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4 x 6 p r o s e
Free-verse poems in typecast

#whatisanaesthetarchon

Instead of losing that impromptu poem you wrote last week—which you’re now discovering buried amidst all that jettisoned paper-stock— S U B M I T IT TO “4 x 6 p r o s e”! A publication dedicated to jazzy-prose and free-verse @archivehumanitas.com (a philosophico-literary Group for Interdisciplinary Research)

If you’re that writer selling poems at cafés or, performing at a type-in on Telegraph Ave., this is for you! Submit the gem in minutes.

1. Take your typewritten 4 x 6 Card and Snap a pic (leave a min. 1/4 inch parameter of exposed background; our editors will handling the preparation. Please refrain from precise cropping)

2. Read the “s u b m i t” section @archivehumanitas.com

3. Email image to our Team.

*n o t e : If you’d like to see your poem published with Archive Humanitas’ “4 x 6 p r o s e,” but do not operate a functioning typewriter—our editors are willing, upon acceptance, to transcribe your MS Word document, PDF, etc. Don’t let the medium become a deterrent! We’re here to celebrate analogue, not high-brow people with antiquated technology. Submit your baby as an attachment! And support the Analogue/Typewriter Revolution!


Upcoming Events:

(Lastly, subscribe! Explore! Share! Support your local philosophers, writers, cultural critics, and all our members and guest contributors with a mad-love fever for the written word.)

May 11. Exhibition in typecast: Carolyn Thompson’s After | Burroughs: Syntax

– J. Lucas II, a.k.a., Aesthetarchon

/wor(l)d/ Publications

#madbionicwritingmachine

A collaborative project: Jeffrey Lucas II of archivehumanitas.com and Richard Polt of typewriterrevolution.com

s a t u r d a y

A Letter to our Readers

AH reaches over 1,000 subscriptions!
—JL II.
❌⭕️❌⭕️👠___✍🏻

#Aesthetarchon

To all those actively supporting Archive Humanitas, users connected via WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.,—your philosophico-archivists—Thank you for helping us reach our first 1,000 followers!

AH is in its infancy—and yet, there is so much we can’t wait to share…

• Upcoming Blog Series: Mad-Love Monochrome. #1 will include an interview with LA Historian Kim Cooper.

• May 11th. Carolyn Thompson’s Exhibition: After | Burroughs: Syntax.

• The release of our Journal Mad-Bionic-Writing-Machine. Vol. I.

Sincerely,

Lead Writer/Admin. Jeffrey Lucas II & Editor/Admin. Alvin Mayorga

AFTER | Burroughs: SYNTAX

Exhibition—May 11th

An Exhibition

C O M I N G S O O N !

Guest Artist | Carolyn Thompson


This season’s showcase is based on the 50 texts found in the Penguin Modern Box Set (2018), which celebrates the pioneering spirit of Penguin’s publishing and includes seminal works by Kathy Acker, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, Audre Lorde, Vladamir Nabokov and Susan Sontag, amongst others. An exhibition of the full 50 works will take place in September at Laurence Sterne Trust and at the Eagle Gallery, London, in 2020.



After Burroughs: Syntax is a typewritten text that foregrounds inscription, laying bare the punctuation marks found in William S.Burroughs’ The Finger. The marks appear in the original order, but are evenly spaced. The marks show duration both through process, and in the number of breaths and/or actions of the characters that they depict, and refer to the fleetingness of the relationships or meetings throughout the stories and the often temperamental nature of their characters.
7 pages each 11cm x 16cm
2019, typewritten text on book leaves


Bio

Carolyn Thompson (born 1976) is a visual artist living and working in the UK. Her research and practice are grounded in the materiality of printed matter, both as an object and as a medium. Using books, found texts, images and documents as source material she explores the content or narrative of such matter through manipulation and appropriation, and develops it into new renderings, in order to alter meaning and understanding of the information at its most fundamental level. The resulting adaptations are visual and textual versions in the form of altered books, drawings, prints, collages, embroideries and/or installations. Beyond the UK she has exhibited in Istanbul, Ljubljana, Melbourne, New York, Porto, Prague, Venice and Vienna. https://www.carolynthompson.co.uk


Carolyn Thompson. In association with Eagle Gallery EMH Arts, London. http://www.emmahilleagle.com


The Matrix and the Individualist-Politically-Correct Machine

Alvin Mayorga


There is no mind-body problem. There is no such thing as a brain in a vat. There is no solipsism. No Platonism. No such thing as an autonomous-transcendental “mind” that, a priori, distinctly supplies the final narrative of some-things it calls “objects” and their role in a larger story, i.e., “reality,” which it reads as a reflected image emanating from its “outside.” We do not live in an illusory realm. Metaphysics is a joke. Epistemology is laughable. Cartesian doubt is an outdated bore. It is time we discard this nonsense for good!


