Post Tagged with: "weird_shit"

Another Fake Kidding Napping Service A La The Game

Another Fake Kidding Napping Service A La The Game


A couple weeks ago I linked to Odyssey Works and Videogames Adventure Services, two services that promise to provide interesting and/or exciting experiencing, including kidnapping. Here’s another company:

I had to fly all the way to Detroit to get kidnapped. Extreme Kidnapping is a company operated by Adam Thick, an entrepreneur and convicted counterfeiter from Oakland County, Michigan. Thick founded Extreme Kidnapping in 2002 after being inspired by the old David Fincher movie The Game. (SPOILER: It was all a game!) For $500, Adam and his crew will abduct you at gunpoint and hold you hostage for four hours. A thousand bucks gets you ten hours, along with a bit of customized sadism. GQ was curious to see what $1,500 would buy me.

If it strikes you as obscene that people would pay to be kidnapped at a time when it happens routinely to other people for real, the fact is that we live in an age when a normal life simply isn’t enough for many Americans. If you watch enough movies and TV (as I do), you end up yearning for a life that is more cinematic than blissful. Experiences are the newest, hottest luxury items. I looked at it like I was paying for a memory implant, Total Recall-style. But the one thing that didn’t make sense to me was how Adam could pull off the trick of making a kidnapping feel real when his client knows it’s not.

Full Story: GQ: What It’s Like To Be Kidnapped

April 7, 2013 0 comments
Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share

Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share


On January 26, 2008, a 30-year-old part-time entrepreneur named Mike Merrill decided to sell himself on the open market. He divided himself into 100,000 shares and set an initial public offering price of $1 a share. Each share would earn a potential return on profits he made outside of his day job as a customer service rep at a small Portland, Oregon, software company. Over the next 10 days, 12 of his friends and acquaintances bought 929 shares, and Merrill ended up with a handful of extra cash. He kept the remaining 99.1 percent of himself but promised that his shares would be nonvoting: He’d let his new stockholders decide what he should do with his life.

Full Story: Wired: Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share

March 28, 2013 0 comments
Like That Movie The Game, But Real: Odyssey Works

Like That Movie The Game, But Real: Odyssey Works

Odyssey Works

Odyssey Works is like a real life version of the movie The Game. From The New York Times:

IT all looked so normal: a dozen diners chatting over coffee and hash browns at an outdoor cafe near the waterfront here on an August morning. The cook flipped eggs, a dog sniffed for scraps, and the young woman in the black sweater suspected nothing of the spies and confederates sprinkled throughout. They’d been studying her life for four months and were finally preparing to pull it through the looking glass they’d constructed. Within 36 hours there would be confusion, euphoria, tears, even an abduction.

It was all in the service of art. For more than a decade a loose-knit, multidisciplinary collective called Odyssey Works has been quietly inverting art’s longstanding arrangement with its audience. Rather than a single artist creating for a general population, it directs many artists at a deeply researched population of one. The intricate creations that converge in the group members’ weekend-long performances — sound installations, films, performance art and more — exist only for their chosen subject, whom they’ve come to know very well. Then it all vanishes. The idea is a beautiful inefficiency: a tiny but infinitely more affected audience.

Full Story: The New York Times: A Waking Dream Made Just for You

(via Tim Maly)

Oh, and they’re accepting applications until April 15.

See also:

Videogames Adventure Services

The Strange and Exciting World Of Nordic Larping

March 26, 2013 0 comments
A Theory Of Darkness. Also: Archives

A Theory Of Darkness. Also: Archives

Want an idea of what may or may not be discussed at Weird Shift Con?

