Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grant Morrison - Interview with an Umpire

At DisinfoCon in 1999, Morrison said that much of the content in The Invisibles was information given to him by aliens that abducted him in Kathmandu, who told him to spread this information to the world via a comic book. He later clarified that the experience he labelled as the "Alien Abduction Experience in Kathmandu" had nothing to do with aliens or abduction, but that there was an experience that he had in Kathmandu that The Invisibles is an attempt to explain. From the wiki.

BY: And I felt really sick for a second, I thought, 'I can't believe I said that!' There's this kind of encroachment of virtual into real. Could this actually be a practical application? With the advent of nanotech and the plastic pliable environment, will we be able to UNDO events?
GM: Yeah - I think we take our metaphors from technology all the time.
GM: Is it going? (referring to the tape)
BY: Nup
The tape is flipped over
GM: What was I saying? Yeah - we take our metaphors from technology all the time - the romantics with electro-magnetism and balloons (laughs) - those kind of experiments, so that's all it is. So yeah, the virtual world will encroach, especially as simulations get more and more effective and the methods of enjoying simulations get more and more effective, there will be increased crossover. I'm interested to see how it will impact the 'real' world.
BY: I'm interested in the pliability of the world and how it might turn 'soft' basically-
GM: It responds to language, it seems to respond to language which is what magic seems to do - there's some kind of holographic effect between representation and reality for want of a better word.
BY: Aye - I'm trying to, within the architectural field, develop some sort of grounding philosophy which says 'Form Follows Fiction' - y'know it's no longer function, its more to do with individual whims. When you're going to be able to control the immediate group of atoms around you, you'll be able to story tell in 3D.
GM: Yeah, yeah....We're working towards it, everything seems to be compressing down to a single point; we're trying to get to places quicker and we're trying to do things in less time so both of these are infinitely compressed activities - it gets easier and easier to reach London or Tokyo, so we're compressing down to a point - that's part of it as well. They're already developing houses where you can walk in and everything's wired up with Bang and Olufsen, you can have images on the wall, you can change the environmental lighting, you can change all kind of conditions so the extension would be to compress that as infinitly as we have compressed travel and speed of communication.
BY: If the environment is going to be carved up into smaller and smaller pieces, because it will become pliable to your everyday punter, and your everyday punter is becoming Joe Schizophrenic as opposed to Joe Bloggs, what with the adoption of rotating personalities and this fracturing vision are we not in danger of developing a landscape similar to the one you portrayed in your Future Shock tale, The Invisible etchings of Salvador Dali - is this not a possible route to complete chaos this rapid advancement of technology - obviously we've got the Matrix metaphor to work with but-
GM: These kinds of processes rarely lead to chaos. My own viewpoint of it is this thing is one huge operating process, that life on earth, or the Biota, as I've learned it's called-
BY: Biota?
GM: It's a new word for the entirety of life on earth, which I believe is one organism so - what was I saying?
BY: Um...............I'll need to think of a decent question!
GM: No, what was that question?
BY: I can't remember. (laughs)
GM: It was the long one!
BY: It was about fracturing personalities and fracturing landscapes.
GM: Yeah - we were talking about could it lead to an infinitely morphing endlessly pliable meta reality - possibly it could, if that's what the large scale structure of the thing-
BY: Is that not the Supercontext you describe?
GM: The Supercontext to me is what you get born into when you 'die' - remember at the end that these are just my personal metaphors for something that may be quite different . These are the words; I'm straining it down through The Invisibles, that's the shape I'm straining it down through. The Supercontext to me is a fifth-dimensional, informational continuum where things that we don't quite understand go on - higher processes, adult processes. What I felt, when I was undergoing what I call the Alien Abduction Experience in Kathmandhu (which I don't think was anything to do with Aliens or Abduction but we'll call it that for ease of understanding) was that by sheer - nothing to do with mysticism, or abstraction - sheer fact of physical life on
BY: That it's a self-perfecting system.
GM: Yeah. I think this thing is growing up and it understands how to grow up. The same as a baby in the womb goes through all the stages of evolution, so to is this entity going through all kinds of growth stages which to us are seen as evolutionary processes. It's just like a tree growth and we're the branches that come off, the literal branches of the living organism - it's very tip. Y'know we're it's tip; probing, communicating, sending signals and sparks across. And I do also believe that the more sparks we send across and the more little fronds that connect and the more it starts to recognise itself for what it is - which is as one living organism, which includes every other organism - again, this is not abstraction, it's not some Buddhist 'make me one with everything' sandwich, it's the actual fuckin' bottom line of physical existence if you run it through time. So I think we should be taking this into account, which is why I can sound a little over-evangelical about this: that we are quite literally a single organism which could well be on its way to maturity.
