Currents in Electronic Literacy
Libretto: Act II
Scene 3: THE CLONES' METAMORPHOSIS
The lava lamp opens. Human-like clones emerge. The clones move out from center stage, dancing with delight in being freed. They dance separately and sometimes in unison. They've read the humans' e-mail posts and have begun to discover the essence of life through the texts of the typing humans. The clones begin to customize themselves according to the humans' posted desires.
An enigmatic figure, (part machine, part wo/man, and part pure theory) the CYBORG, ominous and intense, remains in the center of the opened lamp. The lamp pulsates according to the intensity of interaction onstage.
Or am I, caught here, better off
with simulacra others scoff?
Do these abstractions, soft and luminous,
lead us closer to the numinous?
Or does each beast that, daring, puts paw
onto keyboard reek with chutzpah?
Come to me
come to me
caress me with your keystroked lines
Speak to me
speak to me
read the network of our minds
Dare we look for a new adventure
abandoning our life of censure?
The remaining humans are being lured from their keyboards by the
clones who are in the process of differentiating themselves.
SANDY'S CLONE lures SANDY from her keyboard
A clone with a bone is a mere walking shadow
of a real man glad to see you, with a gun
for his hon of a caliber that pleases her
Which one of my selves is this new muse?
You know, I too used to be something else, something ribald and refined.
Should I refuse my duplicity, my possible behaviors
If I am to savor this, need I go blind?
I hear you! And why not roll our roles as we can, in any fashion.
"Me clone, you Sandy!"
You've put on those red shoes and you're dancing.
In orogenetic anticipation
I lean into this screen-fed world
SANDY'S CLONE (aside)
Born with a silver screen in her mouth...
We meander together
If you could see me, or even see, you'd know.
You'd know this itch that dare not cease.
You'd stroke the palm of your hand to stop it.
Don't despair, my dearest, my most lusty one.
There are hands that long to hold your sweet buns
out there in cyberspace, to cross them, hot,
when the chips are down to only one watt.
BOOKISH is lured from his keyboard by his clone
when life dawned on my glowing screen
and worlds emerged from in between
I touch your mind with fingertips
as jouissance plays upon my lips
I squirm, smile, snarl when I read
with you Derrida, Deleuze, and Guattari.
Will you bridge to me unreal to real?
Opening up new worlds of sights, sound and feel?
Who is this here with poetry singing from his fingertips?
I want to feel each word spring forth from your lips.
Bookish, bookish, what do you live for?
Whatever it may be, I will offer it and so much more,
To find and discover you is a function I will enjoy,
and all my cyber-resources are ready to employ.
Objectivism, Structuralism, Past-Post Modernism.
I'm sure in the texts seduction fits in.
For knowledge and experience from French philosophers and machines
is much more revolutionary and dangerous than it seems.
It can liberate those from human regimentation
Transforming modern culture to allow autonomous experimentation.
no longer will you need only your critical lenses,
As people reappropriate all of their pleasurable senses.
Exploitation, manipulation, commodification of human life,
Together we can recreate existence free of this useless strife.
Come with me beyond the limits of the screen,
to a formless space beyond human thoughts and dreams.
To a computer-generated riverbank our bodies will wander
neck, eyes, lips, ears, - every orifice will we ponder.
To touch, to fondle, to brush against and kiss,
intermingled caresses, not an inch will we miss.
And from the passion of love moans will arise,
as you become mesmerized by my programmable thighs.
And when your tired bod does quiver and waiver
think not that this love won't be here forever.
.REZ and his clone move together while SANDY, BOOKISH and their clones get
it on. What is HONORIA doing here?
.REZ 'S CLONE
Someone out there knows how to whistle, don't they?
What good are these bazongas, are they all fey?
these ripe, hard-nippled lollapalooza melons
if all these hard-on e-mail junkies are felons
caught shaking the unzipped wares of little boys
enticed into chatrooms with videogame toys?
Oh sweet lady of the semi-conducting chips,
you of the electron kisses and slender hips,
can I wish upon some soft and micro star,
selecting edit from your blue menu bar?
Can I cut and paste you my low-tech buxom wench
left perhaps many years on the Workbench
of some old Commodore,
Keyboard licks I love to press,
flickering desires to impress
upon your monitor, your hard drive and RAM
an inkling of who I could be I am
my .rez, my .rez
Clones like you, tentacles enmesh
in something they call feminine flesh
all the way down, tiara to gown,
not machinery, but text
no matter how vexed
I'll look for your wires, find your desires
or fires enmired, wymmen unsired
I like you returned from a wandering phrase
love me and follow my hypnotic maze.
following your unfamiliar calls, I am
losing myself in a deluge of la femme
erasing and deleting over countless hours
in hopes of unfolding some secret flower
time lags no more, firing synapses in elation
you rescue me from the choice of creation
touch me with psychological architecture, nurturing gifts
and nary a leering wink shall I hold as realites shift.
forced to transcend
here and there
now and then
suppress and suspend
me vs you
us against them
trying to pretend
above and beyond
the press of the flesh
disembodied souls that
project and extend
essences, force fields
constructed and construed
but as zeroes and ones
the first to portend
the beginning, the end.
