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“Reality, it seems, has been deregulated, and nothing is business as usual anymore--least of all business.  The horizon of history bends into an asymptote, and a its warping edges, the more wild-eyed and speculative can’t help but glimpse the shadows of some imponderable and ominous X leaning in.  As the ancient mapmakers wrote when they sketched the edges of the watery unknown, ‘Here be dragons’.“

- Erik Davis, Techgnosis

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"Generative Sigil", by Joshua Madara

by smariot on Youtube

“I’m engineering, grasping fictions, grasping concepts, grasping hallucinations from my own area and translating them into another one, mixing them and seeing where we go with them.  I use these different concepts to probe new areas of experience, to anticipate and fastforward different explorations into new fields of perceptions which are always there, but whose strength lies in that they don’t exist in traditional mainstream terms.”  

- Kodwo Eshun

A procession of the damned.
By the damned, I mean the excluded.
We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.
Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march. You'll read them—or they'll march. Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten.
Some of them are corpses, skeletons, mummies, twitching, tottering, animated by companions that have been damned alive. There are giants that will walk by, though sound asleep. There are things that are theorems and things that are rags: they'll go by like Euclid arm in arm with the spirit of anarchy. Here and there will flit little harlots. Many are clowns. But many are of the highest respectability. Some are assassins. There are pale stenches and gaunt superstitions and mere shadows and lively malices: whims and amiabilities. The naïve and the pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the insincere, the profound and the puerile.
A stab and a laugh and the patiently folded hands of hopeless propriety.

- Charles Fort

“A network is defined as much by its holes or what it leaves out as by its links.”

- Margaret Morse

By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs. This cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centres structuring any possibility of historical transformation. In the traditions of 'Western' science and politics — the tradition of racist, male-dominant capitalism; the tradition of progress; the tradition of the appropriation of nature as resource for the productions of culture; the tradition of reproduction of the self from the reflections of the other — the relation between organism and machine has been a border war. The stakes in the border war have been the territories of production, reproduction, and imagination.  

- Donna Haraway

“In another way, weird may be grouped into two rough categories—those in which the marvel or horror concerns some condition or phenomenon, and those in which it concerns some action of persons in connexion with a bizarre condition or phenomenon.”  

- H.P. Lovecraft

Announcement

On June 14-16, 2013, in Portland, OREGON: WEIRD SHIFT CON. An aggregation of derelict theory-objects, critical aberrations, intentional anomalies, techno-magical interventions, associated archive accesses, and socio-intellectual performances over the course of the month of June culminate into an EVENT--a participatory ritual of mythic proportions, meant to bend the usual continuous milieu into a metastasizing instance of scenius.

A three-day event in the midst of a longer event. Within a month-long gallery of oddity, celebrating and curating the Weird as submitted by the event participants, three days of meetings, discussions, and shares.

WeirdShares will take three general forms.

  • NanoShares (7-10 minutes). Short introductions, small tastes, nanoperformances, Pecha Kucha, artist statements, abstracts, abstractions. If desired, “evidence” presented in NanoShares should be incorporated into the Gallery LongShare.
  • KiloShares (~30 minutes). Performances, explanations, exegeses, tangents, talks. We would definitely like “evidence” presented in KiloShares to become part of the Gallery LongShare.
  • LongShares (one month). The collected residue of the shorter shares, once collected, preserved, archived, stratified, documented, and in-stasis, will be shown in the gallery before/after the live share.

Attending

The gallery show Longshare opens on June 7at gallery:Homeland, in the lobby of the Ford Building, at 2505 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97202. Please join us for the opening, at which we will have an introduction to the shares on display, information about the Center for Genomic Gastronomy’s Planetary Supper Club dinner, and refreshments. There, you might find:

  • The Research Commons, where Share dossiers are filed and reviewed
  • In progress experiments and other reviewable data
  • A found-photo narrative detailing a previous-unconfirmed story
  • The Periodic Table of Pirated PDFs
  • Weird-Fiction’s Tales from Decrypt
  • The Darknet Portal into the cyberpunk internet
  • Video dimensional-gaps into artistic and intellectual tendencies
  • The Twitter Targeting System
  • The Comprehensive Conspiracy Wall
  • The Center for Genomic Gastronomy’s “Gummi Taxonomy”
  • Sousveillant asides, cultural strains of H5N1 and a moment -- an age -- an infinite stretch

While the gallery is open all month, the main event is the Weird Shift Conference, going from June 14 to June 16. No pre-registration is necessary to attend, but we are accepting donations to help pay for our zine publication and other associated costs. The entire event (except for a few field trips) will be held at gallery:Homeland, in the lobby of the Ford Building, at 2505 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97202.

We have an excellent schedule of talks, performances, and other events planned. In addition, we will have Nanoshares, which are our “unconference” share times. Anyone may share anything they like in a seven-minute slot. Sign-ups for these slots are open on the day of the conference, so come on down and bring your share! (Computer projection equipment will be available for slideshows, images, video, etc.)

Limited Attendance Events

We also have two particular events that are extra special, and therefore we have to limit attendance.

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy will be hosting a very special dinner on Saturday night at 8pm. The Planetary Sculpture Supper Club will serve up a collection of foods, recipes and stories that point to the varied ways that humans sculpt the planet’s biosphere, featuring investigations into Utopian & Intentional Cuisines. The Center is keen on unearthing past visions of the future that outline how we could or should eat. Why were some movements and ideas successful while others failed? What are the fantastical images of the future of eating that can help us think through the present? What role should individuals, communities, governments or businesses have in determining the genomes that make up our food systems and ecological-systems?

