DJ Spooky

Vacation–Waitsfield, Vermont: Making Sense


Today. Situation>signification: Beneath my feet, a river.

Skip>fade>enter?delete>>>cd:dir:goto>I find myself passing the time in a house built on a waterfall where a friend from NYC is letting me stay for a couple of days. The house is built right over the current, and the vapors from the turbulent water refract the morning sun as I write into a prismatic spray of color and formlessness. Just being out of the city requires a kind of decompression–there’s a continuous hum of sensory overload in NYC that parallels the sounds I hear out here, but the milieu I find myself immersed in on this beautiful morning here in the forest is one of refraction–sound displaced from its generative sources and sent bouncing up the iron, steel, and ferroconcrete corridors of Manhattan that have superimposed themselves on my mind to become echoes of a world where origin and destination, sound and silence, form and function, switch places with blinding speed in the refraction of the moment and are indistinguishable from the myriad reflections the environment generates. Was that a run-on sentence? I look out into the surrounding forest and hear the crickets, bird cries, and various sonic debris of the world in a “natural” state and realize that it will take a long time for me to understand this environment. Inscription and re-inscription–call it localized generality or something like that. Urban reality versus the forest: Which of the two takes precedence in my mind? Which environment acts as an agent of immersion for me? Which one superimposes its logic over the other and acts as a frame of reference for the other? In the current moment I realize that as someone who grew up in the city, the only reference I have for the beautiful environment I find myself in is the hyper density of the metropolis. Sound and signification for me in the hear and now have become what I like to call the “kinedramatic sublime,” and it all sounds like the rush of water beneath my feet. For me the common denominator holding these radically different experiences–patterns and frequencies–that’s what it’s all about.

Natural and artificial. There’s a problem of origination here. Generator and generated seem to have blurred together and become one. Rather than follow the normal cycle of reproduction, the two agents have drifted away from the “natural” altogether and become something utterly different to form a strange new dialectical triad. A new limb bearing very old flesh, it seems, has sprouted from the mutation and absorbed the whole structure of relationships. Open text>code source>open source>acoustic image>reflection of subjectivity, a logic of alterity. The reality of my surroundings has moved from the smooth linear rapport of the past (the city of my childhood) to mirror the nonlinear, intensely cross-networked, and hypertextual frameworks of contemporary culture (the city of the present day for me)–polychromatic, different threshold values, psychological causality, social dominance structures–all find themselves weaving a strange geometry of actions in the stream that flows through the structure of the house. Sonar reflection/direction cycle in the city? Layers of turbulence in the current the ebbs and flows from the waterfall next to me? I sometimes think that the natural and the artificial have switched places in my mind so much over the last several years that they have just become background reflections of a larger issue of how we engineer and change the environment we inhabit. Code index>refract. Transition zone immersion, or something like that. The sound–a continuous refrain to my hands as they type out the words on my laptop screen–it’s like writing in a natural radio-static haze, but the immersion out here, compared with the hyper density of NYC, is supplied strictly from the rushing water, the flow keeps a rhythm and the sheets of sonic turbulence it produces are almost hypnotic. It’s difficult to write at the beginning, but I fall into an induced trance by the currents running through the stilts holding the house up, while the water below makes its journey down the mountainside by the end. It’s a loop, I guess. Sonically, like an electric current, alternating and direct, I’m left with a question that can be answered only with other questions, and the cycle, like Joyce observed of the endless combinations of text he created in his works so long ago, becomes “riverrun.” We’re back in the forest on the side of Sugar Bush Mountain where people come to snowboard and ski during the winter, but during the summer, it’s a relatively quiet and chill place, which at this point, I really need for the moment.

>>>time zone, physical, and temporal displacement


so it goes on and on with the kickdrum, this ain’t no re-run>>

from the turntable to a new fable>

from now to the beginning,

let it be like a record spinning>

one time for

your mind>

form and function>

fact and fiction>

the sounds …

an abstract reflection of a composite structure

it’s a daily routine that you will find>

at core, a refraction of the identity of the species we call mankind>

minds out of order>

destabilized zones on every street corner>

flip the script

delete the crypt

open source

open source

open source