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their ass holes bleeding and throbbing; shackled Vietnamese orphans, blind from being kept locked in containers and dungeons since birth; low paid workers with respiratory disease, including emphysema, bronchitis and lung cancer. Coloured lighting high up in the stands tints the figures red and orange. Artificial perfume smell of shit and sweat are circulated in the air-con. And there are mixed up emotions, at one point one of starving children is masturbating. The guards quickly remove him.
One section of the stands has been cut away to make room for a South American diamond mine scene. There, men, women and children, malnourished and coated in mud and soot, plead with sadistic guards, who drag out one man and cave in his head with pick-axe handles. It’s live action to provide some entertainment.
This is near another section of the stands that has also been cut away, in order to give us a bird’s-eye-view, through a glass ceiling, of a perfect replica of the Pinochet torture quarters. Scenes are acted out with mimetic exactitude.
There are also rag-trade workers with gnarled-up hands and fucked up eyesight, burning to death--a reconstruction of a fire in a Lower Eastside sweatshop. Crackheads, smackheads, junkies and all varieties of addict lying around in their own faeces and blood, writhing on the floor due to withdrawal syndromes that have been artificially exacerbated and made perpetual. Underage lathe operators with ripped off arms begging in the street. Underage prostitutes cowering in shabby motel rooms. War casualties jittering on the floor, legs and arms blown off, internal organs vomited out in front of them. Hobbling land-mine children cut off at knees.
It’s a sweet, sweet scene. A trade show for those interested in buying into VO (voluntary oppression) or OL (oppressed lifestyle). Tableaux laid out for the delectation of consumers. To select which scheme to buy into. Suited salesmen running up and down with contracts and terms and conditions, scaled payment schemes. Hire purchase with 1000% AB (automatic bankruptcy) interest rates.
Belti Thompson had been surveying this very scene only two days ago. He had spent 172 hours there. His hotel and pipelined nutro-shots paid for by his host, RAFFARTY’S, the trade show company. After all, Belti is a platinum status client. And he was boiling with enthusiasm for all those 172 hours, as they knew he would be. Taking care of the costs to keep him happy is negligible in relation to the money that he will eventually drop on this - if he finally ‘moves over’.
But the whole time, Belti was unsure of what to do. And this was so unlike his usual sure-footed self--cold-blooded in his business decisions, precise and unforgiving. And right most of the time. But in this market there is too much variety, he thought as he tried to process it all – even now, two days later - too many choices, too many things that look good. Standing on the viewing platform, with his complimentary champagne, he spent a long time contemplating potential lifestyles. He was tempted, still is, but the problem was that he was tempted in so many directions. The pleasures of starving, he mused, the radicality of emphasyma. One signature was all it would take. To transform yourself. To live fully. To feel things that were just simply no longer available. Or as the salesmen put it: “to move over.”
“Move over” … the perfect slogan. It spoke to a deep longing. The over in the phrase was ambiguous, but the desire it tapped into wasn’t. The over was the space, the repository, of all that had been lost...the sensibilities, the feelings, the intensities, the nervous anticipation for the unexpected, the sting at the nerve endings, the enduring pain. The electricity of living with a vulnerable body. It was place that everyone, deep down, wanted to return to. A womb, an Eden, an Arcadia. It was were the human was. But it was, also, not just a personal thing. Not just about one’s body. But about the social body. It was about putting in service for the collective, for the common good. It was about knowing that a sacrifice was called for, and about the ethics in responding to this call. This larger project tempered whatever personal delight one found in being whipped with an electrical chord and sodomized with a broom stick. It returned a Spartan sense of duty to the whole adventure, made it more revolutionary than hedonistic, more purifying than self-indulgent. Snorting asbestos was baptismal. This was the sales pitch. But also there was more to it than this…
As Belti recalls the experience of being overwhelmed by the impossible variety of goodies, he muses upon the writings of J.F Ombidi, in particular upon his famous book ‘The persistence of Capital,’ 2056--one of the books that Belti’s publishing outfit put out. In the book, Obbidi writes about how “…you have to destroy the representations of class domination before you bother with re-orienting the heavy metal of material culture because otherwise, like ghosts, these representations will reappear and re-orientate things themselves. Reappear and reform objects in their own image. Image comes first. Image comes first. Always image…” These were the thoughts running through Belti’s head-- and images of children with distended bellies--as he deep throated recently hermo’d Jane Seeward, the new assistant manager at Head Gallery. In the current conditions of ‘relaxed capital’ (Ombidi, 58) and relative, generalised affluence - a state resultant of radical depopulation rather than the force of ideological struggle and change and/or economic systems - the affectivity of symbolic class identification is perversely strengthened. As Ombidi argues, the representations of class and oppression must be smashed – smashed while they are still weak. Or they will erupt again--this time with the strength of a vengeful force, of an implacable spirit aching for retribution.
