we must absorb language in order to annihilate it. language absorbs its self. this is not the clean and pure empty void. this is a space of empty floating words, a battlefield after a battle strewn with corpses of meaning. the words lie there in there physicality, exhausted, transformed and meaningless by attempts to transform and include. language is not excluded, but taken to its extreme – allowed to work against its self, to find its own definition and therefore eliminate it. (as if it were that simple… our whole idea of self is based upon language)
language reinvents its self. through mathematics. by breaking its self down to its most crude form, 0 or 1, presence or absence. and from there language can build an entire alter-world. a powerful social world which modifies and controls. but the place to attack language is at its base, at the initial division of presence and absence. when you zoom in to a line, can you ever really see it?
what is a position above language, beyond language? can we really claim to have exhausted language when it is the basis of our entire society and environment and is poised to become increasingly so?
towards a language filter. augmented reality. modified reality. an interface which eliminates that which we do not want to see. which re-distributes. a personal political system. (politics is a form of language as it is based on definition, division and distribution.) if we want to see what the future of a language filtered reality will look like we only need to examine political system filters. enormous possibilities of extremely complex filters are already in place as a societal language (media) filter. the difference now is that we have the possibility of further individualizing these filters. to modify our own reality filters. we have the possibility, but of course this possibility is limited in relation to a power structure which already exists. this possibility will be used to reinforce power structure, although it does have the potential to destroy it (by becoming completely personal and autonomous).
what might we not want to see through our modified language filter? there is the possibility of a complete solipsism, an eternal bliss of utopic dreams rendered real, the brave new world. but then, this would mean the elimination of our self, of our power, by the elimination of difference. it would mean the elimination of the physical self, the physical body, and therefor the elimination of definition of self altogether. we are a power hungry people, darwinists. (remember why communism doesn’t work?) filters serve to increase power through further definition and division, often under the guise of inclusion. what don’t we want to see? the poor, for example. but then, we do want to see the poor. however, we want to see the poor through certain filters. the potential of a personal language filter is that it could make evident the amazing political filters we already have in place. as foucault suggests, society needs the image of the delinquent to set up what society does not want you to become. the delinquent is set up as an example, a stereotype, an anti-meaning, an anti-definition, in order to further the definitions of those in power. what sort of language filters would we expect to see as we look at the poor? we must examine the political filters already in place.
1) the viewable poor would be greatly reduced in number to the actual number. (take the current census counting debate for example). this is done through various methods: by locating the viewer away from the poor (the filter plots journeys and destinations in order to avoid encountering the poor), by glossing over the poor when seen at a distance (as one architecture professor used to say, ‘if you have an ugly part of a building, put a tree in front of it on the rendering.’ the filter places other virtual objects in the foreground of the poor so that they are not seen)
2) the viewable poor would be used to reinforce the power structure by enhancing stereotypes and definitions. By choosing stereotypical encounters with the poor (certain poor are ‘chosen’ for encounters with the viewer in order to enhance the stereotype filter – prime example being the delinquent), by utilizing pre-conceived media filters when the poor are encountered (when the viewer sees the poor, text could flash on the screen, crude examples: ‘drunk’ ‘hasn’t even looked for a job’ ‘drug-user’ ‘dumb’ ‘got what he deserved’ ‘you don’t want to end up like this – work.’ these are very crude though, actual filters are much more complex than this. a drunken stumble could be added to the rendering, a certain political party could be associated as the cause, a memory could flash in the background…). the idea is to create a filter which makes society, the system of power and distribution, ‘just.’ or at least more just than any other system.
3) the poor must be seen as essential. (‘illegal aliens, foreign laborers, etc. who don’t make minimum wage form an essential part of our economy…’) the other filters prop up the distribution aspect of political power. this filter props up the initial division into 0’s and 1’s, haves and have-nots. it provides a reinforcement of definition and division which further provides the reason for distribution. what is held up as the ultimate reason of division? distribution. and the reason for distribution? division. a circular argument which continually reinforces its self from within. why do we need the poor? without them there would be no rich. why do we need division? without it there would be no distribution. why do we need distribution? without it there would be no division, no definition, no self (preservation).
so what can we expect of personal realities modified by language filters? a political system. a media complex. (the best search engines only give us 15% of what is out there.) how is the filter constructed? who controls the filters construction? how does it benefit them? the filter is not going to be this nice abstract utopic personal dream renderer. you might be able to take ‘vacations’ to what you think is that land (although it will really be an even more perfectly constructed land, like disneyworld), but the environment in which we work and live is controlled and will be controlled by a play of political power struggles implementing their own filters on our world. language itself is a political construct. we are bombarded with images and advertisements all of which are carefully selected for their political import. our entire environment and image of our self is the manifestation of political filters. we could waste our time worrying about personal realities degrading into solipsism (which will never happen as long as people pursue self-preservation), or we could examine and fight those controlling and filtering our personal realities right now.
which brings us back to the original question. what is a place beyond language? beyond filters? the filter must be attacked at its base. without regard to self-preservation (that’s how they get ya – your unwillingness to give up the definition of self you have grown so fond of). at the initial division of 0’s and 1’s. by challenging the reality of the line. by challenging the reality of a point. by zooming in infinitely and seeing that between 0 and 1 is everything and nothing, an infinity in which nothing exists as static. how thin is a line? there are only fields.