From the Desk - #1 (III-23-74_2019)
I didn't go away, friends.
As fortune sighed at me in exasperation,
I went much further - for time is the longest distance between two places.
I descended the familiar step for a last time and followed, from then on... attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities, prairies, and halls swept around me like dead leaves... such glimpses... of wisdom, drifting down a windy street, half buried in sand... leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the walls in great swathes across the landscape... torn out of pages and memories indistinct and lost along the way... great gaps of time with passing thoughts between and lapse to carry on.
Opportunity invites and often begets tragedy, potentially in terrifying frequency, for tragedy requires incitement and very little inspiration- a small spark - and friends, my calendar has been filled with disaster. It is the little touches that make a future solid enough to be destroyed, de-storied. Paths have been unwritten, potential outcomes slaughtered. We move ahead.
If we may, a bit of catch-up is prudent. As usual, I will try to frame this thought experiment, The Earth Hotel, in terms that suit both the literal, metaphysical, and artistic processes that I am describing at once.
Years ago, when the Earth Hotel was founded, when it was found -- I became ensnared in this project, this projection. I was installed, for good or ill.
By making contact initially via a set of profound dream experiences, I opened a door into realms of opportunity and potential outcomes. I stumbled onto something.
By remembering and contemplating these dream experiences of wandering corridors, encountering entities within hallways and intangible, proto-spaces, I brought the subconscious architecture out of the dark and determined a way inside for myself. I glimpsed and pursued a bizarre truth room-to-room.
Formalizing my exploration throughout was the mathematical model of the Infinite Hotel Paradox. This was an intuitive and intentional extrapolation of an existing thought model onto the collection of phenomenon I had gathered.
By forging my own interpretive rule set that served to give structure and meaningful details to my experiences, I engaged back with the unknown source, providing enough substance to make the thought-form malleable.
Finally, the experiences and participation of friends and colleagues cemented the filter in its usefulness-- and by communicating the concept, my understanding and depth of experience within it intensified.
By recognizing the construction I had helped to shape from what was provided to me, my confreres agreed to cosign the creative impulse, as the sperm and egg collaborate. This agreement is what brings thought-forms into existence. This creates institutions, pacts, governments, syndicates. It is both highly practical, mathematical, and intensely magical.
So this occurred in 70_2015. I opened the doors into the Earth Hotel and invited my friends inside. I named a few rooms and they called these rooms back by name.
We set up landmarks and points of reference, like guiding lights in an unknown cavern, and these took on thematic forms to emphasize what I understood. The front desk, the elevator and central or otherwise stairways, The Lobby, the Astral Lounge, so named at the Grand Opening: this event which was a literal occasion, for the purpose of orienting the guests coming to my physical space within the framework I wished to lay upon the empty walls of my residence-- this place had served as a nexus for creative acts and had tested well as a crucible and entryway. Many of those individuals were guests, wandering in and out, some returning in their dreams to a place, the context of which they had just been given. Reports came in of people realizing their own continuity within dream spaces, recognizing the shape of The Earth Hotel within their new and old dream experiences, seeing structure where previously had been an endless and chimeric inner labyrinth.
I understood that this was a form of creation, but as I had learned previously with my work in cut-up writing and automatic music, the creator is often primarily an editor and curator of form and information. I was not necessarily forging something entirely new or independent. I was not the author or form to be explored, nor the true discoverer of what is fundamentally archetypal. I understood that my role was only the pilot of an exploratory craft, and all work therein was up to me, as a driver is responsible for his truck and cargo. I took on the title of Operator in description and duty. My function was to direct and track my experience and the information I could collect from the people and entities around me, and disseminate it in a form that was compelling-- compelling enough to be tracked and potentially amended and corroborated by others.
My sophomoric attempts at media communication turned into a vessel. I begun having recorded conversations with creative people I knew and did not know, weaving the footage in with what serves metaphorically as documentary footage, illustrations of the infinite variety of destinations within the Hotel, if such a word may be used as destination. Scenes begun to play out within the creative framework. Anything was explainable and sought to fit within the exploratory game.
This proved to be a feature of cooperative action from outside myself, and not a fundamental rule. In deciding to be dedicated to the creative pursuit within specific terms, I made a pact intentionally with fundamental forces which I believe to be metaphysically as real as they are metaphorically effective. The Muse is a modern shorthand for understanding this force, for anthrologizing is a crude but just measure in dealing with such forces. As with any magickal or creative act, once a thing is named, agreed upon, and action taken in faith of a force, there are binding terms and potential consequences to be respected, and this holds true without the assumption of the agency or existence of such a force.
As I said before, these statements are intended on three levels, and it is in these three realms which I believe constitute balanced engagement with the Earth Hotel and such forces at large, at least in my own understanding.
