In the gardens of York Museum a catafalque rests alongside mediaeval sarcophagii which are a cultural inheritance of the City of York. Its utilisation of ancient and contemporary interfaces engage the question of destiny. The gravitas of the stone is an ironic lever with which to prise open the corpus of Bluntcut. Following the installation the oeuvre or corpus breaks down according to organic presets. A digital corpus is located via an inscription on the ledger of the York stone: www.bluntcut.com
A theoretical perspective on the topology of Preset Softwar
Commissioned by Impressions Gallery in York as part of Photo98, Preset Softwar : v1.0 + v1.1 engages the legacy of the monument and its mediation of private and public memories.
All works of public art are monuments to a specific economy. Every monument is a ledger or inventory of distributed assets deployed in the siege of memory.
Through an interface or medium the user reanimates an asset in the lottery of becoming. Perhaps even the incredulous reader will allow System the example of Philosophy’s corpse, remixed from ashes of apocalyptic tomes to engage the question of the corpus or work.
For us the tomb becomes a tome for hallucinatory voices whose tangents exceed the limits of the program. Crazed and deranged volumes murmur in the variable wavelengths of a fluid decomposition.
Preset Softwar is a geistheist program to raise the stakes of speculators interred in the mediation of post mortuary aesthetics, zombies loaded with assets downloaded from the loa of knowledge hierarchy.
Zombies like us dance across screens of traders and strippers, wiggers and niggers, gravediggers and liggers. We dance to the evil sounds of the metropolis losing debts on market floors by trading torn pages of Zarathrustra's prologue for a portfolio with the future anterior giant www.accursedshare.com.
The System work, Preset Softwar launched research programs into ancient discourses of post mortuary aesthetics. Areas of culture that are sometimes occult or sedimentary. Unlike the study of geomancy already popularised through Feng Shui.
Our agent ALFON 80 excelled in the agency between zones of discourse uncovering works such as Earth Harmony by Nigel Fennic, in which York was mentioned as exemplary of the early practice of orientation; from the Latin *Oriri* meaning to rise. The Corridor of Sanctity being aligned along a pagan geomantic plan defined according to astrological and solar arrays.
Ludic study enabled formulation of obtuse and perverse rules governing the dimensions and orientation of the flat stone ledger embedded in the garden of York museum that bears the above legend.
“The Situationists were probably the first to realise the politico-strategic value of abstract spaces opened up under the pressure of a militarised economy. Unfortunately, they were unable to resist the temptation to reduce the variety of new places to a single privileged one: the place of the spectacle.”
Manuel De Landa
Versed in the intricacies of Preset Softwar we enter the virtual gates of York in search of phantoms within the spectrum of the city. Sofa subversives and media mercenaries must operate strategies of surprise, decoy, simulation and cryptology. Our movements are unstable assuming anonymity and exhibitionism to manipulate the imaging and imagining of a city. We are cru-saders fighting an invisible war: The War of Perspective.
We warn the public that already there have been fatalities from the virulent Cathode Ray Autotoxic Paronomasia. Preset Softwar parasites the anxiety caused by the end of the aesthetic dimension inviting the other to become implicated in disappearance.
Ghosts in the machine are mediums in the traffic of organic and inorganic intelligence. Without such invocations we would not be able to superimpose the model of the body onto the city and draw out the psychocartographic resonance of city bound by military discipline.
York was built on Euclidean principles of space, holding as it does a chiasmic point between two rivers and geo-metrically aligning itself within a Roman cartography.
Vitruvius Virtruvius writes in The Ten Books on Architecture of the specific nature of solar orientation:
“The quarter towards which temples of the immortal gods ought to face is to be determined on the principle that, if there is no reason to hinder and the choice is free, the temple and the image placed in the sanctuary should face the western quarter of the sky. This will enable those who approach the alter with offerings or sacrifices to face the direction of sunrise in looking towards the image of the temple, and thus those who are undertaking vowes will look towards the quarter from whence the sun comes forth.”
In 306 AD Constantine proclaimed himself Emperor at YORK. At a distance from the Organs of state his religious investment in the resurrection as significant as the crucifixion mythology in the future domination of the Cross in Western discourse.
By superimposing itself on pagan architectures and calendars the Cross mobilised against the past and future. However with all sights and superimpositions there is the potential for the foreground and background to drift out of sync.
This could be understood via a Freudian formulation of the return of the repressed or scatological entropy.
The state does not appropriate the war machine without giving it the form of relative movement: This was the case with the model of the fortress as a regulator of movement. The image of York is enshrined within the corset of its medieval Minster and fortifications. The future of York like so many cities is being shaped by tourism as the locus of power shifts to virtual scenes of production and consumption.
The city must attend to the travelling and nomadic forces of capital. The eternal wanderer lends a currency to the city. This debt is returned by deferring its power to the and/or gates of other cultures. From the ashes of cremated Jews come the electrostatic noises of routes long imagined buried underground. The telluric economy surfaces as a series of ruses and games test the contemporaneity of the city.
ALFON 80 unearthed texts by Magnus Magnuson, host of the TV show Mastermind, which related the mysterious case of the Bloxham tapes. Like numerous cases of reincarnation the historical accuracy of the subject in trance was uncanny. By laying our ledger in the vicinity of buried corpses we created a conduit for future interference between the aporia of digital and analogue cultures.
The monumental edifice of Preset Softwar detours all terminal debts to negotiate the loss of geographical significance of the corpus and pose questions about public/private space, which might otherwise remain prejudiced.
Shifts from monumental to transient code infiltrate tellurian phantasmagoria. Encrypted rotors spin mnemonic missives. A detourism of the ‘heritage’ warzone spins an architecture without limits.
Escape routes trace the alchemical allure of occultures within the boundry of a state economy.
Our topography encompasses Roman sewers, lines from subtitled films such as Kanal, Rome Open City, and tropes of resistance, which lead inevitably into hallucinogenic endoscopic journeys.
In regression we remember the miner*s strike and the death of Richard III, we perform scenes in sewers and record the street and club cultures in our scatological pursuit and agency for an epitaph for the city.
Memory impacts on the user releasing time delayed images. Remote technologies allow the ride between York and New York. The cathode ray womb delivers a series; SEX AND THE CITY. Art and sex are traded commodities. The promiscuity of the city infers the friction of this ride. Cryptic eroticism: The lure of necromancy.
Exposure to deathly vices are visible effects of new luminosity. The medieval cemetery, a resting place of the dead, was also where prostitutes would rendezvous with their clients in an exquisite recognition of the Thanatos principle.
Oracles performed the tasks of servicing the Legions. From the slave culture of Roman York to the marginal or underground cultures of today come glimpses of tomorrow's mainstream. A recent Evening Standard headline read: TRADE IN SEX SLAVES.
Mark Waugh 1998