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This event is limited to twenty people, and we are asking for an extra $20 donation from those that attend to support the cost of food and alcohol. All participants will be well-fed, and properly lubricated. The CGG puts on a fantastic meal, and we trust you won’t be disappointed. Please sign up first come, first serve by registering on the CGG Eventbrite page.

Laura Allcorn and the We’ll See Walking Company will be putting on a special walking tour of unique local history on Sunday afternoon. The event is free, but is limited to fifteen people to ensure the tour is a success for all. Please sign up first come, first serve by emailing us. For those that aren’t able to attend, there will be a separate sojurn to the site of the former Kelley Butte civil defense shelter in Southeast Portland.

Schedule

Here’s is what you can expect to see, hear, and do at Weird Shift Con.

FRIDAY, JUNE 14

19:00 Todd Dickerson’s Soup Purse performance.
20:30 Zack Denfeld’s Nanoshare: Never Enough Eyeballs
21:00 Adam Flynn hosts Secret Twitter Film Club at our opening weird-reception.

SATURDAY, JUNE 15

11:00 Coffee, and an informal tour of the gallery.
12:00 First group of open sign-up Nanoshares.
12:45 Michael Reinsch performs on the subject of anthropology and human evolution.
13:30 Todd Dickerson talks about his Soup Purse performance from the previous evening.
14:15 Break
14:45 Second group of open sign-up Nanoshares.
15:30 LE Long talks about “Critical Fight Studies”.
16:15 Jeff Harris and group share their Twitter Targeting System.
17:00 Break
17:30 Third group of open sign-up Nanoshares
18:00 Suzanne Fischer does a walk and talk about powers of the mind and PEAR lab.

20:00 Center for Genomic Gastronomy hosts dinner.
22:00 Evening socializing at local watering holes.

SUNDAY, JUNE 16

12:00 Fourth group of open sign-up Nanoshares
12:45 Another presentation: TBA.
13:30 Break
14:00 Laura Allcorn leads the We’ll See Walking Company’s special “Weird Shift” tour
14:00 Other simultaneous field trip to Kelley Butte (possibly).
16:00 Fifth group of open sign-up Nanoshares
16:45 Kyle Drake explains how “We are all already cyberpunks”
17:30 Stephanie Simek (pending confirmation).
18:00 A performance by Weird Fiction.

 

If you are planning on coming to the three-day event, please consider contributing $5-10 to our fund. The money goes towards refreshments during the event, conference materials and swag, and a zine publication to be mailed to all funding attendees.

Donate to Weird Shift Con!

"I know this owl" by kinetocast

“Glitch” is conjectured as finding its etymological roots in the Yiddish glitch (“slippery area”) or perhaps German glitschen (“to slip, slide”); it is this slip and slide that the glitch makes plausible, a swim in the liminal, a trans-formation, across selfdoms.

- Legacy Russell

Stepping aside from this well prepared transition from lock-down to vaporisation we can move into something else: the composition within conflict of intelligence. Writing about the different, mainly English, writings that emerged from experiences of prisoner of war and concentration camps during and after the Second World War Ken Worpole notes: “two class definitions of ‘freedom’ that are in complete opposition: in one it is a quality associated with splendid isolation, in another it is associated with the communality of things and the mutual aid of interlocking relationships”

These constructions of freedom, the first that of the officer class, the second developed in the ranks bears uncanny resemblance to the direction of much of the debate around the political and cultural meaning of the nets. In another novel, bearing directly on the war but suggesting the consequences of an alternative outcome Philip K. Dick has one character, Frank Frink ponder his use of the Confucian interface to the future, the I Ching. An oracle whose counsel could be, “brought forth by the passive chance workings of the vegetable stalks. Random, and yet rooted in the moment in which he lived, in which his life was bound up with all the other lives and particles in the universe”.

Without wishing to engage in considerations of the actual use of this device, (which has corollaries in the Tarot, tea-leaves or coin tossing as a way of informing or computing, of making judgements or of throwing another view into a situation and thus blocking, channelling or producing energy) it is to the politically charged thick connnectionism apparent from these two quotes that we can look for material and perhaps unexpected development in the construction and usage of agents.

- Matthew Fuller

But chance is a harsh mistress who only makes an appearance when she feels like it - so rather than wait for glitches to occur, content creators painstakingly collected and forged imitation glitches – making them available as presets, plug-ins, and clips in media libraries. Faux glitches could now be made to occur at any time merely by pressing a button.

- Kim Cascone

"Expanding Earth Theory" by Neil Adams

Mourning the broken balance, the hopeless prostration of the earth

Under men’s hands and their minds

The beautiful places killed like rabbits to make a city,

The spreading fungus, the slime-threads

And spores; my own coast’s obscene future: I remember the farther

Future, and the last man dying

Without succession under the confident eyes of the stars.

- Robinson Jeffers

It had fiery eyes, and ears like an ass’, and nostrils and mouth like a lion’s. . . That monstrous head moved from its place with such a great shock that the figure of the woman was shaken through all her limbs. And a great mass of excrement adhered to the head; and it raised itself up upon a mountain and tried to ascend the height of Heaven. And behold, there came suddenly a thunderbolt, which struck that head with such great force that it fell from the mountain and yielded up its spirit in death.

- Hildegard of Bingen

To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood.

- Edward Abbey "Desert Solitaire"