“At his best, Wallace wrote about how impossible it was to truly know or connect with others in any kind of important or authentic way, despite our wired-in yearning to do so; how solipsism and anxiety and an addiction to the pleasures and artifice of modern American culture—with its fragmentary focus, narcissistic impulses, and worship of soul-numbing devices and mindless entertainments—had rendered us obscenely disconnected from one another, and ourselves, and fundamentally unable to connect with the truly important things that might actually save or sustain us. Yet he also realized how almost impossibly difficult it was to step outside of all of that seductive American noise, and found himself just as seduced as any of us (if not more so) by this cultural barrage of base, empty, momentary pleasures. It was a dilemma he returned to time and again, in both his fiction and his non-fiction: how to connect and empathize with others, how to lead a decent life that made any kind of sense or tasted real in the face of endless distractions and false gods. If he ever was anything like “the voice of a generation”, it was largely because he was able to diagnose, in painstaking detail (complete with footnotes), the central maladies and malaise of our modern times and the deep loneliness at its core—a loneliness we had hoped education or income or intoxication or entertainment might cure, only to realize that these things were just more empty calories, serving to dig the hole ever deeper.”

Chad Perman, “On the Road”

A sequence

The big turning point came when I was nineteen. And that was a really serious matter. I woke up one day and I looked around at the world. And I said, Causality does not exist. It’s an illusion. And I talked with a guy who was in the philosophy department. I said, “I suddenly realized it was all an illusion. Because, an effect follows something, B follows A, we think A caused B. But actually it just follows it. It’s a sequence. A sequence like a sequence of integers. They’re not connected.” — Philip K. Dick The Last Interview and Other Conversations.

The Mojave Desert is not a landscape loved by normal people . . .

The Mojave Desert is not a landscape loved by normal people. The saying is that the people who come here are either on a quest or on the run. I suppose we are no exception, although I’m not sure where we fit into that taxonomy. (“It’s not a binary, it’s a spectrum,” offers P. as he looks up from his book on the history of Death Valley borax mines.) Sex offenders, world-class herpetologists, tweakers, self-appointed mystics, doomsday preppers, retirees with woodshops and VFW membership cards, geologists, three Whitney Biennial artists, and now an intrepid fleet of urbanites (transplants I like to grumble about despite—or perhaps because—I am self-consciously and self-loathingly of that ilk). People who, for various reasons, seek out a certain basic animal solitude.

No fortunes have ever been made in this corner of the Mojave, which is part of its appeal. There’s a certain assurance in guaranteed penury, in knowing that any aspirations or ambitions are by default going to have to be spiritual or physical because you can’t make any money here. Which is why vegans and celibates and Buddhists do well out here; they already possess the disciplined constitution for lack. Society’s expats in collusion with the landscape. (The rest is here.)

New Asia

When I lay down beside you, you rolled against me, waking, on your breath all the electric night of a new Asia, the future rising in you like a bright fluid, washing me of everything but the moment. That was your magic, that you lived outside of history, all now. (William Gibson “New Rose Hotel”)

Erik Davis on California

California is remarkably resilient. I remain cautiously optimistic that the state will find some inventive and not entirely sucky ways to remake and reimagine itself once again, in the face of white decline, an income chasm, a 21st-century drought, and the brilliant idiocy of hyperactive technology. I also remain reliably irritated by the propensity of East Coast and European thinkers to reduce the cultural and metaphysical complexities of the state to some purported “California ideology.” While the Bay Area’s commingling of hippie libertarianism with hardcore corporate capitalism is indeed a peculiar and in many ways noxious brew, the tag is crude and parochial, a tired iteration of Old World superiority, and one that serves to cloak and deny the countless ways that California has been — and, to some degree, continues to be — a site of creative struggle, recombinant culture, embodied exploration, and social invention. I met Richard Barbrook shortly after he co-coined the phrase in the 1990s. He was a nice enough bloke, and I can’t begrudge anyone I share a spliff with, but when I told him I lived in San Francisco, he asked how I could stand living so far from civilization.

The rest of the brilliant interview here.