Thinking about the film “The Matrix” can be very exciting, fascinating, and illuminating if one does not contaminate it with the mind-body problem or with Cartesian dualism, which unfortunately, is precisely what is done by many philosophers since the film was released. 

The Matrix is not about the mind-body problem, it is rather about the realization that there is in fact a reality that is certain, but one which is being covered up by something or someone. Morpheus himself tells us: “the Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”. This truthof which he speaks is precisely how the World is; it is common sense reality, it is common sense certainty, and it is the social norm which permeates our existence.

The Matrix covers up this reality, this common-sensecertainty, and provides its alternative vision of the world which it passes for “truth”. Yet, this “vision” or “illusion” is merely a blindfold that is only possible precisely because there is in fact a real World in the first place; a real World that is somehow now a threat to it. The Matrix represents control and misinformation. 

Today, I see a Matrix. I see the manipulation and control of the politically-correct machine. I see the exacerbated, sick—anti-norm and anti-common sense—individualism that is a threat to our very existence as the beings that we are: the individualist-politically-correct liberal machine is busy at work! And it never rests. Its “blindfold” is trying to cover up reality; trying to cover up who and how we are.

Being is forsaken. We are meant to see the norm which permeates our Being as a threat. The World is overlooked and obscured. The World: social and biological construction, the norm that structures our Being and which shapes our identity, and the socially meaningful organized referential-whole on the basis of which entities like us make our existence intelligible. The common-sense notion of the World and the importance of the social norm are being covered up.

The individualist-politically-correct machine attempts to make us resent the absurdity of existence and the paradoxically harsh, yet beautiful, reality of our everyday lives. The possibility of authenticity and the aesthetic expression by which we can create our individual essences is blocked from view. Instead, now we have a ridiculous individualist spectacle that somehowhas been presented as being more important than the vital influence of the social norm and more important than our biological construction that together shape our behavior and society itself. The individualist-politically-correct machine tells us: “you can do whatever the f*** you want, you can be whatever the f*** you want… challenge your oppressors!”

It does this while it itself is the very embodiment of control, oppression, misinformation, and ultimately…destruction, i.e. the destruction of Being! 

Nonetheless, the resistance is here! Ready to overcome Cartesian dualism. Ready to fight the individualist-politically-correct machine. Ready to uphold Being and the art of existing as the beings which we are. Ready to defend reality!


We are not minds, we are not subjects, and we do not have a multiple self. Primarily, we are, and subsequently, we think! Cartesianism is flawed! Ontological pluralism is fundamentally wrong! We have a unified self which is unfolding through time: the past is our historical development, our present the undertaking of history, and the future what we cannot help but mutually create. We do not first start as individual subjects set apart from society as if society were somehow alien and a threat to us, but rather, we are society! The individualist-politically-correct machine wants to make us all feel like oppressed victims—but guess what?! We are all both victims and victimizers. We are all the oppressed and the oppressors! We are the norm. We are society. We are reality. Common sense beckons us…and we ought to heed the call.

March 2019

Archive Talks: “Los Angeles in Mad-Love-Monochrome!”

Lead Writer of AH releases details of his upcoming Blog Series: “Mad-Love Monochrome.”

The hermeneutics of film noir and the aesthetic sense of mid-century Los Angeles


An interview with philosophico-curatorial archivist, J. Lucas II


“A Critical Reading of Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

Guest Author Appearance

Guest Author Thomas Dylan Daniel


Archive Humanitas celebrates the latest work by Thomas Dylan Daniel – a free-thinking Texan philosopher with degrees from Southwestern University and Texas State University. He has recently published his first full-length work, Formal Dialectics. Additionally, Daniel sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for Philosophy at Cambridge Scholars Publishing. His most significant interest is the emergent properties of complex systems, which has led to deep research and critical perspectives in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ethics and the cognitive sciences. The article is available in PDF @archivehumanitas.com (https://archivehumanitas.com/essays/)

Additional works by Author


On the Tired Platitudes of Philosophical Apologia

[….] I make no apologies. I’m here because I’m mad for the phrase; for an orgasmic panorama of ink and vellum in textual montage–pleasures shared among curators, archivists, and bibliophiles; a lust for the rare; and a mad-love fire for the intoxication of intertextual play.