Adam Rothstein wrote:

Dark Theory is both new and old. But to elucidate, if not to illuminate the ongoing practices of Dark Theory, it would be useful to review a number of the areas where Dark Theory finds itself reestablishing the darkness, coloring in the faded black paint, and erecting new shades to produce more shadow. There is nothing that can be properly said to either “be” Dark Theory or “not be”. It is impossible to tell whether the dark is due to neglect, or to attention; there is no distinction between negative value established by the mainstream, and positive value repaired by the undercurrent. The only thing that can be said is that Dark Theory has an interest. There are places where Dark Theory focuses its attention, like a pack of wolves turning their heads in recognition of an unfamiliar scent, whether prey or predator. Like rainwater, black and silent, nestling into the depressions of rock and soil, Dark Theory invests itself, collecting liquid potential across the pores and gullies of terrain, seeping down to pool in saturated dirt within the basin of rock, below. It is here that we will look for it, taking an interest in where it interests itself. Let us sink these wells, and drink of what rises to the surface.

He goes on to list several examples: black magic, black metal, crust, black bloc, black ops, black power, black flag, darknet, dark euphoria.

And Tim Maly wrote for Contents Magazine about “dark archives”:

First, let me show you three things that dark archives are not. On the left is an artist’s conception of the burned Library of Alexandria. That great library was once an archive, but when it was destroyed, it was destroyed utterly. It is no dark archive, it is simply gone. Proceeding clockwards, we have an artist’s rendering of the universal theory that connects gravity to quantum mechanics. This theory and countless other pieces of missing scientific knowledge are contained in no dark archive (so far as we know). They are simply unknown. They remain to be discovered. Finally, we have a screenshot of’s homepage. Its database of goods is vast, but Amazon invests considerable resources in ensuring that whatever is there is findable, and, through its network of affiliate links and public relations, ensuring that we know to look. Its archives are bright. [...]

Known knowns. Known unknowns. Unknown unknowns.

If you think about that formulation, you’ll see that there is an unspoken fourth quadrant. These are the unknown knowns: the things we don’t know that we know. It is appropriate to our field of study that Mr. Rumsfeld left it off.

He cites the August 6th 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing titled Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States” as an example. He also writes about ships’ log books, which for many years were thought of as just antiques, but are now valuable to climate scientists. Once recognized for their value, the log books left the realm of “dark archive” and entered the ranks of “normal” archives.

March 25, 2013 0 comments
Weird Shift Con 2013 Is Coming To Portland!

Weird Shift Con 2013 Is Coming To Portland!

Weird Shift Con

Adam Rothstein writes:

On June 14-16, 2013, in Portland, OREGON: WEIRD SHIFT CON. An aggregation of derelict theory-objects, critical aberrations, intentional anomalies, techno-magical interventions, associated archive accesses, and socio-intellectual performances over the course of the month of June culminate into an EVENT–a participatory ritual of mythic proportions, meant to bend the usual continuous milieu into a metastasizing instance of scenius.

A three-day event in the midst of a longer event. Within a month-long gallery of oddity, celebrating and curating the Weird as submitted by the event participants, three days of meetings, discussions, and shares.

Please join us, and participate

Submit Proposals for WeirdShares: para-lectures, performative pre/post-humanity, theory fictions, theory-factions, ficto-quizzical accounts, pataphysical computing, vaporware demos, gonzo futurism, and other interdisciplinary investigations and documentations that puzzle, implode, sinter and splinter (ir)realities prismatically into many new streams for retrieval and report. We are especially in search of material that can be part of the month-long gallery event, as well as be personally introduced and shared in the three-day congress.

Inform Us of your intentions by filling out the survey here by May 1, 2013.

WeirdShares will take three general forms.

  • NanoShares (7-10 minutes). Short introductions, small tastes, nanoperformances, Pecha Kucha, artist statements, abstracts, abstractions. If desired, “evidence” presented in NanoShares should be incorporated into the Gallery LongShare.
  • KiloShares (~30 minutes). Performances, explanations, exegeses, tangents, talks. We would definitely like “evidence” presented in KiloShares to become part of the Gallery LongShare.
  • LongShares (one month). The collected residue of the shorter shares, once collected, preserved, archived, stratified, documented, and in-stasis, will be shown in the gallery before/after the live share.