Julia and Roland

While trawling the interwebs for more Mass Effect material, in one of DeviantArt accounts, I have found this image. It first came up as a thumbnail with the title. Looking at it, I automatically assumed that this was going to be a little cross-fandom homage to Blade Runner‘s “Do you like our owl?” scene. Rachel/Mirand facing Deckard/Shepard off-screen is a tip-off, but, of course, it’s the diagonal slashes of sunlight (although here on the opposite side of the room) that made me certain this had to be a visual quote from Scott. Alas, it is not and “Do you like” is about a new top. Kristeva’s and Barthes’ intertextuality at its best.

For Chelsea Manning

In his letter to the jailed whistleblower Chelsea Manning on her 27 birthday, Alan Moore writes (the rest of his letter and many others here):

Dear Chelsea,

You don’t know me. My name’s Alan Moore and I’m an occult charlatan and writer living in Northampton, England’s furthest inland point. It isn’t what you’d necessarily refer to as a pretty town, but through my window here the slice of it that I can see is looking good this afternoon. The sky is freeze-dried to a perfect powder blue, and the low winter sun ignites the brickwork of the terraced houses as a kind of petrified and stationary orange fire, already blazing for a century by now. What I’m attempting clumsily to get across is that the world’s still here, that it still has its good, clear days, and that those days are better and are clearer thanks to you and what you’ve done.

All letters are heart-wrenching, but Moore’s opening reminded me of the final pages of Jeanette Winterson’s even more heart-wrenching Passion, where the narrator is describing a desolate garden on the prison island in Venice:

I have started work on the garden here. No one has touched it for years, though I am told it once had fine roses of such a scent that you could smell them from St Mark’s when the wind was right. Now it’s a barbed angle of thorns. Now the birds do not nest here. It’s an inhospitable place and the salt makes it difficult to choose what to grow. I dream of dandelions. I dream of a wide field where flowers grow of their own accord. Today I shovelled away the soil from around the rockery then shovelled it back, levelling the ground. Why have a rockery on a rock? We see enough rock.

And then, at the very end:

There is a frost tonight that will brighten the ground and harden the stars. In the morning when I go into the garden I’ll find it webbed with nets of ice and cracked ice where I over-watered today. Only the garden freezes like that, the rest is too salty.

I can see the lights on the boats and Patrick, who is with me, can see into St Mark’s itself. His eye is still marvellous, especially so since walls no longer get in the way. He describes to me the altar boys in red and the Bishop in his crimson and gold and on the roof the perpetual battle between good and evil. The painted roof that I love.

It’s more than twenty years since we went to church at Boulogne. Out now, into the lagoon, the boats with their gilded prows and triumphant lights.A bright ribbon, a talisman for the New Year.

I will have red roses next year. A forest of red roses.

On this rock? In this climate?

Chelsea Manning is a quiet gardener.

A loose thought on the conclusion of Sons of Anarchy

For all its convenience and research-friendliness, binge watching of television shows strips us not only of the time between episodes necessary for reflection (which, I venture, accounts for Lost‘s failure with many late- and now-comers). Between-season breaks are harrowing and mid-season hiatuses are plain irritating, particularly if we like the show, but they also provide a sense of rhythm, a weird kind of media seasonality (as opposed to the succession of life seasons, whether natural or work-related) that, when looked back upon, creates a backward-looking perspective. The conclusion of a multi-season show creates a little pocket for thinking back on the events of our own lives that happened while we followed the series but also invests the moment with a brief moment of nostalgic poignancy.  I have had some problems with Sons of Anarchy, which wrapped up forever two days ago, but all in all I liked the show. (My little theory is that at its core is not the infectiousness of criminality or the burden of responsibility, but a tragic premonition of the generational conflict in which all evil is, in one way or another, perpetrated or caused by our parents, from whose past there is no escape.)  And now, after four years (I got into the show at the very beginning of the 4th season) of Tuesday or Wednesday nights, I will never see Chibs or Tig again. Which is fine (I’m sure I’ll adopt another show soon, or will simply watch one movie a week more), but a bloodied piece of bread in the middle of the road really made me revisit, if only for one evening, the sinuous waves of the last four years. This isn’t, of course, the only trigger for self-reflection, but I suppose Gibson from the sky-above-the-port period would have loved the idea that at least some of the rhythms of personal memory are regulated by media events.

I’m back.

