The thread increasingly surrounded by darkness Riding out the winter (decline) of industrial civilization


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More To Do:
Prepare artist’s talk/screening

Plastics PSA

Call Raine

DVD + Reka bonus disk mailings

Post on hostel as communal living model

Post on moving from plastic to glass

order replacement wind screens for binaurals
The first sign of foreshadowing—carrying around a glass bottle which is basically a heavy projectile that fractures into sharp splinters on impact.
You’re also documenting Neil—his shower, his home, the landscape where he lives—throughout the summer. You should bring pot as an offering.
Contact the boneyard’s owners for chopping dates.
Boneyard update post—this aircraft did go away—chopped into pieces and sent off to be recycled
You replaced the smell of heaven with the smell of a dog. You did it—you made it happen. You either tainted that perfect memory, or killed it to facilitate moving forward.
Jonesie predicts something unexpected will happen—how about getting high in Dave’s room?

Neil is the unofficial keeper of the boneyard: theses are a few of his personal effects. He’s been "enfacinated" (enthralled/fascinated) by post-apocalypticism for some time now and has surrounded himself with home furnishings made of aircraft fragments and bizarre cultish objects. He wakes each morning into a disordered landscape of enormous metallic corpses strewn about a parched slab of earth. Coyotes trot along perimeter fencing and tank-killing jet aircraft pass low overhead. It’s scorching hot an hour after sunrise, but with copious amounts of water and a Peruvian straw hat, Neil thrives. Perhaps more than anyone, he knows the beauty and spiritual value of this otherworldly place. “People come here to pray,” he said to me at the end of a recent visit. His words confirmed my suspicion that the yard has not only become a node of creative production, but a place for quiet contemplation (periodically interrupted by ear-splitting noise). Wandering amongst the severed heads of cold-war era bombers and dismembered C-130s, it’s easy to imagine the end of an age where a magical black liquid, a gift from the prehistoric past, kept these awkward birds aloft.

Hostel journal—test entry:

A mother and her 16-year-old daughter have moved into Private no. 1 with their golden retriever. I put them there to kill the sent left by Reka. As of now it somehow seems they’ll fail. Their last stay was apparently so long they were gently pushed out by Tanya. They’re my lest favorite guests so far and I’m finding myself avoiding the main house where they’ve set up in front of the television. It’s weird watching their faces react to the images on the screen. They’re captivated—completely unaware of the room they’re sitting in. I wish they’d take their stupid grins elsewhere.

Not to spew negative energy but I’m pretty annoyed when groups move chairs around and trap you at your table. Gotta leave me an escape route guys.
This download may be the best decision you’ve ever made.
And j revels some insight into dance floor telepathics: the rhythm brings us together—it synchs up our minds. He’s absolutely spot on.
He also insists that by the time I leave here I’ll have learned what I needed to.
Wait, is everyone already communicating using only heir minds? This isn’t something I’ve been left out of is it? Everyone’s waiting for me to catch on.
Why is dance music being pushed along so quickly—almost accelerating. Is it that people who dance burn through (out on) it so quickly?
Delivery service


Santos the saint

Carrying a beer to his mother’s house

Things to have mailed:
Bike light

Digital to analogue cable

Running shoes

Dance shoes?

‘Industrial Ruins’


another shirt?

Donation gift packages-- later
Ed’s place in the desert

His stories were rehearsed, fixed—his insights made long ago, now fixed in stone.

Kurt vile

Hey now I'm movin’


In all three of these cases, the decision to add an additional layer of complexity to an already complex problem was an attempt to maintain business as usual, while the simpler option that was refused would have required the decision makers to abandon business as usual and accept a degree of austerity and limitation very few people find congenial these days.

To turn away from complex systems on that individual level, in turn, is to undercut the basis for social complexity, and to begin building frameworks for meeting human needs and wants of a much simpler and thus more sustainable kind.

A video based serial
Open the door! Open, blast you! I’ll endure anything, your red-hot tongs and molten lead, your racks and prongs and garrotes—all your fiendish gadgets, everything that burns and flays and tears—I’ll put up with any torture you impose. Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.
Accepting the glory and tragedy of the industrial age—the balance of the two.