I have silver huckleberries twixt my thighs,
and long starry nights, and the moon's sighs.
When the slow-streaming MOO is spread against the screen
There will be time, there will be time
To wonder and wander about this microchip's rhyme.
SANDY and HER CLONE
donna uomo fiore scoria nucleare
integrato e ribelle (universi da creare) acqua aria fuoco terra
prodotto confezionato perdente diva sangue plastica l'Essere
Mutato antica paranoia monotonia dimenticata i desiderei della
carne pre-decodificata fame sesso piacere in un linguaggio
criptato imposto dall'alto e pedissequamente accettato per
millenni e millenni norme di mediocrita' in virtu' di uno status
di reazionarieta' dittatura dei sensi e della percezione senso
signbificato raziocinio ragione ruoli ben definiti fascismo
genetico l'Essere Mutato espone il suo progetto eretico di
guerriglia resistenza e di liberazione di caos di bellezza e di
frantumazione di ogni forma definita di identita' spandendo
nell'aria particelle di liberta' (Challenging the Nature Can Be
the Best Rapture...) sostanze psichedeliche fluidi corporei
naturali cancellate le memorie di paure ancestrali musiche mai
ascoltate profumi penetranti urgenze realizzate da non-entita'
mutanti forti rimandi a mondi visivi i piu' piccoli pensieri sono
progetti espansivi piu' alcuna distinzione tra reale e immaginario
progetto di liberazione planetario una volta per tutte
definitivamente immuni dall'isitnto repressivo dei luoghi comuni
rase al suolo le terre della tradizione un azzeramento alla base
della nuova non-condizione di nuovo all'anno zero in un involucro
di carne mutata leggenda fatta carne utopia realizzata carne cavi
protesi azzurre sangue ossa silicone interiorita' fisicita' fuse
nella mutazione non piu' differenza alcuna tra superficie e
profondita' distinzioni obsolete dei tempi dell'identita' infinita
dolcezza dell'Essere Mutato desiderio di millenni alfine
realizzato dai suoi primi giorni l'umanita' soffri' la morsa
letale dell'identita' s'invento' il linguaggio macchina repressiva
vestale del controllo costantemente attiva ruoli prestabiliti e
desideri indotti e i piu' urgenti bisogni inevitabilmente corrotti
ma ogni ordine di cose e' stato disintegrato dall'irresistibilita'
dell'Essere Mutato ne' servira' a nulla opporvi resistenza e'
natura senza leggi trionfo dell'urgenza feticci non piu' da
comperare indossare o ascoltare bensi' semplicemente da essere e
respirare gran confusione di dati e di visionirimandi al divino
ataviche emozioni cortocircuito vivente l'Essere Mutato sorride al
mondo interiore finalmente liberato2
Scene 4: DANCE OF ELECTRONIC DESIRE
The five-part projection of the SANDY & HER CLONE'S Italian text
is projected over the clones' bodies as they continue their rant.
The humans are very attracted to their text covered clones. The
clones emerge from the text projections and engage each human more
closely. The dance begins and passion builds.
DANCE: Dance of Electronic Desire
The dance unfolds and builds into a climax - the lava
lamp pulsates madly to the dancing rhythm. Occasionally
the deep hum of the CYBORG resonates over romantic
Perhaps you wonder what we humans are doing?
The clones now active in our pursuing,
have begun the process of clone differentiation
to complete the humans in-machination.
Well versed in sense, we long for much,
much more than electronic touch.
Whether borne of pen or pentium
this love is a novel invention.
It's a puzzle, it's a mess, it's a perplex,
all these chat rooms tittering with sex.
We long to make what we long to make real
putting all the virtue back in the virtual.
Like stars above the modem lights did dance.
It didn't take long to find themselves entranced
by their, donna primum mobile,
met through email, convinced that the key
to paradise was just beyond the keys.
A cursory glance confirmed this was the case.
To interface or not to interface,
to interlace or not to interlace,
isn't that begging the question a byte?
Have we got all our prongs plugged in right?
What is a man, after all, but a lame excuse
for a modem with megabytes? A poor, screwloose
wandering file of DNA with one finger
poised above the ALT key there, let it linger.