What I am trying to do – Buckminster Fuller

Acutely aware of our beings’ limitations and acknowledging the infinite mystery of the a priori Universe into which we are born but nevertheless searching for a conscious means of hopefully competent participation by humanity in its own evolutionary trending while employing only the unique advantages inhering exclusively to those individuals who take and maintain the economic initiative in the face of the formidable physical capital and credit advantages of the massive corporations and political states and deliberately avoiding political ties and tactics while endeavoring by experiments and explorations to excite individuals’ awareness and realization of humanity’s higher potentials I seek through comprehensive anticipatory design science and its reductions to physical practices to reform the environment instead of trying to reform humans, being intent thereby to accomplish prototyped capabilities of doing more with less whereby in turn the wealth augmenting prospects of such design science regenerations will induce their spontaneous and economically successful industrial proliferation by world around services’ managements all of which chain reaction provoking events will both permit and induce humanity to realize full lasting economic and physical success plus enjoyment of all the Earth without one individual interfering with or being advantaged at the expense of another.

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

“The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non- human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

Full text here.


Of course, I look back. In the last 12 months, I went to the desert more than ever before (always respecting it), learnt so much it would be hard to start describing how much (a lot, that’s how much), spent a night in an empty airport (with a tornado approaching), completed an academic pictorial/cinematic turn (which was long coming), bought so many books I am not sure about the logistics of making them cross the Atlantic, discovered great software for presentations (Prezi), had tons of Mexican food (and some Thai), almost grew a beard and almost shaved my hair, gushed over a new Steve Erickson novel, made a bunch of new friends and managed not to lose any old ones (unless someone is not telling me something), scrounged a bagful of Jack Chic comics in “Los Jilbertos,” finally had two ideas I am fairly confident are actually fairly original and fully mine, ate more fruit and vegetables than in the last 5 years, and thought about the previous 42 birthdays (ok, about 10 or so). And remembered every single day how lucky I am. And yet, I have never looked forward more than I do now. It is so cool to be 43. You don’t have to believe me. You’ll be there (if you weren’t already, that is).

Harrowing Idealism

For all its close and intimate focus, These Dreams of You may well be today’s Great American Novel. Not just for its portraiture of universal American dreams and anxieties; not for its social scope; nor for its historical and political topicality, in which it deals in spades, but rather because of its painful sincerity, its humble recognition of human failings, and its continued hope that it is not too late. In a final, choking passage that belongs in the same league as the conclusions of The Great Gatsby, On the Road, and Vineland, Erickson writes:

Though to the outer waking world Sheba’s dream is only a few seconds, in her sleep she understands it’s a long voyage. [The rest of the quote in the previous post here.]

The rest of my review of Erickson’s latest – here.


Though to the outer waking world Sheba’s dream is only a few seconds, in her sleep she understands it’s a long voyage. Poised at the ship’s bow, transmitting a distant song, she sails in search of the word that will name her, a word for those who’ve never belonged anywhere and who make their own belonging in the same way that people used to name themselves after where they belonged, the same word as that for the grief that goes on grieving for what’s not remembered but can’t be forgotten. As the girl and her brother and mother and father step from the boat onto shore, the word isn’t paradise or heaven or utopia or promisedland but rather a name as damaged as it is spellbinding to everyone who’s heard since the first time anyone spoke it, then tarnished it, then hijacked it, then exploited it, then betrayed and debased and then emptied  it, loving the sound of it while despising everything it means that can’t be denied anyway because it’s imprinted on the modern gene which is to say that even as the girl pursues it, it’s already found her, passed on by her adopted father in whose ear it was whispered one afternoon when, from a crowd desperate to hear the secret of it, he was pulled by a young woman of the Old World and the beginning of time, and now it binds daughter and father though neither knows it, she carries it in her fierce core, armed to defend it with that blade of a finger she draws across her throat, and the word is america. (Steve Erickson, These Dreams of You, 309).


“It’s a country that does things in lurches. Born in radicalism, then reluctant for years, decades, the better part of the centuries, to do anything crazy, until it does the craziest thing of all. But it’s also a country – inherent in its genes – capable of imagining what cannot be imagined and then, once it’s imagined, doing it” (Steve Erickson, These Dreams of You, 12).


Very incisive but clearly elucidated thoughts on utopia, ecology, and the politics of now – by Kim Stanley Robinson.


