Slobodan Škerović

The Demon of Signalism

What we are, and what we are not –
Man is a dream of a shadow.

In the history of Signalist movement, path finding momentum is exceptionally expressed, and the search itself is about the unknown, the undiscovered, the truth. Great love for the search is apparent, love for the discovering and passing through unimaginable whirls of matter and energy on cosmic scale, while the thing that is being pursued always stays beyond reach, beyond the next step. Of course, this love is not a perpetuum mobile, because the superior force won’t allow endless movement. Although poet’s vision is all encompassing and all penetrating, it can not anticipate the unexpected, i.e. accidental, so all exactness and perceptivity which are being chaotically stirred or orderly set, stops when the realization pops out of nowhere, and the cosmos towards which the poet was unstoppably rushing now translates into the state of departure, and then poet stays here, together with the truth which so suddenly barged in and refusing to leave.

All stops at the sound of silence. Signal – the step beyond, the thing that saves the man from bad infinity of the unknown, because the number of unknown things is infinitesimal – one thing leans and connects with the other – this step beyond overcomes the movement, and so the Signalist movement itself becomes Signalism, “the one which stands where it is”, like the focus of Universe, like the axis around which there is nothing left unseen.

This kind of horizon is a conquered experience, and as such it overcomes the wish for searching – it discovers things and world around us, it discovers the connection between man and world. On that position poet himself doubts his own wish, and only then it becomes clear to him that this immeasurable wish was something more, something given from the very beginning – the power of faith which enables the contact with the unknowable, a step beyond the visible, the exact, the objective.

Signalist method itself, in accordance with the essence of signal[1], is a method of maintaining the tension between truth and lie, it is the force which will not allow that what falsely presents itself prevails and imprisons man into the dungeons of delusions, into the suffering of tolerating the inevitable decomposition of reality and final death – because death of matter, entropy, exists where there is no force, where the energy is exhausted. This method, used by the genius, is radically different from the manipulation method which is used by the authors whose goals are, also radically, different, whose purpose is not touching the truth.

If the Signalist method is – the method of force, then this other method is – the method of matter manipulation, which does not succeed in blowing life into the dead matter. Good example is the one from Borges, the absurd leap from the wall-maze into the maze of desert’s infinity, into the aporia – so the method of force overcomes desert, creating the world in every succeeding moment – new world, and doesn’t leave to the poet time enough to get lost in it. But Borges was a bad example to many – to the imitators of this inspired postmodern writer, who mistook his style for method, so instead of the force, the contents, and even the very means of story telling, got the primary importance. Drowned into its own contents, the postmodern eternally expires and is reborn into the helium circle of imprisoned energy.

In science Signalism is known as “Maxwell’s Demon”. This demon turns around the eternal aspiration of system to fall into lethargy, to freeze, to stop everything, and not to find the way out. By installing the order, so it is said, the entropy overcame. But, can the “installation of order” be understood as if it had the foundation within the matter it brings to order? Is the matter bringing itself to order?

In Signalism the order is the arbitrariness in relation to the perceptual – perceptual input are those which are being ordered, this is how they are experienced. What we see was ordered by the eye, what we know, was ordered by the spirit. Life did not come from the order of matter. Order in Signalism is exactly the action of the mentioned demon – the creation.

In religion, which sprung out directly from philosophy, priests get “ordered” – they are brought to order by extraction from the world, by becoming monks, by becoming the single essence. Those who know, don’t rush to the world any more, the world rushes to them. Such is also the Signalist method. The creator emanates, not just light, but the whole cosmos, which returns to him as his own perception. By exploring that perception one doesn’t go away from himself – such fall is impossible. This is the faith of Signalism.

In Signalism there is no making up things – that is the specialty of bad postmodernists. Imagine that, put yourself into that, swallow that, swallow yourself in that – this is how bad writers write. If a man who begins the step touches the ground with his foot again – that is bad poetry. Like cartoon movie – good poetry manipulates the impossible making from it ordered reality, perfect home for free spirit. But creation in poetry is not making up things – when one makes up, between the made up things there is no tension at all, there is no current which carries the reader, but debris is being thrown upon him, like earth on the dead man. In creative method the force is dominating, she is the one who carries, and what is seen is the matter by which and through which one passes without any resistance.

