From Checking In
Jules Verne is listening to the Dark Side of the Moon Ziggy Stardust is playing Space Invaders The Wind-Up Bird is Dreaming of Electric Sheep Papa Smurf is in the House of Mirth Narcissus is listening to Echo and the Bunnymen Elvis Has Left the Building Second Person is using its Wii Paul Celan is at the Salon The Cedilla is under the C The Old Man of the Wild Sargasso Sea and Annabel Lee like this Nobodaddy is Putting Baby in the Corner Dorian Gray likes to Turn Back Time Narcissus ♥ his own photo Barbara Kruger is thinking of you Tristan Tzara and Siri are providing answers (to questions that have never been asked) Sisyphus is at the Hard Rock® Marshall McLuhan is getting his Medium massaged Beowulf is playing Dragon Slayer King Lear is Playing Blind Man’s Bluff Modernism likes its own “post” Hermes and The Medium are using Messenger Walt Whitman is sluffing his boot-soles Prada’s got boots on the ground Medusa’s Watching Snakes on a Plane Words Without Wrinkles is getting some work done Ex Nihilo is making Much ado about Nothing Via negativa is smoking sativa Wordsworth is in a SoundCloud of Unknowing Penny Stocks are turning on a dime Veneiro’s is refusing third-party cookies The Barber of Seville is reading the Rape of the Lock The Barber of Fleet Street is eating Raoul Underground Man is Alone Nowhere Man is beside himself Bryon Gyson like Running with Scissors Edward Scissorhands likes this The Marquis de Sade is seeking submissions LeStat is at Forever21 Mary Shelley is listening to Rob Zombie Emily Bronté likes une Semaine de Bonté As does Merleau Ponty and Jimmy Durante Nude Formalism is making a tape The Girl with a Pearl Earring is wanting a Necklace Andrew Marvell planted a Garden in her Face Mister Hulot is on Holiday Billy Holiday and Holiday Golightly prefer the blues Shylock is in for a pound Charles Reznikoff is not buying it for a penny Screaming is coming across the sky The sky is the color of television Jelly Roll Morton is saying Ich bin ein Berliner The Red Wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater is beside the Kentucky Fried Chickens The Wife of Bath(os) is at the Bathhouse Bauhaus is in the House of the Rising Sun Sun Ra, Sun Moon and King Sunny Ade and Sonny Rollins like this and are gonna Soak up the Sun with Sung Myung Moonie Dr. Who (with Hüsker Dü)’s on First
Through a satiric tour through the shards and fragments of literary and post-consumerist culture, “Checking In” is a kind of algorhythmic rhapsody, reminding us how the internet is not only voyeuristic but a mirage. Its data is absurd, and as such this piece speaks to the way we seek answers, but with answer to questions that have never been asked. We seek fulfillment but enter an unsettling, uninhibited flow of information where every data point only refers back to itself and the culture of techno-capitalism of the web.
What however has become truly unsettling, in the writing of this piece (which I’ve been playing with for 3 years), forging a site of radical grafting linkages, codes, indeces, ludic identities; erupting as a hypertextual twining of both intimate social space, exploring the timelessness of digital information and our ravenous, insatiable appetite for data and connection, (who’s doing what, when, where, with whom)—was that it has ironically also become an ad facto listing and questioning of alternative facts.
For Jews, at Rosh HaShana, the New Year (which also celebrates the birth of the world), it’s customary to blow the shofar, a ram’s horn as a kind of wake up call. One of the main ritual blasts is called the TERUAH blast. In Hebrew, TERUAH, homiletically comes from “ra’ah” (or ro’ah in Aramaic), which means shaky. Thus, translinguistically, going back to the birth of the world, what is “t[r]u[e]” is that which is volatile and uncertain, an unstable complex flex of conflictual flecks foregrounding how facts in flux are always in fact fiction. As per Psalms 89:16, “Fortunate is the nation that knows the teruah.”
And, if we think through images and Baudrillard, it’s through our pop culture, our screens, our books, the repeatability and masking, mirroring and fragmentation, that truth is always already (as both Borges or Jabès might also say), a point in space that contains all other points. Anyone who gazes into it can see everything in the universe from every angle simultaneously, a re-imaged confluence of masks and distortions. And thus our search for truth is a nostalgia both for and of the infinite.
In Joycean terms, “a commodius vicus of recirculation.”
Truth always already a resonant present re-presented,
porous and possible, and prescient.
A complex flex of frictional facts: Artfacts.
Michael Dickel discusses on The BeZine a retanlate(d)gent(i)al topic: Social Media as Empty Vessels
Adeena Karasick is a New York based poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of seven books of poetry and poetics. Her Kabbalistically inflected, urban, Jewish feminist mashups have been described as “electricity in language” (Nicole Brossard), “proto-ecstatic jet-propulsive word torsion” (George Quasha), noted for their “cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory” (Charles Bernstein) “a twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick’s signature ‘syllabic labyrinth’” (Craig Dworkin). Most recently is Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), and The Medium is the Muse: Channeling Marshall McLuhan (NeoPoiesis Press, 2014). She teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is co-founding Artistic Director of the KlezKanada Poetry Festival and Retreat, 2016 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the 2016 Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking. The “Adeena Karasick Archive” has just been established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University.