AOKI takamasa RV8

[raster-noton; 2013]

Styles: techno, house, 2-step, glitch, sculpture
Others: Autechre, Zomes, Yuzo Koshiro

You are sculpting. Just like in a synthesizer, you are taking a pure electric signal and sculpting it into something appealing.

“rhythm variation 05”


A trip, a stutter, and then only forward momentum. Modular pieces of a larger contraption folding, hiding behind one another, only revealing something identifiable to you after they have repeated the tracing several times. The cultivation of a deep nod, a deliberate and mutating drip that implants the outline of a distinct pattern in your mind. But the pattern is grinning at you, because it knows that you can see it. Or is it you who are grinning? Now you can’t tell it apart from the self. You flutter, occasionally threaten to tear through the center, but the play of the familiar elements holds the machine of being together.


A re-calibration. A recombination of discrete parts which you now recognize are the animate cells of being: they are oblong, funky, monochromazoid, contiguous at all points but jointed in 16 places so that they may easily fold into something either smooth or ribbed with prickly glitches. The cells take turns passing through the field of vision. Towards the end of the demonstration, a hazy aura settles over everything and softens the sharp edges. You suspect it is a ceremony to recognize the need for circumspection. Momentum takes a moment to consider its origin. A resonating pleasure displaces the body proper and it occurs to you that sensation is the only real thing.


Yes, you are sure of it now. Everything is in the senses. You test them: flickers, gasps, chinks, mutters and the acrid sting of haze. All of them are just zones on the spectrum of a ubiquitous and shadowy particle. But why, then, do you still see them? The pattern, the contraption, the machine, being itself. It goes on showing itself like it is real. It is anesthetized, hooked up to a lie detector, but it rambles on, telling the story of its journey through a realm: there was a brave ecosystem, flora and fauna. They moved of their own volition. They made sounds that you could hear and that were not a part of you. Even in this manufactured space, there is an other on the outside, and most importantly, there is an outside.


Mistakes initiate this dance. Symptoms of a knotted flaw in an otherwise fluid machine. You stumble for a span that seems eternal until something in you ejaculates a groove falling into place, and it locks. The momentum that was good by the grace of its own being is now tiresome, and the sensation that seemed to be everything is now impossible to feel. Every particle is annoyed. Until, from the center, there comes a wave that radiates outwards and lets you know again that there is space to move. Relieved, the jointed continuum spreads out its limbs in a great cosmic yawn. Even machines have to sleep, even if they are moving. Impossibly white Adidas-brand sharks puttering around in the murk with half their brains switched off, sucking the leftover vapors off discarded e-cigs.


Now the nod that is the symptom of the tracing of the pattern is very severe, and only a pulmonary jab to the plexus can arrest the terrible stasis of the whole thing. The hum is nearly too much. But the machine of being will not worry itself, because it has stored away the necessary plans to build the parts it needs to make more of itself. You can’t see them because they are hidden away and protected, but the plans look like the tracing of the pattern that you saw at the start.


Now that you and the machine of being (again, it remains difficult to separate the two) recognize that you know what you are made of, you begin to feel cheerful. You decide to engage in a dance. It is a deft 2-step full of improvised flourishes. It is full of jokes and laughs, but at the core there is a creeping sadness; when the games are done, always you must return to the curled spine at the center.


You remember the darkness of Berlin, the blistering hot wind of a Chicago summer day. The gauze of twilight comes down and prepares you to receive frequencies from a benevolent Moon that is your brother. Astral projections, spectral erections, crimson and clover, crystals and candles. It was all a beautifully fun game to play along with, but the utter sobriety is palpable. You are sick and tired of feeling cosmic and decide to relocate to a space that is totally blank, with a cheaper rent.


There is a poignant comfort here, like returning home but knowing that things have changed. The machine is still purring lazily in the corner, but it no longer matters to you whether it is real or not. Every particle abuzz, the clamor of the cells, all things are still here. Things will end this way or no way at all. There is forming an imperceptibly deep cavern; you can feel it phasing in like a migraine. All you can do to keep from plunging into the bottom of the cavern is to focus on the beautiful pattern you glimpsed at the genesis of this world, but it is fading fast from your mind. A narcotic translucence cracks a rift in your thoughts and everything becomes weightless. The horizon is a drooping eyelid and then shuts.

Links: AOKI takamasa - raster-noton

Most Read