Signalism gave birth to visual poetry – poetry in which words and language syntax are replaced by visual syntax of signs, meta-words, visual rhythm, leaping movement through ether. Also body movement can be like that. Language itself, in poetry, is more like a whip, like electric shock, rather than just words in a line. Who cares about words? What one cares about is the whipping thing – Heraclites’ whip – about one and only dipping into the river – one and only. The traps of past and future which meet in the now, catch within themselves which would like to come in and out at will, from and into one and same. But in poetry of Signalism water-water does not flow, the one who knows things, does not see himself as a thing. Coming in and out, this is what bad heroes of even worse authors do, water soaks them, fire burns them.

Their reason makes them forget that the description is only a description, and before they realize it, human beings have entrapped the totality of themselves in a vicious circle from which they rarely emerge in their lifetimes.[2]

After facing-off the matter, suddenly, there was facing-off the apeiron[3]. One stood and faced the incomprehensible. Like Oedipus encountering the Sphinx, poet makes a somersault, leaves the world and there he finds the way out. The world is not what it was thought to be, and it is not correct to say “it was not”. But it is not the space in which one lives. What we are, and what we are not – asked the poet – man is a dream of a shadow – he said. All opinions go away, they are being replaced by knowledge.

Apeiron, which can not be revealed to the senses, reveals to the poet, in return, his true condition – the state of freedom. Knowledge opposed to opinions – that is Signalism versus making things up. Playing with the average reader’s intellect, worse than that, the intention to write for an average reader, this fatal sickness of postmodernism, into which literally everyone can be loaded, is motivated not by the creative force, but with small calculation, eternal adding up of units of universal social medium of exchange. But the infinite can not be added up or removed, it evades the calculation, it does not allow the calculation.

Making up man, evolution, falling prostrated in front of the god of progress, and establishment of an endless flow of time towards the beginning and end of human existence, as a buffer which should preserve fragile human being from the mighty blow of the force of truth, functions well only until the Apeiron speaks. When that happens everything crumbles down and the “other death” comes – the life beyond which does not suffer.

Which does not tolerate lies and nonsense, fun and boredom. Which life is not living, but life experienced.

Apeiron is not the other face – of the poet or of the world. The world without it is the world of phantoms, people without it – dreams of a shadow. It speaks with sign: (which) penetrates through all thickness of noise of the seen, heard, thought. When it speaks…

Man either is, or is not – speaks Signalism. If Apeiron loves human being, it loves him too in the anguish of hell, but woe to the one who, in suffering, doesn’t love the Apeiron.

The existential moment of Signalism reflects in the strictly anarchic order which rules among the creators. Tradition? – in Signalism there is no such thing. Which creator leans on tradition? – he leans on the creative force, not on the dusty roads treaded once by some. Relation towards the authority – there is no such thing in Signalism. If the creator bows to another creator, it’s as if he bows to himself, there is no distance, height or submission.

What is non-conventional, is the way out from the vicious circle, giving up the order of reason. Thus the suicide-poet, who once promoted marching only with the left, suddenly marched out with the right, led by the invisible force of Apeiron – and cut short the obsessive life chained into the ideological death. Why would a Signalist mourn him? The purpose of life is truth and it is experienced only in truth. And those who were pinned on crosses by ideology and who were burnt on stakes – they knew that God is pain, and that facing the pain, one such non-conventional thing for the life inspired by conformism – is the step-out which replaces lie for truth.

False non-conventionalism, making up the unusual per se – that is a man who makes his face up in front of a mirror so he would look. And then, self-satisfied, goes out into the world and imagines that others see the same he sees – the beauty itself, the beautified ugliness.

The problem with tradition is that it’s being ordered by conservatives, people who would live in the frozen world. From great authors opuses are picked those works which don’t stand out, Domanović is praised as a great satirical writer, but his works were not published during last sixty years! Because they all stand out. All that was said about Meša Selimović, is nothing compared with only one of his sentences, which directly and without anesthetic tells the truth: he thought that life was choice, not fate, because ordinary man lives as he must, and real man lives as he will: life at which one agrees without resistance is miserable life, and chosen life is freedom … [4] But, thinking itself is not enough, because it can not be the support for a man, from the quoted lines, who drops out from one social system, and immediately falls into another, by supposition, better social system, and which is, again, a system of enforcement, planted from the outside. Faith in society – this is something Signalism gives up. Apeironistically ordered society is an oxymoron – creators live in eternity. That’s why the tradition is important for Signalism as long as reading is critical, ant critical method is exactly the Signalist method: what survives the force, that is eternal. Even before the force of oblivion…

