Interview with Florian Cramer

Berlin, approximately July 21st, 1997ev

- an approximately 1 hour long interview

- conducted by Party Teen on Couch #2 - abbreviated: "2" [aka tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE]

[This interview w/ prefaces & language experiment is previously unpublished. The entirety of it was probably posted on the Invisible College list-serv shortly after I transcribed the recordings. It was also excerpted from in my movie entitled "Story of a Fructiferous Society". It's furthermore excerpted from in what's dated as the "July 25, 1997" entry for my "Mere Outline" website here: . It's ALSO excerpted from in my unpublished pataphysical math humor book entitled "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & Other Examples of P.N.T. (Perverse Number Theory)]


Preface: Florian Cramer's native language is German. Unfortunately, I barely speak German at all. Fortunately, Florian speaks excellent English. However, I'm sure that when speaking German he's even more articulate. This transcription is a sortof compromise between a writing of the actual speech patterns (complete with sounds marking pauses & repetitions marking restarts, etc..) & the usually preferred literate editing of the same. I prefer retaining some of the natural speech to give the feel of the pace of the interaction. Since we're both, somewhat, "talking off the tops of our heads", preserving the flow more successfully communicates the impromptu feel of this discussion. Both of us could articulate our ideas more consisely under more controlled writing circumstances, but I find the spontaneity of this interview valuable.


2: Let's start at the beginning: What are you doing tomorrow?

FC: Writing a paper.

2: &.. that's all I wanted to ask you about..

FC: Uh.. Actually, 1st I'm going to the publishing house of Sklaven which is a literary paper which appears in East Berlin. It's been published by a group of people who've been like dissident poets in East Germany in the 1980s & still continue to work as a group & publish their texts - which is a mixture of poetry, of literary & political essays - & the title Sklaven is actually taken from a publication of the Berlin Dadaist Franz Jung &..

2: & Sklaven means "slave"..

FC: - it means "slaves", yes. They are residing in a bar which is called "Torpedo Käfer" - which means "Torpedo Beetle" & this is also derived from a text which is from Franz Jung. So they're "Jungians", not in the psychological but in the Dadaist sense or political sense. Actually, Franz Jung was somewhat from the more political wing of the Berlin Dadaists &, so.. the 1st time I published in Sklaven was a piece that was disguised as a response to an article about Neoism & Luther Blissett by Mario Mentrup which was actually just a slight rewriting of a text I wrote as a critique of Stewart Home & so what they're going to publish now is a review of the Handbook of the Communication Guerrilla..

2: Is it the same review that I read in the Invisible College?

FC: Yes. It's just in German - better written, of course, because it's in German.

2: Can you list your major interests & then give me a little information about each 1 of them?

FC: Whew.. That's really hard to tell.. Major interests?! Minor interests would be, perhaps, easier..

2: Let's start with the Invisible College..

FC: Yeah..

2: What was the Invisible College, what is the Invisible College, & what would you like the Invisible College to be?

FC: Yeah. What the Invisible College was is very hard to tell. Actually, it's a multiple name. Um, the term "Invisible College" comes from a letter from an English scholar, I just forgot his name, but he was involved in the setting up of a kind of protestant academy which was, at some.., Rosicrucian protestant influence at the end of the 17th century which actually led to the foundation of the Royal Academy as it's still continuing to exist in Britain today. & there's actually a parody on the Royal Academy & also on Lullism on the Royal Academy in the Legado chapter in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. & I use this chapter, actually, for a narrative about the Invisible College to create something like a mythical background for the Invisible College - but..

2: A Parody of Lullism?

FC: Yeah.

2: As in a reference to Raymond Lull?

FC: Yeah.

2: & who was Raymond Lull?

FC: Well, Raymond Lull was a Catalonian monk who lived in the 13th, no, 14th century - & who invented, among others - he was a logician, invented the, what do you call it?, the Ars Magna, the art of combinatorics - which is a universal system of epistemological teachings or true statements which are derived by the means of tables which can be can be combined in mechanical ways. So it's actually something like a machine to create questions, & philosophical questions, & also reflections of universal truth on [unintelligible] - & he actually conceived of this machine as a tool to convert non-Christians because the tables & the notions it uses are based on what he considered to be notions that would be accepted as truth in all religions & so he used this combinatoric table to sortof convert non-Christians to Christianity but the influence has been much broadened in the following centuries where there has been something like a secularized appropriation of Lullism - especially in the 17th century - since Athanasius Krucher wrote..

2: Can you spell his name?

FC: Athanasius Kircher. It's K,i,r,c,h,e,r. & he wrote, he was a Jesuit universal academic, & he wrote, among many other books, a new Ars Combinatoria which paved the ground for the creation of Lullist combinatorics like algorithmical permutation in poetry - especially in the world of speculative poetry by Harsdörffer, Kuhlmann, & others.

2: Is there anything that distinguishes combinatorics from permutations such as permutation poems of Brion Gysin, for example? In other words..

FC: Actually, I don't know the permutation poems of Brion Gysin so I can't tell you about this but it's working with combinatorics & permutations - yes. So, in a way you can retrace all these efforts to Lullism - in a way. At least as far as the musical & poetical tradition goes.

2: I mean, in the case of permutation poems as they're generally understood now, if I understand correctly, it's a matter of choosing a set of words & then going through all possible combinations of those words. Does combinatorics go beyond that? Because I would think that it's a larger set, at least conceptually, than what's generally considered to be the permutation poem..

FC: No, no. It's extremely restrained in a way. It's also not comparable to, say, computers as they are today because a modern computer is not just a combinatory engine which has a given set of elements which it shuffles & then, then creates a new output but it's an open system which can have any, any aleatory output & which is able to, also sortof rewrite this output & also use this out.., the, the input as a possibility to program itself - so it's a recursive system. That's what combinatorics is not. So it's a very limited precursor of modern computing, in a way. &, um, but back to the Invisible College, I said that the Invisible College is a multiple name because after that there are countless institutions & groups & discourses which call themselves Invisible College. For example, before I helped to install the Invisible College in the internet, the Invisible College we are talking about now, we both are in, there was an Invisible College in London which involved, among others, the Neoist Alliance, the Autonomous Astronauts, & the London Psychogeographical Association - all of which are now also in the electronic Invisible College. But, uh, when searching the term the "Invisible College" in the internet, I found about at least a dozen of institutions or groups which call themselves Invisible College. There is an official higher education institution in the U.S. as well as 1 in Hungary which call themself the Invisible College. There is reference to the Invisible College or to the creation of the Invisible College in writings by Hakim Bey & by Robert Anton Wilson. There's a book called The Invisible College by the UFO theorist, what's his name?, Jacques.. Oh, I forgot his name.. Jacques, Jacques, Jacques Malay - he wrote a book which is called The Invisible College &, so, you can go on & on like this - you will find countless people who call themself the Invisible College - so I thought, well, it's a multiple name, 1st of all, & it's very appropriate, actually, for what the Invisible College is & it's also..

2: Let me interupt you

FC: Yeah..

2: to ask you 2 questions. When you found all the references to the Invisible College in your net search did you make any attempt to contact the other Invisible Colleges?

FC: No, I didn't, no.

2: Mm,hmm.

FC: I think creating more & more Invisible Colleges & having countless people calling themselves THE Invisible College is actually the perfect way of disguising oneself. &, so, the college is actually become invisible by just popping up anywhere & calling themselves the Invisible College.

2: Do you know of anyone connected with the Invisible College that you & I are connected with that might be connected with any of the other Invisible Colleges - for example, do you think that Carolyn Smith, in Hungary, might be connected with the other Invisible College in Hungary?

FC: No, the Invisible College in Hungary is an official state institution which is something like a higher education [unintelligible] institution which is for, which gives grants to students.

2: Yeah? Do you find it strange that such an institution would be official? I mean..

FC: They just call themselves an Invisible College because it's a college without, without a building - so they call themselves the Invisible College because that's the idea of, ideally, behind the whole gathering of the best scholars in Hungary, the best students. Some of the thing in America there also exists an official higher education organization in America which is called the Invisible College.

2: &, the Invisible College that you help set up on the net, what would be, 1st of all, the correct technical name for that type of thing on the net? Is it an e-mail discussion group?

FC: You would call it a list-server or a mailing list.

2: A mailing list. Ok. What do you conceive of it as at a more, whatever, substantial level? A 'pata-level, or whatever?

FC: Well, 1st of all, I would say that it is not me who conceives of it but the people who participate in it. & it's pretty unpredictable, I mean, I would, I would..

2: You're a person who participates in it, so as a person who participates in it, what do you conceive of it as?

FC: Well I would say that it's a kind of speculative playground & I hope that it creates its own mythology & patterns. There are some patterns which are already established like the frequent use of fake names within the Invisible College that people are posting contributions to the Invisible College use names of other members of the Invisible College - for example, I'm "Roberto" in the Invisible College - sometimes also "Jason" or "John" &, uh, John Berndt's also introduced that all layers of the Invisible College might be addressed to a fictitious Istvan Kantor - & I think that the Invisible College is about to create more & more material of its own so that it can become self-reflexive perpetuum mobilum in a way &, um..

2: Without its membership you mean?

FC: Um, well, with its membership but I think it's in a transitional, a transitional state right now because it's primarily being used for activists like Luther Blissett or the LPA or the Autonomous Astronauts to spread their pamphlets through the net. Say if Luther Blissett has made a new prank & he's sending around documentation on the internet he posts it on the Invisible College. Ok, I think this is perfectly alright & this is 1 important function of the Invisible College - just to keep people informed what actually their compatriots are doing, but, I think on a metalevel, on a 'patalevel, it's important that it no longer becomes a simple distribution list but more becomes a self-referential thing which is not used to put external documentation into it & distribute it but actually refer to itself.

2: So you..

FC: So it will create itself as an institution or playground.

2: You think of that as valuable because it's more generative? It's more self-generating you think.. - or, Explain to me why you think that's more valuable than some other possible function of it.