Those footsteps that once led to a river’s edge haunted him; he loved, as does every man who is born to a vision, that unseen future that his courage once failed. He hated, as does every man who is born in America, that irrevocable failure that his heart won’t forget.

Steve Erickson, Rubicon Beach, 282.

The Desert

In sublimity – the superlative degree of beauty – what land can equal the desert with its wide plains, its grim mountains, and its expanding canopy of sky! You shall never see elsewhere as here the dome, the pinnacle, the minaret fretted with golden fire at sunrise and sunset; you shall never see elsewhere as here the sunset valleys swimming in a pink and lilac haze, the great mesas and plateaus fading into blue distance, the gorges and canyons banked full of purple shadow. Never again shall you see such light and air and color; never such opaline mirage, such rosy dawn, such fiery twilight. And wherever you go, by land or by sea, you shall not forget that which you saw not but rather felt – the desolation and the silence of the desert.

Look out from the mountain’s edge once more. A dusk is gathering on the desert’s face, and over the eastern horizon the purple shadow of the world is reaching up to the sky. The light is fading out. Plain and mesa are blurring into unknown distances, and mountain ranges are looming dimly into unknown heights. Warm drifts of lilac-blue are drawn like mists across the valleys; the yellow sands have shifted into a pallid gray. The glory of the wilderness has gone down with the sun. Mystery – that haunting sense of the unknown – is all that remains. It is time that we should say good-night – perhaps a long good-night – to the desert.

from John C. Van Dyke The Desert 232-233.

Complexity and ambiguity

“The majority of essays in the humanities have as their primary methodological orientation an interest in complexity and ambiguity. A plurality of texts describe cultural locations, practices, identities, and objects as hybrid, mixed, impure, marginal, dislocated, disoriented, Creole, Pidgin, transcultural, liminal, meta-, para-, quasi-, or otherwise complex and ambiguous. The pleasure of the text is produced by the very focus on hybridity, mixture, and other kinds of irreducible complexity as much as by whatever other insights are gained into the cultural locations, practices, and so forth, that are the texts’ nominal subjects. To the extent that this is generally true, the commonest rhetorical strategy in recent scholarship is to demonstrate a state of unexpected complexity or a pitch of ambiguity that cannot be reduced to simpler schemata. . . . Hence the characteristic pleasure and discomfort of the twilight zone between namable concepts or even between one name and its nearest neighbor. . . . If there is an analytical limit to these interests, it is the assumption that the demonstration of what I am calling hybridity is itself sufficient; the idea is to work upward from known states and dichotomies that are taken to be relatively pure toward an interesting and complex impure state” (112-113). from James Elkins Visual Studies. A Skeptical Introduction


Poniższe zbierało mi się już od dłuższego czasu ale do tej pory nie było czasu a nie chciałem skracać. Zanim przejdę jednak do meritum – kilka zastrzeżeń. Po pierwsze, poniższego nie należy odbierać jako krytyki – nawet jeśli ktoś rozpozna swoje nawyki. Moje spostrzeżenia oparte są na dosyć długiej obserwacji bardzo wielu osób narodowości przeróżnej. Owszem, jest w nich pewne wezwanie do zmiany ale wzywać to ja sobie mogę długo i przepięknie a każdy i tak będzie robił swoje. Nawet jeśli pojawiają się tu frazy typu “razi mnie”, to odnoszą się one do pewnego rodzaju praktyk a nie konkretnych osób. Po drugie, nie jest to żadna anty-Fejsbukowa krucjata – powinno być to oczywiste dla każdego, kto uważnie przeczyta ten wpis.Sam Fejsia używam z mniejszą bądź większą częstotliwością i niezależnie od różnego rodzaju zastrzeżeń do jego polityki prywatnościowej, podobnie jak inne media (bo stał się on de facto czymś więcej niż tylko softwarową platformą) może być on bardzo przydatny jeśli używa się go do właściwych celów. A wpis niniejszy dotyczy właśnie użyć niewłaściwych czy nawet szkodliwych.

Już w tym momencie można by zaoponować – jeśli chodzi o użycie programów czy serwisów nie ma czegoś takiego jak użycia niewłaściwe. To życie i użytkownicy na bieżąco i dynamicznie kształtują ich uzus – jak to napisał w “Burning Chrome” Gibson, “the street finds its own uses for things”. Jest to prawda i daleki jestem od narzucania komukolwiek czy nawet proponowania jakiejkolwiek kodyfikacji. Jednocześnie powinniśmy być świadomi – a moim zdaniem większość użytkowników nie jest – jakie są konsekwencje niepohamowanego i bezrefleksyjnego pisania wszystkiego na FB. Ale najpierw cofnę się o pół kroku.