And it was the identificatory images, shadowed by Obbidi’s warnings, that played on Belti’s mind as he luxuriated in the feel of Jane’s thick, tattooed (“this is a pussy, pussy” in retro-Helvetica) cock moving back and forward in his mouth. Not just the images from the VO Trade Fair but also from when he was twelve years old. From when his parents took him on a trip out to Starvation Valley and he saw all the thousands of voluntary OU/OL sign-offs penned in like cattle – skeletal – maybe a hundred thousand of them. In the State of Michigan Voluntary Starvation Camp. Voluntary - as some kind of accursed share. The ‘willing poor’ sacrificing themselves to balance out things. Perhaps some kind of karma. Flipped out by post-ideological identification syndrome. Or some kind of cosmic guilt trip. Or good advertisement. There always have to be the poor and the starving. As a kind of prophesy or penance. Transforming themselves into a kind of image. Martyrs to the prosperity of others. Some weird kind of lust for purity. Or maybe it was all about ‘meaning.’ We have been offered the chance of universal luxury, of freedom from precarity but it seems this is the last thing we want. We want suffering and oppression to give our lives meaning. We welcome it. We love it. Belti understood where these people were coming from. He understood that meaning was being whipped with barbed wire. He gagged as the huge dick pushed against the back of his throat. And those people who turned up at the voluntarily-labour factories and sweat shops to engage in mindless repetitive work – as fleshy appendages through love of slavery and subjugation. To rub themselves up against contaminants and poison. He understood it. And ironically the society was now dependent on this economy. Voluntary slave labour and surplus capital skewed the market. It seemed exploitation was a continuous fact (almost genetic) of the human condition and that people desired poverty as an abstraction and a material fact. Like the tens of thousands of children who signed up to stand in the execution and torture centres to be hacked to pieces by paying torture fans. It was just the way things were.
The Lizardine Collective are the slackest operators in the constellation of radical aesthetico post-politics. Slackness as critico-praxis. They always stage their exhibitions in replicas of before-days galleries--as a strategy to both auto-locate and decadently imprison their critique within the complex labyrinth their critique addresses. Or just to not have to think about it too much. Their last show was staged in a pristine version the old Barbara Gladstone Gallery. But of course the gallery sim was nothing compared to the space they reconstructed around it: burnt out tenements and trashed-out warehouse re-furbs, shitted-in shop frontz/crack-houses, and HIV-spunked-up fuck-holes at level zero, along the river on the old West Side, where the elevated train line twists against the sky like a kitsched-up Roman viaduct, spiralled around with rad-vines and metal pylon. If this was impressive, it’s because it was done over a series of city blocks that already looked like that. The Lizardines went over every inch of the space, covering it with a few grey layers cold-drying plasto-sol, carving out and painting in the details afterward. They even carved the mutant fluorescent green dragonfly that skimmed the crete and then veered up over the old subway train – carriages spewed out across the road - and deserted car wrecks. Behind this, the river swayed dully, with a slow, dusty iridescence, caught by the orange sun as it beats down, across the gritty, greasy surface - and the twisted remains of the old Brooklyn Bridge in the distance. Both carefully carved sims.