J. Lucas II.


§I. How an Ironist Becomes an Aesthetarchon

My POV begins somewhere subsequent to Rorty’s liberal ironism–a self-inaugurating moment of ‘philosopher-as-critic’—which afforded him the wherewithal to subsume a portion of Derrida’s later work under the guise of something he liked to call “private ironism” e.g., with books such as, “Postcard,” “Glas,” etc. These ironists, Proust and Nabokov especially fit this category, turned away from Platonism and classical metaphysics by way of refusing any dialectical stage that would loop back to the Hegelian-like-helix: thesis, antithesis, synthesis: that is, rather than making the same mistakes later Nietzsche, later Heidegger, and early Wittgenstein had, private ironists simply took up their own projects, creating evermore interesting vocabularies–that didn’t so much resolve the older aporias or familiar binary-camp arguments…but such new language-games seemed to obsolesce the old questions, altogether, via supplementing newer and more innovative ways of talking that spawned a whole taxa of different questions. Rather than relapse into The Speculative Turn (our current cultural milieu), Metaphysics, the Absolute, etc., this line of reasoning postulates that there is a time to stop doing traditional philosophy. Here’s where the distinction between Philosophy and Literature, Sophism and Philosophy, for example, ceases to be of any use. However, private projects were never enough for Rorty, and a large part of his concern resided in a democratic liberal utopianism that centered on contingency. He could never allow Nabokovians, or proud aesthetes, to leave Ethics well enough alone, despite his attempt to obsolesce the moral dichotomy between works we label “Public” (socio-political themes and symbols) and those we label “Private” (pursued for enjoyment or self-development). Rorty’s liberalism requires an almost-Nietzschean bias toward self-creation, insofar as Democratic societies thrive from, not merely a K-12 informed citizenry, but a vast amount of experience outside one’s acquisition of local values and native language. Pedagogically, this end makes the inference that there is no separation between personal development and human solidarity – which renders the binary labels untenable, e.g., “private works,” whether one reads them for pure enjoyment or not, opens our POV to Others; consequently, we become more cosmopolitan and therefore more inclined to a political conscience that sees “cruelty as the greatest possible offense,” and human solidarity – our greatest ideal. However, by the last chapter of his most infamous work, “Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity,” my suspicions take hold. See, here’s what happened behind the scenes (if I may infer after years of studying Rorty’s work): If one favors post-Kantian philosophies of “contingency” and/or favors works written by risqué “ironists,” it becomes all-too-easy to see the formulaic potential in connecting the former concepts to “solidarity,” and thus, establishing an ironist Ethics to resolve one’s leftist politics. Certainly, one imagines, it could only be with the fervor of political dogmatism that Rorty would commit the same metaphysical relapse his body of work is geared to illuminate, e.g., Heidegger, after Sein und Zeit, and Wittgenstein prior to the Investigations. My contention is that Rorty is inadvertently tempted back to systematic philosophy, rather than continuing the path of his own heroes in the same edifying-hermeneutic approach he relentlessly praises. And, this is also where Rorty and I part ways: by the end of such a tremendous work, I feel disappointed with having made any sort of prescriptive Ethics from Nabokovian/Nietzschean perspectives, no matter how inclusive liberalism presumes its structural underpinnings to be. The post-Derridean issue of contingency is the climate Meillassoux, Graham Harman, Brassier, Latour, and Garcia are now exploiting (or rather, Absolutizing in a pro-Metaphysical gang under the acronym SR/M) — and to immense commercial success. My position, on the contrary, involves importing more of Nietzsche’s notions of “self-creation” and “giving style to one’s character,” and “aesthetic redemption through singular taste,” where Rorty had emphasized liberal utopian Democracy, i.e., “Liberal Ironism.” For me, even his cosmopolitan “solidarity” is inescapably teleological, i.e., the amenability of democratic institutions only secures an “Ethics” or a “Politics” iff it is demonstrated, via metaphysical self-coronation, to be the ultimate, meta-comparative “best for ALL.” And for Rorty, recall, there are no “final vocabularies” or “hidden secrets” the ironist can hope to find.

[…] there are only little mortal things to be rearranged by being re-described.”