Economic optimists never tire of pointing out how enormous the resource pyramid is when viewed as a whole. When society is desperate, they say, we will go after energy resources and raw materials no matter where they are, no matter how expensive the process, and no matter how much environmental destruction comes with it. We’ll solve problems that arise as best we can and move on. Growth is inevitable and unstoppable, and if fuels and materials that enable growth exist, we will find and use them.
In reality, though, things may not work out that way. New extraction projects require the cooperation of many functioning systems including manufacturing/fabrication, finance, insurance, regulation, and advanced technical education. As that system of systems becomes more complicated, the sites of potential breakdown multiply. The current economic crisis is likely to rupture the system in multiple places, crippling extractive industries. Much of the remaining oil, coal, gas, and mineral resource base that could technically be extracted may well end up staying in the ground simply because society can’t continue to organize itself functionally at a high enough level to maintain the growing effort needed.

In short, the Deepwater Horizon story is not just an environmental tragedy. It is a story about the limits of both extractive technologies and the increasingly complex societal systems that support them. It’s a reminder that the whole project of basing unending economic growth on ever-increasing rates of extraction of depleting nonrenewable resources is wrongheaded from start to finish. And it’s a signal that hopes for our economy to magically “dematerialize” have turned out to be just that—mere hopes.

But the era of cheap, easy petroleum is over; we are paying steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanks—more not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet.
That black demon killing the Gulf of Mexico belongs to you, motorist.

The enormous steel cylinder, whose internal geometry is responsible for elevating and refining my voice, is effectively a musical instrument (you sit inside). I’d like to see it, and the biologically rich land it sits on, preserved for its cultural potential. I'm convinced it is more valuable now than it ever was during its stint as a receptacle.
You should just do a series of musical compositions for abandoned industrial infrastructure. Maybe commissions.
Living in a vortex—jumping from vortex to vortex—because that’s where the interesting stuff is happening. Where the minds have gathered.
Richard misrach—photographer

Dessert cantos

Bravo twenty—the bombing of the desert west
Mark klett—third view.

“With Japan also now looking to wield the fiscal axe, some may wonder who is actually going to spend money in the world economy.”


It all comes down to one thing: the world is mismanaging contraction. The world will not solve the problems of massive over-complexity with more complexity. But scaling down is apparently not an option, though it will happen whether we participate or not. The USA is like Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener who, when asked to do anything, replied, "I prefer not to." His preference led him to a pauper's grave.

One thing President Obama -- nor anyone else with an audience or a constituency -- will speak a word about is our massive, incessant purposeless motoring.

We decided to de-complexify the hard way, the way that brings about as much pain and disorder as possible until we discover that the long emergency beats a path straight into a world made by hand.

Greer is worried that a "revitalization movement" of fanatical utopians might do terrible harm, and he says you can guard against this by telling yourself, "There is no brighter future ahead."

I think he misses the mark, but not by much. Almost everyone reading this has the opportunity to navigate the coming changes into a brighter future. We should all be collapse optimists. What we have to guard against is passive hope, where we think that the future will be better without us having to do anything, and also utopian thinking, where we can make the world better in such a clever way that it will stay good without our descendants having to do anything.

The standard jargon for phenomena of this kind is revitalization movements. They happen when a society is hit by repeated troubles that cut straight to the core of its identity and values. In such times, when existing institutions fail and the collective foundations of meaning crack, there’s a large demand for some new vision of destiny that will make sense of the troubles and offer a way past them to some brighter future. The economics of popular belief being what they are, that demand very quickly finds an ample supply.