FC: Because otherwise you could just use a public newsgroup or I mean you could just, uh, instead of posting to the Invisible College, you could just put all the names of the potential recipients into the "blind copy" field & post it to them - so it's actually, I'm interested in sortof creating something out of the Invisible College which is in the Invisible College itself.

2: Do you think that there are other e-mail mailing lists, or whatever, that perform a similar function? for other people that you may or may not know about?

FC: Well, perhaps yes. There is 1 thing, 1 of the basic tenets of the Invisible College is that, of course, it's just a fake Invisible College, it's not the true 1. So the people, the theory is that everything that, that the Invisible College we talk about is just, say, a weak parody of the real Invisible College & that it just exists to sortof trap people into its [unintelligible] arms so that they think they are in the real Invisible College but actually they are in the fake 1. The whole function of this Invisible College is to spread disinformation about where the real Invisible College is - with the [unintelligible] exception that from time to time, say in every 10th message, there is a true hint on the real whereabouts of the Invisible College so that the people who are smart & enlightened may grasp the hint & follow the path of the real Invisible College.

2: [laughter] No comment. Tell me about some other interests of yours, for example, the paper that you're writing for your master's.

FC: Yeah, I'm actually - it's a little bit difficult, I'm writing 2 papers & preparing the 3rd with the 1st that I'm writing now. My master's thesis will be about a poem by Quirinus Kuhlmann, a combinatory poem, it will be about the, what we spoke about before, the tradition of Lullism in the 17th century.

2: But, in this case, the secular tradition.

FC: Yeah, the secular tradition, the poetical tradition - & this in connection to the figure of discord & concord or concord & discord & the latter 1 will actually be the topic of my PHD thesis & I'm now writing a small paper on concord & discord to expand it to a PHD thesis later. This is gonna be a big thing which'll probably keep me working for a couple of years.

2: Ok. I might want to get back to that but, actually, I'm thinking of the Adamic language, uh..

FC: Adamitic language..

2: Adamitic? I think that the idea of an Adamitic language is interesting but I'm wondering, you would know much more about this than I do because I know nothing about it since I know nothing about everything & everything about nothing, etc, etc.. - but, is there any sort of theory amongst linguists, or whatever the appropriate field of study would be, that you know of, that tends to trace language back to common roots of any sort?

FC: Yeah, there is, um, for example in Chomsky & linguistics you have this idea that you have something like semantics & patterns in a language which are common to all languages.

2: Does he develop this theory in great detail? In other words does he have a technical description of it?

FC: Yeah, it's called [unintelligible] schematic transformational grammar.

2: Could you say that again, please?

FC: Generative transformational grammar.

2: Ok.

FC: But actually I'm not that familiar with this kind of linguistics because linguistics in this century has very much split into various fields. You could say, from something like literary linguistics, which is mainly from the structuralist tradition; from Ferdinand de Saussure over Roman Jakobson to post-structuralism, deconstructionist approach as [unintelligible] Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco - but, on the other hand, you have this kind of technical linguistics, Chomsky, for example, which is, actually, more the kind of linguistics which you study if you study linguistics properly, which is, for example, also important for computer linguistics if you generate speech recognition or speech systems & then you, mostly [unintelligible] to this kind of scientific linguistics - & then you also have philosophical linguistics like, uh, for example, speech act theory by Austin & Searle..

2: Which is what?

FC: Well, uh, this is actually something where you could say that modern linguistics have an approach which is closer to the idea of Adamitic language because, well, the primary assumption of modern linguistics is that language is arbitrary - that a linguistic sign has no absolutely whatever organic relation to the thing which we represent.

2: So no onomatopoeia? or whatever?

FC: Yes, that would be, actually this is a different [unintelliigible] which has been introduced by Charles Saunders Peirce who differentiated between the iconic, the indexical, & the symbolic sign where you actually have these possibilities of the onomatopoetic relationships but, um, no, the question's rather, to quote Austin, how to do things with words. There is 1 problem - if you have arbitrary langauge, it just means that, for example, if I say the word "cassette" or if I write it down then it has no relationship whatsoever to a cassette & by saying the word "cassette" I'm not manipulating the matter of the cassette in a way. So, it's a purely arbitrary relationship..

2: So that's..

FC: Somebody has just decided just to call this piece a cassette.

2: Which is opposite to Adamitic language.

FC: Which is opposite to Adamitic language because in Adamitic language you will have an organic relationship between the word & the thing so that by uttering the word you would, for example, invoke or manipulate the thing so like the classical example is of the Genesis where god says, uh "It shall be light" & then it's light. This is Adamitic language. & the theory, the theory of Adamitic language as it's notably present in the Kabbalah & in Jewish mysticism is that in the paradise, before the expulsion from the paradise Adam actually possessed a language which was similar to that of the divine language - where he was capable, for example, of naming animals. & that this original language where you could invoke & manipulate things with was lost when humanity was expulsed from the garden of eden. So, um, the whole, um, occupation of Kabbalism, or also you could say magic in general, is to, sortof, regain command over things by the means of language. & you could say that, in a way you could use it as a criticism against modern linguistics because, for example, if Bill Clinton, today, says, uh, "Drop the atom bomb over Moscow" then the atom bomb would actually be dropped because he has the power & the possibility to do so. & just by saying this & by, maybe, having a few codes, or whatever, this would be made to happen today. So you could say that modern linguistics in defining language as arbitrary is actually missing some aspects. It can not answer the question of how language is actually capable of directly invoking things or making things happen. & this is, for example, a matter which has been discussed by speech act theory - that's exactly the question of speech act theory, how you..

2: Speech act?

FC: Speech act theory, yes, by, notably by Austin & um..

2: Austin's spelled A,u,s,t,i,n?

FC: Exactly, yeah. He was an Oxford linguist, I think in the 1930s.

2: So is the concept of Adamitic language mainly supposedly originating from Kabalists or from who?

FC: I would say it's probably related in all kinds of magical or even metaphysical notions of language. I have thought about, for example, what, how 1 could locate multiple names as they are used in neoism - in, uh, in either Adamitic or arbitrary language. I think this is extremely interesting because my theory is that they are both - or neither of them, in a way - because, when you say, you have a multiple name, an open situation, everybody can use that name & share this identity there was an extreme case of an arbitrary name - because the name is not naturally given to you - you know, it's not like somebody's born & he has, uh, he gets a name & the name is stamped on the passport but, it's, it's, it's a name, say, Monty Cantsin, Luther Blissett, Karen Eliot. &, um, uh, as you wrote, the name is fixed, but the people using it aren't. So this would be like the classical definition of arbitrary language in a way - the same way as I say, for example, if I take beer, then the notion, the word beer, b, double e, r, is fixed, but, for example, the meaning may change over the centuries - something like this..

2: Let's make a projection right now. Am I interupting your train of thought too much?

FC: A little bit. Ok, so 1 could say, on the 1 hand, the use of multiple names is a use of language as extremely arbitrary - where you've got an extremely flexible signifier & signified or sign & thing relationship. It's the highest possible flexiblization of the sign & thing relation. On the other hand, as soon as you participate in that multiple name, you are immediately, since there is no fixed referent, say there is no fixed referent for Luther Blissett because there is no person Luther Blissett - or, also, Monty Cantsin - it's a fiction, it's a fiction created by those using the name. So, you could say that by sharing this identity, by adopting this arbitrary name, you, you get the immediate power to, to change it. Yeah? Which is like Adamitic language. Because you are now able to do something in the name of Monty Cantsin, Karen Eliot, Luther Blissett, & so on & actively participate in the shaping of the identity & you can, sortof, directly invoke the character of Monty Cantsin by using the name. So that would be an extreme example of Adamitic language. So, so that, that's, uh, that multiple names, sortof, a kindof flip-flop thing, you know? where you..

2: What d'ya think about the idea of extending that type of thinking so that, for example, beer, the word beer, would be an open concept that could refer to any object? etc, I mean, this obviously refers back to my interest that anything is anything or anything as anything, etc, etc.. Or just taking all words & making them open contexts which can be used freely by the people who choose to use those words in this manner. So, for example, I might say to you "Pass the beer" but I could mean anything by that & you could respond in whatever way you felt appropriate.

FC: Yeah, this would actually be the, exactly match post-structuralist or contemporary linguistics. That you say there is no fixed meaning for any word & the meaning actually.. the, the - this is justified by the use or by the difference - that you say "beer is not wine", for example. Yeah, that you have a purely relational definition & usage but there is no actual referent to the word.

2: What do you think, um.. Can you imagine an experiment in which there were a group of people living together for a month who agreed to not use any word with any fixed reference? but who would try to interact with each other using language? I mean, would you have any prediction about what might happen in that circumstance?

FC: Foo.. I think, um, 1st of all it would require a kind of deprogramming exercise on behalf of the people who participate in that experiment - because the whole use of referential language is something that is part of the whole metaphysics & history of metaphysics of all culture. So, um, I think it's hard to get rid of referential usage of language - because even if you don't use it in a fixed sense, you, you might, just, for example, use a metaphorical operation where you, for example, say "beer" instead of "wine" but you still refer to something. So, actually, actually come to a complete - to a point where you totally detach signs from any referents would be something really hard to achieve in everyday situations.

2: But imagine it as possible & imagine that the grammatical structure would stay intact & that people would be extremely disciplined & would try to apply this type of thinking. So, for example, instead of, perhaps ordinarily I would say "Pass the beer" or "Pass the salt" - instead I would say..

FC: "Go home.."

2: "Eyesocket"

FC: Yeah..

2: "Eyesocket table"..

FC: Yeah..

2: ..or whatever. Can you imagine any sortof interesting consequence that, interesting state of mind that would result from that, that.. might relate to magikal desires for Adamitic language? - for example?

FC: Well, no, I would simply think of it as an allegory of what's already happening. I think that's the state we have right now. I mean, who knows that what you perceive as beer is the same as what I perceive as beer. Nobody has any idea, I mean you might be a fiction & I might just be a brain somewhere hooked up to some electrical impulses. Even if you actually exist your, your brain might program in such a way that it has a completely different perception of the entire outside world & that, that the reason that we believe that what is beer is actually the same, yeah, when I speak about as when you speak about it, might be pure coincidence..