The idea of humanity is as old as humanity itself – not old at all! What is understood by humanity? A mass from which no one stands out? But we know that there are those who stand out. So how much humanity means to them? Here the signal is clear – the force does not exist within the humanity. And the very advancement of humanity is based exclusively on the acts of inspired individuals which radically changed human world by their activity. Humanity didn’t evolve at all – it kept dying in each Signalist! Those are those which were not cut in time, murdered, burnt, who evaded the eye of the great conservative brother, living on the margins of society and avoiding direct confrontation and disclosing of liars. The unmasking of black magic. How many professors Wolland are there who, invisible, live merging with the humankind, but are not like other humans? Which statistics has counted them? Humankind had died out the very hour it was born – genre is nothing. In how many examples lives Mr. Hide? In one and only one example, and he doesn’t make a genre. He is unique. For ordinary people his action is hidden. But of the effects of his actions people read from headlines. Who is that, how he does it? Humanity is a mass of ignorants – but they are not genre, they are breed. Passive beings who are always surprised by truth, and, most of the time, scared.

How a Signalist relates towards humanity, towards human society, ruthlessly, generously, or with contempt? It must be said that a Signalist has no relation towards humanity at all and this is something that might hurt someone, someone who cares that others see him as clever and beautiful. Signalist is inconsiderate towards humanity, but humanity is not at all his subject. Signalist knows better than to posses what the spirit created out of him – whose are the poems, the paintings, whose are the great engineering accomplishments? The author will never say – this is mine. But humanity will boast with it as with it’s own. This was done by our child, those are our progeny!

The basic problem for a creator is always the relation towards the society, i.e. the relation of society towards him – will the society accept what is being created? This false dilemma was deadly for many creative people, whether they were preoccupied with “pure” art or some other kind of art, invention, innovation, etc. The basic mechanism used by society against the creative individual is the existential murder. Since the decision is upon the creator, whether he will continue with his efforts despite everything or not – it turns out that he is committing a suicide, and society will easily wash its hands. So did Matija, an inspired sculptor, die from starvation, and after this sad death, the great grabbing for his work occurred. Pointing a finger at society is like pointing out nothing – no voice will be heard from there, no acceptance of responsibility.

What can a fighting individual do but kill the dragon for himself? – for others that dragon still spits fire and imbues fear into the bones. Signalist emanates, but humanity too must make an effort, to look up! Well, pulling out such an effort from the dead matter equals a miracle.

Reviving dead matter – this is a challenge for a Signalist. It has already been said that creator actually does not pay attention to society, nor is the society it’s subject. The contact between creator and society is possible only in the sphere of art, in that sphere in which the creator is allowed to announce his activity – in special spaces – in the media. For many people going to theatre is like getting through a hospital quarantine – there they will be infected and forced to think! To read a book – which is not just an empty adventure, where the tension is maintained by the simple sequence of problem situations which demand energetic solution – such a book would force one to think critically! To read ant get thoughtful over a poem! To be dissatisfied with bad food and bad culture – and say that aloud! To work for years and not getting paid… The existential fear, whose other name is cowardice, is the realm of human society, and Signalist bewares that dying beast.

I already said and I will repeat: humanity dies in Signalist. Creator is always a winner. The only way to survive, to correctly understand life, not as a change of natural cycles which lead towards natural death, but as a step out from those circles into eternity. This apparent nihilism is incomprehensible for non awakened man – the language itself does not offer true, decent word, but a description – asleep man, man in ignorance – it is easy using social manipulation to mark the creative as devil’s deed and force frightened stupid mass to lynch. The creator doesn’t care – he can be a member of society’s elite, shine like lighthouse, or he can be a hidden genius, dirty and in rags, asleep on an improvised bed made from cardboard boxes.

Signalist finds his relation towards society in interruption. Descartes built a fence and from afar watched society’s evolution, his life in this isolated house he considered provisional. Even more drastic, long before him, Diogenes lived in a barrel, searched for people with lantern in his hand and criticized the king for hiding sun from him. No respect emanates from such behavior. Informal relationship, critical look – that is all society can squeeze out from a Signalist. Just his presence is enough to trigger the activity of a black hole – the same one which exists in the middle of galaxy and sucks in what burning with pride falls apart and finishes itself. Creator does not reflect light, he emanates it. Science drags behind art’s vision – it looks at things in time, as if time were a medium through which one can move. Creativity does not produce history, creator has no time to be occupied by chronology – this is done by those who passively receive emanated signals and put them into their pantries preserving them for the black days. For a poet, black hole is the source of life, for a layman, she is the death of Universe. The death of something sentenced to impermanence, to change. Layman mourns the life, therefore this dark heart of galaxy is associated with the dead man’s pit.