For the moment, though, I want to pass on the counterspell against incantatory thinking that I mentioned at the conclusion of last week’s post. Like the magic spells in fairy tales, it comes with a taboo that limits what you can do with it. The taboo is this: you can use it to guard yourself from incantations, if you think about it and understand it, and you can pass it on to someone else who’s ready to receive and understand it. If you give it to someone who’s not willing to accept it, though, it will cause exactly the flight into incantation and fantasy it’s meant to prevent. Here it is:

There is no brighter future ahead.
Doesn’t ring too well.

women are so sticky—like spiders.
Titan Two
Titan of War
Buried in the desert south of Tucson sits the only remaining Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile site in the United States. Once the backbone of the United States nuclear missile arsenal, the Titans were made obsolete by the Minuteman series (500 Minuteman IIIs are presently located in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming) as well as nuclear weapons on submarines and heavy bombers. Following the signing of the Salt II Treaty in 1982, sixty Titan II sites in Arizona, Arkansas, and Nebraska were decomissioned and all the missiles, except for this one, were removed from their silos and dismantled. Today, USAF Titan Missile Complex 571-7 is a museum to a Cold War relic from the era when peace was never fully won; it was only kept minute to minute.
Above ground, there isn't much to see, other than a huge cement door on tracks. Since the other Titan silos were dynamited into rubble piles after the Salt II Treaty, one of the requirements for establishment of the Titan museum (other than removal of the warhead) was placement of barriers on the tracks so the door could not be opened. Russian satelites watching from high above regularly check on the site to make sure no funny business is taking place. Not that sneaking one additional missile into the current U.S. arsenal of 3,700 nuclear weapons would make much of a difference, but hey, an agreement is an agreement.

Five stories below the surface is the launch control center. Protected by concrete walls several feet thick and steel blast doors weighing 6,000 pounds, the room is designed to withstand either a direct hit from an incoming warhead or accidental explosion of the bad boy sitting 250 feet away.

Another fascinating engineering feature was how the entire complex sits suspended on massive springs. A necessary component, when you consider over 400,000 pounds of thrust would be pushing an object weighing 270,000 pounds out of a hole in the ground.
A total of four airmen would be inside the complex at any given time. Every 12 hours, two man crews would rotate duty at the control center. Had the relationship between Moscow and Washington DC ever spiraled into Def Con 1, a series of numbers and letters would be transmitted over the speaker atop the control panel. Both airmen would write the code in notebooks. They would then switch notebooks and the code was read again.
The airmen would then open this cabinet (each had the combination to one of the locks) and compare the launch code to the codes inside. If there was a match, a numerical code would be revealed. This number was entered into the control panel and unlocked a butterfly valve inside the booster rocket of the missile, allowing the propellant fuels to combine for ignition and lift off. Then the airmen would simultaneously turn the launch key at their stations and thirty minutes later, the warhead would reach its target. Both men carried .38 revolvers on their belts, in the event the threat of force was necessary to ensure the launch order was followed to completion.

The Titan II carried the largest thermonuclear warhead ever deployed in the U.S. arsenal. With a yield of 9 megatons, the Titan II warhead had 700 times more power than Little Boy, the first nuclear bomb used in WWII (15 kilotons). The blast alone from a Titan II warhead would result in a fireball 1 mile wide lasting 12 seconds. The radiated heat could be fatal to a 20 mile radius. Blast effects would collapse most residential and industrial structures within a 10 mile radius. Within 3.5 miles, virtually all above-ground structures would be destroyed and blast effects would inflict near 100% fatalities. Envisioning the destruction these weapons can render is mind boggling, especially when you consider some 27,000 active nuclear weapons are currently deployed throughout the world.

If a launch ever occurred, the crews had 30 days of food and water and perhaps two weeks of oxygen within the complex. At some point, they would have to enter a new world, a nuclear world. And they would've been among the very few people on earth still alive.

Connect with those first moments—those steps into a brave new world. What was it like to sit in that thing knowing that if something happened, you and your three fellow airmen might be the only ones left alive. That you would emerge after your twenty days of oxygen ran out the world would be a smoldering radioactive nightmare where everything you loved, your world entirely destroyed.