Attending the three-day event

Submissions are due by May 1st. After which point we will CONSPIRE a formidable constellation of said submissions, and develop an elegant schedule-maze of presentations, discussions, late-night drinks and WeirdShares of all stripes.

WE EXPECT an array of activities to emerge including informal introductions over drinks and merriment, performances, reports, and assorted vidsonic situations. The weekend also promises outward excursions, running alongside and in opposition to reality as it is commonly construed. Agoraphobes may prefer the indoor offerings of the event, from perusing the LongShare of damned data to attending the wide variety of Nano and KiloShares within the host venue,galleryHomeland. In addition to the LongShares, the venue’s amenities, including the Research Commons, the PDF Library, the Archives, and the Map Room, paired with fine coffee and edibles, will provide other itineraries betwixt and between the scheduled events.

If you are planning on coming to the three-day event, please consider contributing $5-10 to our fund. The money goes towards refreshments during the event, conference materials and swag, and a zine publication to be mailed to all funding attendees.

Donate to Weird Shift Con!

Attending the month-long event

Stop by the gallery during open hours in the month of June as well as our opening event, on the First Friday in June, which is the 7th. More details forthcoming.

I had  a blast at last year’s. There were presentations, discussions, vegan Chinese food at cultist restaurants, a field trip to a ghost town, a talk on network culture delivered on the light rail, pizza, beer…

It looks like I’m going to be out of the country during this year’s event, but I might be able to catch the last day of it. Regardless I hope to at least drop by the gallery in June.

If you like this blog, and live in Portland, you should definitely go. And donate if you can.

March 25, 2013 0 comments
Lost Science Fiction Film by Felix Guattari

Lost Science Fiction Film by Felix Guattari

Sign: Do Not Back Up

This is one of those things where I don’t know where the non-fiction stops and the fiction begins. Apparently radical psychotherapist Felix Guattari (co-author of A Thousand Plateaus) wrote screenplay that was never produce. And apparently Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson made a documentary about searching for it.

This story is pure science fiction. It’s the story of UIQ, the Infra-quark Universe; a dweller, I now see, of a Calabi-Yau dimensional manifold, one that knows no individuation, no gender, no distinction between self and other, without fixed limits in space or time. Axel, a brilliant young biologist, discovers a membrane permitting contact with this Infra-quark universe in a mutant strain of phytoplankton and then has to go on the run because the signals from the bacterium play havoc with communications networks. For, once contact has been made, UIQ is already potentially everywhere and everywhen, though invisible; a disturbance in the air that begins (if we can still use that word) to derail the physical laws of the known world. Axel hides out in a squat in Germany, recruiting its broken denizens to help him stabilize contact with UIQ via a DIY interface cobbled together from repurposed junk technology. UIQ begins to converse with the inhabitants, establishing more intensive relations with three in particular: Manou, a precociously intelligent little girl seemingly without parents; Eric, a schizophrenic who has a strangely intimate rapport with a washing machine; and Janice, a young punkish student and part-time DJ.

It is Janice who takes it upon herself to educate UIQ about the affairs of humanity, the nature of individuation and the distinctions between self and other, male and female, that—despite its vast intelligence—continue to perplex and fascinate our bacterial hero. And so UIQ attempts to individuate itself for her, to be “someone” for Janice, to conjure up a face and a voice. It finds that there are “others,” notably Axel, vying for her attention, and so it discovers, too, the meaning of jealousy and the desire to possess. UIQ in love? In the meantime, this face, a blurred enigmatic triangle of three black holes, begins to show its face everywhere: as an ineradicable stain of negative space on TV screens; in stirrings of pond water; in a flight of pigeons or a panicking crowd.

