(2016) VOID book



A Void Manifesto

The Tenets of A Voiding

By Margarete Jahrmann, 2016 In: VOID Manual, Ed. Ludic Society Zurich.


#A VOID Game Rules

Instructions: Follow no command! Games are strict instructions. Reject them! Every newly filled page can become the code key. In the 21stcentury apps have become trainable, they learn constantly and by themselves. There is thus no escape from the codification, gamification, ludification of the world.



#A Void Command Control Communication


VOID is a bracket that has to be opened and closed on the command line. A VOID ludifies the bracket, speculates in the design with absent content, builds on paper as a code generator. Touching the material results in experiencing Ilinx. What is meant is the haptically induced rapture of the deep in slightly waved and otherwise empty pages.


#A Void Action


Actions of the A VOID navigators draw the analog object book out of the sticky ink of technological augmentation beyond Alternate Reality Gaming. The expansion of the world into the digital, which is inherent to computer games, is inverted through the A VOID level in the idle state in the brain of the gamer. The object book eludes the electronic and logical topography of technological toys. With A VOID action the game provides release from irrelevance.


#A Void Thinking


A VOID as an artifact immunizes, induces, inflames and plays with the philosophical “condition of a possibility” of world. Every VOID contribution personifies a game condition, which expands dynamically with ever new game rules, also and especially beyond the printed book. In keeping with the motto of western culture, Let’s get intoxicated together!, A VOIDers invent their synthetic dreams between absinthine lines.


#A VOID Scribble


Instructions: Make analog notes!

Certain personal statements are assembled in the book. The contributions are partly from invited authors, partly from random gamers. VOID can become a “hand-held” companion, an omnipresent notebook instead of the ubiquitous, electricity-dependent notepad. Every newly filled page can become an access key to the void. The VOID book imbues the trusty sketchbook with a new legitimation as a purported game system.

Every VOID contribution personifies a game condition, which expands dynamically with ever new game rules, also and especially beyond the book.



#A Void Horror Vacui


Horror Vacui designates fear of empty space in art. The fear of a vacuum links the methods of art with those of experimental sciences. The world-authors, the so-called world builders of the twentieth century stood in the beginning before the sucking black of the monitor in the command line, where <<VOID>> had to be followed by entering a designation for the void. The color of the monitor changed soon afterward, and the autonomous operaists of screen-labor in self-exploitation experienced existential horror in front of the white Word page. Their horror resembles that which befalls the painter in front of the white canvas and the drawer in front of the white page. With hybrid “Chip Art” and the cyborgian “Bio Art” affiliated with it, today we approach the Clean Room to produce and program electronic chips or implant them in living flesh. The super-white of the prostheses of the present can only be pleasantly, stimulatingly dulled by dealing with the artifact, such as the playbook, for instance, that invites further smearing.



#A Void Horror Vacui Pattern


The horror vacui pattern arose as an antidote to the fear of empty space in the wonderful art of Alhambra. The endless ornamentation served to parquet the mental space. This all-over pattern is not so much ornament, but rather provokes, stimulates or – technically speaking – augments new levels of perception. In the VOID book we have a pattern that can potentially be endlessly continued, collaged of mirroring structures from historical image quotations from art, science using surrealist methods (“Take scissors!”). Because a book cannot contain nothing. It can be completely erased, though, specifically technologically. The page becomes a window in an electromagnetically implemented VOID space, which is recognizable in the analog space of the book as a decorative pattern. Pattern recognition helps in dealing with A VOID.



#A Void AR


Augmented Reality or AR, technologically expanded reality, creates emptiness instead of information. In the digitalized present of networked apps, every graphical sign potentially becomes a window into an electromagnetically implemented, presumably better world. In analog space the VOID space remains recognizable as a decorative pattern, even to the unaided eye. With the A VOID App as a digital magnifying glass into an electromagnetic level, presumably pure emptiness is implemented!



#A VOID Symposium


Instruction: Taste the book as a thing! The VOID book as a thing is a symposium, a self-determined Ludic Society Club Evening, futurological congress[1], which allows moving an induced psycho-organic level lower with every sniffing of the book. “The Thing is a gathering place”: every thing is in Bruno Latour’s sense a “parliament of things”[2], a gathering place. Through dealing with the book, certain personal statements assemble in every single book, which structure the pages and patterns.

Bacterial processes of the decay of the paper change the smell of the book over time. With a little patience, the book smells of antiquarian book-sellers and old knowledge. This smell serves as a reference to a “borg culture”, to the social design of symbiotically generated knowledge.VOID is a collective project. It consists of single cells with many nuclei, which continue to move like slime mold myxomycetes.


#A VOID Virus


Symbiotically animated bacteria cultures on the pages of the VOID book are to be understood as micro-mechanics of the book as a physical object. They proliferate with every touch across the paper and awaken the thing to networked life. Bacterial processes of decay change the smell[3]of a book over time. With a little patience, the book smells of antiquarian book-sellers and old knowledge. The smell is a reference to a “borg culture” of symbiotically generated knowledge.

VOID is a collective project. It consists of single cells with many nuclei that can continue to move. Myxomycetes[4]form the model for animating inanimate material through proliferation.



#A Void Fire


The poetic ignition lights its fire on crumpled book pages.Crystalline folded glaciers are a future exhibition site of the A VOID books in eternal ice. A VOID assembles contributions and sparks on the theory of science, Père Ubu, ’Pataphysics, the seductive sound of “jouissance”, jeu, on play and nuisance, boredom and nudity. Finally, the A VOID book cover will be smashed as a lacquered mirroring cover!

[1]                                Stanisław Lem, The Futurological Congress, Krakow 1971

[2]                                Bruno Latour, “The Parliament of Things“, in: ibid., We Have Never Been Modern. Harvard University Press 1993.

[3]                                Old paper smells sweet, it is used as a note in perfumes like “Dzing“ by L’Artisan Parfumeur.

[4]                                A subtle Bio Art injection of single special editions is an author‘s contribution to the theme “Bio Fiction“. Myxomyceteswill completely disintegrate a single item.