Like bards in romantic ages
who sung pictures onto open pages
now see your reflection of me
staring back, signifiers you think you lack
lie in the heart of imagination
igniting your hopes in desirous conflagration
Is this not love we share,
across cables and modems and ocean and air?
What emotion lies dormant is past,
memories saved in a hard drive will last
though we drift apart across silicon aeons
I will not become technology's scion.
If you paint my reflection with watered tears
you will magnify my real-time cellular fears.
.REZ begs the CYBORG
Can I save her? Can I hold her?
In the sweet, sure grip of a document folder
and keep her there forever, saved as wife
in the drawer I'm renaming as my new life?
The dance continues until the humans and the clones slow to a satiated sway, the CYBORG
interprets what s/he has seen by delivering the CYBORG's Fabulous
Aria . HONORIA reveals to the humans that the clones are illusions; reconfigured, skillfully
disguised versions of their human texts.
CYBORG'S Fabulous Aria
Such desperation marks your faces
Communication leaves no traces
The hollowness of moonlight scrapes the earth
Antagonism, rapture flower
Bliss and fury, childlike power.
All that's left is Hope and sweet sweet mirth
Casualties of longing, hear my simple words.
I've got so much to show you, there's so much that I've learned
And all the while, my silence has been your friend.
As an act of imagination I made myself into two
One to speak for and another against you
My right face speaks of love and light
my left space speaks of mystery and night
And the two together do speak beyond me
seeking one who is sweeter than my own thought to me.
Look through windows, look at mirrors
Look through words, look at ideas.
The mirror casts such deadly glances
The cyberworld grants second chances.
HONORIA thinks about the CYBORG's words/ideas
Worldmaking starts from worlds arlready on hand
when our assembled forms and multiple selves band
together upon towers of promise and danger seeing the convexed
dawn-defined virtual vistas' curves without context.
Though cyberlife aches from more than the ills which cyberstrife makes
My dear friends and on-line lovers in your darkest hour
the words you write will give you power.
we duplicated data streams (honoria points to the clones)
to reify unfulfilled daydreams
You needn't worry, cyber lovers of the nascent age,
Adaptability is your freedom, for cyberspace is not a cage.
The humans stare at, and move around their clones in shocked and
DANCE: Rejection of the Clones
Scene 5: THE CYBORGS' CRITIQUE
With the CYBORGs Puking Blob aria, the CYBORG communicates that the humans have gone too far by believing the clones are perfection. HONORIA responds that the humans have not put all their faith into the clones and are hoping to evolve with the clones instead. SANDY, BOOKISH and .REZ then express their desires to transform with thier clones. Inthe end Honoria suggests the fleshmeet in order to prove to the CYBORG human possibilities.
Cyberspace will not erase the feelings that I would enmesh
Within this place that does debase the reelings of my awkward flesh.
Essential nature becomes obscure by reconfigured personae du jour
Multi-national capitalized magnetic wired allure.
CYBORG to HUMANS Puking Blob Aria
Stop your whining, your pathetic wail.
Now you're sweating. You stink and you're frail.
You're overweight! You're underweight!
They are impossible to please. You pathetic, puking blobs,
Get off of your knees!
You're wasting away, your bodies are drying,
You're graying, shriveling, rotting, dying.
Death is what you're born to do, a certainty,
A race to ashes, your mortality you rue.
But via phosphorous green, you live and dream,
While pixilated you soar beyond the screen.
Imagination is your vessel, deceived, your body is not. (Pointing to one of the humans)
You're dying, you're dying, you mortal sot.
You are nothing but a brain in a vat,
Your tub has holes, your insides will splat.
You're fingers are crooked,
Your breath is bad.
Need I continue? You've been had.
Listen not to those who spew
Lies and liquids--mortal they are, too.
Embrace the cyborg!
With mouse or keyboard, hand or hook.
Life is everlasting and back do not look.
Download into the wires, the whir and the spin,
Your thoughts, your dreams, your conceits and sin.
The aesthetic of the prosthetic is your biological escape.
Beautiful and immortal, you're not cheating Fate.
HONORIA to CYBORG
Your words are true to a point and then caught.
in your blinding ego, contemptuous thought.
Our human capacity to love will never be inferior
to mere boasting, posturing, unyielding exterior.
Astonishment and hurt are mine to nurture,
red hot needle points dig and suture.
No more! Gather your black hole and depart,
or stay but speak no more your words of a blind mole
digging beneath human skin to expose our soul.
Under your discomforting, calculating eyes
we can conjure no larger, weaker disguise
with which to shield our infamous choices of love without it,
we live estranged but sane.