Carrying a revolver so that the order could be carried out in the event that one of the crew members objected the launch. What were they thinking when they were making that rule?—haven’t we gone down a dark road for fucks sake? Also convenient for suicides. What about a piece on the warhead that failed to launch because of the crew’s breakdown.
Maybe present the
Eighteen Tombs of Titan II’
Capture somewhat of the look and feel of what it would have been like to emerge from that tomb, one of likely only a few spread across the land.
for clui:

It would make a really good high resolution aerial photography series
Most impressively to me, all 54 launch sites were built in parallel, without any full prototype having been completed or tested before the work was started. And all of this happened in the early 1960's, without the benefit of microprocessors or the Internet.
You will find them using hand drawn maps derived from satellite imagery.

Throughout the Arizona summer.
Command center up in the mountains above Tucson.

9000 feet up on top a mountain—a view of the vault doors twenty miles away.

A web site kindly revealed the coordinates of each site’s location.
Does each have at least one of any feature?
You want to emphasize the pilgrimage aspect of each one—the specialness of the underground monuments.—talk to guys at the museum—email

The place high up in the mountains where you can see the base where you can see the enormous storage Manzano storage facility
Site of the nuclear stockpile—Manzano base
Between twenty and fifty miles off so the the longest round trip would be 100 miles
You will visit all 18 missile sites, starting with the easy ones and ending with the most difficult, some have been built upon: homes, a church, and a nursery. Others partially excavated.
Above ground, there isn't much to see, other than a huge cement door on tracks. Since the other Titan silos were dynamited into rubble piles after the Salt II Treaty, one of the requirements for establishment of the Titan museum (other than removal of the warhead) was placement of barriers on the tracks so the door could not be opened. Russian satellites watching from high above regularly check on the site to make sure no funny business is taking place. Not that sneaking one additional missile into the current U.S. arsenal of 3,700 nuclear weapons would make much of a difference, but hey, an agreement is an agreement.
Spend one shift there or as close to there as you can get—document the sound?

Take something away? Don’t be overly complicated—something simple and elegant is a far better plan?

Yesterday I saw this reddit comment thread on printers and how they never work right. I live in a house with two printers and I can't get either one to work on either of two operating systems. On my winter tour 18 months ago, everyone I stayed with had a computer, but almost nobody had a working printer. When I want a hardcopy of a google map, I trace it from the screen.

What's going on? I think this is something deeper than incompetence or profiteering, and NiceDay4ASulk is on the right track with the comment that printers are "the bridge between the digital world and the physical world." Maybe this has something to do with entropy: the physical world is like a higher energy state than the virtual world, so it's easy to take a picture of a physical object and put it in a computer, but to go the other way, and turn bits in a computer into a physical object, is extremely difficult.
Some techno-utopians think we're going to have home fabricators, where you can download information and "print" any physical object. But printing text on paper is harder now than it was 20 years ago. As information systems get more complex, and available energy gets lower, we are moving in the opposite direction, copying physical stuff into the digital world, and moving our consciousness there with it.
The problem is that our consciousness is tied to physical bodies that need food and shelter. Where the digital world does not feed us, it starves us, and then starves itself. Or, as I've written before: every sub-world must justify itself in terms of the world that contains it. It would be wonderful if we could use computers to print bacon and glassy metal building blocks, but realistically, if we are using them at all, we will be using them to share information about how to eat cattail roots and build houses out of sand and clay, with our hands.

An especially insightful post by ran and another solid from greer.

The project’s font is appropriately titled:

scheme |skēm|


a large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining some particular object or putting a particular idea into effect : a clever marketing scheme.

• a secret or underhanded plan; a plot : police uncovered a scheme to steal paintings worth more than $250,000.

• a particular ordered system or arrangement : a classical rhyme scheme.

Some nice image pairings:

Fish with the aircraft heads.

The diagonal shadow on bldg. B and across that plane.




Princess B


French Eyes/Shorts

What's that sound I hear? Oh, it's the hum of millions of envirotwits furiously masturbating to what their dim minds can only perceive as a world-ending calamity.



I wanted to say hi and get your opinion on a project I’m designing for the summer here in Tucson.