Inside the pristine gallery space – also carved out of Plasi-sol - the Lizardines collected all the residue of the project: containers, plastoblasters, chisels, brushes, paint cans, tarpaulins, stained overalls, sanders, polishers. Or this is merely what it seemed, as these too turned out to be all fakes, replicas. Weird undulations and slight mismatchings in size gave them away. They were all carved out of the last few preserved trees of zebra wood left in the Sacred Forest of Nu Bazzari. The cost of working with such coveted resources, of hiring mercenaries to fetch them, must have been exorbitant. Although there has been much speculation about the true goal of the exhibition--whether it was about the arrogance of depleting a natural resource, the geopolitics of crossing all these spatial and temporal lines, the discrepancy of labor practices and rewards between the creative class and the hired immigrant carvers, etc--increasingly the consensus is that the underlying intention was to test how far the Lizardines could take the Head Gallery management. Little do they know that the HG management isn’t fazed by any of this. Costs are passed on to secret partners and government agencies.
The current Lizardine exhibition coincides with the Head Gallery’s relocation to Cuban premises and its official rechristening to HG GmbH, now that the 4th Reich has spread around the southern edge of The Expanse. The publicity has been intense – the Lizardines are back in town for their first show in ten years and levels of expectancy are sky high.
The crowd, gathered outside the Olive Green, a pop-up bar made out of refuge camp tents, starts to make its way up an elongated Plaza de la Revolución, now restyled as 8th Avenue in New York, which turns into a sim of 24th Street. Broken glass from the old gallery windows crackles underfoot. Here and there among the debris you can see vinyl letters – scrambling the names of long dead artists. Christopher Wool, Louise Lawler, Raoul de Keyser, Rita Ackermann, Alex Bag, Thomas Hirschorn, Chris Ofili. To the left is the building which once housed the Mary Boone Gallery. The ceiling has been blasted away, opening out the blackened interior to the infinity of the perennially twilit sky above. Depicted in intricate detail are the remnants of Claire Fontaine’s famous The Sell Out exhibition. The metal fixings which once held the seminal neon piece: “CAPITALISM ORGANISES SOCIAL RELATIONS/MONEY PAYS THE BILLS” (2018) are still attached to the wall - the words are partly blast-stenciled onto the blackened walls. This happen at the instant of the first nuke thirty-seven years ago (like the death shadows of Hiroshima civilians). Even in this state the work still juggles antagonistically in the mind of the viewer. The ruins of a reception desk are propped up with plasti-crete and a row of high quality box files line the wall behind (still intact). A barely visible black stain on the floor in front is claimed to be the vapourisation stain of Mary Boone herself, who even after the second nuke-alert refused to leave the gallery, insisting on editing her latest press release, which now flutters in the breeze, one corner stuck to the ectoplasmic goo of Mary’s dematerialized body.
This tableau is semi-identical to the scene as it exists in New York--7000 miles away. There the whole gallery area has been designated a site of historical importance and is preserved in faux-ruinous state (as is the current fashion). Huge disruptor and scrambler beacons protect the area from the ‘others,’ although there are still dangers to visitors from vagrants, prostitutes, teeth-heads, jag-brains, rot-heads and fucking big rats. Extermino squads sweep the area every forty-five minutes.
Down the street: the straggling line of art-bohos who look chicly out of place in these faux-surroundings. They are all drawn by the thrill promised by the latest Head Gallery production and the dream team collaboration with The Lizardine Collective. Spending thousands of dollars for specially chartered flights, heavyweight collectors are also in tow. The show involves a complete re-con of the new Head Gallery space to resemble the derelict ruins of the old Cuban Ministry of Culture. The blackened entrance is rendered this way by bomb-blast. It’s blown out like a cancerous mouth, flanked by burnt out oil cans and large scan disruptors. As visitors enter the gallery, The Lizardine Collective can be seen lying around - along the top of warped skirting boards, stretched along ledges, curled in corners, gravitating toward the newly installed heat lamps.
The Lizardine Collective were originally one person – or perhaps just a fiction. It’s a group shrouded in mystery. The myth is that it was once an artist called Fabian Fanelli-Amir, born of West Indian/Italian and Pakistani parents. His early work drew on his eclectic Eurasian-Caribbean ancestry. Famously, he revisited the site of his father’s suicide in the work ‘Museum of Disorientation’ 2067. His Father was a once celebrated undersea architect, his greatest work an unfinished utopian social housing project christened Coral Reef – an inverted 2000 storey sub-aquatic megastructure, embodying all the utopian impulses of the Modern Age, that was tragically undermined by the use of non salt-resistant window sealant. All the residents died in a giant collective drowning. Fanelli killed himself at the site of the building, on a skiff, by cutting off his penis and forcing himself into a 200 jumping jack routine to accelerate his heart rate. There is a famous multi-exposure image of this event with Franelli-pere looking like the Vetruvian man but with his lame sausage in his hand. It’s the kind of image only an architect would leave behind. He bled to death in 21 minutes.
