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jjrd, shawinigan, quebec, canada
 

dearest karlheinz

Voici une lettre envoyée à Karlheinz Essl, un compositeur de musique actuelle autrichien.

 

Karlheinz Essl in Shawinigan

photographerless photography

© karlheinz essl & jjrd

 

Well, Karlheinz, it’s been a while… and I do hope you are manoeuvring swell. From afar, it seems like you are and, altogether, I could say the same. It is fair to assume that 2001 has been a rough year for most users of what we refer to as “our reality” — but in such urgent times, one does feel like retorting and going a step further, in the name of Diversity.

Now, could you send me your koordinaten via email ? I feel like sending you a package : JOURNAL NUMBER 361 from 1000journals.com that I received at the beginning of the year. I did try to participate in this sparkling experiment, but failed miserably. You see, to partake, you have to use such tools as a pencil or any other given object that some people use to express schemes on paper… without a computer.

When I received JOURNAL NUMBER 361, I was overwhelmed by the concept… and still am. But I guess it’s not for me. My intention was to use it to try an “ultraregionalistic approach”, entering bits and pieces of what surrounds me in a simple, charming way… but the journal ended up sitting in my studio for several months without me adding anything at all to it.

That coming from the same guy who wrote what appears at the bottom of this page, a while back.

And a lovely day to you now, Karlheinz Essl.

21.12.2001

NOTHING really exists anymore. The typhoon of knowledge will have swept everything on its path. Consume, glut, devour information until one's inner compass has been mutated beyond restoration — until one's breathing method and basal rhythm have vanished.

The great pandemonium of today's conflagrations drudges way above my hopes: here, I find myself lingered, swindled, clashed off the map of my own wagers. CNN, RDI, TV5, BBC: I now discard that meager storyteller — called television — in the upper left corner of that box — called computer; hotbot.com, yahoo.com, ledroit.com, pathfinder.com; never will I sacrifice my senses again to the asinine Internet appropriation — with which I collaborated, until very recently, many times a day. Away newspapers, specialized periodicals. Away digital encyclopedias, atlases on CD-ROM — away interactivity.

Thenceforth zilch. The bagatelle of scaffold crescendo corporate structures does not bring a smile to my face anymore.

From everywhere, the vessels of praises cast off their payloads... as I acted like a Venus flytrap — imbibing, ingesting data. Without jibbing. Running amok, lacking judgment — as the basics of understanding kept moving further and further away.

The experiment was not that extravagant: nothing more than an utter and deliberate immersion in the core of an era that haggles and charters machines.

Information for information, knowledge for knowledge, profit for profit; a fabulous maze where going astray is, well, convenient.

But I conceal ears and eyes now. Indeed a delight it would be to confess under oath that a man can spend a vast portion of his sojourn in this reality, pasted to a cathodic screen and evolve — but the remains of my sanity eradicate that notion.

There is such a thing as anything; for the next ten centuries, my chants shall glorigy the virtues of pens, papers, anvils... and the sweat that comes with an overthrow.

PLUS RIEN n'existe vraiment. Le typhon du Savoir aura tout emporté dans son sillage. Absorber, consommer, dévorer de l'information jusqu'à n'en plus savoir que faire — jusqu'à n'en plus savoir ni quand ni comment respirer.

La grande ducasse des feux d'aujourd'hui fonctionne bien au-delà de mes espérances: je me retrouve aspiré, balayé, rayé de la carte de mes propres enjeux. CNN, RDI, TV5, BBC: je ne veux plus de ce téléviseur miniature dans le coin supérieur gauche de l'écran d'un quelconque ordinateur; hotbot.com, yahoo.com, ledroit.com, pathfinder.com; je n'offrirai plus jamais mes sens à la dérisoire usurpation Internet — que je consultais jusqu'à tout récemment encore plusieurs fois par jour. Plus de journaux, de magazines spécialisés. Plus d'encyclopédies numériques, d'atlas sur CD-ROM.

Plus rien.

La bagatelle de la prospérité crescendo corporative ne me fait plus rire.

De partout, les navires de louanges larguaient leur cargaison... et je gobais, je gobais tout sans regimber. L'expérience n'était pourtant pas extravagante. Il ne s'agissait que d'une immersion totale et volontaire en plein coeur d'une époque qui vend et loue des machines.

L'information pour l'information, le savoir pour le savoir, le profit pour le profit; un fabuleux labyrinthe où il est si convenable de s'égarer. Mais je ne veux plus rien entendre.

Rien.

J'aimerais bien avouer devant jury qu'un homme puisse passer la majeure partie de son existence devant un écran cathodique et en sortir grandi, mais j'en suis incapable; s'il le faut, je témoignerai pendant dix siècles en faveur du papier, de la plume, de l'enclume et de la sueur.

 
 

 

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