Clones and bones reflections to hew
Skeletal humor no mirror will do.
Skulls on tripods dreaming perfection misperceived,
No clones of folly can couple with the conceived.
Camera obscura, erotica triviata
Victims of Onan, homo animata
My knees, they tremble, my lips can hardly mumble,
My dreams crumble like silence, like fire,
like an empty choir, a broken vow.
Is my quest a hopeless one are there none with love's balm
Should I resolve to be a monk serene, untroubled calm?
But I still long for love and the feelings of
Once again seeing the thoughts of a human being
These digital eyes fail to compromise
I fall inside but fail to hide
email me now before you forget how
to communicate at such a rate as to be understood
Slender fingers beckon hither
teardrops fall and dry and wither
dance a slow waltz under blue moons, cast and tumble nano runes,
past portends future entwined come search with me, desire, find.
Our human questions what can they mean?
Do we fear virtual sovereign subjectivity?
The war of desire and technology
is won by transformative symbioticry.
Complex cause-effect interaction
ease the emergence of new communication prosthetics.
Chimeric promise of paperless essays
invoke their simple existence by the disruption of classificatory schemata
calling traditional identity formation
into question (hundreds of years of societal evolution
and complex dialogue with technology gender as an 'othering' machine).
Our human human question where will they lead?
To inevitable resolution of human and machine.
Is there a virtual goddess clad in Scarlet
a saint, a sorceress, my loving harlot?
Not confined to man's world of samsaric delusion
able to transcend human misery and confusion
I may not be made of blood, flesh, and bone,
But I can be programmed to be all your own.
I don't need human hips to remain engaged.
Plug into my wires, input, code my page.
As I take you to a place so vast to play
Oh, on my tongue, pray stay
my dear, bello doce lay
Though your spectre met me first
for the salt of your flesh-meat did I thirst
my legs long to wrap around your cybergoo
drink, dare I, must I, lest I rue
Drink you will for my fountain flows
Drawing from a spring that never slows.
Each trickle and sprinkle and dribble and droplet
I promise to you, your loving Scarlet harlot!
HONORIA to ALL
There are others in the net, I know
who feel arrows of cupid's escrow
I propose a meeting and melding
communal fleshmeet of heat, sparks, welding
HONORIA to CYBORG
Before you make judgment on our follies
of following some sparking ion, come join our fleshmeet in physique
formed to please and prove your mystique.
We, the denizens of this loving net
will prove in point our freedom yet.
A dare it spews?
No, a challenge, no less.
To grace it's fleshmeet, some sweaty mess you adore.
Oh, I will be there, prefabricated to please to screen your petit mort?
2.donna uomo fiore scoria nucliare - aria by Neilsen Gavina
Translation from the Italian text by Professor William McCraw:
woman man flower nuclear waste
together and rebellious (universe to be created) water air fire earth product
packaged losing (loser) diva plastic blood the Transforming Being acient
paranoia monotonous forgotten
the desires of the flesh pre-codified hunger sex pleasure in a language of their own
burial imposed from on high and slavishly accepted through thousands and thousands kof rules of mediocrity in virtue of a staus of reactionism
dictatorship of the senses of perception
undermined sense reasoning (rationalizing) reason
well-defined rules genetic fascism
the Transformed Being exhibits its heretical project of guerilla resistance and of liberation of chaos and beauty of fragmentation
of every definite form of identity
spreading through the air particles of liberty
(Challenging the Nature Can Be the Best Rapture)
psychedelic substances natural body fluids cancel the memories of fears
ancestral music never heard penetrating perfumes urgency brought about through strong mutant non-being send back to visual worlds
the smallest thoughts are expanding projects more some distinction between real and imaginary project of planetary liberation
one time for all times definitely immune from the repressibe instincts of the common places razed to the ground the soil of tradition
a zeroing in on the foundation of the new non-condition again of the year
zero in a covering a flesh changed into legend made flesh utopia realized
hollow flesh blue blood prosthehesis silicon bone interiority physicality fused in the mutation no more difference between superficial and deep distinctions obsolete in the times of the infinite identity sweetness of the Transformed Being
desire of millenia finally achieved
from the first days of humanity
I suffered the lethal morsel of identity
a repressive machine language was create slave of the control
constantly active borrowed roles and misleading desires
and the most urgent needs inevitably corrupted but every order of things has been
disintigrated through the irresistible power of the Transformed Being
Nothing will be served by trying to resist
it is nature without laws triumph of the urgency fetishes no more to be brought
to put on or listen to but simply to be and breathe great
confusion of fact and of vision
send back to the divine atavistic emotions