Amir-Fanellis work comprised a casual and often random archive of artifacts collected during his failed drifts through the site of his Father’s greatest work and death. Playfully drawing tangential connections between architectural and sexual fantasy through research into utopian projects and accounts of body mutilation. This was connected to biographical detail and accounts of sexual encounters with underage escorts and sex-workers. Despite the success of this early work, Fabian chose reptilian re-con transformation as the way to develop his practice. Even after high-tech cerebral minituriasation through which whole sections of his brain had to be digitized, they still could not fit Fabian into fewer than seven lizards. And to accomplish this, communication and motor skills had to be shared out amongst the group – so his consciousness was translated into a multi-part division of labour. Serving as a rigorous critique of subjecthood and a radical exploration of collaborative practice. Biological radico-praxis.
As you walk into the exhibition, eyes swivel, shift-adjusting to movement in the room. XXFF, the large komodo dragon (who organizes public relations), stands up on his back legs and FTPX, the small blue gecko (communications and networking), runs up the side of a Head Gallery assistant, flicking his tongue in her ear to issue instructions. BFFFTDDRXXX, the gold Columbian legless lizard, the member of the collective who is in charge of aesthetics has had to sacrifice mobility for this gift and is carried around by other members in a small cart. ONKWR is also around--a strange sight as he/it is famous for avoiding openings.
Set in the faux-ruins, the lizards have this time constructed a sculpture-tableau incorporating an exquisite carving of Rikrit Tiravanija with his ladle frozen over a vegetarian Thai curry – his face caught brilliantly mid-smile. It is ebony retro-molecularized into marble. His eyes are fixed by the gaze of a similarly brilliantly depicted facsimile of Pierre Huyghe, whose mouth is open uncannily mid-conversation, the glint of a gold front tooth subtly amping up the aesthetic value of the piece. He is holding a bowl of curry he has just been handed by Rikrit. Even steam rising from the food has been micro-carved in transparent gel. Ten or eleven other figures are depicted in similarly intricate detail. Jorge Prado is there as well, although he shift-morphs into Orson Wells when glanced from a certain angle. And he can also look, in the right light, like Claire Bishop in an irritated state. The likeness is remarkable, sculpted to nano-level detail and glazed with holo-varnishes. The figures seem to be not so much frozen as trapped in a continuous present – a temporal location which seems to renew the presentness of the objects within each new moment, each immediately annihilated instant replaced by another – a durational space rather than the second-by-second chronological count down. Or at least this is what XXFF wrote in the press release.
And then, suddenly, as the audience is mesmerized by the perfect replica – like a vision –a small young blond boy -walking through the gallery tableau – skipping - with remarkable golden hair. The viewer’s attention is strangely drawn to this young boy as he picks his way through rubble. An exquisite scene of decay and ruin contrasted with angelic innocence. But the current audience is wise to this. Its the Lizardine signature devise. Perhaps even becoming a cliché. Its always the hair. This time, the young boy’s strangely voluptuous curls. Always the hair, because formally this is the easiest place to hide the state-of-the-art vortex technology required by their work – in a swirling mass of lustrous hair. All the work to this point - the surrounding environments, the elaborate recons and carving are merely a frame, a baroque positioning devise, a decoy for the work proper. The boy moves across to a slab of marble then, seemingly randomly positioned – as if it had fallen from the ceiling perhaps. He lays across the slab, his arm thrown back in an extravagant gesture. The lizards flick on switches on the surface of the marble, darting up his body, flicking invisible devises with their tongues. And slowly, as expected, the audience become more and more fascinated with his hair. The audience is drawn in. As things change, as the walls of the gallery break down into spiraling golden hairs the viewers stand back and in a trance, their heads thrown backwards. The vortex ensnares their eyes and twists and coils into their minds. Spiraling visualisations appear, flicker into life. The viewers see pathways and tunnels, labyrinths of curls, twisting into fantastical corkscrew gallery shapes, materializing finally into a twisting slope within a internal sloping gallery ramp based on the structure of the old Guggenheim. The viewers now in a trance float through this white utopia. White turning blue.