But, things are not like that. Space in which “space” gets interrupted – and space is just a possibility in which one exists by means of movement – the charge which appears anywhere, and not where the interruption occurred – as a black hole. The potential of black hole, this is anticipated by scientists, but even more than them writers of science and speculative fiction – appears, just like that, anywhere. Interstellar voyages – this dream of the laymen humankind – will never be possible by the action-reaction laws within a system with defined quantity of energy. Voyage into new space, only that is possible – and movement within the old one is more in vain that Sisyphus’s work. Creation – always new space in which time does not flow, because it is always new. Admirers of the god of statistics can not comprehend this. They will twist, deform space, stretch it like a bubble gum, but will never accept that it can be canceled.

Signalism in art always opens these black holes, interrupts the chronology of language, and the same happens in regards to the society. Artistic method is a sequence of the created, but new thing does not simply shade the previous one, it does not push it into the more distant perspective, the book is read from any word, this is how we listen to music, body is in action every moment. Artist will do everything to break the convention, to show that causality does not exist in existence – what an absurd! – for many the existence is exactly that, the sequence of registered actions, family trees, social tradition, the history of ideas, piling up the furniture. What is looked for is the active principle which endures in time, responsibility is transferred to children and heirs, people die but their visions still live, etc. Is there more dangerous philosophy than this anti-intelligence?

One black hole cancels everything. She does not allow time to win, she does not allow space to spread endlessly. And that light, which has no mass, dives into the star abyss. Scientists search for the absolutely empty spaces led by the idea of space without mass – well, such space is exactly there where there is no movement, but unfortunately, there is also no courage to peek into that truth. The search goes on into the opposite direction and photon is the frontier which has been reached. The frontier which is breaking down. Is there anything more desperate than humanity which flies on light? It will not get far. At the end of the knowable world there is a black hole. Because it is incomprehensible for human mind that “photon without mass” is affected by force of gravity. For some scientists the “fifth”, creative force, is still the big mystery.

The principle of appearance, or maybe it is better to say – of speaking up – is the principle of movement inside the meta-space of Signalism. Whenever or anywhere, in every moment, stepping out is possible. This existential freedom is the end of society. This medium of noise dies in silence, from silence. Spectacular vision of noisy beginning of the Universe and paranoid fear of silencing down, of entropic death – the space between these two actively supposed and opposed ends, maximally stretched into billions of years, is the space of social existence, and this space of human existence is, for safety reasons, reduced to one relativistic nanosecond. And even there cosmic occurrences happen which can not be explained as sprung out of the observed order. How to interpret verse: all in front of the abyss of novelty [5]? Like death sentence to law and order. What is this step out into the novelty, what does it physically represent? – it is both sensual and exact step out into the new world. In reflection things can be observed as lining up, but the cause can not be seen in it – the emanating body. Novelty was not caused by staleness. Only the “masters” of dialectics could prove something like this.

So, art is long living and life is short… To reach the eternity while still alive, and not leave that accomplishment for the future generations, which will maybe be destroyed by some comet or horrible volcano eruption – really, is there a bigger cowardice from this giving up the eternity now? What is that which prevents man to clench his teeth and get rid of his damned mortality? What kind of shock should a Signalist shoot at his asleep siblings and direct them towards the unknowable? Is there, at all, a reason to be worried? Wise men say this – it is up to God. God who interrupts man’s steps, God who animates human body – but, where is here human freedom? – again the false dilemma jumps into defense of stupidity.

It is true. Decisions are not made by us. They are in eternity, we just rub our eyes to see them, we clean our ears to hear them, we shake off the dirt from ourselves so we can touch them. Shall we agree to that truth, it is our freedom, and then, it becomes clear that there was never really a choice. The sign was always here, it wasn’t running anywhere, it wasn’t hiding behind anything.

A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit. [6]

[1] Signal – is not the same as designation which someone attaches to some thing, it represents an announcement of something alive, existential.

[2] Carlos Castaneda, The Wheel of Time (Tales of Power), LA Eidolona Press, Los Angeles, California, 1998, pp. 136.

[3] Greek infinity, the first principle from which all emerges and goes back, term introduced by Anaximander.

[4] Meša Selimović, Circle, BIGZ, Belgrade, 1983, pp. 8.

[5] Miroljub Todorović, Poetics of obstacles, Prosveta, Belgrade, 2003, pp. 139.

[6] C. Castaneda, The Wheel of Time, (Separate Reality), pp. 39.

(Savremenik - Signalizam" nr. 146-147-148 / 2007)

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