1) the literal, real-world level, as in the work of recording and distributing a podcast or media object,
2) the metaphorical level, as within the context of "The Hotel," -- for lack of better terms, the rules within the "canon" of the creative exercise, and
3) the level of personal meaning, in which I experience gratification by confirmation of my movements within my world-- i.e. seeing signals or having experiences that compliment or confirm decisions or actions I take within my purview as the Operator.
The feeling of meaningfulness is a psychological and biophysical indication that ones operating values are in accordance with the operable parameters of their existence. If I engage with this project on all three levels, my objective is completed and I am rewarded exponentially on all three levels as well. This is necessary to keep in mind as we go forward, for the inverse is also true.
As I moved myself out of my vortex home in Montevallo, I drifted through crisis of the literal, biophysical, real-life variety. I tried to make a life without carrying on with integrity from the inside-out, and wandered about personally un-moored. I understand this was a necessary failing of my adjustment mechanisms in order for me to acclimate and prepare myself for the work ahead. But I lost a great deal of time.
Thankfully, in this period of initial exploration I found useful directions, redeeming qualities, stable pathways. I passed by many floating guests and wanderers like myself, more and less aware of the state of things. I encountered the cancerous darkness and malicious entities, mirrored passages, a graciously few corpses, and a number of precious connections to sanity and love which maintain through the chaos.
By retracing my steps at times, taking copious notes and throwing many into fireplaces, carefully studying and disastrously mistaking the score, crumbling and becoming the destroyer, and learning to bow in modesty and not in weakness, I was able to construct a stable, while limited, network within the observable Hotel. Life has become bearable and meaningful and it is much more possible now to transverse states and locations within the explored territory and return without damage or incident.
Once I found myself in the dense areas of the cityscape, I was able to install myself within the creative working population. Intervening incidents have been documented and will be recalled in narrative forms as part of The Inner Lobby stories as we go forward. Not all of the people and entities I encountered were friendly or neutral.
In the Spring of 72_2017, I made a fateful decision, the significance of which I am still coming to understand. I extended operations of the Earth Hotel to include other projects, establishing the EH Media Network with Born With Catheters as a test project. This rose and fell concurrent with a devastating malicious force elsewhere in my professional life, and the resulting spectre and conditions of this continue to stalk and effect my activities within the Hotel.
Other programs and operations emerged as I tried new ideas and involved different people to generally detrimental and educational effect. A total of six programs were brought into being and uniquely withered in the elapse, the last as recently as this February. It has taken me some time and considerable duress to figure out why.
They had nothing in common with the mission or purpose of the Earth Hotel. This is a failure of my responsibility to align our operations internally along our determined values. I chose poorly, at what I believe to be the cost of my grace. I don't believe I am being punished by some outside force. I simply behaved out of accordance with the rules I had myself agreed upon. I can justify and accept zero resentment for this situation, but the lesson was painfully learned.
My regret throughout this enterprise is that I failed to learn quickly and precisely, and make direct decisions: a quality that comes only with discipline and internal fortitude learned under application and sometimes critical duress. The gaps in communication and programming haunt me, but I can only throw off such ghosts by simplifying and moving forward. We finally come to the present:
The brightest grace which has carried through alongside me has been my loving partner, who proudly took the role of Oversecretary within the Hotel, and has been vitally important to continuing the work of pushing forward into the chaotic darkness and putting down signposts.
She and I finally reached into unexplored territory this month, and found it critically damaged, left over by unknown malfeasance and destructive forces.
We moved into the space, and almost immediately suffered intense equipment loss. My computer, interface, and other vital transmitting equipment were all obliterated by electrical failure, leaving us essentially stranded in our current quarter. This address is the first transmission from our new position, far from the Desk and Lobby. We are picking up the pieces, and being tremendously careful.
Just tonight we managed to save the entirety of my work up to this point before it was also consumed by the ongoing storm of... what? Chaos is a state, not a pointed force. I do not believe this is an effort by any source to disrupt or harm us.
As I bring this operation back into equilibrium, I hope that you remain open to the transition. I seek to sew up the gaping wounds in the body of our operation, and help them heal and reform. I have a few practical changes to make:
As we re-establish this remote base of operations, we will be finding active agents and recalling previous contacts to join us in extended conversation, which we will air as independent installments. I want these conversations to be open-ended and untethered from the previous constraints of being the focus of a full episode. There are many people to talk to, and we will release these as they occur, hopefully at a rate of several a month.
In addition to our conversations in the form of interviews, we want to curate group discussions, and intentional, direct debate either involving or impartially hosted by myself. These and additional projects created by especially involved collaborators were intended to make up the programming of the Astral Lounge. Such discrimination is unnecessary, and everything coming out of the EH will be published to one source, not split up into multiple information streams, as I thought before.
Apart from these recorded instances and curated programs such as the long-delayed continuation of the Scott Walker analyses, we are continuing to illustrate and collect our experiences and those of others on the collective plane.
