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Guide for life coding practise as electromagnetic [EM] action (life_coding#9)

[to be published as part of: Constraint City from Gordan Savicic:

http://www.yugo.at/equilibre/?p=12 ]

Iceland spar is what hides the Hidden People, makes it possible for them to move through the world that thinks of itself as 'real,' provides that all-important ninety-degree twist to their light, so they can exist alongside our own world but not be seen.

[Against the Day. Thomas Pynchon]

To outline the practise (instructions for city-wide life coding activity within electromagnetic/aetheric substance) we can begin in an associated realm - instructions devised within a scene by William S. Burrough's [Cities of the Red Night] to place the city EM play (scrying) within the context of both EVP [Electronic Voice Phenomena: cf. white noise spectrum and Stochastic Resonance Theory. references: the work and apparatus of Freidrich Jurgenson, Konstantin Raudive and Hans Otto Koenig] and the flip-side of radical constructivism (software); a deceitful world interface with direct reference to The Magus [John Fowles] and Burrough's software (the crash of that software revealing...):

I recorded a few minutes in all three rooms. I recorded the toilet flushing and the shower running. I recorded the water running in the kitchen sink, the rattle of dishes and the opening and closing and hum of the refrigerator. I recorded on the balcony. Now I lay down on the bed and read some selections from The Magus into the recorder.

[William S. Burroughs. Cities of the Red Night]

Electronic Voice Phenomena or ITC (instrumental Transcommunication - a two way conversation with the spirits) - a modern , technology-driven double to early science/spiritualism with white noise and recording apparatus as support or medium (for bootstrap or debug messages from the beyond, the Hidden People, dead coders/technologists).

The communication terms of signal and noise are called into a different relation under Stochastic Resonance Theory - broad spectrum white noise; at a microscopic level, the internal thermal noise of a physical circuit (a city) or natural electrical phenomena in the atmosphere - both embraced by radio technology. White noise boosts an otherwise unheard (voice) signal, makes it evident.

EVP divines software or code with scrying recommended as city-wide EM flaneur activity; EM scrying for ghost software - divining process, divining a hidden city, an alternate electromagnetic architecture with no lines of transmission, but rather of resonances undone from the intentionality implied by the terms of receiver and transmitter.

Coming to light, revelation, exposure, a transparency or making visible enabled by the crystalline Iceland spar which serves as a doubling - the decomposition of light into two rays (the ordinary and extraordinary, the real and the imaginary component) as it passes through the calcite crystal. Science as a bringing into light, the light of day as opposed to the darkness of spiritualism. Work (and putting the spectrum to work, work and energy and entropy, light as resource and as power) and the day and light.

Brought to light, electromagnetic substance, after James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein, is precisely light, or, in reverse, light and magnetism are viewed as "affections of the same substance"; a disturbance propagated according to "electromagnetic laws" [Maxwell]. This same substance, luminiferous or light-giving aether. Duplex fiction and double identity from the word (go), Charles Dodgson and alias Lewis Carroll, with games of time reversal, of clocks setting time forwards and backwards in text, and in nonsense language, predicting the occupations of modern physics (Albert Einstein, special relativity again with the direct link to Maxwell's equations), and a certain question of direction which concerns both the daemon of Maxwell (outside the system, in the exterior), and the fiction of Pynchon (halved circular arc of Gravity's Rainbow, the thematic and drive of entropy within Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49 - with direct reference to Maxwell's famous creation).

Light and electric light (against the night), light in the expanded sense (after Maxwell), light as that duality (of wave and particle), the doubling within the Iceland spar:

"The ancient Manichaeans out here worshipped light... No matter what transformations might occur, and they expected anything, travel backward or forward through Time, lateral jumps from one continuum to another, metamorphosis from one form of matter, living or otherwise, to another - the one fact to remain invariant under any of these must always be light, the light we see as well as the expanded sense of it prophesied by Maxwell, confirmed by Hertz. Along with that went a refusal of all forms of what they defined as darkness."

[Against the Day. Thomas Pynchon]

Both Manichaeism and Gnosticism are concerned with a duality of light: a doubling and duplicitous nature relating to conspiracy (the work of Philip K Dick as supremely Gnostic in preoccupation) - the dupe (The Magus - an untrustworthy or constructed reality), the double. The looking-glass world of these "lateral jumps" returns us to Charles Dodgson, alongside Conan Doyle (forensics, detection and revelation), members of the SPR (Society for Psychical Research - together with Lord Rayleigh, Maxwell's successor).