In the early 60s, the government built 54 underground launch silos for this country’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile: the Titan II. 18 of the silos were clustered around Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, AZ (where I’m currently toughing out the June heat).

Almost 30 years after decommissioning, the 18 once identical sites have taken divergent trajectories. After being welded shut, dynamited and buried, a handful were sold and started new lives in the civilian sector. There’s a nursery, a home, and a Methodist church. Some are partially excavated, and a few have become almost indistinguishable from the surrounding desert terrain.

18 Tombs of Titan II will take a look at how the sites are evolving, delve into their unique histories, explore their potential as mythic ruins or sites of pilgrimage, and pay homage to the structures as well as the service men and women who kept watch over the weapons for two decades.

I’m still developing the project and would love to hear your thoughts. The satellite imagery on the attached PDF is pretty amazing (zoom in). I'd like to be able to compare them in high-resolution aerial photographs. The differences are astonishing considering they were all built to the same specifications (without a prototype) in alignment with the cardinal points.

 Hope you’re well.

 Brett /

 A note on site IDs: the CE designation stands for ‘Corps of Engineer’ and SAC is ‘Strategic Air Command.’

No Turning Back
assemble similar actions:

drinking water

carrying/setting down laptop

shoes and socks on/off

splice in speed shifted clips from earlier work

cloud time lapse

you’re gunna need more dancing—a second location?

For close ups?

The silhouettes are good
Exposure adjustments as flashes
Cut clips in time with cycles in track—should be of regular length
Do advert for staying at the boneyard. Brett will make a MORNING MEAL.
Plastics PSA
An Aircraft boneyard

lots of different materials out there

among them is plastic
Plastic is plentiful today, but it’s made from oil. As the cost of oil rises, so will the cost and availability of this miracle substance of the twentieth century. The value of plastic may be much higher in the future. Within my children’s lifetime, plastic could be worth its weight in gold.
That’s because of two important factors:

  1. plastic has an astonishing number of uses.

And 2. Plastic degrades when exposed to sunlight, leaving it brittle and of little use to anyone except the jewelry makers of tomorrow. (on buying a paint factory—making jewely out of years worth of paint buildup on the walls.

You’re probably asking yourself: “What should I be doing to protect my plastics. The answer is simple:

Most importantly, keep them out of direct sunlight.

And don’t crush or wrinkle them—this further shortens their life.

See, that’s all…
Follow these two simple rules and your plastics will provide you with many years of faithful service.
Oopps.. coy with the ancient water bottle.
plastic is one of them.

It’s possible you’re a better artist than you are a biologist. don’t get sucked in now darling. For a first gallery show—I think you should be happy. I’m totally into it and have a couple good art questions to confront you with. We should buy bowls of granola and wander the length of your images together. Soon.

and in case I was intimidated retarded the other night by your artistic genius: my project is here:

let the vids load completely before playing

the use of headphones is highly recommended. (Actually they’re required.)
the night starts here by the stars.
wears the same Victoria’s secret lotion that Merriss did. Made me loose my shit—got all fuzzy brained—and how it lingered—like leaking from the building and drifting down the walkway. I love sean’s observation: “someone sure smells good in there”

“yeah man—it’s killing me”

so every man in the household gets up early, even the gay one, and decides they’re not incredibly sick of the waffles served every morning. but actually thery’re there to see the two attractive girls off, one of them a 19 year old Hungarian princess.
Stop outside the window to smell the scented air being pumped out her window. Lingering for hours after she’s left. And that outfit to leave in—that shirt with the artfully torn up back and fucking bright pink pants—tight pants.

Imagine she travels around the world checking into hostels and lying around naked in her room rubbing glutious amounts of victoria’s secret lotion into her already moisend skin—tourturing the male staff, even the gay ones.
we’re like a
Hey it’s the guy who checked you in. Some really recent video work—what I do when I’m not cleaning toilets—for you. When the posttraumatic stress from your bus ride wears off you should call me.


1. The Joy of Infinity: part two

2. No Turning Back (warmup)

3. The Boneyard (AM)
heaphones required.

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