The work is, at first, in the hallucinated space of the vortex, played out as a traditional show. The conventional format of pictures on the walls. Tastefully spaced out along the slow rise. Riveting blue landscape paintings. Cliff faces tinted a deep indigo. Their sedimentary layers distinguishable only by slight modulations of hue. Geological expansions of color. A vague reference to a bird here and there. But for the slight trembling of their surfaces due to the irregular power surges that have been plaguing Nu Havana, one could be seduced into thinking these were ancient pigment-on-textile works. But they are less substantial things, territories congealed out of the ether. Electrical currents meeting a fine jet of invisible gas shot by the shower heads in the ceiling. Most of the hardware necessary for them is hidden. Revealing the structures that create the artwork: the wiring, the generators, the gas pump, never mind the administrative, bureaucratic, commercial underpinnings of the institution, as a fetish, is so last season. In their simplicity, in the way that they delicately contain themselves, these no-substance paintings are devastating. The viewer’s defences fall away. Anything can now penetrate you. The vulnerability only enhances the experience of looking. Being traversed by anything--psychic, conceptual, physical, organic, viral, toxic, fatal--it slowly morphs from a possibility to a desire. You’d give up many things for it.
Standing here amongst these ruins, in the presence of a room full of submissive viewers, the blue of the paintings, their sharp, chromatic planes, begin to cut right into the matter of the body, rearranging it slightly as it wiggles in there. One begins to imagine body parts magically disintegrating. The space the color is carving sets electrons off their orbit, alters the gravitational pull that keeps them rotating their established courses. Electrons begin to shoot off in every direction. There is no terror in the thought of this. Only elation, euphoria. What can be more beautiful than a limb becoming again the scattered stuff that it was compressed from? And what better than to zone out on this possibility? to imagine color taking the place of these escaping electrons? A limb of pure color, of blue as a substance, as thick goo. A limb that would no longer be under the jurisdiction of the body’s stiff and tried forms. A limb that may just grow as a series of webbed tendrils, as a long tube that warps in on itself like a cartoon hive or a turban or a diamondback snake or a mule cock. It’s not just an arm disintegrating into forms that don’t belong to the body, it’s new generative opportunities for the flesh. New things can grow in you and on you. Sumptuous mushrooms sprouting from your nipples; a daisy out of your belly button, a thorny buoganvillea vine dropping out of the urethra. Thinking this you feel the room quiver, but remain serene. The atmosphere is alive and inviting. Electric. One falls, free dives, from one mental state precipitously to another. The jolt is invigorating. A thurnderclap in the mind. Butterflies in the stomach. Real ones fluttering in there. A tingle in the crotch. Must be the acidic eels that live in the digestive track slithering around. The buganvillea vine swinging. It’s hard thorns dig into your thigh. The small rivulets of running blood break into millions of infinitesimal and pearlescent globules that begin to float away, slowly, like dandelions through the air, turning blue.
Categories dissolve. One thing doesn’t start to resemble another as much as become it. Transfigurations proliferate. The veneer of coherence has met its solvent. The surface cracks, peals. Blue under everything. Things are shorn of the familiar markers of identity that we keep in our peripheral consciousness in order to navigate the world with the semblance of a course. Here, you go rudderless, are set irrevocably adrift. One floats, is dragged, pulled down and spit up again. One just looks for new paths to open up and answers their call. A sublime meltdown of categories--the first symptom of a promised happiness that is on the way. The key to a new world of soft substances and shifting directions is being handed out. The magic potion is being dispensed, even if no one knows how or through what means. Maybe it comes laced with the jets of invisible gas that allow the paintings to materialize out of electrical currents. It just creeps in through the pores. It shoots into the head, cuts right through the skin, like gamma rays.
