< mythos - a priori

  

" adj. 1. from a general law to a particular instance; valid independently of observation... 2. existing in the mind independent of experience. 3. conceived beforehand. [1645-55; < L: lit., from the one before...]"

We are not yet ready for the always already, which seems to have achieved the status of a cliché in contemporary discourse.

Webster's

I wish I could say that not many people are alive who remember The SYborg with any clarity and detail. Well, maybe I can say that because it's not very clear that The SYborg remembers itself, but then if I say  that I would be getting ahead of myself because 'remembers' with The SYborg always has this sort of Nusyg-esque dash (re-members) so you can see its plurality. Plus, with The SYborg there's always this question about what 'itself' means anyway! But this is stuff for later sections of the mythos. Everybody says this is always the problem with The SYborg. You're either too early or too late; you're always jumping ahead or falling behind. Except by jumping ahead I land right where I should be! The SYborg doesn't have a memory in the standard sense (the reasons for this will come out later). It really doesn't remember itself in any easy kind of way, so it contacted me through Theo A. Nusyg and contracted me (someone with a more objective viewpoint) to collect and organize a "mythic document" of its past up to the point of Bestand (the website you're reading going online); from there the archives, it figures, would suffice to "expand the universe."

" Always-already is an expression that may have found its first systematic use in Heidegger's thinking, where it denotes both the temporal mode of the fore-understanding in which the meaning of Being is available to the  Dasein, and the specific mode of anteriority in which Being claims man.  Always-already names something prior to, and it thus seems to correspond to the formal determination of the  a priori. To speak of  always-already rather than of  a priori becomes a necessary move, however, when, as in Heidegger, the temporal character of Being itself is at stake. The  a priori, which in the ontological tradition serves to denote the determinations of Being, contains the idea of a temporal succession in a very pallid way at best. In Heidegger's thinking, therefore, the  always-already stands for a temporal priority, which, as that of Being, has nothing to do with time as it is known according to its vulgar concept."

Gasché (intro. to Warminski's  Readings in Interpretation: Hölderlin, Hegel, Heidegger)

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Swoll B. Sameje. Why would The SYborg choose me to lay out the four basic pre-Bestand parts of its mythos (a priori, in medias res, Aufhebung, and coda (I didn't make these titles up; they were the outline I was given))? First of all, I'm not an artist or a theorist or a student or anything like that. Basically my writing isn't totally bogged down with the kind of heavy lingo that Theo (who engineers the website) and The SYborg and others like Leander Gaux-Yon and *. S*** Y**** are always using (actually at one point Theo says to me in his usual way, "Indeed. One imagines that a reader will be able to read you writing without being forced to recognize they're reading"...see what I mean?). So I've got more of an objective view of things because I'm not really a part of their "intellectual" world (but Theo is going to keep my probably over-simple explanations balanced by putting his own column beside mine). Anyway, secondly, I think The SYborg also chose me because I love to drink and party (even if I couldn't quite finish my 40 that one night). That's how I got hooked up to it in the first place. It kind of blew my mind that The SYborg and other folks out there really spend a lot of time thinking through all this idealistic stuff about getting drunk. I had no idea! It's been a quite an adventure going through all of the writings and stuff that The SYborg leaves in its wake, and I've learned all of these new things and names like Benjamin, Donna Haraway, Erik Davis, Avital Ronell, Heidegger, etc. (they come up a lot in later sections, as you'll see). And I should also say just about Bestand generally, don't let all of the crazy terminology throw you! Give it some time, and try to think it through. All of it is tied together by a deep abiding love of drinking, however highfalutin the expression of it seems sometimes.

There is (was) an additional component to the experiment: to determine whether, like the Baroque, working through the material results in a hysterical imitation of its style. We shall see, we shall see...