BY: What I'd say to that is; Maybe about 100 years ago, in fact several times throughout history, people have said, 'y'know, we've invented all there is to invent, we're at the most important stage in human evolution' Alan Moore's mentioned similar things to yourself, he's talking about phase transitions and boiling points. We're all building toward 2012; does every generation of creatives' not think that they're at the cutting edge of experience, at the cusp? Basically, is it not the human condition to live in a perpetual state of Armageddon? The whole idea of millenarian angst as an essential human condition?
GM: And why would that be?
BY: Er - - (laughs)
GM: (laughs). So it's an essential drive?
BY: The fear of dying basically - the personal individual apocalypse-
GM: But that's a recent thing, the individual idea of death; if you killed an Islamic Hashisheen he wouldn't believe he was going to die, he was going to wake up instantly in a paradise.
BY: Mohammed Atta?
GM: (laughs) The Viking literally believed he was going to wake up in Valhalla, so even the fear of death is just something instilled within the individual sovereign conscious which we're taught to protect , like your treasure horde - but in actual fact, what survives is the soul or what we mistakenly call soul, its DNA and bacterial mitochondria which keep on dividing even after you die - The next issue of The Filth (4) has this great piece of information - that the human body has 10 billion cells in it - that's what comprises a basic human body and on top of that we have 10 times that amount of bacteria.
GM: (laughs) - even more so - probably fifty times the amount (laughs). So who's really doing the talking, who's doing the steering, what is the immortal life form that is doing all the work? And who are these things that just chatter and freak out and worry about getting old and worry about this and that, they're actually irrelevant except as the use of vehicles - they're just tendrils of a thing that is not dead, it's never died, the first bacteria kept on dividing and it's still dividing. Earth and how we exist as processes through time rather than as these segments in time which we are interacting with just now basically; in the most hard headed way, running backwards through the processes, where you come in through that doorway, we both disappear out through the door - you go out after me - as you saw in The Invisibles, a huge worm of activity - you go back into your mother, she goes back into her mother. I mean the whole thing is one structure - it's one thing. What I felt, was that I was looking at a larval form and what I was told, was that I was looking at a larval form of an entity that was adult in the fifth dimension and that these things were growing planets like the Earth as patches, like cabbage patches. So you stick it on a planet, the planet feeds it - it eats the planet to power its growth into adulthood at which point it becomes a full scale living fully formed - like the way a fly is fully formed from larvae - entity of the fifth dimension. So you're dealing with someone whose got this as their belief structure behind all of it. This is why I assume that most processes that occur on earth are working properly.
BY: I was going to ask you about the whole concept of writing and magic and its influence on the environment. Could it be said that magic is interacting with the smallest building blocks we can comprehend? That somehow it influences the microscopic, whether its white bloodcells befriending cancer or rearranging coal to get diamond. How can fiction, storytelling and literal persuasion allow us to control the nanosphere? They'd need to work on this, the smallest of scales - how could fiction possibly have an influence on that realm?
GM: I'm not sure - All I know is that it does - I have some ideas but somebody needs to do some more work I found that it seems to do it - it's the same as voodoo or any kind of sympathetic magic - like I say - there seems to be something in making a representation of reality, causing changes in the representation and then watching the changes occur in the larger scale reality - which makes me think there's a holographic element to the entire universe. Again everything is connected. If you want to use a purely biological idea, based on the biota, the one living organism, then a number of apparently extra normal events could be explained: one little human tendril of the biota thinks of something and the notion is so interesting it zaps through the system and hits another tendril and basically you think telepathy is taking place. That might be why ideas emerge in different heads at the same time. If we are parts of a huge body, that's easily explained. Or you think for a moment you are Mickey Mantle stepping up to bat because you've suddenly felt all the way back down your body in time, connections back to the moment where Mickey Mantle is stepping up to bat and will always be stepping up to bat and you think you're re-incarnated from Mickey Mantle. (laughs)
BY: Yeah...I can see the image that you're building there.

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