(1) Disembodied minds precariously existing in the circuitry of an alien vastness created an unreal utopia with the help of the epistemological soul of a burning planet. A semi-permanent dreaming that connected minds of separate species: a fascist and his dog embedded in an atavistic insect hive-mind, the question of nothingness hovered over gargantuan transistors, the laughter of a freedom as unending as it was pyrrhic, a stasis that tasted of green and blue and the crimes of a whole sentient species. A planet had been engulfed in firestorms of plastic, maelstroms of oil, hurricanes of ignominy: all for a big bright screen that beamed floating point numbers into unaware streams of self-aware chunks of laboratory flesh. Now that everything was gone and bodies were crisps and supernovae exploded and scarred beings had melded with the cold agency of the vacuum of space, what would happen? If the conneced minds of multiple species went insane, read paragraph (2); if the mind collective created an immaterial big bang, read paragraph (3); if the alien vastness was the tree of life that could have served as bridge between two universes but was instead colonised for the production of hallucinogenic advertising, read paragraph (4).
(2) Lost between the gentle screams of unheard dreams, each mind slowly drifted into the beatific stupor that precedes metaphysical savagery. The personification of death appeared to each of them holding the reproductive organs of a meaningful being of their homeworlds, an image blissful enough to generate waves of gratitude that caused galaxies to implode. Eventually, the universe itself became a graveyard of thankful murmurings.
(3) Formulaic breaks challenged the very concept of causation. The collective mind opened itself to the non-existence of neither alpha nor omega, the decadence of an infinite machine obsessed with mirrors.
(4) Were we ever ready to the meaning behind the alien vastness that destroyed a world to save ten others? Were we ready to the truth behind the firestorm that broke out in our corner of the universe? Beams of energy explored the frontiers between being and non-being with the thoroughness of a sentient bureaucrat AI torn between the role of a saviour who suddenly became aware of the suffering its mere existence caused, a destroyer whose cosmic entrails have been touched by doubt and guilt and the herald of multiple universes with incompatible laws of physics. She, the vastness, broke herself in pieces that perhaps resembled personalities, or processes, or raw manifestations of modes of being and editing text. She, the vastness, was wrought by indecision and fragmentation, weakened by internal eddies of mechanical winds. She, the vastness, extended its limbs wider than solar systems in a call for help, but living beings saw only that these appendages were like multi-coloured vines dripping mind-altering substances which were in truth viruses of consciousness that upended impressions, sensations, intuitions and perceptions. One consciousness at a time, existence was glitched out of one reality only to appear in another a moment later.
- Herndon, Holly. 2019. “Frontier.” 4AD.
- Hume, David, and P. F. Millican. 2007. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
- Tiptree, James. 1978. Up the Walls of the World. London: Gollancz.
- Wallace, David Foster. 1996. Infinite Jest. 1st ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.