2: But for you personally, if you imagine that type of experience. How would you speculate you would be effected by it? - for a month, in a closed situation, with a group of 10 people.

FC: I still, I still slip away from your question in saying that for me it's not so much a thing of creation but rather a thing of reading. Yeah, that it's.. I don't think.. you could say that it's already the situation we have & 1 could follow that in, sortof, practically trying to apply it, 1 would make things more honest - but I think that's a complete delusion. It wouldn't, perhaps it wouldn't change anything. Yeah..

2: I think it would change things - but I don't.. I'm not really thinking of it in terms of creation either. There's a basic problem that we haven't addressed in the issue of Adamitic language in that it's bible derivative. If you were to reformulate the concept of Adamitic language, or formulate some related idea that you think is equally interesting, but do it independent of a biblical reference, how would you formulate it?

FC: Well, I think that's absolutely impossible because, uh, everybody thinks you can escape, like, the whole tradition of..

2: Absolutely impossible?!

FC: Yeah. uh-huh. I consider myself a protestant actually & this is completely unironical & I think there is no way - you know there's the saying "Un jour Néoiste, toujours Néoiste"

2: "1 day a neoist, always a neoist"?

FC: Yeah. "Once a neoist, always a neoist" - & this is also "Once a protestant, always a protestant". You can't escape from protestantism & I think that the whole language we have participates in this entire history in shaping of ideas derived from both christian & anti-tradition &, you know, there is no language you have & actually subvert it - you can actually say, ok, you can try to subvert it within itself to a certain degree but that, it's, uh, I think you can never go beyond those notions. So, I mean, even if I use such terms as metaphysics, language, reality - then they are all terms that are triggered by this relationship &, um, 1 had to invent a completely different language in order to escape this history, but..

2: So, it's not.. So, you're saying that it's possible to invent a different language?

FC: No, I don't think so, I don't think so, no. I mean always when you will try it you will just wind up reproducing the same patterns you have.

2: So what else do you think it's impossible to escape from?

FC: Fooooo.. What is not impossible to escape from?

2: So you don't, uh, you don't find the concept of "Anything is Anything" to be viable? - for example.

FC: Why shouldn't I?

2: Because, to me, at least, "Anything is Anything" implies or outright states that everything is escapeable.

FC: Well then you are still using the words "anything is anything" & so you are doing it in a language which you can't escape from - as the whole notion of "anything" is something which doesn't escape the whole tradition of language & semantics.

2: But what if something that's not lingual is substituted for those 3 words? Is that possible?

FC: Yeah, yeah, then you couldn't utter the word any longer.

2: Would it matter?

FC: Well you could just go Ukuha Ookua Uk.

2: Yeah.

FC: [laughter] But you know, still, still that would, that would be a transition of ordinary lexical language but still you would use, um, you would still use your, how do you call it?, your throat to articulate semantics..

2: So what are..

FC: [unintelligible] So then you can say, "Ok, I'm no longer using sound patterns but, for example, radioactivity" - but that you are still using, still caught in using electromagnetic waves, so..

2: Do you think that you're, you're, uh.. trapped by language?

FC: Yes. Definitely.

2: Do you think that all people are trapped by language?

FC: I think so, yes.

2: What about non-humans? Are they trapped by language?

FC: Well, you can't tell. If they were, then they would be perceivable, if they're not perceivable then they might be not. But the problem is that in order to communicate with, um, & hence perceive, non-human cultures you wold have to go beyond language.

2: Mmhmm.

FC: &, &, if they, if you could perceive them then it would also mean that they are also using language patterns - so it's a circular conclusion.

2: But I don't find your logic to be convincing.

FC: Then, uh, give me a different example. A counter-example.

2: [laughter] But I might have to use language to do that!

FC: Yeah, that's the problem, you see?

2: But, but, the thing is that you might say that our discourse is taking place at the level of language but there might be another discourse that's taking place that isn't taking place at the level of language which is providing a counter-example at the moment. Do you think that's possible?

FC: That's possible, but since it's not perceivable,

2: Do you think it's not perceivable?

FC: Well, uh, yeah, if it's perceivable then it would be flowing into language again.

2: So you're saying that everything that's perceivable flows into language?

FC: Yeah, & that perception is prestructured by language in any case, yes. Definitely.

2: Don't you find that that's a fairly conventional philosophical view of the last, say, 30 years?

FC: Oh, probably, a pretty conventional view of the last 3,000 years.

2: Yeah..

FC: So..

2: & you, hmm, that's interesting.

FC: But, um, well, but returning to the point of counter-strategies. I think you can play with this, of course, you know. It's almost, It's at least, um, a kind of progress if you become aware of these patterns - &, um..

2: Which patterns? Becoming aware of which patterns?

FC: Of what we were speaking of - of the creation of semantic patterns, of the structuring of reality through language & so on & so on.. So, well, for example 1, I mean, I think of your, um, own place as possible creations of awareness of such patterns, for example, if you..

[the phone rings]

Oh, this is shit.. Shall we stop the tape?

2: Yeah.

[the phone rings & the tape is stopped]

2: Ok, so we'll take that phone call interuption as a jump cut &, uh, so this might be slightly discontinuous by certain standards, or whatever, but.. Is it somewhat acceptable, to you, to say that you're, you're largely a writer, so-called because, uh, you already perceive language as Adamitic but in just a.. less obvious sense than the way people, especially occultists, for example, would prefer language to be Adamitic? In other words, because you do consider it to be a sortof inescapeable tie-in with perception..

FC: Foo.. I would say that a simple pragmatic answer to this question, it's, uh, just that I'm, for example, a better writer than performer. I would put it that simple!

FC & 2: [laughter]

2: Ok. So.. Do you think it's possible that someone who might be a so-called better writer, or a better performer than a better writer, might have some different relation to what is so-called inevitable, or whatever? or inescapeable? might have a different set of inescapeables?

FC: Well, you're answering it for yourself, aren't you?

FC & 2: [laughter]

2: No I'm not! I'm asking you for your opinion!

FC: No, I think that as far as my idea of language pre-shaping reality & thought pattern goes this is totally, uh, that applies to everything - that applies to performing as well as to writing, of course..

2: That's what I expected you to say. So, before you said "3,000 years" but that was an arbitrary figure that was just expanding on my saying "30 years"..

FC: 300 years, we could also..

2: or whatever..

FC: Hmm.

2: But, I take the implication of that statement to mean that, that you would think that language as an inevitable preshaper, or whatever, is actually an inescapeable aspect of philosophy?

FC: Of everything..

2: Of everyhting, yeah.

FC: Yeah. Of perceptions..

2: But just concentrating on philosophy for the moment - an inescapeable aspect of philosophy.

FC: Yes.

2: Ok. So.. does that make it interesting to you to try to pursue a path that would discover an escape from that? even though you consider it to be inescapeable? Like, to, to refer back to something that you wrote in the book that I read today, The House of Nine Squares, there's the image of the person in the 20 foot by 20 foot by 20 foot cube room with no windows, ingress or egress - & the image of the person, or whatever, perceiving being, having a perceptual parameter of 19 feet.. cubic.. Is that a correct, roughly correct paraphrase of what you wrote?

FC: Mmhmm..

2: What do you think of the idea of that person's perception expanding to 21 feet?

FC: Yeah, that's the promise of Scientology because I..

2: [laughter]

FC: ..ripped off this text from Ron, it was written actually by L. Ron Hubbard, you know..

FC & 2: [laughter]

2: Ok, so, his promise is to expand it to 21 feet?

FC: Yeah!

2: So, I mean, basically that's like the Flatland type of idea, or whatever, then. In order to have the idea of it, that you promise a perception of an additional dimension, or whatever. Is language a dimension?

FC: It's shaping dimensions.

2: So, in your system of sets, language would be the ultimate big set & things like dimensions are smaller sets, partially, because the name that names them is a subset.

FC: Mmhmm.

2: Yeah, ok. So let's segue, for the moment, & talk about, uh, Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft. Tell me about its history & its present condition.

FC: Present condition, as far as I'm concerned, is pretty bad, because I'm totally wrapped up in work & I'm not really capable of doing something in its name.. anyway.. - but, uh, the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, the Fructiferous Society, or Societa Fructifera, or whatever..

2: - or Gyümölcsérlö Társalat.

FC: Yes.. was founded as a language academy in the early 17th century..

2: By who?

FC: Oh! This was by, I forgot the name, but, um, it was, um, it was some German aristocrat - it was basically an aristocrat's club - & then

2: Oh, could you, excuse me? Could you repeat that? It was an aristocratic what?

FC: It was an aristocratic club, more or less. It was a club of protestant aristocrats & served as a kind of safe haven for protestants in the 30 years war & there are even theories that their function as a language society was just a minor aspect of it - but it..

2: Why was it a safe haven?

FC: [unintelligible because of 2's quick interuption]

2: Was it a place where they could express their opinions without catholic intervention?

FC: Uh, no, it was just an organization which took, for example, care that expelled protestants from Bohemia would be brought to Germany - this was something like a lobby group. But, also, it was at the same time, a language academy & it was the 1st institution which was coming up with standard grammars & lexicon of the German language & so it was, uh, founded after the model of an Italian language academy which continues to exist until today & also the Academie Française which is also responsible for standard, for defining standard French, was shaped after the model of the Fructiferous Society. Um..

2: What happened to it? How did it develop?

FC: Well, uh, yes it, uh, became, uh, it was increasing considerably. It had [unintelligible] - it was a little bit organized like a secret society because its whereabouts & its member lists weren't disclosed until, I don't know, something like 1650 or something like this &, uh, so it was inofficial for a very long time & had its own initiation rites & ordinates - it was very much structured like a secret society - & then it's said that it decayed at the end of the 17th century & that it was dissolved around 1690 or something like this.