Another double or second person is presented within the fiction itself by the pseudonymic double within Dick's VALIS [Vast Active Living Intelligence System - the pink light] - a translation or transition effected by any lens from Philip K Dick to the character, in the third person, Horselover Fat; he who is talked about as another person within this novel of Gnostic intent, of revelation within a total paranoiac oeuvre; an obsession that there is something else at work here, there is something else happening aside from the visible or the told [the career of Wernher von Braun]. "The empire never ended." The (pink) light or luminiferous aether is a revelatory medium. The life coder is elsewhere/another, very much within a scene.

Life coding enters both as this kind of fiction and the practise of the container which is established by (mise en) scene and by the establishment of a rationalist model - the container of a model (constructed by science) for lived reality/technology. De Sade makes it plain what it is to write fiction, to write code commentary in the 18th century, sitting on the page, as some kind of container also to be divined, and within the mise en scene to define a relationship of execution (storyteller whores as life coders). In the scene.

A living that it makes no sense to talk or write about without reference to economy (city as a machine for living, the interior CPU or circuit we'll arrive at soon confronting Oedipa Maas, familiar from the banal radio days).

The life coder presents a play with these containers - these containers are exactly the EM scrying devices; VALIS in the hand. The practise is clear: a mapping of (the interior) technology over the constructed world (exterior) aside from questions of instrumentalism, use or relation - rather that fiction which is a data sheet (outlining potential acts - the instruction set perhaps) becoming in some way embodied within this closed hardware; a kind of reciprocity or exchange between a science (fiction) successful in prediction or approximation (this is the hardware) and, on the other hand, science as describing the world as contained (the project of rationalism, the interiority of endophysics). The final cyclops eye of the Sadean life coder is in some sort of lens, Fourier transform or anamorphic relation to the expanded bedroom (city). An in-circuit flip-flop of Russian-doll-snakes rationalism/irrationalism biting word tails; Horselover and Philip, Charles and Lewis.

Embedding and containing imply an idea of scale and of a frame of reference: Oedipa's miniature radio receiver hides (behind) an exterior which cannot be avoided across Maxwell's City swarmed with mushroom antenna. An exterior of wire, of metal intentionally at odds with the buried cables and structural Faraday's cages embedded within concrete. The microscopic of an internal electronic circuit is reflected in the wider copper traces of tramlines, power lines, structural metal - a sibling circuit with its own ghost architecture; the circuit diagram is replaced by an overlapping series of maps. Maps of structure and ownership also. Circuits of detection and translation (less than visible). Capacitance, inductance, blocking, resonance, resistance on a grand Tesla scale.

Where do we place execution or, rather, interpretation which can maintain a (programming) language, maintain the closed space of execution (interior) within this active process; a closed circuit with this language which can begin to re-define itself and thus to re-define new ways of describing and thus regarding process. Such that a process can hang on a fence, waiting for continuation, for extension and further execution, potentially within a new environment.

Life coding flaneurs attach this descriptive process to city objects, delaying execution. Code becomes a part of EM substance - modulated and demodulated articulating hidden substance. Code (that writes) is W.A.S.T.E (We Await Silent Tristero's Empire. ref. The Crying of Lot 49) - a paranoiac, alternative system of message distribution - a simple equation concerning signal and noise - intentionality of transmission and implication of reception. We are receiving a signal.

Tristero is fiction as conspiracy theory par excellence, revealing nothing but itself.

The pink light can be analysed in the frequency and hence time domain to be revealed, to come to light as information, as that which was intended to be transmitted for certain reasons, or from a source which is yet to be revealed. the same source which is active behind the paper scenes (a source of messages) divined within the city of San Narciso by one Oedipa Maas in Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49:

She drove into San Narciso on a Sunday, in a rented Impala. Nothing was happening. She looked down a slope, needing to squint for the sunlight, onto a vast sprawl of houses which had grown up all together, like a well-tended crop, from the dull brown earth; and she thought of the time she'd opened a transistor radio to replace a battery and seen her first printed circuit. The ordered swirl of houses and streets, from this high angle, sprang at her now with the same unexpected, astonishing clarity as the circuit card had. Though she knew even less about radios than about Southern Californians, there were to both outward patterns a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meaning, of an intent to communicate.

The closed circuit is clear - electromysticism within city practise - life coding within a CPU mapped onto the circuit. The very latest Baedeker is transformed into both data sheet and circuit diagram for a new form of life coding tourism.

Martin Howse. Oslo/Berlin. June 2007.