw yourself from everywhere and be here now, some intensity is definitely produced. You have tried to mimic presence many times and each time you have achieved marginal success. Some parameters of presence do successfully get mimicked. In the long run, you have hope to achieve presence through an entirely synthetic means, by either illusion or some extrapolated simulation project. But this hope will be quashed like an ant…

Adjustment tags: predicament

Maladjustment can be thought of as an attempt to adjust gone wrong. If there is no attempt, there is no maladjustment. I feel I am a misfit only when I try to fit and I fail. This failure is maladjustment. But what happens when I don’t adjust? What is maladjustment like? Maladjustment brings up two questions. Does the maladjusted individual want to be as they are? If so, why do they want to adjust? What is the incentive to fit in? Inside us, we have numerous drives and desires. One of these d…

Optics tags: lens

What do we see? And do we see it? It is true that we only experience the remnant flavour of the nature of our vision in our dreams. The quality of our dreams is very important. We seem to be able to choose what we see in a pretty simple way, but there seems to be no way to choose our dreams. Textbooks explain that dreams are only re-synthesized memories. In CINEMA we have already laid out an argument against that perspective.

And that is where the concept of a LENS helps us hold on to as well as walk away from the field as it exists. Our minds are lenses, if nothing else. Everything we manage to see is through the faculties of our minds. If our minds are programmed in specific ways, our experience will have that specific flavour. And there is no way to work on our minds directly. It is like shooting at a figure, when you can see them in a mirror. All the figures we can see are only reflections in the mirror.

We work on our mind only by applying it in specific directions. Practices are directions. Writing, Thinking, Walking - each is a practise because we can script the actions, but not the experience. Ways of performing practices can be gestured towards but the content has to emerge.

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Superhero tags: sand shop

The superhero is thought to be a person endowed with special powers, abilities, temperament or wealth. Such endowments help the person overcome extraordinary challenges and come through as a leader for the mindless masses of the world. The superhero is necessary a hero and is interested in being good and is interested in victory and positive PR in some form. We have a superhero amongst us. This superhero has no special abilities. We still see something super in what he manifests in his…

Reputation tags: dentures

How are you known? How has your name become your handle in a very literal sense, your handle being the instrument by which you are pulled into surfaces, pushed out of anonymity. Your name used to have a meaning when you were born, but now it has been repeated so often that it has become a mere marker, appellation, label on the box. It has actually even taken on these dark undertones, these associations which are nothing short of evil. These undertones come back to you when you manage to sleep and when you actually manage to sleep. In the dreams, your name becomes a spell and a chant. Which is which you do not know, but sometimes it is repeated a million times and nothing happens except that you go into a trance and sometimes it is spoken just once and everything breaks lose.

In this muddled game you even think sometimes of how others think of you. Your reputation factors in your world view as if it were not a systematic form of distortion but actually something real. Of course distortions are also real, they have residing within them ghost images of other things for sure. But no one sees the ghost image, they are seen with pure artefact value, as a pure anomaly.

But even when you are living within a belief system, even when you stare only at the ghost image, enthused with the emotion of convincing yourself that it is real, the distortion defeats you. Because it is fragile. It is always under attack. Because at any given time, only a certain number of reputations can be loaded and mounted into a system. If you are in you are already on your way out. On the other hand if you are standing outside in the cold, at anytime at all somebody might let you in. Somebody might open the door.

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On Introspection tags: eyes

Looking within is an abstraction. Surely, we cannot really look within ourselves. What we imagine and construe as our inner world is in fact just thoughts. Maybe a different kind of mental plane. But thoughts nonetheless. What do we associate with the act of introspection? Can we change the association? Can the notion of seeing blankly — searching for stimulation be introspective? Do we have to close our eyes? Closing our eyes supposedly helps us be immersed in our own minds fully, but is that t…

Surfatial tags: research

Surfatial (pronounced like palatial) is a space to perform personally experienced sequences of knowledge and talk about these to others. Somewhere in this process learning emerges. We prototype formats of conversation that allow the emergence of knowledge.

In its first year (2014-15), Surfatial organised a season of six web based study groups. Each study group was a set of sessions on Google Hangout on Air. Each study group was developed on a talk-show format and had an anchor and invited guests. Discussions were possible across the board, between the anchor, the guests and the participants.

The distinguishing feature of Surfatial's study groups was the applied model and framework of knowledge. The guests and the moderator were only sharing elements gained and validated through a personal process. The development of arguments in the sessions of each group offered an experience that did not rely on an external narrative for its validation. Every strand of the narrative bore a consistent internal logic.

We are currently seeding a platform for the sharing and dissemination of alternate pedagogies and self-woven visions of the world. This desire responds to academia's hangover with the past and its inability to instil processes and incubate practices that can help students in a continual production of content. Academia, as we see it, does not deal with the substance and gravity of the present moment.