Do czego nadaje się Fejsbuk? Przede wszystkim do tego, aby na bieżąco informować naszych znajomych, przyjaciół czy kolegów o tym, co dzieje się w naszym życiu – na jakim ognisku byliśmy, jaki klip na YouTubie spodobał się nam bądź komentarz w telewizji rozsierdził nas na tyle aby podzielić się z innymi, o tym, że rozbiliśmy samochód albo że znaleźliśmy fajną stronę. Pojawiają się więc zdjęcia, klipy, linki i krótkie opisy. I są to formy bardzo pożyteczne. Raz, że oszczędzają nam one wiele czasu – nie musimy opisywać każdej osobie z jakimi przygodami szukaliśmy monitora w Riverside. Dwa, na pewno są o wiele zręczniejsze i sprawiają wrażenie bardziej osobistych (chociaż w rzeczywistości takie nie są) niż listy-cyrkularze, które kiedyś pisaliśmy na papierze bądź emailowo a dodatkowo – potencjalnie – włączają do rozmowy inne osoby, które mogą mnie zawczasu ostrzec aby nie kupować monitorów Hannspree bo to badziewie. Trzy, szczególnie komentarze dają możliwość wielostronnych pogaduszek – takich “social small talk” – osób, które na co dzień nie spotykają się w realu. Cztery, dzięki wrzutkom naszych “przyjaciół” możemy co jakiś czas odkryć nowy zespół, książkę, czy film.

(Celowo pomijam w tym momencie fakt, że nasze updaty są czytane przez wszystkich tzw. “friends” – czyli potencjalnie zarówno bliskich przyjaciół, dalszych znajomych, ludzi z pracy i wszystkich, których zapraszamy bądź akceptujemy, a sądząc po przeciętnej liczbie “friends” użytkowników są to baardzo zróżnicowane kręgi empatyczne. FB oferuje – chyba – co prawda możliwość definiowania grup i udostępniania takich czy innych wpisów danym grupom ale ręka w górę kto używa tej opcji. No właśnie, tak myślałem.)

Podsumowając więc, Fejsbuk ma swoje miejsce w całościowym ekosystemie mediów internetowych – ale, ciągnąc ekologiczną analogię, wielu użytkowników bezrefleksyjnie ów ekosystem trzebi, zamieniając go w niebieską monokulturę. Bo czy naprawdę rozmowa między dwoma osobami umawiającymi się na rogu Krakowskiego Przedmieścia na kawę jest czymś przeznaczonym dla pozostałych 354 “friends”? Czy zajmujące po 70 komentarzy przekomarzanki na słówka rzeczywiście są interesujące dla wszystkich naszych “przyjaciół”? Jaki jest sens uzewnętrzniania się (nic złego w samym akcie) ale w ogólnikowo-kryptyczny sposób, żeby tylko 2 z 400 osób zrozumiały o o co chodzi? Albo wywieszania do wiadomości całej naszej listy gwałtownych wybuchów ekstazy czy złości, które potem kasujemy bo nawet nam samym głupio, wstyd i w ogóle kwas? Wlewa się więc w fejsia całość naszego cyfrowego życia – tyle, że połowa z niego po 12 godzinach i dla 99% “przyjaciół” staje się bełkotem. Bełkotem zatruwającym cyfrowe fale naszym listowiczom, którzy – przynajmniej czasem – czują się z dobrej woli zobowiązani aby śledzić nasze życie chociaż tak często nie są w kręgu wtajemniczonych.