The Inner Lobby is a currently living project, and the workable details are coming together. The first three stories, if you happened to catch them in the last three episodes, served as a quality Alpha test and proof of concept. We maintain that the entries are accurate and they remain to be explored as we return to them. However, we must begin from where we currently find ourselves.
As painful as it is for this Operator to admit, I have neither the resources or human capability to release a full two-hour episode every week. The most profound change I want to bring to our work is the steady fulfillment of promises I can actually keep. Progress is made and kept through consistent adjustment to a changing landscape, and once we reclaim and rebuild our current position, I intend not to lose it to anything requiring less than a valiant fight.
Our fourth entry in the Inner Lobby story was lost prior to broadcast, and must be re-constituted before it is re-released. We would like to check in periodically with these stories, on a nearly-weekly basis, as the stories are collected, verified, and transmitted. Once our equipment and full operative capacities are restored, we aim to provide a feature episode once a month with significant heft, most likely centered around a musical or extensively creative guest with whose work we can spend substantial time, as we've tried to do with previous interview episodes. This leaves plenty of time to include the fiction experiments, further forays into cut-ups, dramatic or serialized fiction and performances from outside sources, and the wealth of new music from our local quarter and abroad.
In short, we'll be staying engaged in frequent, manageable installments.
We aim to do what is within our capabilities so that you who give your irreplaceable and mutable time are not left similarly wandering, wondering, or feeling cheated in your investment. You can reliably look forward to words and sound from the Earth Hotel as the lights slowly come back on in our cozy, creeping corner of consciousness in this crackling wing. While we corral our critically catastrophic current in order to make this report, allow me to illustrate for you what we're seeing from the remote Operator's desk.
[ The bare concrete bears footprints, white and shaped in the shadow of countless varieties. The toes number in the thousands, parading silently and still through the ten and fifteen cubic we have to fill and fortify.
Above us the precipice doth hang low, dropped from higher vaults visible reaching out meters around us in every direction. The translucent ceilings were sprayed in like the foam sound-proofing beneath bowling alleys and in unassuming restaurants I've visited. The dampness and cloister give the feeling of moldiness, and the air was thick before we sprayed our own oil and fine protection. I stacked books against one wall in defense, aimed and open toward the door. The interference is intense here, but the room is electrically secure, which at this moment is the most important thing.
She sleeps in close quarters and my station is compact. We have supplies enough to stay warm and passably soundproof a remote desk for recording. We are carrying the corpses of my previous equipment and the surviving collection of material we have gathered and maintained. We estimate the turnover produced a 2-5% loss of total material, which is gracious, considering the equipment failure.
We have much to discuss while time serves us in this stable room. I have a few hours to complete a number of reports and determine how I will relate the events from within the Hotel to present time. Last month, our tabletop program, Whose Turn is It? closed production. This complicated matters, for the cast had been held hostage in a void-realm throughout their run, as part of an unrelated conflict with a dark entity.
After my dense period of communication with our other two social podcasts ended, I had the resources to venture out to the virtually untouched wilderness void of the Hotel's further reaches, in an attempt to rescue the cast of the show. Records show that it cost almost four months in itself, as we entered a nested reality of the group's construction to try and free them from the grips of the nefarious creature which had been deceiving them throughout in order to create compelling plot. The details and results are left to our records of Whose Turn is It?, which you can access through the Legacy Podcasts page.
At some point in the process of sorting out that situation in nested reality, I became corrupted in my autonomy in the Hotel. I lost vigilance, and consequently, my bearings. The spatial constraints and disorientation that comes with collapsing a quadrant for such an extended time seriously disturbed my judgment. The plan I left with my Oversecretary was to span November thru mid-December 73. I regained consciousness in mid-February.
I can't remember when I lost contact, as records will show some dubious facility remained, though whether the judgment or control was mine is eerily unidentifiable.
When I rose out of the stupor, I was in an elevator in the presence of a deviously-manned proxy creature, a bellhop, and was subjected to a horrific repeating time-dilation treatment at the hands of a whole staff of proxies. It is this false memory you'll hear which closes both our current installment and our program Whose Turn Is It?
Consider this the prologue to the Inner Lobby proper, with more to come. In the future, if I have announcements, dates, or news otherwise, I will be making shortened versions of this type of address From the Desk, generally early in the week. By the time you're hearing this transmission, I'll be sitting down with a brave soul to break down their efforts in artistic autonomy in painstaking detail for your depraved entertainment.
At last, you've been properly addressed. I thank you deeply. As the mold creeps up our walls, we breathe out together, and join hands. Please, if you enjoy our communion here, bring more gentle and curious souls into the fray. Invite them to the cluster in which we gather. Tonight we sleep in a dimly lit blanket, but tomorrow night we feast like kings on the shadows of our dead fathers.
I was Jacquie, saying good night from the Operator Desk. This remains the Earth Hotel. ]