Saturday, April 23, 2005

Six hundred words on the Internet


My personal web page drifts frozen somewhere in the network. Infinite yellow deserts shine and reflect a powerful sun onto blue skies already emptied of clouds and ozone. Solar cells keep powering wireless signals across the world for no one to hear or read or see. The Amazon River no longer exists and its last drops dry out deep into the broken earth. Trillions of Yi Yuans flow automatically every second through financial software nodes yielding exponential profits from artificial derivatives and inexistent government bonds. Light years away of unsupervised transactions to actually fill up the forgotten Sun Microsystems data banks in London’s Canary Warf and Shangai’s business district. Baghdad’s Twin Towers buried in sand up to floor 69. At floor 110 an F16 with broken wings rests in peace. Its control panel receives an emergency email from swarming war satellites about to collapse after one hundred years.

Lake Victoria went from lake horror to lake regret to lake black-tears in an unstoppable feedback loop of pain. An old-fashioned telephone booth in Mogadishu rings and rings and rings… with no one to answer a random short circuit from an improbable sender. Mountains of bones across Africa remind the skulls of Rwanda aligned for a bureaucratic United Nations visit ages ago. Fields of graves in Europe and abandoned dead bodies in isolated white apartment blocks with free broadband connections in Gibraltar appear under the sun like an Edward Hopper landscape. Empty subways in Manhattan and Barcelona and Rio run underground on perfect time schedules. Hollywood blockbusters are eternally projected in the dark rooms of digitally enabled SONY multiplexes in Tokyo and Los Angeles and Singapore. Dead rats die again of hunger and sadness. Thirsty viruses agonize unable to find new hosts or new drops of blood born from intimate wet-skin frictions. Operating search engines wait for a typo or an enter or a click. The connections are in place. Technology works and keeps itself going by means of self sufficient bots and agents fed by infinite amounts of hermaphrodite information that will never become knowledge. The planet cuts itself on the edge of forever, an eternal night with no more laughter or e-sex or words.

A lonely space ship drifts passing Europe and Titan. The last 69 elite-passengers-survivors perform a Sadean orgy watching good-old 1970’s digitized pornography from San Fernando Valley just before killing each other with their teeth; getting aroused with sexual acts performed by their own children and taping them on mini-IPod-Cams-memory-sticks; uploading video streams onto isolated and personal snuff-logs flowing in the stable space of parallel perverse networks.

Instead of a last hope for human kind what is left is a postmodern version of hell, a final re-enactment of all the flames that burned in the past: from the witches of Neumarkt, to slave ships across the Atlantic, to Auschwitz, to the mountains of Colombia, to Sudan.

Deep in my brain the smooth turning-on sound of my Tablet PC triggers my unconscious waking up process of every morning. A song by Massive Attack sounds slowly. It is spring in Amsterdam, my forehead is dry, and I’m not afraid of my respectable nightmares anymore. I try to understand the system and to drive through it in search of a happier destination. Restricted and free, hopeful and afraid, enjoying the uncertainty, across the waves of risk, ready, on the edge of a beautiful and tight digital rope, with the landscape of life in front of my eyes, up, down, sideways. Whatever the direction, whatever the path, I will walk it the best I can. 600!

Carlos Peralta-Caceres

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

365 Celsius per hour

van Gogh's Amsterdam Nights

What has changed from there to here?
The wind? That appears and disappears like a fast car’s ghost?
The nights? Beyond the dark winter and into the sparkling spring?
The fireflies? Speeding up towards new labyrinths?
Or myself? Saying goodbye to the one of yesterday…
And scared shitless of the one waiting ahead?

All these doubts sketched on a Technicolor sci-fi canvas
Spread on dark rivers with a five hundred years stench
On fire like the witches of Numarkt
Hurting like childhood tears and youth’s scars
All this doubts hanging from my skin, hunting…

But then again, what has changed from there to here?
The new face of that beautiful poet’s kiss?
The new friends that came out of nowhere into my days?
Or all those forgotten nights lying behind on deleted emails?
Perhaps my new old-fashioned mistakes
Those new old versions of the same…

Feet holding tight on tight ropes that shred on time
Old continent’s digital pictures repeating themselves
Full of fears and tears and pleasures from others’ white sands
And vanishing safety running away like soft remains…
Or like soft diamonds… from thirsty black hands.

What has changed from there to here?
Every sin. Everywhere.
Everything there is to imagine. Burning.

Amsterdam, March 31st – 2005
Carlos Peralta-Cáceres