Richard Rorty (CIS, 99)

For my part, I refuse to give “ironism” a genuine substantive “-ism,” e.g., this notion remains consistent only in the event that it refer to a unique object for every utterance-act: the (or indefinite article) ironist. Undoubtedly then, I am weary of today’s philosophico-commercial band-wagon: Speculative Realism/Materialism; Flat Ontology; Object-Oriented-Ontology, and so on. Rather than re-enter ontology via a newly-wrapped first-science, i.e., (post-) cantororian set theory, I opt for a kind of neo-perspectivism and aestheticism (what I believe to be an extension of Nietzsche’s canon that exceeds even Nehamas’ Proustian exegeses) that places “pedagogy” in front of “Truth”: the notion of a capital-w “World” (capable of deciding, independent of humans, the truth-value of sentences purporting to refer to ‘the “World’” as a criterion-specific epistemology; thus, you might say, I’m a ‘P-P-Post-Modernist’; writing my own story that I’ve titled, “Archive Humanitas: from ironist to aesthetarchon,” by way of piracy, anti-apologetic aesthetic appropriation, and palimpsest. Its ends and means are wholly divergent from the reign of New Speculativism and O-O-OHarman-brand philosophy. What I’m after is nuance, idiosyncrasy, and a a turn of phrase altogether different from the history of ‘obvious Western platitudes.’ …If Marxists and Frankfurt Cultural-Theorists think that’s immoral (e.g., a self-indulgent illusion resulting in capitalist complicity)—then, “don’t bother me–I’m sleeping!” Mediocrity is worse than falsity (a maxim preserved from Bloom’s analysis of the great poets and Rorty’s Neo-Pragmatism). The standardization of some novelty (lifted from abnormal science and leveled to mass-acceptance (i.e., normal science)), is the forgotten-procedure which always-already advances our moral currency. Truth, simply is…a moral concept. There is no final vocabulary of Being, Reality, or Goodness; there is innovation and there is the influence of one’s predecessors to worry about. My pursuits are non-epistemic, but unwaveringly tenacious in attempting the employment of new means, methods, and vocabularies conducive for optimum play. This is a manifesto against liberal apologia! …. I make no apologies. I’m here because I’m mad for the phrase; for an orgasmic panorama of ink and vellum in textual montage–pleasures shared among curators, archivists, and bibliophiles; a lust for the rare; and a mad-love fire for the intoxication of intertextual play.


Such L o v e l y Pictures

Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange: a hermeneutic—contra apologia

J. Lucas II. a.k.a., Aesthetarchon


Here’s how New Critical lemon-squeezing works. Question: what’s the theme of Clockwork? Answer: the moral dilemma of science and technology in criminal rehabilitation; specifically, where the possibility of immoral decision and action is removed—and “genuine” ethical responsibility becomes nil; consequently, we face the binary oppositions: freewill/determinism, individual/state, mind/matter, etc. Congratulations! This sophomoric term paper is en route to an ob(li)vious A+! Yet, some of us witness the continuation of this modus operandi and its ready-moral platitudes, and we’re. . . just. . . bored and old. We sigh and fight the perpetual urge to declare, “Could anything be more passé, academically, philosophically, intellectually?”

What makes Clockwork an unparalleled post-Joycean masterpiece…? The heart of the work resides in Burgess’ self-manufactured rebel-youth colloquialism, i.e., a language he calls Nadsat. The meter or rhyme is nothing we would want to schematize: an onslaught of hurly-burly neologisms that brush against a mania uniquely reminiscent of Ludwig Van’s 9thsymphony, itself. Through onomatopoeia and the morphological play of affixing heterogeneous roots, the reader can pick up a textual orchestra—finding the feet moving and flowing, despite the carnage and violence of whatever mis en scène Burgess is choreographing in the semantic content of his lines. It’s no wonder Kubrick captured the balletic aspects of his menacing prose so well (McDowell’s improvisation of “Singing in the Rain” was so inexplicably fitting, Kubrick shot the scene for a week prior to acquiring the rights). One does not come to know the milieu of Alex and his droogies, but plays alongside the hyper-colored hedonism, e.g., there is a jollying-along to the “Old Town” robbery, outright, or there is a lost and offended reader. A reader of the kind we spoke of earlier (s/he missed the Yale Critics but read enough Aristotle and Kant to annoy us for life).