Spieszę od razu zaznaczyć, że doskonale rozumiem potrzebę ekspresji i sieciowego samo-kreowania (w sensie psychologicznym a nie popularnym pejoratywnym). Jak i to, że spora część tego kim jesteśmy budowana jest, przepraszam za żargon, performatywnie a media cyfrowe ostatnich 10 lat dostarczyły nam cały szereg scen, na których wszyscy możemy lepić, kształtować i testować poczucie naszego “ja”. Tak jest i polemika czy to dobrze czy źle nie ma nawet sensu. Ale czy akty, o których piszę w poprzednim paragrafie muszą odbywać się na fejsbuku, który w dodatku na cały szereg sposobów ogranicza głebie i zakres tego, co tak naprawdę chcemy przekazac? Dlaczego szybkie umawianki i przekomarzanki nie mogą odbywać się smsowo albo na GaduGadu, GTalkach i innych? Dlaczego nasze emocjonalne wzloty i upadki nie mogą odbywać się na blogach (a lista tzw. providerów usług blogowych jest tak długa, że mało prawdopodobne jest, że przypadkowo znajdzie nas ktoś, kto nas znaleźć nie ma), których adresy dajemy tylko tym, przed którymi nie wstydzimy się wywnętrzniać?

Nie zalewamy wtedy szczerze zainteresowanych nami osób banalnymi gadkami, o ktorej na rogu z kimś innym ani też nie musimy się hamować podczas wylewania żalu. Nie czyńmy z FB jedynego ale też w dużej części nie do końca szczerego ze względu na powyższe ograniczenia repozytorium naszego cyfrowego życia – tylko dlatego, że wejście na drugą stronę to taki straszny wysiłek a na fejsiu przecież wszystko i szybko. A póki co, sami spedzamy [czytaj: marnujemy] godziny przeglądając posty “przyjaciół”, z 96% których nie wynosimy nawet prawdziwej wiedzy o tym, co dzieje się w ich życiu bo albo były słowne bierki albo w 18 komentarzu dowiadujemy się, że esencja tego, o co chodzi we wpisie poszła na priva do jednej tylko osoby. A nie można było od razu email albo GG do tej osoby?

Monokultura medialna jest niebezpieczna nie tylko na poziomie makro, biznesowym i technologicznym, ale i na mikro – osobistym. Fejsbuk formatuje nasze cyfrowe życie według jednego szablonu (w którym między innymi nasz wpis może mieć maksimum 5000 znaków ale czyjś komentarz już nawet 20,000 a pewnie i więcej), który nadaje się tylko do pewnego rodzaju wyrazu i pewnego rodzaju interakcji. Używajmy komunikatory, blogi, serwisy zdjęciowe i email – nasze odsłanianie się będzie i pełniejsze i lepiej ukierunkowane. A i też bardziej bezpieczne dla nas samych. Niezależnie od reguł dostępności/widoczności naszych wpisów, Fejsbuk ma notorycznie kontrowersyjne zasady prywatności. Każda napisana “k…a”, zdjęcie z super imprezy czy opublikowany link zostają na serwerach firmy nawet jeśli skasujecie je bądź uniewidocznicie – i są one na twardo przypisane do waszego imienia i nazwiska. Owszem, Google czy serwisy blogowe też mogą zbierać moje info na wieczną pamiątkę (chociaż przynajmniej nominalne ich SLA są o niebo lepsze od FB),ale przy zachowaniu pewnych podstawowych zasad ostrożności, potencjalnym niechcianym zainteresowanym będzie o wiele trudniej przyłożyć je do naszej twarzy i nazwiska.

Używajmy więc fejsia do tego, do czego całkiem zgrabnie się nadaje. Całą resztę przenieśmy gdzie indziej. Niech żyje cyfrowa dywersyfikacja! Napisałem ja. Komentarze mile widziane.

Meat and math

“The story of the 21st century will be, in part, the story of the drawing and redrawing of these battle lines, the story of Homo sapiens trying to stake a claim on shifting ground, flanked by beast and machine, pinned between meat and math.”

Love these last two images – the whole (not too complex but still entertaining) here.

Now reading

Reading now:

Nalo Hopkinson Midnight Robber

Lauren Beukes Zoo City

Marc von Schlegell Mercury Station

Paul Grainge Monochrome Memories. Nostalgia and Style in Retro America

Write into dread

“My tendency is to write into dread in order to reveal to myself, as much as to any reader that may come after, the varied complacencies that make other, mostly more conventional writings, readable. It’s at the frontier between readability (security) and unreadability (terror) that I want to live creatively. That frontier is dread, a dread with moral, ethical, political, social, cultural, psychological, historical, and aesthetic ramifications.”

Michael Mejia, interview in the forthcoming Architectures of Possibility: After Innovative Writing