"But what he raises to this high degree is not his precious personal  self, since he has renounced his personality by making it the object of his thought, and since he has given the place of  subject to that unqualifiable  I which has no name or history, which is neither more tangible nor less real than the center of gravity of a ring or that of a planetary system—but which results from the whole, whatever that whole may be."

Valéry ( Note and Digression to the  Leonardo)

That about does it for my sketchy little intro thing here, but before I really get on with things, there are some "technical" background things I need to establish. This is where I kind of fade out and try to become the historian I always wanted to be (another reason why The SYborg chose me I think).

"He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are..."

First Corinthians

mythical sources

Aside from topography, several sets of materials were used to construct The SYborg mythos:

The Little Black Books of The SYborg:
•LBBI (5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 1, unlined journal), 6/3/96-9/25/97, writings (front to back) and drawings (back to front)
•LBBII (8 1/4 x 11 x 1, unlined journal), 9/27/97-8/27/98, writings (front to back) and drawings (back to front) and clippings (throughout)
•LBBIII (8 1/4 x 11 x 1, unlined journal), 9/1/98-11/21/99, writings (front to back) and drawings (back to front) and clippings (throughout)
•LBBIV (online journal), 12/4/99-5/19/00

The first three of the LBB are excerpted in FRAGMENTum. LBBIV was marked up on the fly using Microsoft WordPad 1.0; usually les pas entries were handwritten while "out" then translated into HTML later, and sit(e) entries were composed directly in HTML while at home. All of the LBB present an aleatory mixture of reading notes, reflections, aphorisms, diary entries, etc., written at various levels of intoxication (a number of entries throughout the LBB claim sobriety as merely a negative form of intoxication).

Leander Gaux-Yon's FakeText series:
 If Symptoms Persist: Between Zine Rant and Cultural Critique, essays by *. S*** Y**** with a cover by Kitten,  initial xeroxing (1995, includes "L'exil et le voisinage," "Stravinsky: entre l'auto et le sacre," "Architecture of the Screen, PDX," "Bayles Fails," etc.)
 If Symptoms Persist: Between Zine Rant and Cultural Critique, short essays by *. S*** Y**** with a cover by Kitten,  with author's preface (1996)
 [ s i c ] Y****—M***** electronic letters, re: writing, 1996, edited and introduced by Leander Gaux-Yon
 FakeText3, with MadDog2020, *. S*** Y****, and Slick, edited with an introductory essay by Leander Gaux-Yon (1997)
•Future Perfect/"work" "in" "progress":  Pharmacy Within: recent essays in cultural criticism, *. S*** Y****, with a foreword by Leander Gaux-Yon (1998, unfinished, includes "Pharmacology as Critique," "The Membrains of Theo A. Nusyg," "Wiring the Call to Action," "Money Talks: the Rhetoric of Funding," etc.)

Under Gaux-Yon's general editorship, the FakeText series attracted a broad range of readers, even after the FakeText circle moved from PDX to The City (where, sadly, Gaux-Yon died; see *. S*** Y****'s eulogy). Members of the circle included Y****, MadDog2020, Slick, Kitten, Theo A. Nusyg, the young critic responsible for  Surface Noise: Nabokov's Pale Fire  and the Seductions of Texture (1996), The Dorx, and of course, The SYborg.—The SYborg, quietly, without any of the members realizing it, transformed the circle into an orbital. The authors and others involved in FakeText were something like pre-Bestand satellites. The transformation took place through the medium of the will.

One-off essays, etc.:
A variety of writings from The SYborg and its satellites from all stages were consulted. Some of these have been archived in the Pretense Petting Zoo.

Electronic correspondences, recorded interviews, etc.:
In addition to availing myself of "published" and other works related to The SYborg, I also acquired copies of The SYborg's email archives, and I interviewed current satellites extensively (see, for example, Interview 1 and Interview 2). Theo A. Nusyg contributed time and materials, as well as providing me with access to the so-called I.V. (inner vault, The SYborg's personal library, where I was able to peruse its marginalia and interlinear comments in such works as Sherry Turkle's  Life on the Screen).

