Obscenario (mediation): Fantom Surikaeru

Ulmer & Freeman, “Beyond the Virtual Public Square” (2014):

“Choragraphy as ontological mapping takes up this question of coordinating material and spiritual wayfinding, exploring the shifting borders and thresholds between inner and outer well-being.” (72)

Although partly déterritorialized in a new Choral Map, the shortcomings of the prior section occur by remaining “twice removed” in analytic thinking (Theory), with limited outcomes in this detachment. Choragraphy remedies not only as method but felt thinking, Stimmung (attunment) and conduction, as shown in the glance of Autobiography to expand the cognitive map. This segment detours from the original site (college campus) in order to engage more concretely (ambulatory) the broader problem of Embodied Information: bodies that become scriptable-legible, in certain mediated forms, as information encountered (knowing without feeling). Toward the MEmorial (abject genre), and less governed by sense (instead sensation), this segment functions choragraphically by adding to Career Discipline materials and thinking from Autobiography, Pop Culture (Entertainment) and Community (?). Both reflecting the touring of a different territory and recounting certain intensive lines that enabled this project, thresholds are crossed somewhat “abruptly” and imperceptibly. The rhetorical frame of reflexivity and metacomposition is reduced (unable to drop fully), in favor of circuit-writing linking toured public space and networked ethology. Beginning with the admission that these detours have changed the conditions for thinking-feeling, as well recognizing: the Call (Stanford Sexual Assault) presents me a decision to confront about my role-function in a Community local and potentially online.

Saturated by the Memesphere, no “offine”: attention conditioned by the speed and erosion of the Datastream, even while ambulatory in local public space.

To be (in the) ambient?

detour: the terroir includes ambient yeast, capable of “spontaneous fermentation.”
Unpredictable, exposure: microbes unseen in places Digital and Spatial, potential to ferment.
(with time and right conditions)

series:    Ambient minus T(erritorialized) = Ambien (zolpidem)
                        Benzodiazepine = Altered state effect
// Altered state of Memesphere (liquid; aesthetic; nonsensical)
                        example: L S D :   M e m e E m u l a t o r

Relay: find glitch and/or vulnerability (the exploit)
              for liquid information embodiment


Counter-point: Viscosity

  • semantic registers: Material / Physical / Physiological / Sexual

Experienced (taste): “Gravity” of beer; Original Gravity / Final Gravity
          aka “terminal” gravity (evokes: terminal identity?)

fermentation helps me think (about) Time, despite dromosphere (dimension collapse)

  • Memory? (transposed to database)
  • Network circulation? (half-life vs. “rhetorical velocity”)
  • “Stickiness” quality of online ‘content’? (exposure)

“It is the effect of extimacy (outside in), of poetic correspondence central to flash (flesh) reason. [...]. Through qualia humans undergo the Real.”
“one of the primary examples Sartre gave of a viscous substance is “pitch,” or pine tar.” (Ulmer, “Quale Morphics” 157)

Material connection: Pine Needles (Stanford Sexual Assault)

Viscosity (qualia) as resistance to Lêthê-flow of datastream, speed of dromosphere?


Oblivion (lêthê) - “The River Lethe”

Lêthê: “the underworld river of oblivion and its goddess”
“The river-goddess Lethe was sometimes identified with the daimona Lethe, forgetfulness personified.”

Contemporary: Datastream, InfoFeed, Memesphere (flow-current of River Lêthê)

Extension: forgetting, not witnessing—condition of Network Bystanders (ethology)

“See you on a dark night”
[ Grimes - “Oblivion”]



“Everything that happens must be known.” —The Circle (Dave Eggars, 2013)

Key for witnessing and commemoration toward the MEmorial (mediated testimonial), interrogating the subject position undertaken or incidental: what subjectivation occurs in the experience of Not-Bystanding? Like the quasi-Public Space of campus (paths, quad, buildings institutional or recreational or residential), a “multi-use” path near my home (Denver, CO). Thinking “Public Space” and experiencing its conditions newly by walking my pack of shibas.



Transversal between digital networked sphere and lived local space, via Shiba (Japanese breed) dog personifying the multivector meme Doge. Furthermore, one of my dogs named Kumamon (Kumamoto mascot); subsequently a strange meme as well (détournement of the character). Follow these lines of peripheral reasoning.


Shiba points of conduction for me:

  • gesture: shake (full-body)
  • cultural register 2014: “Shake it Off” (Taylor Swift)
    • ubiquity: online circulation, music video and GIFs
    • “outrage” at cultural appropriation
    • Taylor performing recognizable gestures
  • material: jean shorts
  • attitude (mantra?): shake it off (impervious, double meaning)
    • Iconic status? Personification?
    • cf. Beyoncé, “***Flawless” (2013); persona-avatar of attitude

Instruction: cross thresholds, use condition; gather into paradigm (choral image?)

Ulmer: “a goal of our strategy is to do for the obscene what scenario did for scene: obscenario.” (“Quale Morphics” 150)



Local Public Space

Détour(n): daily routine, action

yield or step aside for runners/joggers, bikes, scooters, skateboards, strollers

One shiba in our pack, Himê (princess), is one-eyed.
Without peripheral vision, stark blindspot; she relies on pack movement & perspective.

Gesture: step aside, in other words side-step (emblematic?)

Kaihi shimasu    (evasion avoidance; to avoid)
Surikaeru           (sidestep)

回 = round, game, revolve, counter for occurrences (number of times)

Additional meanings:     “round” in sense of circular
                                       also like turn/counter/number/occurrence (second round)

Colloquial: how many rounds? (drinks)
               “Do the rounds” (at party, place. security patrol?)
               Circular, cyclical; repetition; ongoing; revolve

Conductive semantic jump:
               evasion → “eversion”? (William Gibson, “the eversion of cyberspace”)

Shape: contours, borders

Daily gesture, touring public space:
         shibes explore periphery of paths (routine yet unscripted).

Instructive: reminds surveying periphery of Choral Map (campus) and Community
Include (virtual): Hazel Gates Woodruff Cottage
On the “outskirts” of map (out-skirts, material gendered)

Electronic Monuments instruction:         “Dramatize the blindspot”
                                                                of Group Subject ?
                                            (undertaken by this project, if nothing else)

What is in our peripheral vision? In blindspots?

At first, assailants; once shifting to direct line (F2F ?), though—
located here are the bystanders, witnesses, side-steppers.

Realization: I am (we are) located in the periphery of this scene.


In this Obscenario:

Eversion of Periphery?

❖ Role in scene:
         By-stander / Passer-By / By-Cyclist

Etymology: “near, in, by, during, about”
         “Originally an adverbial particle of place, in which sense it is retained in place names (Whitby, Grimsby, etc.).
      ➢ “Elliptical use for ‘secondary course’ (opposed to main, as in byway)”

Détour(n) circuit-map, reflections enabled by (and on) Shibe-pack tours of local territory:

  • would I jog this path in order to be in shape to run away if needed?
  • have you ever tried running in jeans and sandals or heels?
  • do women run faster through certain stretches of this path?
                     [ spaces that seem innocuous to me... ]
  • Interpellation is not (merely) cognitive, but affective.
    These detours help bring this to mind and consider.
  • Contrast to public space: stationary Elliptical Machine at Rec Center (one terminus of multiuse path)
    • One pool for lap swimming. One for recreation, children, families.
    • at the Rec: is each of us working out to fight (off) or outrun assailant?
    • What is equivalent to exercise in terms of affective capacity?
              [ Stationary intensity (Deleuze & Guattari) ]
    • The Rec-reant exercises but feels nothing.
      Sensorium subordinated to the Information Overload of DataStream (politics, photos, beer, sports, forums; all content within in Filter Bubbles, insulated by tailored Apps)
  • Location (map): Central Park Recreation Center (unofficial terminus; edge of new Choral Map?)
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
    • Within “Stapleton” (planned “community”)
    • Central Park Blvd.
      • Whence this link to New York City?
      • NYC seepage of “The Bystander Effect”?
    • Central Park Blvd. drives over the multiuse path
      • Shiba-pack walk on the path under, links to Boulder-Broadway underpass
  • Routinized gesture: scroll and swipe smartphone while driving (unlike walking alert)
    • Stream of information and presence from elsewhere; not localized (here/now)
    • Could I witness & document (capture) the present?
    • A police SUV passes me on Montview.
    • Would I be capable of witnessing let alone testifying?
  • I bike to Central Park Recreation Center on multiuse path
    • would I stop like Stanford cyclists? Intervene and witness (photograph-video)?

From my detour(n)s with Shibes-pack, decision (attitude):

I undertake responsibility (?) to witness our neighborhood,
to recognize territory as proximal for campus sexual assault.

What about online? How to undertake this responsibility-role for Networked Public Sphere?

Material-spatial signifiers:             streetlamps of multiuse path and sidewalks
                                            Imagine gaslights of past cities, walking at night?

Form and follow circuit:

  • “Gaslight” (1944 film)
  • Victim blaming, shaming; psychological manipulation
  • Zersetzung
         ○ “translated as decomposition, corrosion, undermining, biodegradation or dissolution”
  • material level: corrosion as rust (exposure to?) in circuitry, porousness of periphery
  • discipline: dé-composition, writing & rhetoric?
  • alternatively: disciplining of non-affective subject (decreasing capacity to be affected)
  • détour(n) this thinking via cultural database, The Crying of Lot 49 (Pynchon):
    “So much of him already had dissipated,” Oedipa Maas observes about her husband Mucho, who is also described as “a whole roomful of people” after Dr. Hilarious (German psychologist) had prescribed him LSD. On the drug, Mucho explains, “you hear and see things, even smell them, taste like you never could. Because the world is so abundant. No end to it, baby. You're an antenna, sending your pattern out across a million lives a night, and they're your lives too.” (Pynchon 118)
  • extension               L S D : M e m e E m u l a t o r —
                                  networked witness antenna’d (without Self)?


kinÆsthetic: [Dé]Tour(n)ing “Public Space”


Of, relating to, or adapted to walking ambulatory exercise

an ambulatory patient
(medicine) Performed on or involving an ambulatory patient or an outpatient.

