The immersion. A stinging. There is only color. No shape. No front or back, simply orbits rippling back from a central disturbance. Some lighter bodies become vapor rather than resolve into the growing hum that shoots through mass and time.
There is a dark room. Two boxes emit a coded spell. The organism opens it's eyes and sees flaming arcs and sparks within the boxes. This is good. No other recorded spell passed through these boxes completed the circuit in just this way.
The spirit of the organism can be vibrated but not touched. The touching within it's core occurs rarely if ever.
Birth, death, procreation; these will sometimes stir and flutter shapes within the field.
We move closer to the source of the original spell. Here all is keening, a ringing echo neither ended nor begun. A numbness passes into a state of hyper-awareness, and an orbit of chaotic patterns is whirled fast enough to quiet their roar.
All now play their part.
The instruments within the organism begin to stir. A half-heard call, buried in the DNA ribbon, a crying wail brought forth before time, and still singing just beyond hearing.
The whirling rocks and the germs upon them form a chorus. The resulting harmony casts a spark. The light reveals a moment of madness. Generations of notes are only a prelude. The flash will wake those who lose focus in the humming din. The first sounds of the spell are like sleep. Not a lack of vibration but a passionate trance. A higher waking than the conscious audibility of the sounds. The organism forms the note and time itself expands to follow the rise and fall of the wave.
The wave flows back to the center. Four sweating bodies exchange a momentary look of surprise and near-bliss. Something was tapped. A reach outside of matter, grasping threads not yet woven into the pattern. A giggle, as a feeling of pure evil, or is it pure good, flows across the instrument, off-key notes now sounding with a pleasantness not heard before.
The musical chairs. The ceremony. The ritual. A factory stamps a heavy die on a human face and begins transmission.
Gristle and bone liquefy and lighter elements make a pleasing whistle as they pass through a generation of organisms, releasing a musky odor and a new bump on the waveform.
All move to one side. The music stops. We sit. There is no longer a chair.
For those who were touched before, receptors cannot withstand the message renewed. For those who arrived too late but for the echo, a hush will become a new roar, a further cry, just beyond the last breath.
Flies in a bottle. Bodies pile up. A buzzing from deep within.
Superscience station WFMU and Fabio are pleased to present a live interactive radio interview with all four components of art ensemble Throbbing Gristle, on the Strength Through Failure progamme, Wednesday night, April the Fifteenth, from eight until eleven pm, EST. We hope you will attend. Phone lines will be open. Further current information about Throbbing Gristle activities can be found here.
Shoes for industry. Shoes for the dead. Dead industry. Shoes with holes. Light pours out of the holes. We dance on.
"...For the elements were changed in themselves by a kind of harmony, like as in a psaltery notes change the name of the tune, and yet are always sounds; which may well be perceived by the sight of the things that have been done. For earthly things were turned into watery, and the things, that before swam in the water, now went upon the ground. The fire had power in the water, forgetting his own virtue: and the water forgat his own quenching nature. On the other side, the flames wasted not the flesh of the corruptible living things, though they walked therein; neither melted they the icy kind of heavenly meat, that was of nature apt to melt. " / the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter XIX
" "No physical difficulty," she confidently replied:but I haven't studied Logic much. would you state the difficulty?"
"Well," said Arthur, "do you accept it as self-evident? Is it as obvious, for instance, as that 'things that are greater than the same are greater than one another'?"
"To my mind," she modestly replied, "it seems quite as obvious. I grasp both truths by intuition. But other minds may need some logical---I forget the technical terms."
"For a complete logical argument," Arthur began with admirable solemnity, "we need two prim Misses---"
"Of course!" she interrupted. "I remember that word now. And they produce---?"
"A Delusion." said Arthur.
"Ye---es?" she said dubiously. "I don't seem to remember that so well. But what is the whole argument called?"
"Ah, yes! I remember now. But I don't need a Sillygism, you know, to prove that mathematical axiom you mentioned."
"Nor to prove that 'all angles are equal', I suppose?"
"Why of course not! One takes such a simple truth as that for granted!"
/ Lewis Carroll , Sylvie and Bruno
BONUS BIOGRAPHICAL DETAIL: from illustrator Harry Furniss describing Carroll's obsessive secretiveness surrounding his manuscripts: "...he was determined that no one would read his MS. but he and I; so in the dead of night (he sometimes wrote up to 4 a.m.) he cut his MS. into horizontal strips of four or five lines, then placed the whole of it in a sack and shook it up; taking out piece by piece, he pasted the strips down as they happened to come. The result, in such an MS., dealing with nonsense on one page and theology on another, was audacious in the extreme, if not absolutely profane ... These incongruous strips were elaborately and mysteriously marked with numbers and letters and various hieroglyphics, to decipher which would really have turned my assumed eccentricity into positive madness ... I soon discovered that I had undertaken a far more difficult task than I anticipated, for in the first letter of instructions I received from the author he frankly acknowledged I had my work "cut out." "Cut out" suggests dressmaking, the very subject first chosen for discussion and correspondence."
"There is no hiding from what is visible in the death wagons. Each grotesque form is a living reminder of the threat within every Deviant's body --- unstable atoms, running wild in frightening patterns, producing frightening offspring! The solution is Purity Time --- an infamous ritual which never ends!"
/ Jack Kirby, The Eternals
"I am in a train at night, in my lower berth. The train is going very fast, I can tell by the way it shakes rattles and rolls. I have much fear of crashing. The train must be going ninety miles per hour.
"Oh well," I tell myself, " the engineer must know what he is doing."
We are coming to the English frontier, and there will be a customs inspection. There is a paper of heroin hidden in my terry-cloth bathrobe. If it is found, I will plead with the inspector for a chance to finish my education."
/ William S. Burroughs
A couple of my favorite Martin Denny tracks to listen to while you read: