J W, an expected contributor to the seminar, has send a message he is called for other duties and will not come. J W wrote following: Below is something from a wall in Brussels, seen last weekend. It seemed to me like it could represent a scenario for the seminar!
Natland SB asked for more and got from J W in return:
I offer this short extract from an essay entitled
Digital Magic, Cybernetic Sorcery: On the Politics of Fascination and Fear by Stephen Pfohl, just published on Ctheory.net
"Everything begins magically in the electricity of communication. The sky crackles with lightning and the atmosphere changes. Oxygen bonds with hydrogen and tears stream down my cheeks. I get e-mail from you and my brain ignites. You keyboard your imagination in the direction of my mind and my spine tingles. Text messages spark suggestive ritual pathways between us as our genes tumble together, magnetized by the rhythms of a time belonging to neither of us alone. We toss and turn in waves of affect, intense but uncertain about what might happen next. Then, when trying to say what any of this really means, even our best words fall face down and flat.
Energetic transmissions loop between us, then reverse rhythm; first layering, then switch tracking, then again back to the flow. In this way we communicate, not by discursive language with all its grandeur and lack, but by synaptic pulsation and a rhythmic oscillation between what fascinates us and what makes us afraid. Here things are actualized in magical rituals of "song, tone, key, rhythm, timing, intonation, loudness, silence, color, odor, taste, touch, shape, gesture, facial expression, body posture, movement, displays, dance, drumming, clicks, whistles, sighs, cries, screams, mimicry, and play."
The whole essay is HERE