Everyone‘s organs and fluids have declared mutiny. They each do their own thing, independent even of each other. Saliva in your case. Glands are on overdrive. A gob of it gently parts your teeth, cuts through your unresistant lips. A pool of it just sits suspended in the air, in front of you. It forms a strange kaleidoscopic sphere through which the architectural features of the room are multiplied, unmoored from gravity. Colors take on new hues in it; the range of blues multiplies. The spit-wad reconfigures the real. It’s a dream-catcher that has netted a more liquid world.
The spit-wad grows sticky, spins itself into a hard tendril. It sprouts tiny suction organs that attach it to your eyes. Literally. It stretches your sight through these spit-tendons that are also attached to the objects in the room – the colours, the walls, the oxygen, the aesthetics, the politics, the sweat molecules. It opens it to the molecular realities of everything. Once nondescript objects--a forlorn waste bin, a stray chair, a fire extinguisher, a Rirkrit curry bowl --link to your perceptual organs through these spit-vectors and are recast as territories abuzz with frenzied activity, with shooting photons, spinning electrons, gooey residues. So much is happening in them that they remind you of the news images of the shantytowns that sprouted after the apoc, before the cleaning progroms put an end to that savagery.
You can feel the spit-vectors dipping through the surface of the eye, groping for nerve-endings, a way to plug right into the neural lines. The cut through the layers of the objects, too, and deliver sights, qualities, relationships that would never otherwise be available to the human eye. You think for a moment, enthralled by the magic of what is happening, that you may not have the language for what you are seeing and for the sights that are coming. A world that isn’t worded yet, you muse, that exists like some untamable animal, always eluding our efforts to reign it in, always slipping past the edge of what can claim to know. It’s a kind of hit that you have never had, a fix that unfixes everything. You’re touching some deeper layer of the real. Becoming more real yourself as you come undone. Dunked into this increasingly protoplasmic world, you, too, are protoplasm, fragrant blue goo. You are about to drink from the gourd of the gods. The anticipation materializes as a churning of your stomach.
A thing in the room--now you stare at it intently. You pass its name over your tongue a few times, like hard candy, before uttering it. The distance that has been put between the sounds that come out of your mouth and the objects distributed around the room warms the situation up to a gleeful and corrosive uncertainty. Unlike hard candies, these noises in your mouth yield little sweetness. In its place, confusion, dissatisfaction. The words waste. Hesitation in using them becomes the only possibility. Indecision settles where certainty was once perched. Vacillation roots.
Words have grown unfastened from things. You will no longer look at things, recall their name. You will cross into them, fused with their atomic particles, into what is nameless and connects everything, into masses coming undone into ribbons of molecular activity, into substances that remain unattached, unmixed. Or rather, they combine but also remain distinct, like the sedimentary strata on the blue cliff faces in the paintings.
Things make nests in your eyes. They crack open once they’ve settled there, ready to sprout wings and fly into destinies that rarely resemble those we thought assigned to them.
As things tunnel into us, they open tunnels for us to cross, too. Tunnels in which molecules don’t congeal, in which matter is loose. Nothing comes together. Nothing has an explanation. Nothing needs one. You groove on this. Ecstasy. What was at first only fugitive flashes of a liquid world, distant thunderclaps in the head, now take up the entire space through which you move. But that is wrong. Movement is no longer possible, or desirable. It’s the space that you dissolve into, that you are. You are indivisible from a continuous plane of matter. You--what can this word mean any longer.
This deep plane of continuous matter, this substrate that is the true reality of things--it is just another surface. The disembodied and confused voice that resonates, the only thing where we can even pretend to locate this You that was once indistinguishable from the bundle of disconnected sensations from where you draw the very voice articulating all this--it’s all a vicious circle that you have to forfeit any effort to think about. Just sink in it. Let it obliterate the disagreeable world that you were fated to. Suck in the blue protoplasmic world just as you’ve sucked all those cocks. Let it’s cum-goo shoot into your expand your cheeks, clogged your wind pipe, explode out of your nostrils. You’ve been here before, hog-tied and left on the dirty floor of a gym, forced to suck a row of sweaty cocks. You loved the humiliation of it then, even if you mock-cried and exploited the mock-trauma of it. Take the millions of cocks that are shaping out of the blue protoplasm. Let them all cut into to you. Penetrate you through your pores. Let them pump so much jessum into you that the outcome is inevitable: you’ll explode like a monstrous pinata of cum. A sweeter destiny is hard to imagine.