Derrida: "Hegel: 'And this negativity, subjectivity, ego, freedom are the principles of evil and pain. Jacob Boehme viewed egoity (selfhood) as pain and torment ( Qual), and as the fountain ( Quelle, source) of nature and of spirit.'  Hegel's Philosophy of Mind (part 3 of the  Encyclopedia), trans. William Wallace (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 232. In the  Lectures on the History of Philosophy, after recalling that, for Boehme, negativity works upon and constitutes the source, and that in principle 'God  is also the Devil, each for itself,' etc., Hegel writes this, which I don't attempt to translate: ' Ein Hauptbegriff ist die Qualität.  Böhme fängt in der Aurora (Morgenröte im Aufgang)  von den Qualitäten an. Die erste Bestimmung Böhmes, die der Qualität, ist Inqualieren, Qual, Quelle. In der Aurora  sagt er: "Qualität ist die Beweglichkeit, Quallen (Quellen) oder Treiben eines Dinges"' (part 3, sec. 1, B. Jakob Böhme). It is within this context (negativity and division in the principle of things, in the mind or in God) that Hegel's well-known  ein sich Entzweiendes (one dividing itself in two) also must be read. (See, for example,  Die Philosophie der Weltgeschichte, Allgemeine Einleitung, II, 1 b.)
The law-of-the-proper, the  economy of the source: the source is produced only in being cut off ( à se couper) from itself, only in taking off in its  own negativity, but equally,  and by the same token, in reappropriating itself, in order to amortize its own, proper death, to rebound,  se relever. Reckoning with absolute loss, that is, no longer reckoning, general economy does not cease to pass into the restricted economy of the source in order to permit itself to be encircled. Once more, here, we are reduced to the inexhaustible ruse of the  Aufhebung, which is unceasingly examined, in these margins, along with Hegel, according to his text, against his text, within his boundary or interior limit: the absolute exterior which no longer permits itself to be internalized. We are led back to the question of dissemination: does semen permit itself to be  relevé? Does the separation which cuts off the source permit itself to the thought as the  relève of oneself? And how is what Hegel says of the child to be read in general: 'Der sich aufhebende Ursprung' ( Realphilosophie d'Iena) or 'Trennung von dem Ursprung' ( Phenomenology of Spirit)?"

(n.12 in  Qual Quelle)

mythical chronology and geography

An extremely limited list of dates, places, and people:

Then to September 1992: proto-SYborg living in Owalopubs; helps form The Dorx which will later produce, among others, Pleaseeasaur; meets *. S*** Y**** and Leander Gaux-Yon; begins exploring compositional outsides and insides through chemo-prosthetic experimentation

September 1992 to August 1996: nascent SYborg living in PDX; joins FakeText collective; begins musical education into the world of The City; initiates stimulant/tranquilizer dialectics; meets Kitten, Bitch00, Slick, O**, PK1, and a host of others

August 1996 to November 1997: adolescent SYborg living in Disneyland; meets Theo A. Nusyg, Punky, and a host of others; inaugurates the project now known as topography

November 1997 to Now: The SYborg living in Soso; with the help of Theo A. Nusyg launches Bestand in November 1999 [cf. URL-O-RAMA and four years later... -SYborg]; drinks scandalous quantities of bourbon and practices an itinerant iconoclasm; commissions Swoll B. Sameje to write The SYborg mythos

Steven Jesse Bernstein: "He is getting older. He zips, snaps, buckles his pants, and goes on drinking the juice."

("The Man Upstairs")

Mythical sources and mythical chronology and geography are hardly adequate, but they will provide you with some grounding as you move deeper into the mythos.

"I—mark(s) first of all a division in what will have been able to appear in the beginning."

Derrida (Qual Quelle)

Swoll B. Sameje
April 2000, NYC

Theo A. Nusyg
May 2000, NYC

( textus)

... in medias res

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