ankoku techno (re:occult / trance)

gjhilton (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 17:25:05 +0000

susan>... butoh for 'minimal' inspiration ...

oh, _yes_.

In its willed austerity lies a good antidote to the !!!!MuLTiMeDia!!! /
gesamtgeekwerk tendency (phallic display of techno-prowess for its own
sake). Moreover, Butoh, so corporeal, so primative (so occult?) offers a
very promising more general paradigm for our sort of work. It teaches us
that existence must be achieved- and is constantly contested:
Involvement with technology (digital & otherwise) at whatever level
brings a similar awareness.

My experience of daily exertion with keyboard and mouse is of a struggle
to shake life into a thing wavering between existence and its oppostite.
Corporate IT moguls love robust technologies - I think I may prefer mine
to be brittle. Like performance, the the anxious moment of proving,
waiting to see if code will compile / run is deliciously intense.
Efficiency & robustness are just so _dull_.

Machinic struggle enacts an abjection all of its own. Consider, for
example, Chico Macmurtrie's robotic Tumbling Man, prone, jerkily
struggling -perhaps indefinately - to roll back upright there is a
quality of simlicity andresolve in the endevour of the mechanism to
execute its function that is pure butoh. The same abjection is embodied
in a motor or aCPU,

"Nonsense. Butoh is about spirit / nature, / (your choice here)" : A
fair enough objection, but I am sure that in discovering how a body of
skin and bone struggles differently to one of metal or data or light,
somewhere there is a worthwhile discovery.

I am emormously and frequently moved be the beautiful, grotesque story
of Hijikata on his deathbed still tiwchily dancing out his final
minutes.This is the sort of futile heroism he always claimed as
absolutely necessary for any body that claims life. I have an old
casette walkman that I rather treasure. With the ebbing of its battery
power, it exponentially detunes the pitch of the music until it reaches
a silent standstill. Cyber-butoh will teach us the qualities of these

Is a slowly seizing mechanism admiring La Argentina?

guy - sorry for the length - i'm putting a paper together on this and
I'm unhealthily involved ;}