Words – Lee Scratch Perry
Sounds – Richard Parry (Arcade Fire)
Speeches – Jean Oury (La Borde) + therapist (female voice at La Borde)
Aliens – black forces of the Unknown
Theatre – W. Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1611
Cinema – Denis Villeneuve, Arrival, 2016
Books – Derrida (Cinders, 2014) , Esposito (Immunitas: the protection and Negation of Life, 2011)
THE FIRE AND THE WORD
Fire is the true sonic narrator of the track entitled “Black Magic Spell”. It is a sonic tracker because the acoustic and textual components can only happen within its perimeter which is represented as a circle of flames defending what is inside from an outside treacherous enemy. What does fire protect us from and who/what will it turn into ashes? Fire is purity, it immunizes through light, heat and ashes – fire is dispersion without return as Derrida writes in his Cinders.¹
Fire is also knowledge, the knowledge of how to activate, stoke, govern and extinguish it. Ruling the fire is ruling the ash which is something that erases itself totally, radically, while presenting itself in its chaotic friability.
The best ally of fire is the word. Within games of fires, word games are installed and form an alliance in the shape of spells of black magic. The magic formula places the order of speech within another realm, that of invocation. The invocation is located in that precise place, before the ashes and during the government of fire taking the form of a formula.
Fire, words, sounds, formulas, black and white magic, ash and chaos, merge and create a ‘sound plane’ in which strategies can be played, events and tactics invented. Within the magical circle of fire the alienated social body may return: proximity vs. exteriority, the other-other, illness, sexuality and even the feminine, so often brutally sanitized with fire, finds its strength with powerful force. It is of a woman the voice that evokes the magic number of the formula ‘nineteen’ while the syncretic wizard Lee Scratch Perry poetically utters a litany-spell to ‘burn’ the anti-gods, the anti-christs, the “anti-ne**oes” (Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry), the anti-anti; a double negative destined to cremation, kicked by the spell that burns the people of the anti, an evil anti-people.
As philosophers like Vattimo, Derrida and Esposito have written, techno-science often walks next to the sacred, whether it is a coded collective action like an institution, or the immunization from evil, thus theodicy. Prospero’s art in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a means through which God’s will is accomplished, in fact he gains the ability to control the forces of nature and to make their effects fruitful rather than destructive, as believed in the Renaissance idea of white magic, where the so-called magicians would promise immunity and good health. Is the island where Prospero exerts his art inside or outside the circle of fire? The question is still the same. Is the world a defined area of knowledge and power of a white magic techno-science or is it a chaos constantly trying to escape the circle of fire, flying beyond it on the ashes of the black magic spells and through alien forces evoked by the extraworld- other that is the unknown? The extraneous forces, both from the alienated and infected beyond-fire-world and
from the immunized and phobic inside-the-fire world are represented by the ‘alien voices’ drawn from differential communications of alien arrivals as narrated in the movie Arrival by Denis Villeneuve (2016).
STRATEGIES AGAINST THE INFECTION
Fire: Purity or the line that separates the externality of the community which protects itself from the inside. Immunity: the social body of those inside the line of fire who are busy defending themselves from fear and disease (alienated and schizophrenics).
Spell: the perpetual clash between black and white magic is present within the line of fire.
The ‘magic’ formula defends the alienated from the mainstream knowledge and power and reclaims the space of the word, and the order of the speech. The word and the fire together become an abstract immunizing machine.
La Borde – a non-academic psychiatric clinic which has been a model in the field of psychotherapy and where issues like schizophrenia, alienation, sexuality, the social body and the patient’s body enter the daily dialogue among patients, psychiatrists, psychologists and citizens who actively participate in running the facilities.
Contagion – the selection of the infectious ‘result’ was carried out according to the perspective of the mathematics of molar and molecular contagion (n + 1 and n-1). Specifically: from Lee Scratch Perry’s speech samples have been taken from Frankfurt University 1 (from 0’40” to 1’04”) and from Frankfurt University 2 (from 3’03” to 3′ 54” and 6’04’’ to 6’06’). From Richard Parry’s “Three Ways in Parallel” samples have been taken from Piano 1 and Loop.
Black Magic: The Sacred, the Rite, the unofficial, the nomadic side of the institutional and Royal Sacred.
White Magic: The vaccine. The development of the vaccine between white magic and black magic follows the same path of institutional theodicy and nomadic theodicy, that is to say between katechontic² – those who hold back, and accelerationism – those who dionysize and alienize.
Conclusion: physical and social illness could be defeated with a mix of knowledge and magic, as it happened with the ancient Chinese ‘alchemist’³ who invented the inoculation of the first vaccine, using a mix of technical-scientific ratio (white magic) and magic (black magic) as a type of selective infection that is the incorporation of the disease as a new biocratic equilibrium. May the vaccine be with you!