Surfatial was an individual effort from 2014-15 and a collective effort from 2015-17. Presently it is exploring different structural formats.

Surfatial is neither dead nor alive. It is always at home, devising its next play. Surfatial comprises of three roles - Surface, Mirror and Perspective

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Nostalgia tags: memory loops

A pattern of memory (or memorizing) that gazes at times past. The fixation with the past is usually the case, though it is possible in twister-like-lives-that-we-lead to be nostalgic about the future. As a desire which is now past a time when it has an empathic place in our programmes, we steal away and perform nostalgia and beat ourselves for it. This catalog will share personal stories, reflecting full lives, told betraying emotion of experience, loops not left untied, hopes realized in struggle.

Nostalgia is the source of fiction. Like we can be nostalgic about the future, we can be nostalgic about the past that never was. We err equally often to err on the side of the tragic and blissful. We invent trauma and invest bliss, equally as often. For no particular reason than literary pursuit.

For, the trouble has always been, that we are flawed and incomplete characters. A sketch cannot escribe me fully. It is always a slice. Elsewhere you can understand more about the crimes designed into this system. The crimes which get syndicated infrequently and deliver the buzz.

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Soft Architecture tags: flesh

Many consider soft architecture to be the software layer of architecture in which reals methods and materials adapt software frameworks that are developed and then the physical forms are developed. But soft architecture has nothing to do with software. It has something to do with the soft layer of our existence. The layer which is programmed by experiences, memories, intuition and narrative. Architecture is equal parts soft and hard architecture. What cannot be dealt with is somewhere a problem of capacity and calibre. Here we examine spaces which have become templates of how they come to be and what their purpose is by being denied their soft dimensions.

Ideally these two should not be distinguished. They are part and parcel of the same experience. There are no clearly demarcated boundaries between hard and soft ways of doing architecture but there are certain variables that are often given up on or are not dealt with because they are too complex and the architect lacks a way of dealing with them.

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Distraction tags: cloud

Attention is concentrated focus that is applied towards the thinking of anything. If we have less attention, we are more distracted. If we have more attention, we are are less distracted.

But attention is the currency of interaction. If we do not have this currency, we are not able to play any significant part in the world.

To accumulate currency in a distracted way would mean that one becomes a channel and not a collector. A collector accumulates, a channel merely allows passage.

Allowing passage and accumulating attention only via the trace deposit of the process allows us to be distracted and at the same time accumulate attention.

We can be channels, we can be distracted and we can accumulate attention at the same time.

But what will we do with all the attention? Because we do not want to be focussed and we want to be distracted in the first place.

We will use attention only as leverage to get what we want. We are aware of the value of attention. The media conglomerate and the attention economy is based on their ability to deflect and absorb attention in desired ways.

But what do we want? We want to stick around. We want to manage.

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Narration tags: death-wish

Arranging snippets of sensory I/O routines into any kind of coherence. Beginning-middle-end or not. Crazy-as-hell or boring-as-a-tap. Narratives distort experience and memory. Actually narratives are the death-wish of experience. As bio-memory fades slowly, the desire to preserve experience takes over. This desire behaves in a way which is biased towards nostalgia. "Which will be a fun way to remember this disaster?"

Remembering and sharing (there is even a word for it: narrativizing!) is important. Cinema. Distortion is the only choice. Because media exists, because empty media desire to be full. Noise dawns and refuses to die down. Media confuses, further filters and processes experience. I think we need to become split-minded monkeys soon. Split between vegetating-sensory-pigs and undiscriminating consumers of bullshit (narrative media).

This death-wish of experience is deeply rooted in us. There is nothing to do but follow it. Of course the trick at hand can always be applied. Some amount of the-ability-to-decompile the narrated must exist. Rough, faulty, excavated de-compilations are good enough. No one needs to access elaborate compositions. From the de-compiler's perspective, compositions are a waste of time.

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Idolatry tags: metoo publicculture fameandpower

We take an idolatry position towards public personalities known for their academic, artistic or literary work. This is not easily explainable as the concepts of “brilliance in work” and a being of “good character” have very little to do with each other. Being known for “brilliance in work” means to be in sync with a set of general sensibilities which might involve a set of social or political and aesthetic beliefs which are currently in vogue. It does not imply having arrived at a particular stage in pe…

Conversation tags: gate

Even if conversation never happens, the possibility exists. Because of this possibility, we engage and participate in conversations all the time. But what is a conversation really? A conversation is not just a dialogue with a multi-party contribution. Even if it says nothing, it happens as an outbreak of partnership. Even if no exchange happens, a partnership gets established. This partnership does not have any deep significance. A contribution is not valuable by default. That is where the…