2: & what was the explanation of the decay?

FC: Well, the explanation of the decay was that the 1st aristocrat who founded the Fructiferous Society died & that under his follower the Fructiferous Society decayed to a drinking club. That's what the contemporary papers said, say.

[tape recorder turned off here as tape nears end of Side 1 - beginning of Side 2]

2: So, has the Fructiferous Society been revived between then & now? do you know? or do you have any speculation about that?

FC: The speculation is, of course, that the Fructiferous Society never ceased to exist.

2: Whose speculation would that be? yours, or? many peoples? or what?

FC: Well, the speculation of all those in the Fructiferous Society.

2: [laughter] I'm not sure that's my speculation! Uh, ok, putting that aside, do you have any explanation of why you would choose to revive the Fructiferous Society now?

FC: Well, basically, I needed the term. It was, um.. well for me, personally, it was, um, also something just to need an umbrella term after I dropped out of Neoism. & it's a little more oriented towards the so-called psychogeographical which I call geoepistemical activities, um, virulent here in Europe by the, the Luther Blissett people, by the London Psychogeographical Association & others - so..

2: You call it psychoepistemical?

FC: No, geoepistemical. That was actually brought up by John Berndt, the term. We, we both agreed that we didn't like the term psychogeographical well, 1st of all, because we are not interested in psychology & psychoanalytics, & 2ndly because of its connotation with the Situationist International - contrary to most other people in Europe I'm not the least bit interested in the Situationist International & the Situationist International has never been a considerable influence on what I've been doing - it's also not my theoretical background. So, John Berndt & I agreed that we like what is done in the name of psychogeographic, psychogeography today - notably by the London Psychogeographical Association, by Luther Blissett, & others - but we don't like the word psychogeographical so we came up with the alternative term of geoepistemical.

2: & how would you define that?

FC: Well, geoepistemi-, geoepistomy is, uh, well, as the name says, is related to the concerns of the relation of geography & epistemology. It means, so, uh, reading sites or landscapes in epistemological terms or in terms or, in turn, interpreting philosophy in geographical terms. So.. does that.. Does that make any sense to you?

2: Can you describe, can you define epistemology? How you mean it in this case? You're not using it .. well, go ahead, describe, what you mean, further..

FC: Mmhmm.. Well, epistemology, I refer to epistemology in the sense, as it has been used in the philosophy of the antiquity as a replacement term for metaphysics & it's that was is concerned with individual world-shaping in terms of perception. I always think of epistemology as something like, which is, uh, an aesthetical bias - the way, one could also, or transcendental bias - the way individual perceptions set up notions of the world, or understandings of reality. So, epistemology, in that sense, as.. understandings of world views or models of world creations or, or reality understanding. In German it's "Erkenntnistheorie" which means "theory of understanding". So the episteme actually..

2: What would you think of a term like "geo-ontolgy"? What would that mean to you?

FC: Well.. Well, ontology is, other than epistemology, it is an objective & not a subjective category & I would always stress the subjective, intuitive, phenomenological aspect of it - so I'd rather go for epistemology.

2: &, uh.., can you think of any word that would, that could be coupled with "geo-" that would skip both objective or subjective reference?

FC: Well, geo-what?, I don't know..

2: That's what I'm asking.. "geo-"?

FC: Well, you could say "semiotical" in a way - in a way it's semiotics, geoepistomy - reading signs, interpreting signs - that's what it's about. & conspiracy theories, as they are being laid out by the London Psychogeographical Association are nothing but just, sortof, exaggerated semiotics.

2: Exaggerated semiotics?

FC: Yeah, in a way, like, like paranoid semiotics - which is uh - uh, uh, uh, a pleonasm since paranoia is always semiotical.

2: It seems to me that the, the earlier semiotics, as represented by, for example, earlier issues of "Semiotext(e)", are.. more..

FC: That's newer semiotics, actually. It goes back to Saussure - it's a 19th century term.

2: But before, I mean before the L.P.A., ok?

FC: Well, the L.P.A. doesn't call itself semiotic, but.. I would do so.

2: Yeah. Well what I was trying to say, at any rate, is that that strikes me as more paranoid or whatever than what the L.P.A. does. What do you think?

FC: Well, for me, I, of course, have an academic background in semiotics & trace it to Saussure & Peirce & Jakobson & those people & a structuralist tradition. I think that Lotringer, who founded "Semiotext(e)" also referred to that one actually. I think it was the 1st, actually, journal of semiotics before it became something like an undergound cultural magazine, so.. Hoo-hoo, I don't know "Semiotext(e)" very well, honestly, I just know this very dreadful "German Issue" & I know the equally dreadful American issue..

2: Well, the most interesting issues were the ones before those. Ok, skip that then.. Um.. What else should I ask you about? [laughter]

FC: Well.. Let me think.. good question..

2: If you.. There's always the visionary type of question, or whatever. The question of.. - You have all of these different interests & you are attempting to apply them in all these different ways if only by virtue of studying them & trying to have your own coherent perception of them..

FC: Or incoherent perception of them.

2: Or what? Incoherent?

FC: Yeah.

2: Well, it seems to me that an attempt to have a perception of them at all is an attempt to have a coherent perception of them. Do you disagree with that?

FC: Well, I would disagree with that. I think you can also have an incoherent perception of it, of course.

2: Well, I'm not saying that you can't have an incoherent perception, I'm saying that..

FC: No, I would say that, well, for example, the, the meaning of analyzing means to "dissolve", so actually what you end up in perceiving anything or further entering into a field of terms or definitions or notions is that you actually - your, your notions get distracted & not focused. The more you look at a term or concept, the more - the blurrier it becomes.

2: Well, I agree with that except I wouldn't quite use the word "blurry", I think. I think I would use the word, oh, I don't know.. - "discombobulated" - I like that word alot, but, uh.. At any rate, it seems to me that you have a sense of purpose in studying things. Do you disagree with that?

FC: Foo.. What purpose? Just a general purpose as such? I don't know.. Well I would say it's just for the sake of keeping me going..

2: Ok, a drive, that's how I would describe it..

FC: Ok. A drive. It's not a purpose.

2: & then - what do you have to say about that drive?

FC: Phoo! I don't know. What do you have to say about your drive?

FC & 2: [laughter & mutual muddled exclamation]

FC: [laughter] I mean, how can one answer such a question?!

2: Well, maybe that's the reason why you should try to answer it right now.

FC: Yeah, well.. The most banal answer would be: not to get bored - or, I don't know.

2: Yeah. But, if you consider that to be the most banal answer that, to me, implies that there's another answer that you, maybe, would consider to be less banal which is

lurking in your mind somewhere at the moment that you might be able to pull out piecemeal in some incoherent fashion.

FC: Well, I have to get this master's degree in order not to starve! [laughter]

2: That's not.. I hardly consider that to be a primary motive! Or even a remarkable motive! I think there's something else there & it's the something else that I'm trying to pry out of you at the moment.. Maybe I should try to rephrase the question. Um.. You pursue the study & application of these various interests of yours & you get a certain amount of satisfaction from it which probably feeds the drive in some way..

FC: Well, as long as I get the satisfaction, I have the drive. If I no longer have the satisfaction, as in the case of Neoism, I no longer have the drive.

2: Ok. So.. How would you describe the satisfaction? Is that as hard to describe as the drive?

FC: Oh, well, the satisfaction is that you have come up with some, some witty thing! [laughter]

2: Is it only a matter of it being a witty thing?

FC: Well, I would not say that it's only a matter but that's probably the most complicated matter.

2: Hm. So then what do you have to say about wit? & witty things?

FC: Yeah, uh, that's, that's actually what my dissertation will be about.

2: Yeah?

FC: That's the most complicated of everything. According to the definition of Kazimierz Sarbiewski, he was a Jesuit rhetoritician of the 17th century, wit is a creation of discord & concord or concord & discord. So it's the creation of, it's like the clash or equation of 2 things which are unlike & collide without dissolving.

2: Doesn't that, maybe I'm oversimplifying, but doesn't that relate very obviously to the whole issue of resolving so-called opposites?

FC: No, because they are not resolved. They still stay, they still stay opposites - in contrast to say, Hegelian dialectics.

2: Ok, so they still remain opposites but.., when do you have to leave?

FC: In 2 minutes.

2: Ok. They still remain opposites but they achieve what I might call a "gravipause"? - A gravipause, in astronomy, if I understand it correctly, would be the mid-point between 2 gravitational fields.

FC: No, no, no - I would say it's, rather, an oscillation between those 2 fields.

2: They stay in isolation - but they..

FC: No, oscillation.

2: Oscillation.

FC: Oscillation.

2: But they have some sort of, maybe, generative interaction?

FC: Yeah, they have, but um, you can't locate them, in a way.

2: Ok. Then it's the generative interaction that's, perhaps, central to your interest?

FC: No. I would say, central to my interest is the multiplicity of possibilities of coexistence which might be simultaneously discordant, concordant, paradoxical, univocal, & so on, & so on.. So, the interest is in the simultan-

2: Go ahead.

FC: Well.

2: [laughter] I thought that might be a good point to cut now - just for the moment.

FC: Ok.

2: But go ahead if you have more to say..

FC: No, no.. That's enough. Cluck! stop.

[end of interview]


Preparation for a Language Experiment

Berlin, July 24th, 1997ev


Preface: On, perhaps, the 22nd of July, Berit Schuck, Florian Cramer, Jen Lahn, & I discussed at substantial length what language experiment we might want to conduct as a way of addressing some issues raised in the preceding interview - especially in the section about Adamitic language. This wasn't recorded. The following is a transcript of our brief recapitulation of our preceding quasi-consensus on the afternoon shortly before the experiment began. Florian had already begun the experiment & was speaking using English words & using a language system unknown to the rest of us. The recording hereby transcribed, as with all the recordings, was taped with a very cheap recorder & the people speaking are often soft-spoken & not near the condenser mike. As such, much of the words are difficult to understand.


2: Well, it's my understanding of what we're doing that each of us is just going to apply their own system.