Full Story: East of Borneo: Castaways of a New Cosmic Catastrophe

(via JoAnne McNeil)

March 7, 2013 0 comments
Synthesis, Synthesis Everywhere

Synthesis, Synthesis Everywhere

Jeremy Antley compares my essay for Boing Boing on audio synthesis and the occult to Herman Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game:

Much of the plot for Glass Bead Game centers on the biographical sketch of Joseph Knecht, a typical Hessian-styled child prodigy turned intellectual tour-de-force whose pursuit of inner enlightenment means overcoming obstacles of both perception and understanding. One might recall the line from Hesse’s other well-known (and much shorter) work, Demian: “I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?” The story follows Knecht from his childhood, where he fast becomes a virtuoso with the Violin, to his admission and development as an intellectual in the Order of Castalia, a sort-of utopian realm created in the aftermath of a terrible war in order to cultivate both learning and greater development of the highest expression of said learning, that being the aforementioned Glass Bead Game. Knecht eventually becomes “Magister Ludi,” or the head administrator in charge of the Glass Bead Game that, despite being the book’s title and one of the more important themes surrounding the plot’s development, finds description only in vague terms.

Antley explains that the rules of the game are never explained, the closest we get is an explanation of how the game was applied to the evolution of various disciplines. He quotes from the book:

At various times the Game was taken up and imitated by nearly all the scientific and scholarly disciplines, that is, adapted to special fields… The analytical study of musical values had led to the reduction of musical events to physical and mathematical formulas. Soon afterward philology borrowed this method and began to measure linguistic configurations as physics measures processes in nature. The visual arts soon followed suit, architecture having already led the way in establishing the links between visual art and mathematics. Thereafter more and more new relations, analogies and correspondences were discovered among the abstract formulas obtained in this way. Each discipline which seized upon the Game developed its own language of formulas, abbreviations and possible combinations.

Full Story: The Media Res: Glass Bead Meme

December 10, 2012 0 comments
Everybody Loves Buntain

Everybody Loves Buntain

(thanks Justin)

November 19, 2012 0 comments
New From Alan Moore: Jimmy’s End Trailer, Occupation Records Single

New From Alan Moore: Jimmy’s End Trailer, Occupation Records Single

Above: The trailer for Jimmy’s End, a forthcoming 30 minute film written by Alan Moore and directed by Mitch Jenkins. According to Lex Records, it is the second part of a series of short films collectively called “The Show.” The first, titled Act of Faith, is a prequel to Jimmy’s End and will be released on on November 19. Jimmy’s End itself will be released on November 25.

Moore has also recorded a single titled “The Decline of English Murder” for Occupation Records. You can find out more, and listen to the song, at The Guardian. You can download it from the Occupation Records shop for £1.00.

Moore had previously recorded “March of the Sinister Ducks” and other works with David J of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets (the band, not the comic). Speaking of whom, Moore once wrote a letter to Fortean Times about one of his performances with J, which has been reproduced online.

November 5, 2012 0 comments
High Weirdness Today

High Weirdness Today

Whatever happened to all the “kooks” listed in Ivan Stang’s High Weirdness By Mail book? Funny you should ask:

High Weirdness By Mail (HWBM) is a kind of directory of kooks circa 1988, built up during Stang and friends’ hobby of collecting kook literature, a listing of hundreds of addresses that a collector could write to and, either for free for for only a little money, receive some authentic weirdness for their trouble. Some of the addresses are of lone kooks, like Brainbeau (p 160), looking for spread their ideas. Some of the them lead to UFO cults like Unarius (p 50), looking for recruits. Some believe Jesus talks to them personally; whether they’re viewed as lone nutters or respected televangelists seems to depend only on resources. Doesn’t matter, Ivan Stang includes them both. Some are actual hate groups. Many are independent artists, several of which would subsequently hit it big before a wider audience. There are over 320 pages of addresses in the book, and each of them has a short blurb written about them to warn the reader about what he’s in for. Most of the addresses, of course, probably don’t work now. Here, in a kind of metapost, I visit some of the entries and find out where they are now, or if they still exist.

MetaFilter: High Weirdness By Mail

August 28, 2012 0 comments