Aesthetic Bliss—of the Nabokovian variety! That’s where we ought to journey, but only by way of a distinct detour from today’s reinvigoration of Nabokov studies—which ceaselessly looks for any element, autobiographical or fictional, to mount a logically coherent apologia for his aestheticism. These “scholars” are so ideological and politically charged, they even find reason to ignore Nabokov’s declaration of what constitutes Orwellian “topical trash.” This is an unabashedly popular cause. One comes across it everywhere. One can’t read about Fitzgerald’s life without hearing a tangent regarding how much, at heart, Scotty “actually” hated wealth, privilege, and elitism. –I am Jack’s perpetual disillusionment with the upper-echelons of academe—. At this point, I don’t care if Scotty bootlegged hooch for a year in an effort to self-publish This Side of Paradise, buy designer suits, and coerce Zelda into marrying a cat-fish author. The age of Apologia is over. Neo-Marxism is over. The Frankfurt School is over. We’re all still asleep in our (under-) graduate-level epistemology lectures…and, deciding now, on the precedence of . . .“s u c h lovely pictures”. . .  to choose falsity before mediocrity. 

Pop-Princess Fatale: Lana Del Rey & the Art Deco, Los Angeles Style

“ […] we imagine a brunette singer who reads Proust with sexy tattoos—out of place, in a cool-blue, historiographic dream.”

J. Lucas II. a.k.a. Aesthetarchon


In 2016 James Franco released a small poetry book, Straight James/Gay James, dedicated to Lana Del Rey. The work’s ostensive homosexual theme is illustrated in the cover art: “Lana” is tattooed on his forehead; the image of her face trails down his neck. He stares into a mirror, gazing at himself, allowing his other-self(“Gay James,” perhaps), in turn, to gaze back at him, reflecting the duplicitous identity that ruptures the product— “James Franco.” He rather be Lana Del Rey, but qualifies this longing in an early stanza, “Not because I don’t enjoy my man/Body […/] but because I love yours.[1]” So he is left to lament the tragedy of having to wear a mask; one face, the surface of the mask itself, is “branded,” concealing the “naughty face,” and “A secret devil/Beneath/The slick surface/Of the Gucci smile.[2]” At night both merge in a singularity, “They are but/One: me.[3]” What strange phenomenon is at play that desires to split the actor’s persona? This love for Lana Del Rey, the pop-star, consumes him so completely, reducing the authentic to the sleepy shadows of private-midnight? The answer, I dare entertain, resides in a sinuous captivation of Lana’s two-fold aura. When she alludes to David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, for instance, we feel ourselves collapse into that smoky nightclub, hanging on every word the neo-noir singer electrifies. For the duration, I am the criminal mad-man “Frank,” infatuated and bewitched, while equally assuming the naïve, inquisitively pale, awe-struck role of “Jeffrey.[4]” The latter, an enticed school-boy, out of his element, and the other, a crazed addict, whose only distraction from nefarious cruelty is the antiquarian tune of the velvet singer. We might trace the origin of the fracture Franco speaks of in the dichotomy that is Lana, herself. The faces of Franco are, or so I conjecture, an aesthetic-response to the mid-century Los Angeles aura she embodies, coupled with a contemporary celebrity style, i.e., the art deco, beach-bikini princess. This is what draws us in. A juxtaposition of irregular qualities (e.g., we brush against this same feeling when we consider the psychological appeal of steampunk): we imagine a brunette singer who reads Proust with sexy tattoos—out of place, in a cool-blue, historiographic dream. We rhythm with the base while tuning in to her subtle references, e.g., Nabokov’s Lolita, post-modern filmmakers—all staged in a monochrome mish-mash reminiscent of Los Angeles in 1944. The grasping of both faces, simultaneously, produce an auratic emergence, and an alluring marriage of distinct horizons. The songs of the West-coast siren[5]break us apart on the California shore. There is no one identity to Lana or ourselves when we enter her contemporary noir-pop milieu. For a small interval, we are taken to the past, but only as a slippery past-presence, summoned by our current-present. Neither can exist on its own. Neither is a hindrance to the other. One opens the other. This is a hermeneutic of iconography.

End Notes


  • [1]Franco, James. Straight James/Gay James. New Jersey: Hansen Publishing Group, LLC, 2016. 
  • [2]Ibid. MASK, 14. 
  • [3]Ibid. 
  • [4]Frank: Denis Hopper; Jeffrey: Kyle MacLachlan 
  • [5]Ironically enough, “Sirens” is the name of one of her early, pre-chart albums.