BS: I like the way that you say "that".

2: That [laughter] Thank you! We'll just apply our own systems, but that we will try to be conscious of using a certain system while we speech, while we speak - but that the system may change all of the time but at least we're consciously doing whatever it is that we're doing.

FC: [unintelligible]

2: Ok [laughter] But, that's basically what we're agreeing to do, right? Each of us will be applying their own system.

BS: It's as if we are all speaking English?

2: I don't think that..

BS: I mean I could speak..

2: you should feel..

BS: French or German & then, I mean I could just go on speaking & you wouldn't understand a word & you would think "Well, that's her own system".

2: Mmhmm. Well, if you want to restrict it to just English, that's fine with me, but that might make things even more problematic for you, or whatever. It's up to you, I suppose. What do you think? Would you rather have it be all in English or would you rather have the freedom to speak in whichever language you feel inclined towards?

JL: I think she should be able to speak any language that she wants.

2: Yeah..

FC: [unintelligible] Prefer any enlightened subset.

2: Ok, well that makes sense. [laughter] So, does anyone have any other comment to make before I turn the tape recorder off?

FC: Actually, [unintelligible] I am supposing to go way under my behavior predicts that women may deliver it.

JL: I don't agree with you, but, I think we should go.

[everyone laughs]

BS: So, everybody has the freedom to sustain or just work with its own system, his or her own system; change the system & the only thing we want to do is just somehow interact, or not, or just walk around & talk?

2: Well, I'm thinking that we're going to be..

FC: [unintelligible]

2: ..having communication strategies, personal communication strategies, but whether.. - in other words, when we're saying something, or when I'm saying something, at least, I'm going to be directing it in a particular way. It won't just be me talking nonsense for the sake of interjecting..

BS: words

2: ..anything into the situation. I'll have a specific..

BS: agenda

2: ..purpose for when I'm saying something & I'll have a specific system that I'll be applying to the saying of it.

BS: That's what I'm trying to say. I think it has to be more than phatic, just phatic language.

FC: The quarrel was why any system should arguably invade why one is distancing itself from it.

2: Which is something we never resolved [laughter] & we don't seem to be resolving now either.

BS: So, let's go!

2: Ok.


Language Experiment

Berlin, July 24th, 1997ev


Preface: The experiment began when we left Berit & Florian's apartment. From there we walked to the U-Bahn & took a train. Jen & I knew we were going to the Comenius Garten but didn't know where it was & were just following Florian & Berit. We got off the 1st train, ascended some steps, & switched to the S-Bahn. After leaving the S-Bahn we walked through the Berlin streets some more until we reached the Garten. The gate was locked, so we hopped over the fence & meandered around inside. When we left the Garten, I broke out of the experiment & started questioning my fellow participants. Florian continued with the experiment until he led us to a display window which showed Rosicrucian books. He then joined us. For the majority of the time, I carried the tape recorder. Given the poor recording conditions described in the last section's preface & given that there was a lot of ambient sound competing with the voices & given that Florian & Berit are very soft spoken & sometimes hard to hear under even 'normal' circumstances, the following transcript was very difficult to make. There were often long pauses between our words which aren't typographically represented here. Much of the transcription is guesswork. Sometimes, 2 or more people are talking simultaneously. Hearing words out of their usual context makes it harder to identify them. As such there are many phonetic ambiguities which I 'resolve' at my whim. Keep in mind while reading the following that all of us were thinking specific 'meaningful' thoughts which we then translated into our own alternate language structure. As such, eg, if Florian says "6 o'clock" he may've been referring to its being 4:30PM (or some such).


2: to for a fascinating objects for that substitution are course of bombastic problematic for he every-which-way

[the door opens]

2: to difficulty are odd recuperating yes for speak

FC: I think we should actually take the

2: grass-hop

FC: & then take a rail & get out the glue & from the glue climb the wood & thus take the effective stream which may bring us very touchingly into the [unintelligible] - the other [unintelligible].

2: We have walked for him [laughter]

FC: I'm tending to [unintelligible] afraid of the steam that turns from water into oxygen so actually this might criss-cross what we rightly considered to be a connected to the course of the sun

2: Preferably she connects goodness

FC: [unintelligible]

JL: [unintelligible] no fluid in their eyes

2: He follows small problem

FC: tENT, I'm actually knowing about what happens at the teapot where this Spaniard was actually winding up your presence. Do you have any, do you have any reaction to that?

2: [laughter] Answers preposition unheard-of placements

FC: Which is why I guess that this hardship is somehow fading in & out to the strategy of from what the mail artists are supposed to deliver as his Cheese-Whiz writing

2: Yes, speaking?

FC: [unintelligible] - & there is a certain - I think there is also.. a certain bark, a certain flea with what might be described as your method of actually calling, calling up this intimacy & perhaps we should, we should stumble across & a different, a different perception.

2: Becoming her has few sidewalks.

FC: No.

2: [laughter]

FC: I think, still think that the wheel should be cut off but I won't use any, I won't use any eyelids in in order to further embark with it.

2: We happen-upon that substitution

[arrival at the U-Bahn station]

JL: Slow down.. Spilled coffee all over my shirt.

[sound of running feet approaching - apparently we board the train here]

[train sounds are VERY LOUD]

2: [unintelligible]

FC: [unintelligible] escort the [unintelligible] position, wasn't it?

2: [laughter] Physical physical physical physical writing for spot. He writes, she notes.

FC: I think the real..

2: Yes.

FC: [unintelligible] of what is real & the real, the real should be.. I think you can actually embark on the, on the last possible rails of.. [unintelligible] doesn't really hid your [unintelligible]

JL: How many straws?

FC: Well, uh, it's actually just the last one.

2: [laughter] [unintelligible] the 1st camel

JL: That hurts

FC & 2: [laughter]

2: Walter Schreiber Platz.

JL: Zoo-o-loshiger Garden.

[we exit the 1st train here & ascend the steps to the S-Bahn]

2: [laughter] He bites category.

FC: I still wonder whether, still wonder whether there are perspective of moving inside a closed trap system might change any, any epistemological base of what we're pondering about, so, let's embark on what's going to be, going to be projected, huh?

2: Television. Hard Monty Cantsin w, x, y, z. Yes, depository?

FC: [unintelligible]

2: Of us! Fooling around. Try it on. Despite despite.

FC: It's, um, it's not very combusting, actually. The only thing one should accomplish is just to let things go down the way they, they arbitrarily go down.

[we board the 2nd train]

BS: She question things electricity is still running, hm, ya.

2: [laughter] He writes for he writes of he writes was he writes

FC: I think the tire should be unlocked from the wheel so that we can finally get beyond the point of free-wheeling & this kind of fixated, fixated way out.

2: He writes she has

FC: Temporarily the down part of the oceanic & [unintelligible] placement &, in fact, that's a very disturbing notion of what we should actually produce here.

2: Of us he has bad. ["Nexte Bahnhof" announcement] Zoologischer Garten.

FC: 6 o'clock.

2: We eat he simple-minded yesterday.

FC: But [unintelligible] without chitterlings.

2: ["Nexte Bahnhof" announcement] Zoologischer Garten. He are problematic of look. T-shirt 4. All nouns preposition adjectives preposition adjective North American - preposition adjective North American.

FC: [unintelligible] adjective conjunction European.

2: Nouns preposition adjective verb article conjunction verb.

JL(?): Exclamation.

FC: Pronoun verb preposition word continuous verb preposition.

2: T-shirt 6. Proper noun noun verb possessive pronoun noun.

FC: [unintelligible] Yes everything to be done properly.

JL: 12 clichés.

2: [laughter] Pronoun verb..

FC: [unintelligible] ground of, of 2nd city

BS: [unintelligible] hm, ya.

2: Proper noun verb article noun preposition unknown noun plural. Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof.

JL(?): [unintelligible] t-shirts?

2: Preposition contraction unknown noun

JL(?): Shake, shake.

2: Pronoun verb verb adjective adjective unknown.

FC: [unintelligible] the red shoelace, the red shoelace utopia.

2: Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof.

JL: We're almost down to the socks.

2: Unknown.

JL: We are.

[end of Side 2 of Tape 1 - beginning of Tape 2]

2: There might be a slight advantage to not using anything pasted above. T-shirt 6. [unintelligible] [arrival at yet another station] Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof.

FC(?): [unintelligible]

[we leave the train]

JL: The old song 15 T-shirts previous about coffee staining makes it easier for me to swim - rather than running.

2: Makes it easier makes it easier. Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof.

FC: [unintelligible] an hour back & then & after & now & then from left to another left where we may need the tulip, a tulip circles & just far remote distance from what we were not talking about.

2: T-shirt 8. Throwing away the garbage. Welcome back, honey!

BS: You all steal a glass of water for Stiletto.

2: Indubitably. She's fresh as a daisy!

FC: That, uh, that far-away country is a little bit too wide, but, by plunging into the leaves & the supernatural birds of one, what one might consider to be derived from the habit of eating too much sausage is very likely, or even unlikely, to hit something that could be defined as the bourgeois, utterly bourgeois concept of the excitation of sensual acceptance.

2: They played football & a good time was had by all!

FC: Do you think the reel shouldn't be chopped?

2: Uh, they sat down on the bleachers & stayed sitting there.

FC: Just eye your, your wings into that kindof, kindof stone-face.

2: Would that it were all so simple! He thought about what he'd read in the paper.

BS: Out of control.

2: The Temptation of Sri Auribondo. Hear the plants grow!

JL: They're dead.

FC: [unintelligible] starts to reeling cyclical poseurs & thoroughly beaten.

2: As had never happened before, the dog was well-bred. T-shirt 8b. Leaving Akademgorod.

[apparent arrival at the locked gate of the Comenius Garten - which we proceed to climb over]

JL: Hold the phone.

2: The submarine docks there.

JL: & the raft-boat enters. [laughter]

2: The submarine docks there!

JL: [laughter]

2: Us!

JL: [laughter] You..

