1 year ago 💘 for day 2, 2019 with 323 words.

Bratton As Texture

I recently created an Are.na channel collecting as many instances of Benjamin Bratton's lectures as I could find on Youtube. The man, a professor in design theory currently running Strelka's New Normal program, has the perfect accent, content, delivery, and rhythm to be enjoyed as a background texture.

The weight of the content - dealing with new geopolitics, cloud feudalism, planetary computing et al - are well beyond most people. Combined with Ben's extensive vocabulary & historical references, they require some concentration to process and appreciate. To forego this, and let his ideas seep into your subconscious, is quite relaxing.

I've found Background Bratton, as I call it, to work particularly well while driving or walking. Eating is out, as the food itself should have your sole focus during any meal. I've heard from one friend that the bus is another good option. He might also enliven your cleaning routine: in your apartment or with your dishes.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I now see this is part of a larger, emergent interest of mine in retreating from conscious thought. Not just in formalized meditation, but to spend far more time in the mind's liminal space. Hanging out.

Possibly inspired by today's information overload. Possibly by sense of boredom. A disdain: with the easy to find information along existing upon surface world.

The next step on this journey is to begin actively shedding all opinions - to hold them only ever temporarily and fleetingly. To start communicating in questions, not statements or answers, but to always ask and ask and ask again. And finally, to transition slowly away from the mind's domination, to impression, sensation, feeling, and emotion. A new balance. New spaces. New modes of engagement, and understanding.

But back to Bratton. If you're after a Bratton-induced trance state, you can start by finding these videos here: https://www.are.na/alex-singh/bratton-as-texture


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By Alex Singh


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