Suck the blue, then. The dematerialisation of the art audience. Then shapes twist. Lines of architecture move. The scene fades in and out. Coordinates morphing. The pictures flicker on the wall. As time starts to stick - to stick to objects - minutes and hours. As space starts to stick. As a spiraling, as spiraling emerged from the walls and floor – spiraling curling – spun back out into the gallery – riding their exit on the golden curls –golden pubes – the boy lies now shining gold on the slab, his small penis almost hidden by the voluptuous curls, his hand working his freskin up and down, as his face creases in agony and he ejaculates the audience back into the exhibition space--one blast of cum at the time taking the shape of one audience member.
The line of sub-human migrant workers, covered head to toe in blue tribal paint, who have been arse fucking the audience during their trance-state, pick their way through the pools of blood and semen, and slumped mangled bodies to the exit. They grab their day’s pay at the gallery desk and head for the door. The remaining members of the audience are injected with accelerated strains of lethal diseases, including bubonic plague and sysphillis, dying via speeded up symptoms, in comic convulsions on the floor. The workers, before they manage to exit the gallery, are dispatched with single bullets to the head by unseen marksmen waiting in the burnt out buildings across the street.
At this point a solitary, expensively dressed figure walks into the room from the management office. We hear his footsteps. He walks across the floor avoiding the tangled bodies. He is wearing a surgical mask, white plastic foot protectors, and a wine-red stain in the seat of his pants. It is the collector Davis Davis. He has been watching the events unfold on the CCTV. This whole event was set up (very expensively) solely for his delectation. He stands in the middle of the room and takes in a deep breath. Unexpectedly, his face is blown out in front of him by rapid automatic fire. It’s caught freeze frame in the now famous photograph “Collector with his face blown off,” signed The Lizardine Collective.
Belti Thompson, who bought this photograph site unseen at the very moment it was being taken, via a neuro-plugged live auction, has been thinking about it lately. He has asked his assistant to get it out of storage. He loves the image. But he wonders why there has always been something about that is unsatisfying. When it was in his habitu-box, he stared at it for hours. He would plug in the neuro-sim of the exhibition, feel all the trippy sensations that everyone felt there, as they were being ass raped by the expansive waves of blue and by the migrant workers, and later as they were being killed. He would plug into the neuro-sim of Davis Davis watching the scene, so eroticized that he ended up beating the two women who were blowing him in the office into a bloody pulp and shoving the necks of broken martini glasses in his ass, tearing his rectum with their sharp, jagged edges. Belti has even plugged in the neuro-sim that captured the sensations of Davis Davis and he realizes that a hot bullet is ripping through him, as he catches that glimpse of his face exploding in front of him for a nano-second before he died. After these bouts of sim-overload, Belti would end up splayed on the floor, dehydrated, vomiting. His assistant would have to plug IV into him to revitalize him, at time even apply an adrenaline shot. He was so addicted to this that in the tabloids the tracks of all the IVs were confused with evidence of heroin usage.
The reason Belti constantly returned to these sims, that he would put his body through these torturous overloads, he know understood, is because they were never enough. He was chasing the impossible. He wanted to explode through them and get to something more real. Maybe not more painful or exhausting or intense. But more organic, deeper. Something like a face coming undone as a bullet is ripping it apart. There is an inevitability in that. Not sensations that came in from the outside and fucked him up. He wanted sensations that came from the inside, that spun themselves out of the very molecules that made up his body and then raged against these very molecules. Sensations that were like internal corrosive agents. That would leave him dehydrated, destroyed, edging coma, but that came from inside. Belti knew he had to decide what VO he would choose. It was time to Move Over. He dialed the oppressed lifestyles sales agent. He wanted to be a tied up Asian girl in bestiality porn with giant knitting needles traversing his little titties.
The transformation is exhilarating. It takes 0.65 seconds to empty his account. In four seconds all his property is legally transferred to RAFFARTY INC. He is now destitute. Within 30 seconds an armed unit is on its way to enforce the legal contract and transport him to the local poverty/torture unit.