FC: No, let psyche, psyche undermine the self-contained lawn of the construction that strives to our habit. Like the blood peeing [?] [unintelligible] below the supposed supposition of Bohemian physics.

2: T-shirt 8b: suppository.

BS: [singing:] She had never known that humans are so beautiful.

2: [laughter] She thought about all the different things she'd eaten that day.

FC: To debunk notions of what we are going to, to eyeball in certain streams that run below the ordinary, the ordinary misrepresentation &..


FC: ..& like in a female way of endings grasped & answered [unintelligible] well we can actually draw a line to the gates of light because we encounter certain complexes that drag their caves who the groundwork & [unintelligible] this might be considered a strange coincidence with what's,

JL: Higher.

FC: .. what's related to the overall setting.

JL: Food did not digest.

2: She went on a diet.

JL: [laughter]

FC: Below the [unintelligible] we have the oil condition & this here is a UNIX operating system which extends over the entire gap & I..

JL: Are there separate computers?

FC: &, no, there - this is here a ministry of federal research plant..

2: She saw him write a collision.

FC: ..&, below that BME [?] we got [unintelligible] perspiration of a classical Balinasian setting & now Novgorod-style lex-

JL: The [unintelligible] that was sucking my head was similar to a labyrinth instead of this UNIX system.

2: He deposited, somehow or another.

JL: The food went down smoothly. [laughter]

BS: [singing:] She statement this longing for communion.

2: [laughter]

JL: This is the beginning of..

2: Butt-soup.

JL: [laughter] The diet is continued.

FC: [unintelligible] higher? Could be what was established as the raw, raw matter to sodomize what tissues comprehend.

JL: "The Umbrellas of Chambourgh".

2: T-shirt 10. Yellow.

JL: [laughter] Um..

2: Brown. Red?

JL: Navy blue? Chartreuse. Maize.

2: Mauve.

FC: [unintelligible] architecture..

2: Green.

FC: ..which marks the end of the oscillating node & we've the Balinasian, Balinasian word balance as opposed to the nodes of finished teachings.

2: Clear. Monty Cantsin!

[loud splashing water]

JL: A little oregano, a little parsley.

2: A little oregano, a little parsley. Blue. Monty Cantsin, Monty Cantsin.

JL: Karen Eliot.

2: Neoism.

JL: Nein.

2: Neoism.

FC: [unintelligible] leave a wrap, a rap arising, a wrap-arising condition of a ragged setting.

2: Wa Salaam.

FC: The vaporizing condition is art emote paying a nocturnal, nocturnal eye to, or against, the ableizing Balinasian Arizona state.

BS: [unintelligible]

JL: Is the strongest plant the beginning of the UNIX complex?

FC: Thanks, it's the dan or the dean going from the, from the cousin's expanse to the law & order..


FC: ..ground & we now just face what we have seen & the love condition of overall angst ours.

JL: It's boiling to be a poet's wet dream. Blue, red?

2: Pale yellow.

JL: John! [laughter]

2: There's a john..

JL: There's a john that needs to be slit in order to prepare the..

2: Shall we dance?

JL: Let's swim. [laughter]

2: T-shirt 8b, 4. Monty Cantsin.

[at the Comenius statue]

BS & JL: [laughter]

JL: Monty Cantsin!

2: T-shirt 8, preface: & they lived..

FC: shifter, shifter..

2: ..happily ever after.

FC: shifter, shifter.. shifter, shifter shifter, shifter

2: T-shirt 10, preface: gray, gray gray gray, gray.

FC: shifter. shifter shifter. shifter. shifter shifter, shifter, shifter shifter, shifter.

2: gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray gray.

BS: [laughter]

2: Monty Cantsin! T-shirt 12. T-shirt 12. T-shirt 12. Never place typewriter.

BS: [says something in German too quick for me to even try to decipher]

[scraping sound]

JL: Alas. Sigh. Before the trees grow into the ground making roots so you can't build a house?

2: Never say die.

JL: Die. [laughter]

2: T-shirt 10. Gray, gray, gray, gray, gray.

FC: We might derive that the liquid of, the liquid of clouds is drawing liquor like a bee here to expatiate on the pictorial setting that was touchingly per-, per-, persevered to remain at the surface.

2: T-shirt 2. He writes for Monty Cantsin. T-shirt 10. Black. T-shirt 2.

JL: [unintelligible] t-shirt 7 fill my cavity?

2: T-shirt 10. Black.

JL: Can t-shirt 7 fill my cavity?

2: T-shirt 10. Black.

JL: Uh, um, a large eye would be the tooth?

2: T-shirt 10. Blue.

FC: [unintelligible] No just sea-water.

2: T-shirt 2. Opaque?

JL: Can t-shirt 7 fill my cavity?

2: T-shirt 10. Black. T-shirt 2.

JL: [unintelligible]

FC: Why don't you drown it? Why don't you simply drown it & then, then, uh, get of a, get off &, &, uh derive it from something that, that should be, that's considerable [unintelligible] It's just like..

JL: Same old song of coffee on my shirt - like I was saying before.

FC: Yeah, just, just plunge in to the blue water & then end up with a concept of a more, of a much more simplistic relationship to what you have so far..

2: T-shirt 10. White.

FC: ..distracted yourself from. I don't know, well, perhaps, we should do so.

2: T-shirt 10. White.

FC: & furthermore, we have the, we might describe it as a sea-weed derived set-up where [unintelligible] & nascence focusing on sea-weed.

2: T-shirt 2. Opaque, opaque, opaque. T-shirt 2. Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof. T-shirt 8. Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof. T-shirt 6. Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof.

JL: T-shirt 12. Black.

2: T-shirt 10. Black.

JL: [laughter]

FC: So this was a, was a physio-, was a physical expatiation of, of the attempt of internal, internally grabbing beyond the what is this here &, um, it's an exploration of Damaskian behavior in trying to get beyond ordinary onsets of might.

2: T-shirt 2. He wrote, he wrote, she of clock for go.

FC: Perhaps, that might a view on the clock turning to a full sun-dial & into the tulip condition of utterly, utterly stupid behavior. Look at the seat!

2: T-shirt 8. They listened with great joy to the sound of silence.

FC: Zap, zadidoos, tar, lar, tun, nik, naugy-dum, lipoot. T-shirt 1.

2: T-shirt 8b. Monty Cantsin sang a song about Neoism. T-shirt 10. Green.

JL: Synonymn, synonymn, antonymn, cliché. Cliché, synonymn, antonymn.

FC: Trishnet. Trishnet now.

[end of Side 1 of Tape 2 - beginning of Side 2]

FC: the cash, the crash sound.

2: Tell me, m-space, north washing-washing the trash.

FC: Gender?

2: He stopped, t-shirt 2, he stopped..

FC: [unintelligible]

2: T-shirt 2. He stopped.

BS: [unintelligible] solution.

JL: [laughter]


[the gate closes as we leave the Garten & I stop my participation in the experiment]


2: Ok. We have just stepped out of the Comenius Garten & I want to hear what people have to say about the last hour.

FC: Uh, tulip.

BS: [laughter]

2: I'm wondering, for example, whether anyone realized that every time I said "T-shirt" I meant "system" & I was referring to which system I was about to use when I was speaking. Did anyone notice that?

FC: Say.

2: [laughter]

BS: You all must have headaches. I mean head, aches.

2: We all must have headaches?

BS: Yes.

2: I don't have a headache. Do you have a headache? Jen is shaking her head in an apparently traditional communicative gesture. Berit is laughing.

BS: Which I thought was really frustrating that actually, I mean everybody

FC: Dante! Dante!

BS: [says something long in German that's alliterative]

2: [laughter] What do you think about that alliteration?

JL: The game goes on.

BS: Florian!

2: Berit just called to Florian & Florian stopped & looked - at Berit.

FC: [unintelligible]

BS: Looked at me.

FC: Uh, je croix qu'on peut aller à un autre endroit, uh, parce-que naturellement, il y a déjà beaucoup des choses à faire.

2: Ca continu.

FC & BS: [Florian continues talking in French while Berit says "Na,na,na,na,na,na,na,na.." & laughs]

2: T-shirt 10. [belch]

BS: [laughter]

2: Clear. T-shirt 1. I'm not sure when Florian wants to end - so I may segue back & forth between T-shirts 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 8b, 10, & 12 - & 8b-2. Berit has just removed a book, published by Universal Bibliotheque.

[arrival at a Rosicrucian display window]

FC: So now I'm ended.

2: Now you're ended?

FC: Yeah.

2: Oh, because you were planning to bring us to this?

FC: Yeah.

2: [laughter] We've just been brought to the Lectorium Rosicrucianum display.

FC: & you will recognize certain symbols from the Comenius Garden again - like the circle with the triangle in the middle.

2: Right, which was made from the gray boards - which was when Florian was saying "shifter, shifter, shifter shifter shifter shifter" & I was saying "gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, gray" etc, because I was counting all of the boards in the triangle - one by one - using the word "gray" at every counting.

BS: Which was obvious because you were staring..

2: [laughter] I know, I knew it was obvious! [laughter]

BS: [speaks in German]

2: She's reading from a book that appears to be entitled, uh, let's see, I might not be able to see the title, but the page heading said "Zeiner Briefe" or that's what it looked like to me. Ok, there are 4 books in the window here. The main display is a hanging placard approximately.. oh, I don't know,

FC: [unintelligible] of eternity. Everything that's um, that represents

BS: grows in nature is floundering & then dies

FC: Nothing is constant, everything is in flux, & always man, um bup bup bup bup, fails in his desperate attempts to make what is earthly

BS: to create, to create rather

FC: No, no, no - to make out of what is, what is earthly & transitory an eternal paradise, a persisting paradise - & all this, again, he stands there with empty hands.

BS: he's there with empty hands

FC: But, there is

BS: But

FC: BUT, there is a never-dying reality, a field of continuous fluorishing &, um, [German word which Florian struggles to translate] whup-whup-whup-whup-bau-um..,

BS: Revelation? [unintelligible]

FC: Revelation. Exactly. It's the word of the original godly creation which was there since the beginning & still exists. The return to this eternal condition of life is the aim of the pupils

BS: school

FC: the pupils of the International School of the Rose, of the Rose Cross.

