RE/Search #3

Note: These SPK manifestos are taken from the third issue of the American magazine RE/Search.



To use overpowering force is not, in itself, fascist. Fascism is the lack or limitation of choice; so to use intensity/confusion as weapons to actually force a choice (instead of leaving pre-coded rationalism intact) is necessarily anti-fascist. In sound experimentation there are two target control systems to be attacked:
1. The hearing system (adherent) be overloaded with respect to amplitude (quantity) of input, and also frequencies and dynamics. Each nerve fiber can conduct impulses only up to lkHz. But high frequencies excite many fibers each corresponding to peaks of the wave at submultiples of its frequency (e.g. every third or fourth peak). There is thus a temporal as well as spatial problem of nerve activity which can be confused. The system can detect differences only of 0.5% in frequencies and of 10% in intensity over its best range (mid). The timing of impulses is tied to phases of the microphonic potential; when this is most striking (300 - 1500 Hz) there can be little change in discharge as intensity alters. Furthermore a unit only responds optimally at a specific frequency, the system attempting to compensate by using large numbers of units but ultimately allowing large errors when experimentation is complex and accurate.
2. The conscious ordering process and memory (efferent) becomes involved and even before a signal reaches the auditory cortex begin blocking/selection procedures owing to habitual receptivity to certain dynamic/intensities/grain fanniliarity. To overload these produces intensity must be accompanied by unexpectedness or inappropriateness (A randomness), it being useless to attack existing aesthetic categories and immediately establish others equally habitual.
The aim is to be as un-aesthetic (in the active rather than the sedative sense) as possible. The establishment of an imposed mood is just as totalitarian as the dictation of certain ideas through words, and no more useful in breaking all-integrating (un)conscious control.



Both socialism and capitalism betray that, despite noise about progresslnewness, they exist by slowing the rate and especially the direction of development. This has caused an underdevelopment of technology in creative sectors by concentrating resources into projects which simply reproduce existing social relations of dominance/subservience. Hence the individual is kept in a passive relationship to structures, and machines are 'humanized' either by acting merely as slaves to human virtuosity, or by approximating/facilitating romantic aesthetics.
In a subversive context it is now evident that Kaptital is not content-specific. It is sufficiently elastic to circumvent/dilute anything, so long as it is categorizable or maintains a mappable image for a minimum duration. However, it requires this minimum duration for capitalization, and anything which moves faster than it does may become genuinely uncontrollable.
This requires a certain anon/pseudonymity, rapid changes in image/ideas, an extreme degree of intensity, breaking of existing aesthetic categories, and perhaps that rejection of the product form.


Not only is the historical complexity of ambient information increasing, but so is the ability to receive and interpret incoming signals. What appears today to be either a noise-wall or a non-interpretable foreign signal, will in five years be considered simplistic/familiar.
Yet there is management of information (including aural/visual/experimentation) in order to produce calculated effects on a passive (consumer) recipient.
1. There is linear arrangement of discrete blocks to reinforce standard ideas of progress from a solid core.
2. If there Is simultaneity of arrangement it is in such a way as to appeal to the standard modes (relax, fun, weird, sympathy, sex), or to stimulate preconstructed perceptual images. At no stage does the recipient become active, still less change. Only when a choice is forced to form perceptual codes of one's own is any degree of freedom attained. And the ability to make
something different from unpredictable complexity puts one a little outside the institution.


Control is no longer a sinister plot by 'them' vs. 'us' - a paranoid delusion. It is internalized and operates via consent to remain a balanced/integrated/co-operating citizen. The relevant control system to attack is therefore that which acts in the body to maintain homeostasis.
Any control system reacts to an initial disequilibrating input with either a negative or positive servomechanism. If negative feedback damping is critical, nothing alters in the steady-state of the system (the result of managed climax and consequent resolution in mainstream music/film). However, if damping is negative the oscillation builds up, and if overdamping occurs compensation is insufficient and the signal can reverberate. These unstable possibilities are more interesting, and positive feedback even more so. Here the error signal is fed back without inversion and amplified causing a spiral and forcing explosive change (e.g. circulatory shack). The important areas of experimentation are therefore those which produce errors in compensation and provoke an emergency in response.



The body has two complementary control systems: the sympathetic nervous system which acts to speed up reactions and deal with emergencies, and the para-sympathetic which restores balance and color. It is no surprise that the use of chemical 'therapy' on mental patients is concentrated on blocking sympathetic activity. Such hyperactive mental conditions are dangerous and must be subdued back to only a 'healthy' rate of change. The principle sympathetic transmitters are dopatnine and norepinephrine, and from studies using amphetamine (closely related) it appears that it is this pathway that is at the root of schizophrenia. After prolonged dosage with amphetamine, schizo-pathology (usually paranoid) ensues. The major tranquilizers (phenothiazines, Laloperidol) used to repress schizophrenia and manic-depressive outbursts block dopamine receptors. Amphetamine/atropine, on the other hand, facilitate intellectuaVmotor/pleasure performances via norepinphrine tracts to the cerebral cortext and hypothalamus (the chemical correlate to information overload).
Chemical transmission consequently becomes intrinsically social or political because I sympathetic activity (unless controlled) is repressed. In contrast, the favored parasympathetic dominant may become more represented in the gene pool of the population.


The 'sapiens'-machine constructs itself of regulating proteins which act stereo-specifically in that they form non-covalent bonds requiring almost zero activation energy. That is, they are produced spontaneously and very rapidly at low temperature and in the absence of catalysts. They allow the interaction between substances with no chemical affinity. Furthermore, allosteric enzymes can augment or inhibit the activity of the protein with respect to the substrate after the regulatory modes of retroactive inhibition/activation, activation in paralleVby a precursorlby a substrate. The basic operative principle of genetic reproduction therefore allows atotal freedom of choice. It is not the immutable operation it was once thought to be, and similarly is the result of selection procedures which are subject, we have seen, to social biases. However, no microscope entity can escape being submitted to perturbations of a quantum order. Mutation is the only source of difference and can occur through substitution/deletion/addition of nucleotide pairs and inversion/repetition/translocation/fusion of structures of translation. Evolution is thus Error in the underlying structure of translation. Mutation is not the exception but the rule because in the present human population of 3 X 10A9 there are produced at each generation about 1000 X 10^6 mutations. Normality is just a myth to keep diversity within bounds. Interest in physically/mentally deviant victims is neither sensationalism nor normalization. It is diversification, simply.

Copyright SPK 1981

SPK in San Francisco May 16 at Odd Fellow's Hall.   Watch!