Relevance tags: drifting attention analytics

Everyone wants to direct their attention only to information relevant to us. In these times of Big Data, an average user’s interest area and defining the kind of content they would find relevant are both done through analytics. By measuring how we engage with the information that we consume, platform owners claim to understand what is of relevance to us. The problem with this model is obvious. It is like what geeks referred to as “eating your own dog food”. In the technology world, the phrase refer…

Journals tags: barometers

Journals record the content that consciousness produces. These records are not plain and attempts at representation but rather they attempt to mount a web of discourse into view. A view available for examination and a view that is ready raw-material for history to weave its stories out of. These webs of discourse are like theatre, with figureheads who each seem to stand for a position and nuance of their own. From the world of simulation and modelling, journals are actually model simulations of a world with contrary opinions, hard-line politics and reputations built on them. Each journal tries to inherently be the friction and the noise that emanates when ideas with degrees of variation in their world-view have to acknowledge that they cannot be completed without the other. After movements orchestrated to differentiate and distinguish themselves they have to now make peace with other perspectives and agree to forge a landscape together.

Rather than become mastheads themselves journalists are lighthouse keepers who agree to abide by the inflammable friction that the journals contain. They agree to standby even with the risk of being engulfed by the fire that the friction could cause. And this is a real danger. As is the danger that the friction will subside and become just a rumble echoing from history. After a point, journals still have to remain what they claim to be. They cannot start short-tempered chases after social media brownie-points or financial market ambitions. They cannot suddenly desire to be stars in their own right, they have to commit themselves to being channels, like window-panes let the glass pass through. They cannot hope to become redundant specks of dust on the glass. Various rules apply to journalists. Besides the rules that relate to transparency and fidelity there are a bunch of rules that deal with fraudulent use of language. Journalists should be like lab-rats in the observatory of life. They should only relate authentic observations through media. Fabricated material ensures the death of the channel. On repeated violations of fraud they become nothing but stenographers. They become dependent on a voice that dictates something to them. They lose the capacity to write a single world on their own. They become like zombie-journalists, losing any individuality which they might have had.

Journals are maps of arguments, each journal is piece of fabric that holds the strands of a discussion together. But they are also stagings of fake dramaturgy. Stagings of the empty shells of superfluous construction of drama around empty ideas, not worthy even of consideration by the bored and idle otherwise. These are necessary too, of course, to populate the space of dullness, the off-white space that refuses attention and whispers, "go on searching, this is not where you stop." The moment when they whisper this, energies in the synthetic universe get balanced again and sighs of relief are heard all over, at least there is honesty in this space infested with namesake heroism.

Our journals are without much fanfare not interested in multiple voices, in the outside chance of discovering under published voices and becoming a platform for more bullshit than we know what to do with. We are not just self-obsessed, we genuinely find a satisfying kind of content in the mist of togetherness. Between Alishan and me, issues of journals only need to be transcribed from the radio of our misty heads. We do it one at a time and spread across months rather than days because we empathise with you and we want you to have adequate time for reflecting on each issue. We find calls for entries, invitations for content sent out into the vacuum of hope and unknown genius tiring and wasteful. If we already have an idea of what we want, why don't we do ourselves a favour and just deliver it to ourselves. Our journals are webs of postures that Alishan and me strike when we play amateur theatrics. And being such ardent fans of excellence in theatre we pour ourselves fully into our postures. We literally bend our psyches out of all their elasticity.

Rid of the imposed responsibility of having to discover other voices and promote the voices once discovered, we feel free and light. So light that we can dance around the few pages of our journal with a free-footed ease that betrays the betrays flavour in our heads. We know how to shape the many-sided polygons of the complex nature of concepts that humans consume and into spherical pellets that can be swallowed whole. These pellets are nutritious, low-fat and high in fibrous-content. They are fully digested and there is nothing left for you to shit out.

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Freedom tags: splinters

Freedom is not just a matter of degrees. It is about the constraints and also attempts to describe the negative space of the constraints. In this description resides the potential of the freedom. In the degree of the opening, the scope of the negative space of constraints is defined. Sometimes through narrow slits and gaps, passionate potentialities are demonstrated. Because how free we feel depends only partly on how free we are allowed to feel and depends in equal parts on the level of our own disinhibition. Disinhibition cannot be rendered as a condition of the external ecosystem. It has more to do with the actor’s persona and how she has framed and declared her persona. What is the pitch of the actor’s voice? What does it say? What kind of response becomes necessary? By configuring herself, the actor defines the dynamic of the field.

The dynamic of the field can be shaped by individual actors as the interpersonal is the truly emergent space that sets chain-reaction off. Zones of freedom are demonstrations of the potential of freedom. These zones are outbursts of the improvised self-configuration exercises of actors.