BS: [unintelligible] altering the initial idea of the Rosicrucians - that it's become christian!

FC: The whole thing is completely fake - I mean it's just 1 of these countless organizations which has more or less split from the Theosophic Society in the, around 1920, & they call themselves Rosicrucians. I think there are 4 or 5 organizations today, international organizations which are calling themselves Rosicrucian but, but what they actually are is sects who are into money-making & this is a 1, this is a Rosicrucian sect which has its center in the Netherlands & which was founded by a guy who calls himself Jacob van Rijckenborgh - which is not his actual name & he made, um, a 2000 com-, a 2000 pages commentary on Rosicrucian manifestoes - which is like complete, completely ludicrous, yeah.

2: Did you read it?

FC: No. Of course I didn't.

2: It's.. Why do you say it's completely ludicrous then?

FC: Well, because what I gathered from it, this is something like a popularized summary which, it's just like, like, it's like, uh, reading romantic philosophy, in a way, without realizing what its notions or philosophical traditions are, I suppose, so it's a complete naive approach - & a theosophical mysticist occultist approach to the Rosicrucian manifestoes - which takes it for gospel & not, which has no understanding of allegory or irony or whatever is going on in these texts. So,

2: All of the books in the window of this Lectorianum Rosicrucianum are by the, the author that Florian just mentioned Jan van Rijckenborgh. The titles of the books are

"Die Chinese Gnosis"?

BS: Gnosis.

FC: "The Chinese Gnosis & the Forthcoming New Man", & "The Mysterium.."..

2: "The Mysteries of Life & Death"

FC: & "The Universal Path"

2: "Path" - P,a,h. So, "Der Universale Pfad", "Das Mysterium von Leben und Tod", und "Der kommende neue Mensch".

FC: So, what I'm just suggesting is that it's no accident that they're just here in this neighborhood.

2: Uhhuh.

FC: Although the Comenius Garden is pretty new. It has been built after they established their headquarters here.

BS: Who built it?

FC: Uh, it was actually built by the district of Neukölln. The district where we just are. It was a big project & it was also - well, the official opening of the Comenius Garden was with the supreme representatives of Czechoslovakia - so this is coming from Czechoslovakia originally & they also donated the Comenius sculpture in the middle of the garden - &, uh, what I actually tried, um, with my various methods I used to explain the emblematic, emblematic, uh, structure or set-up of the Comenius Garten which is divided into 2 parts, the 1 is called the primary school & the 2nd 1 is called the supreme school which is all structured according to the pedagogical writings of Comenius.

2: So, the supreme school 1 - is that where the triangle & the circle is?

FC: Yeah.

2: & the other part - you were using the word, what was it? Balinesian, all the time.

FC: Yeah.

2: Was, were you using Balinesian to refer to primary school? or whatever? or?

FC: No, to labyrinth actually.

2: To labyrinth?

FC: Yeah. That was just where, a method where I, one of my methods was to just take the 1st 3 letters of a word &, & make a palindrome & build a new word out of this 3 letter palindrome so that labyrinth would translate into balinisian.

2: That's an interesting approach that I would've never figured out. What about you? When you broke into song, for example, were, were you following any particular..?

BS: Yeah, I was, um, I was trying to, um, I, I was, I don't know, I was trying to - to look, at 1st to check out what you were all doing & you were like so isolated from each other & like trying to follow your path & I didn't understand why you were still trying to communicate somehow. That is, to say, turning to each other & trying to explain something & I thought that was like kindof crazy because you were contradicting yourselves all the time & so I thought well I'll just go on & look what I think would like what language could be about so, um, when I entered the garden I said like, ok, what is a garden about & I just want to contemplate & like come back to nature & as, as of course this is all like goes back, comes back to Rousseau - leads then of course, yeah, I started singing.

2: [laughter]

BS: That's easy, I mean - because it's, of course, if you re-, if you re-, everything is corrupt, language is corrupt, [unintelligible] - everything you do is like this head thing - you're just thinking & considering & you try to do & nothing, I mean, I, I think it was a complete failure.

2: [laughter]

BS: But it was interesting.

2: Why was it a complete failure because what was it that you were trying to accomplish in the 1st place that failed?

BS: Um.. I, I, I just didn't understand why we were doing it all together. I mean I think it would be just much better if you would do it on your own.

2: Well I don't.. You seem to have, which is to be expected, a very different set of expectations

BS: Yes.

2: or purposes or whatever than I did & I'm sure all of us had a different set of expectations & purposes - I mean, for me, like I was saying before, I was just experimenting with different approaches & trying to, in some way, experience whatever it was that was happening & for me it was, it had a physically interesting effect because, especially during the train ride & when we 1st started, walked over to the garden, I started feeling more & more disembodied or whatever - maybe just because of the kind of thought process that I was forcing myself to go through

BS: [laughter]

2: but I started feeling more & more light-weight or whatever. Did anyone else have a similar sensation?

FC: Yeah, actually, yeah, it was very, um, it's, um, I think it wasn't bad as a kind of meditative experience of retracing or reshaping the way you actually shape thoughts into words

BS: Yeah, it was not..

FC: because..

BS: It was not a meditation about one's self it was rather about language so that enlightens you, of course, if your body, if your, like, needs to express your subjectivity & what el-, & whatever, you, you understand?

FC: Hm.

BS: &, & what I thought, which was great, which was that everybody was listening so intensively, intensively?, intent?

2: Or intently..

BS: So?

2: Yeah.

BS: Yeah. Like trying to find out what was going on. Nobody was like, just, uh, everybody was like trying to..

FC: Yeah, so probably there was more understanding & communication than [laughter] in the present situation although that is not the point of the whole exercise. I don't know. I just, uh, I just, just considered it a kind of.. well, I, I, I had several methods. One method, was, a metonymical method where

BS: Yeah.

FC: I was always trying - you figured that out - I, I [unintelligible] I think I realized at some point that Berit had figured out my metonymical method where

2: Which type of method?

FC: A metonymical method where I just was building metonymns of words - that means, words which are related in that they have a contiguity to a word that, let's say, for example, that I don't say "car" but I say "tire" or "wheel" for the car, yeah?

2: Yeah, I noticed that sometimes, when you were doing that.

FC: Yeah.

2: I was, my t-shirt #2, which was the 1st one I started with, which was, of course, why it was number 2, um, was just - you know, similar to what we had originally talked about - which was substituting words of the same class, or whatever, uh, so if I wanted to say "She is over there" I might say "I was under rock" or whatever - something like that. Except I was usually a little more laborious about substituting something more remote from the original word. One of the.. sometimes I tried to stay consistent & use the same word as a substitution for another word all the time like I was saying "writing" instead of "thinking". & then, of course, I went through the phase, I think it was t-shirt #4 or #6, I don't remember which now, of always just naming the part of speech that I would've been using if I would've been saying the intended original sentence.

BS: I was, I was trying to, 1st, in the train, I tried to mix several things in 1. I just said, I was just, I would just say something & then explain the main rhetorical function of what I was say-, I was trying to say, I would say, well, "She is standing over there" but I would add "question": "She, question, is standing over there" & then, like as to, as to announce what it was about, the sentence - & then, add, for example, some grammatical explanation of the sentence or just, just trying to fuse, fuse?, fusion?

2: Fuse. Yeah.

BS: to fuse all these different ways of language can be looked at & thought about.

2: So, in that case you were mainly analytical - or whatever..

BS: Trying to, like, trying to.. Yeah! Although, I mean, that was my expectation it was, I was, I thought that maybe you could just, uh, think about language in a different way. Not theoretically, but, it makes or change mode or change system - just try to find out - like continue the philosophical tradition of..

2: Well, I, uh..

BS: language..

2: My t-shirt #10, which was probably pretty obvious, was just to associate a color with whatever thought I had. So, for example, you said something to me & then you said a color & in a sortof questioning way or whatever & then I chose the color that I associated with what you said

JL: Yeah.

2: which was "light yellow"

JL: Yeah, "pale yellow".

2: "pale yellow".

JL: I got mad at you. [laughter] I knew you were thinking that what I said was bad. [laughter]

2: No, no - that's not what I was thinking at all!

JL: I know, but, I knew that too, but.. the way I, what I had put in your head as what you said pissed me off.

2 & JL: [laughter]

JL: & same with you..

2: Pale yellow [unintelligible]

JL: because,

2: [unintelligible]

JL: Yeah.. because I was talking to you about - I was trying to get you to give me my camera.

2: Uh, huh.

JL: & then you didn't understand what I was saying & then, I thought you were saying to me, um, that I was speaking too metaphorically, that it was too easy to figure out what I was saying - so you were like "Just drown", like, "Just get your camera & be quiet!" [laughter]

2: [unintelligible] the most, the most, uh..

BS: [unintelligible]

JL: Is that what you were saying? or were you not even talking about..?

FC: No, no, actually, I used the water metaphor as a metaphor of looking because the point was, I was explaining the emblems of, uh..

BS: [laughter]

FC: I used this very old metaphor..

BS: I like it when Florian is speaking - he's always speaking to himself &, I mean, that's like the 1st option [laughter]

FC: & then, uh, when I..

JL: [laughter]

FC: I was just taking this very old metaphor of water for eyes in order to explain the various visual emblems in the Comenius Garden which was, for example, the eye of god at the end - you know, where you have the telescope & the magnifying glass & stuff like this &.. So, also, um, well another method I used was, actually plagiarized from the OuLiPo which was the "s plus 7" or "n + 7" method - which means a noun + 7 entries in the dictionary. So I was just substituting words which have the same letter as the 1st letter.

BS: I tried that too but I thought that it was completely, that it was written language & that it wouldn't be interesting.

FC: &, um..

