Ora Iso Image Certifies

[Downwards; 2018]

Styles: post-no wave, post no-wave, post no is still not a yes
Others: not early Swans, but rather Baudelaire, “Le Cygne,” Mallarmé, “Le Cygne”

Like only a ghost of Lydia Lunch, an acerbic scream resounds in resignation, “The world is in denial.” Sung with grief, elsewhere, “The world is filth.” Elsewhere, sung with profound forsakenness, “The world is sick.” What about the promise of a new world? What about the promise of the injunction, “hold on to dust?”

Let us state decisively that the world is dead. No need to cite the apocalyptic conclusions of ecological studies. No need to cite the absence of a sky. No need to cite violence and despair, or the impossibility of love, or the futility of hope. The weakness in her voice when she sings “We all forget what it means to be alive” is enough, if only because she, as you can hear in her weakness, has also forgotten.

The world is dead, decisively, but the world is also in dead revolt, the world whose pain is a revolt against any semblance of a life or a world that becomes a life only as an image of the dead world it excludes. Nothing that continually creates itself can disappear, we might add, so long as it goes on existing through other beings who go on acting different fictions of a life, different exclusions of a world that can never change, or not until… she was going to say its obliteration, its annihilation.

The no-wave, no-world concertos, out of whose fragments Image Certifies finds less form than fiction — the fiction standing against decay makes you an exception to decay — here ring empty, resigned, as long as you who ceaselessly interrogates the world’s decay discover, at the end, that the world will never change. But you have, and you are not dead and no wiser. Like an industrial music that occupies the factory whose setting is both the site of a dystopian future and the mark of a past exploitation so catastrophic that it infects all imagined futures, if you cannot stand outside the no-world, at the very least occupy its greatest wound.

Beware that there is no life to be found here, but also be wary of life, for none of us possess the cure for any of us to exist harmoniously within the world, nor do any of us possess a cure for a world that is already dead.

Do not dare to imagine the world. Do not dare to imagine its future. Do not leave your bed. Do not go outside. Do not wait. The no-world will not open itself to you, it will not writhe before you in ecstasy. Least of all, do not hope, for the only hope is to disavow hope, to open in the dead wound of the world… to open what? Do not open.

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