Accustomed to move from place to place; not stationary; movable.
an ambulatory court, which exercises its jurisdiction in different places

(law) Not yet legally fixed or settled; alterable.
The dispositions of a will are ambulatory until the death of the testator.



Walking (with) Shibes-pack, I do not perceive the vantage of “Birds-eye” Satellite imagery (Google Maps); unlike Oedipa’s perspective, seeing “The ordered swirl of houses and streets” resembling a “printed circuit”: intimating communication, “a revelation also trembled just past the threshold of her understanding” (Pynchon 14). Instead, the Community database (Popcycle register) is undertaken as experienced role, ambulatory cognitive mapping in all sense of that term. Unlike the circuit-swirl of houses ordered (Contrast: Stapleton phases), the “neighborhood” boundary is unoffcial, not settled. Instead, I can recognize the Territory as Community I am part of, one that includes areas where sexual assault might occur in proximity to the college campus. This vulnerability exposure (viscosity) is only found in the ambient by situating the problem locally where my pack (de)tours.



New Choral Map (local Public Space):

  • “Multiuse” Path / Greenway Park
  • William McNichols Park (proximity; official City Commemoration for another mayor)
  • Johnson & Wales University Campus (and surrounding neighborhood)
  • Denver School of the Arts (across the street; yet, another world)
  • Denver School of Science & Technology
          ○  same street as School of the Arts; end coordinate of this map axis.
          ○  How to connect the two modes, for consultation?
          ○  What “wisdom” would I offer?
              The ambient provides:          #That’sCollege

This kinÆsthetic detour(n)-circuit unlocks the flow of conduction.

“Here is a rule of the obscene: product plus by-product. The accident records our gesture, creating a field of action around Flesh, that is, human embodiment. [...] Such is the entire lesson of the Real: our capacity to be affected.”
“given the foundation of electrate metaphysics on the faculty of taste as the basis of aesthetic judgment, the sensorium oriented by pleasure-pain. Such is the third axis, supplementing right-wrong (orality, religion, narrative) and true-false (literacy, science, evidence) with attraction-repulsion (electracy, entertainment, figure). Check your event for its bit of Flesh. Wisdom traditions devoted most of their attention to coping with this by-product of embodiment.” (“Quale Morphics” 154)

Expanded Map (transversal)

Walking in our neighborhood, one shiba (Bella) routinely checks storm drains at street corners. (I wonder about her subterranean plans, off-road and “off-grid.”) One such corner on one of routes nearby caught my attention ineluctably, Niagara Street. Transversal line of conduction to think water flow in National Landmark Status (ecology as identity).

Consider the Niagara River as River Lêthê (Oblivion-flow)
         Imagine it powering “the Internet,” poetic.
         Geologic survey: simultaneously eroding the U.S. border, like our coastlines (rising seas).
                       Our national borders are porous, mutable.

Consider the volume and speed of water at The Falls
                       (6 million cubic ft. per minute, inconceivable)
Local “Landmark” location, Denver, CO: site of The Great American Beer Festival
Material link: consider the water used to produce 3,800 beers for 60,000 attendees (3 days, 2016)
Imagine water provided for alcohol drinks at speed/volume of the Falls (virtual time of fermentation or distillation reduced by speed of fastest-available Internet)
Historical precedent: we used to “Go Over The Falls” in a barrel.
         Incredulous today— yet, consider what we normalize now.

Material and symbolic transversal:
Imagine Olympic-sized pools filled by The Falls in every town/community
How quickly? 20 minutes?
Consider Brock Turner’s 3 months of jail for “20 minutes of action
         (Dan A. Turner, father)
Once “tipped as a future Olympic star” (now banned)




Cultural register (lyrics):

"why you babysitting only two or three shots?
I'mma show you how to turn it up a notch.
First you get a swimming pool full of liquor, then you dive in it.
Pool full of liquor, then you dive in it.
I wave a few bottles, then I watch 'em all flock—
All the girls wanna play Bay-watch.”
                                                            (Kendrick Lamar, 2012, my emphasis)

Historical significance:
         The first person to go over The Falls: Annie Taylor (1901)
         She expected fame and fortune; she died in poverty.

National Identity (collective value):
         Standing-by. On-lookers.

Anonymous (statement by victim). Posted to  Buzzfeed.com  on Jun. 3, 2016, at 3:17 p.m.

Anonymous (statement by victim). Posted to Buzzfeed.com on Jun. 3, 2016, at 3:17 p.m.