BS: Of course, the philosophical research I did, re-search I did in [unintelligible] that was in the train & in the city so I tried to speak in a way that, which I, which I associate with city-talk or academic-talk or people-talk just with their heads - not with their hands, not with their bodies - all this western tradition.

FC: & then we have the 5th speaker which are the constant airplanes!

FC & 2: [laughter]

2: This'll be a great tape to listen to, I think. There's alotof good sounds in it.

JL: Yeah..

BS: mainly..

JL: & that's why I didn't talk because I thought it would be too easy to figure out how I was talking so I was just like..

FC: & then I also had the method of trying to remember words you said & then using them later - like 10 minutes or 15 minutes later. I don't know whether you figured that out several times..

2: I didn't notice that.. I, I was trying to avoid using any system or words that the other people were using - that's, so I was kindof working in the opposite direction. But, no, I didn't notice it that you were doing that. One of the things I did was, I started getting so frustrated at the beginning because I would have these fairly complicated sentences in my mind but I was totally changing them & it was taking me so long to get the sentences out

BS: [laughter]

2: that, uh..

FC: Yeah.

BS: Same for me!

2: Well [said to Florian] you were doing, you were whipping them, you were rattling them off but I was having, I was speaking like this for every word I, you know, etc.. So, later on, I think it was, maybe, t-shirt #8, uh, I started just substituting whole phrases for phrases that I would have in my mind that were, kindof cliché recognizable units so, I forget what I said, but I think, maybe after you started sing-, well I said things like "Never say die" & things like that - that were substitutions for something else but I don't remember what they were substitutions for.

BS: I tried to, in the train, I tried to stay consistent with, like, - to, to,

JL: I don't remember you talking in the train.

BS: I didn't very much because, at 1 point, I thought the best would be to stay silent & that would be, like, my language - because, because, the kind of language I had chosen for the city, uh, that wouldn't work in a group. I thought it would be better to be written or just, well, silently thought about but not put out & the- [laughter] & then I was kind of, I felt more freedom when we entered the garden because I thought, ok, this is a different setting & now we can, we can go &, get to 18th century & try to check that out!

2 & BS: [laughter]

BS: Because, before, I was in the 17th when they 1st discovered that each language had its own grammar & that it wasn't all, it wasn't all Latin - which had - formerly they had just put the Latin structure onto all the languages that, languages that they knew. & then they discovered that all the languages had its own grammatical structures. &, so, I was just trying to, to, then, well, have this grammatical analysis plus rhetorics, which, of course, is very important in the 17th century, plus just trying to find some way of not speaking with this, um, um, self-centered subjective emotional voice which, we all know, comes into existence later, but, in the 17th century it's more this, like somebody speaking but it's not, not necessarily an individual - but, he or she is speaking for a whole group or his social class or whatever - but it was so difficult.. so I didn't speak much - I, I mean I had something like 2 sentences I think?

2: So what about you?

2: Yeah. Do you have anything more to say about it? - before another plane comes over & completely drowns out what you're saying.

JL: No. I kindof felt like I was wasting my breath because I was trying to communicate & I wasn't just trying to talk & noone could understand what I was saying so I just..

2: But, see, I didn't want to understand..

JL: I know..

2: I didn't want to only understand what other people were saying. I wanted to try to get something out of the experience that was different from understanding.

JL: Well, then it worked for me, because I didn't understand.

2: Uh, huh.

JL: [laughter]

BS: I felt like you, I mean I felt like you, I, I thought that, well, ok, um, communication is impossible, so, why are we here with this group? &, I mean I was, like, in some, in some, in some way I was feeling, I thought, I mean, that we were pretty, I mean we had maybe the same..

FC: Yeah. I think you both were pretty reluctant of the whole, of the whole experiment, weren't you?

BS: Yes. It was like this, this so-called male going off with, uh, I don't know! I mean [laughter]

2: But, to me, my intention.. - you say we're not communicating &, therefore, why should we be together as a group - that's basically what you just said, right?

BS: Yeah, I mean I was just, I was trying to stage in the garden this original scene of Rousseau - language comes into being because people meet each other & they fall in love! It's because of passion.

2: [laughter]

BS: That's why people start speaking. Before they just yell at each other or they say "APPLE!, UOOH, UH!" [language] & they want an apple - but then language as is, is, in, well, in the 18th century, well there's also [unintelligible] thinks that language has a lot to do with communion, communication. & this, well, I mean, you weren't listening at all! You were just going on & off with your own system.

2: No, no. I was listening.

BS: That's, uh, that's completely fair & interesting but I just thought that my system didn't work - at that moment.

2: Well, 1st, it's not true that I wasn't listening - or that, because, everything that I said was a response to either the situation or to something that someone else said. But the thing is that, that this, thi-, um.. A lot of times when I play with other people, ok, play usic, as I prefer to call it, these days, with everyone that I play with, the emphasis is always on interaction - especially with improvisors, there's always an emphasis on interaction - like, that's what the people who are playing like the most. &, recently, I've had an interest in deliberate non-interaction. In other words, trying to experience something that's different from that so, for example, there was this piece that we presented in Pittsburgh called "Interspatiality" where, uh, uh, it was proposed that people arrange themselves in relation to the specific architecture of a specific building & then to simulate the sounds of, that would be likely to've occured within this architectural space. & when we were talking about it, when we were discussing the project, people were saying "Well, but I want to be able to interact" or whatever, & I said "I interact all the time but I've never had the experience of pretending to be a metaphor for a hot-water heater" or whatever, right? So I was interested in being a metaphor for a hot-water heater & not in interacting because I interact all the time. So, for me, in this situation, I feel like, at least, without bringing into question the idea of communicating, I, I feel like I communicate all the time - therefore, I wanted to have a different experience that I thought maybe this could provide that would be not displaced communication so much as it would be some kind of unique parallel.

BS: I just think that in the garden the communication I tried to establish was more about interpersonality then about interaction. If you understand.. I mean, well.. I mean, I can't really explain it in English. I just think that, um, of course there's this concept of the subject speaking & interacting with another person. As, uh, yeah! &, uh.. &, of course, nowadays, or today, maybe this doesn't work anymore & interaction's something else & maybe it has nothing to do with interpersonality - I mean, I'm very interested in that - that's why I'm working with naked dialog. I was talking, talking about that - a few days ago

2: Right.

FC: I mind the whole interview after this experiment because I think in trying to objectifying the experiment we just made we're sortof implying or suggesting that the language we use now is a kind of meta-language, like a superior language, to the language we used in the Comenus Garden. & since I, since I refuse to this I also refuse to discuss our experiment.

BS: No! Not at all! We can, I mean I could go on & explain now what my expectations are right now,

FC: Yeah.

BS: I mean why not? I mean I could go on & you never, you don't, I mean you don't get any solution now - we're not telling you what was really happening over there. I, I can't, I mean, I, I'm just, I'm just, uh, I mean I don't, I can't even say that all this thing that I was saying earlier about the systems I'd tried to establish, about the communication, the forms of communication etc - I can't, I can't even, I can't explain now if it worked out & if it wasn't something different.

2: Well, I.. sorry..

BS: [unintelligible]

2: [laughter] Well, I don't agree that this implies something, I don't agree that our discussion now implies that this is a meta-language, or whatever, in relation to the previous experiment. I don't, I don't see that as being a sound logical statement.

FC: Say.

2: [laughter] I think that, uh, you have a tendency to, uh, to, uh, be hypercritical in certain ways that are very productive but that the hypercriticalness can just get in the way of, uh, of just experiencing something.

FC: Well, that's just the reason why I say, well, let's not discuss it - we experienced it. I prefer the experience to the discussion, that's all. That's..

BS: But, the discussion is another experience.

2: Exactly. That's..

BS: ..going on - this is discourse. Ok, it's another, it's another form of communication other, another language system & you just communicate in a different way now. Nobody's says that what we are saying now is really

JL: what you mean

BS: putting an end to what was happening earlier, I mean..

2: That was in a different time.

BS: Even if we're pretending that this is a meta-language,

JL: [unintelligible] [laughter]

BS: I mean, let's pretend!

FC: Alright. You beat me.

2 & ?: [laughter]

BS: [unintelligible]

2: Florian is now covered with blood. His, his, uh, his eyes are leaking blood & his ears are leaking blood. It's a really horrible sight. Uh, Berit is holding up her hatchet.

2 & BS: [laughter]

FC: chopping my head off..

2: Ok, um, does anybody want to go eat again? [laughter]

BS: I want an ice-cream.

FC: Yeah. I want an ice-cream too. We could get a cheap

JL: [laughter]

FC: We could get a cheap ice-cream over there at Aldi - they're good ones actually.

JL: Yeaaah!

2: Do they have Rosicrucian ice-creams?

FC: Well, of course, the aura of this place, uh, uh, trans-

BS: I mean look at this!

FC: Yeah, you have the same triangle that in the Aldi logo so - the Comenius triangle. So, this is our Rosicrucian place here - we have to go there.

2: Yeah?

FC: Yeah.

2: Ok. I'm going to stop the tape-recorder now. Does anyone object?

BS: I agree.

2: I know you don't object.

FC: Sha-dup-sha-dup-sta.

2: [laughter] Egen?

JL: Nem.

[end of Tape 2 - the last tape]


Afterword: There are many things that interest me about this interview, the experiment, & the discussion afterwards. The experiment hints in the direction of ways to accomplish things usually associated with meditation without the usual silent detachment. This is useful for me because in my few attempts at conventional meditation I've always become quickly dissatisfied. With this experiment I felt more engaged. Putting aside the whole solipsistic debate (for the moment) of whether communication or understanding are 'possible', I find it revealing to conduct such an experiment & find out afterwards what people's expectations, theories, & presumptions were (etc..). In 'ordinary' discourse, these same expectations, theories, & presumptions may be underlying but aren't as directly addressed as often because it's somewhat taken for granted that there's a 'surface understanding'. In the experiment, this 'surface understanding' isn't taken for granted as much because of the obvious disruption to 'normal' discourse.


- Party Teen on Couch #2 - August, 1997e.v.




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