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Poor Peenemünde/2 (peenemunde#2)

As published in the Ludic Society Magazine, Issue#5 (2008)

"Kryptosam" is a proprietary form of stabilized tyrosine, developed by IG Farben as part of a research contract with OKW. An activating agent is included which, in the presence of some component of the seminal fluid to date 1934 unidentified, promotes conversion of the tyrosine into melanin, or skin pigment. In the absence of seminal fluid, the "Kryptosam" remains invisible. No other known reagent, among those available to operatives in the field, will alter "Kryp-tosam" to visible melanin. It is suggested, in cryptographic applications, that a proper stimulus be included with the message which will reliably produce tumescence and ejaculation. A thorough knowledge of the addressee's psychosexual profile would seem of invaluable aid.

Prof. Dr. Laszlo Jamf, "Kryptosam" (advertising brochure), AGFA, Berlin, 1934

You're so old-fashioned. An essay in perspectives. Personal point of view shot towards or against transfiguration. Aerial reconnaissance strictly as an advent/ure game, a godgame, on ape or monkey island which leads to the premiere, Skull Island (another monkey - King Kong), and another skull, an island announcing itself before apparition, before sighting or smell, looming out by way of an obvious and familiar face on the map, the gaming paraphernalia, a skull. An island of life surrounded by the void.

An island where there is no hiding/nothing hidden. No hiding from the adventure game eyes looking down, equipped with their suitably aged, maps wrinkled by experts, and forged photographic images. A place mapped out in text and simple decisions, multiple choice questions; a space where nothing hides as there is quite simply nothing. All traces of former occupation have been removed.

I decided to follow the dead-straight road which led northward along the eastern boundary of the airfield toward the Baltic shore. I passed the limits of the airfield and went toward the extreme edge of the island. To the right lay an untouched stretch of marshy foreland, but on the left there was a great deal going on...

Of course, she is not really there, rather tracing an imaginary route, her two eyes walking an enhanced stereoscopic image, a strictly virtual display. She had never visited and never will visit the island. The photographs handed to her represent a complex, acrostic signal, accruing intention through multiple apparatuses; field trips, side trips, aerial camera devices, intelligence reports, eavesdropped bureaucratic web. For the girl's name, ending thus "Life, what is it but a dream?"

It was on the third visit that I realised. The truth became apparent and this is what I want to write about, whilst I'm still there. I would often bring something with me, on the journey; some object, travelling there and returning without being exposed. This time I understood that the best thing to bring would be a kind of container, an empty bottle, but not to be filled; to bring to this place where nothing is as it seems. And in writing, there, about this last visit, and without stumbling too heavy over the feet of Godel and his team, writing in which also nothing is as it appears. But it's not the same as the idea I was talking of with A___. Steganography rather implies some kind of message, unseen, coded within a potential information vector of, for example, an image, indeed any artefact. But here what is hidden is evident, visible. I am able to write about it, this exact opposite of the steganographic impulse. No signals here. Language and its journeying companion, paranoia, turned inside out, or rather two surfaces are exchanged.

How to detect what we could call this steganographic intent? Where to start looking, assuming, of course, that something is there? Fiction, a red herring, riding off into a sunset always in the other direction. And especially on this tempting island of Peenemünde, in Northern Germany. Like all islands, little hiding its evident magic, and with a name added more recently to a catalogue including its more relevant namesake Skull Island, Spetsai or Phraxos, its fictional counterpart, and finally, following the Tempest-line of monadist, magician John Dee, a pastoral England (Derek Jarman's Jubilee); the rocket's intent arrival.

An exchange of two surfaces, or perhaps more, tracing the hair-line of original steganographia, literally the shaved skin turned into a treasure map for the month's hair raising to cover and hide. A magic map which could encode further surfaces within the very appearance of a yearly advent/ure magic. A hidden writing, in reverse in this case, after the apparent magician Johannes Trithemius whose own Steganographia, encrypted a treatise on the very subject of cryptography, within an ostensibly magical text. A side story of exchange, and of course we could talk about the more complex interior geometry of the rocket's surfaces, fictional exchanges, the rocket less than a cipher. But, on the exterior, and there is always this manipulation of spaces, to come to face, on the outside the emblem or insignia can be read as the two steganographised sides of a fateful forged/dealt card; witch with broomstick idling on her shoulder is the flip-side of a bared Frau im Mond. Two destinations, a divided lady and voyage in this bachelored machine.

Here is how that journey begins, in exile:

You are in the bedroom of a small hotel apartment on the island of:

(defvar *locations*
        '("England"
          "Spetsai" "Phraxos"
	  "Peenemünde") "List of geographical locations")

(nth (random (length *locations*)) *locations*)
The apartment is on the second floor. There are three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The rooms are sparsely furnished. In each bedroom there are two chairs, two beds, coathangers on the wall. A balcony overlooks the beach. There is a metal case on the floor.

>open case.

Inside the case is a professional cassette recorder, loaded with a single 90 minute tape. A microphone is plugged in.

>help

The game of [W.S] Burroughs is to turn the detective into a detector; a coherer (iron filings) from earlier radio days, specified more correctly as a reception machine constructed by the VERY signal itself. Yet, on this abandoned, magic island marked off as separate from any civilian mode for at least fifty years, there are precisely no signals. The map is blank, erased from a parallel data space which fills the war-torn Norwegian air with unidentifiable voices. A slate wiped clean by the flightless broom, subject throughout its history to that which is known officially as "change analysis," a supposedly potent tool in the hands of reconnaissance technologists. Writing as an interpretation of its own evolving surface. Writing as a advent/ure-time transfiguration employing a rich alchemic and Kaballistic history. The empty container passing as mystical egg through an emptied text landscape. Emptied of its lively contents, the signal-made machine of iron, the coherer is precisely this empty shell of divination; a shell of the dead, the qliphoth rocket shell surface too achingly apparent.

References

Monas Hieroglyphica, John Dee 1564

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon 1973 [attribution of Prof. Dr. Laszlo Jamf quotation]

Evidence in Camera, Babington Smith 1958

Rechnender Raum, Konrad Zuse 1969

annotation code fix: (2008.01.17:1 annotation#4 annotation_software#20)

http://1010.co.uk/annotate131207.el

autotate.html

Credits for sources to all at:

http://gravitys-rainbow.pynchonwiki.com

http://www.hyperarts.com/pynchon/gravity

http://www.benteague.com/books/titles/gravitys.html