On The ROM
Being the author of 'What Will Death Be Like?', I don't need to tell you that I have a thing for lists. Lists contain in concentrated form all the ingredients you need for some specific piece of magic. They are outlines of processes which turn into objects. The trouble is, just as travelling is more fun than arriving, there sometimes turns out to be more magic in the process than in the object it turns into.
You see, I would probably prefer to linger on a recipe than devour the food it turns into. Maybe I'm anorexic. I might well find the names of rude parts of the body more suggestive than the parts themselves. I must be one of those sad perverts who thinks the head is the largest sexual organ.
This must stop! But before I cure myself of this habit, and emerge stumbling out of the shadows of Plato's cave into the stark light of day, it's just possible that I might be able to turn my delusion into something interesting.
A CD-ROM, for example. Here, in primitive ASC-II list form, is a list of some of the things I'd like to turn into a complex little virtual world on the shiny disk entitled 'THIS MUST STOP'.
Eric Gill's farmhouse
Oskar Fenichel's 'Psycho-Sexual Neurosis'
Kretschmer and Harry Guntrip's descriptions of the schizoid
Undressing a poupee
Keeping a diary
Going back to undo one's mistakes
Turning into a woman
CHARACTER + ATMOSPHERE + MODE + PLACE + CHARACTER + TIME + SONG
Lord Byron of Cyberspace
Gaunt Minstrel of Modern Angst
Minor Greek God
Elderly homosexual, scion of a great family
A Lustful Moron
Mr Hare, children's party entertainer... early life of Mr Hare
I'm Still Trying
A Card From Islington
Life Of An Office Worker
Sensation Of Orgasm
Things You Never Did
Letter from Jarvis Cocker
Phonecall from Justine Frischmann
BRAIN / office
HEART / balcony
PENIS / boudoir
STOMACH / kitchen
On entering the study
'Lord Zero lives here!'
Soundtrack 'Consider Lord Zero'
MR HARE (pervert)
RYUNSUKE CARLOS STEVENS INFANTA (writer)
LORD ZERO (technocrat)
BALBUS (lustful moron)
BELVEDERE PUTSCH (fascist)
In each room a slideshow
To each room, a keyhole (most vaguely scurrilous)
Slide show triggered by light switch
Song triggered by cassette
The Stadium Lights
The Japanese Navy
V8 improvised stories
make it all sound, with just the interactive links visible as buttons
Aha! There you are, full circle back to radio, to language, to lists. Really, what could be more evocative than a dark screen with a murmuring voice and a few dozen well-formulated suggestions? (Hey, that sounds like... a record). Mightn't that hit the psychic target with more deadly accuracy than a thousand hours of QuickTime movies and revolving 3D logos?
Somebody called Frankie once said about sex: 'Relax, don't do it, if you want to come'. In art, a similar lesson might be drawn. If multimedia, with all its flashy interfaces and ingenious simulations, is really to spring alive in the imagination, THIS MUST STOP!
Momus, Paris, April 1996
Previous Columns:On Columns, On Flatness, On The Couch and On Image.