Actors can self-configure if they choose to. They can also be automatic mirrors to the flux that they witness. Starting to play the game is a consent.

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Ideas tags: scraps

Spirit emanates from the spark that gets triggered from good ideas. Ideas that have both the resolute nature of defining the individual they get triggered from and the simplicity of being conveyed through text and pictures. And we ought to value this spirit. It doesn’t come easy. It withers away as fast as it emanates. Why? Good ideas are often dismissed because they will upset the status quo. If there is a specific mode of life that is reserved for the exchange of ideas, for the trying out of ideas that are considered good and for taking lightly the outcomes of ideas that don’t prove to be good after all. It is the character of good ideas to seem to be good before they are applied and seem to be not so good after they are applied.

But when we are talking of good ideas here, what do we mean? Good ideas in which domain? By good ideas we are talking about paper inventions here. Ideas about new games, movies, theatre and other non-literary forms of art. Ideas that implore upon you to imagine something, imagine another art form from the way words describe them, put simply ideas of another world which is not this. For once leaving the question of proof of concept or prototype alone, and just let ideas be ideas. Letting practical and so-called worldly concerns of sustainability and profitability behind and just focusing on the merit of the idea. This doesn’t mean we focus on tentatively worked out ideas — it just means we focus on thoroughly worked out ideas (some even with prototypes) without the muscle of industry and capital to test them.

Imagination/creativity and industry/capital do not often co-occupy the same head. So what is to be done? We have to give ideas the opportunity to enjoy the what is only enjoyed by the application of capital. It is an ordinary assumption that the quantum of ideas far outnumber the quantum of prototypes. Taking ideas a step further is only going to test their robustness. But taking them two steps forward only demonstrates the availability and applicability of capital. In the world of ideas, the urgency of capital to multiply doesn’t mean anything. Any act to produce a particular idea so that it has multiple copies available is going to need capital. And capital is scarce at more times if not all times. And if capital is invested, it wants to either multiply or at least break even. A reportage of ideas produced at a certain time would be very useful. Time can be chronicled by ideas efficiently.

A compendium of what kind of ideas were produced in which time allows us to understand the it in more detail. It allows us to know the resonance of the idea more clearly. And this knowledge is very valuable. Instead of letting ideas be judged by the marketplace — we create a space for ideas to be engaged with as ideas itself — on their own terms.

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Shop tags: nomination

A shop is a place where products are displayed. But what if the products are not displayed? What if only a person stands there telling stories about the products that could possibly occupy space on the shelves? Do we want to buy things or do we want to get entangled into the mess of the world and are willing to pay for the privilege? We do not know anything about you but we know that you want to buy yourself back as much as much as we do.

We are in debt and so we do not feel free to do what we want. We doubt every action that we may take. But our future is as important for us as our present is. And we need to free our potential from the crushing weight of our debt also.

The shadow that is cast on this current moment is only going to pass once we awaken and rise into presentness. Once we are fully here, we will make sure that we remain in control of our experience. Once we buy ourselves back, we will awake.

Our shop offers you a way to buy yourselves back by doing away with the need to buy anything at all. Our shop is empty. We haunt the alleys of the shop and talk to whoever is there to listen. Once you agree to pay money for the strange vapour comprised of equal parts story and fragments of a broken dream, you let the ghost out of the proverbial bottle. Our indebtedness disappears the instant an exchange happens. If air will be paid for, then we are millionaires. We have a vast supply of ideas that do not need to be frozen in a plastic form. We channel ephemeral concepts into experiences. Our performance cannot be transacted upon in an absolute fashion. It can be transacted upon only in a piecemeal way, with the value of each piece left unspecified. A customer in our shop does not transact upon the past, but on the richness of the present act. If our performance falters, then the value of the exchange falls. If we are invested, so is our exchange value.

We help our customers get tuned to that which has no parameter in representation. On accessing information that media is not even equipped to transmit, a kind of bending happens. This bending is the synthesis of presence in the midst of only shells.

Our shop cannot do without us. This shop needs us to haunt its alleys in order to be any kind of shop at all. Because the real estate in this shop is finite, the only way that this shop can double-up as a factory is by running a school for reading unstated languages for its potential customers. Learning to decipher the transparent is the sole project here and it is very important. Once the garb of transparency is exposed, the amount of information available to process is likely to be overwhelming.

But then shops turn into factories and factories turn into catalogs.

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Humour tags: velvet shop

Laughter is just symptomatically related to humour. There is no direct relation. Humour is a very sophisticated channel of communication. There are modes of perception. There are patterns of organising content. Each such pattern comes with its own reading apparatus and a prescribed set of conditions under which the pattern is evident.
 When the pattern is evident, the body of content makes sense. Humour is one such pattern that allows the body of content which is it represents to make sense. W…