Dispatch from the OPR

Dispatch from the OPR

Picture 16

Sci-pulp Poetics


The movie begins in this flat, journalistic style. A universe with a long natural history, spotted with strange and alluring artifacts of various ‘forerunner’ species who engaged in interstellar travel long before humans. Plaster slides from the walls in the house it rains inside of; he feels for the tissue of sci-fi without the story. So, we invite the dystopian poetics of paranoia and ESP-powered feline-hybrids. “It is as if a cleavage, time, had opened in the floor.”


Metal parts of obscure machinery, glass marbles and cloth binding constitute the benthic ecology visible just beneath the surface of shallow streams. Foxgloves may no longer be used as a device to measure the passing of time. /// Directions: / two girls sit across from each other at a table / one begins to place marbles into her mouth / one after another. And still, this is a solicitation to test Whipple’s “dirty snowball” model of comet compositions: a mixture of volatile ices–water, carbon dioxide and ammonia–and dust.


Recall how eyes form. The windows are made of thin marble boundaries between light and dark. Not only are these boundaries perceived to be uneven and sinuous, but they could move in different directions and in different planes. An image introduced once as a hint or possible symbol may in another context contradict its intended leitmotif. The moment of looking is an arrest; an order-maintaining galactic ‘Patrol’ attempting to enforce (sometimes benevolently, sometimes not) laws of galactic trade; a vast ‘guild’ of organized, shadowy, and eminently powerful black markets run by oligarchic ‘Veeps’. A young girl jumps from the second-story window of the house, radio telegraphy stamps her coordinates in the air: Evolution is, therefore, often linked to the arrow of time, flying in one direction only. “No, time flows in a turbulent and chaotic manner; it percolates.”


And there is very little to distinguish the historic past from the fantastic future. Defamiliarized photographs of post-war Europe could originate from another planet or a time to come. The development is an irreversible process. An expression, a grimace, confuses the sense of the utterance, of. A process of         then takes place and we can see the various stages of it in the sky. Imperceptible ‘dark matter’ bending light like the echoes of soaring and competing guitar melodies; their absolute brightness or luminosity. In so doing, they inevitably collide with one another and form, at the same time, into a discoidal cloud of gas and dust, giving rise to the ‘protoplanets’: thin and rhythmic atmospheres that even in their campiness pulsate pulpy gravities, extra-terrestrial textures. How to interpret the movement of these particles in the primary planetary cloud, which must have been rather chaotic? We need exobiological treatises on the shapes and kinetics of weird organisms, maps of stars and constellations that are still originating, and post-planetary scansions.


A call for sci-pulp poetics asks whether this work, in admitting both past and future, could remain unpredictable? Might its weirdness accede to something other than commodity-value? But naturally nobody now sets himself the task of making a man out of masses of unicellular creatures. And what can poetics borrow from sci-fi apart from its narrative impulse, in excess of its impetus to sociological experimentation?