(excerpts plus figurations, circa 1980-97)
When the Chinese invaded the Ma River Estuary two millennia ago, they found themselves in The Land of Wanton Women -- as their records from the period recount. This was in the days before silk undies when tribal mini-skirts were the prevailing form of dress amongst the female half of the subject population. The prudish Chinese were scandalized by such omnipresence in the public forum and immediately forced Vietnamese women to wear Chinese pants. This sort of foreign domination gave rise to a scurrilous folk poetry tradition of lionizing femmes couvertes for wiseacre-ing with their omnipresence in the marketplace as a form of insurrection against authority of the male hordes from the north. Not only were these wanton women required to pack away their mini-skirts and wear pants, they had to don long thick-textured over-tunics as well -- just like Chinese women. This was one case of an epochal transition in human history: the replacement of cosmological metareference in raiment by socially prescriptive garments.
My I didnít learn about this until by-and-by, of course. Being a male child of another occupying Army, my I was early and often exposed to the omnipresence of the female subset of another tributary society: Baby-san! My Iís commander, General MacArthur, severed a social institution as part of the program to suppress identity transparency amongst his subjects; he made mixed public bathing a violation of the law. Whereas, until the said social institution was severed, silk undies were a rarity amongst the party of the first part, the female subset of the subject population, following promulgation of the Occupation Articles of Sexual Severance, the said silk covering became the norm and public omnipresence a rarity: at best, a social impropriety; at worst, a premeditated act of insurrection by a subset of the subject population. The party of the second part, General MacArthur, was well informed by his anthropologist advisors from the School of Functionalism, in that the said advisors had studied the Nipponese myth of origins and in great indignation informed Sire MacArthur, the party of the second part, that public omnipresence was enshrined in said myth as the final arbiter of all disputes, the conflict resolution algorithm of choice sanctioned by the Divine Progenitress of the Nipponese Imperial Family, Amaterasu. Indeed, the aforenamed Progenitress went so far as to refuse to leave her cave until an act of omnipresence had been performed! It being long known, and sedulously indited in the anthropological literature, that suppression of omnipresence was a Functional Prerequisite of democracy, the party of the second part, upon being thus informed, acted instantly to sever the said social institution and made the aforementioned Articles of Sexual Severance the keystone of his ideo-syncratic approach to human systems engineering. The consequences for the party of the first part were: (1) The correlation-length in personal space collapsed simultaneously as minimum permissible interpersonal distance in the public forum greatly expanded; (2) Touching behaviors went into abeyance; (3) Fetishization consumed all sense modalities, severing once-present cross-modal correlations; (4) Instead of public omnipresence, fetish imagery became omnipresent; (5) Emotional blunting set in, truncating the female voice-throw range in the lower ribald register, virtually abolishing it; (6) Architectural space lost its traditional shadowed-transparent qualities, and increasingly assumed the absolute-separateness prescriptions of the dominant cultureís built environment; (7) Reared in such debilitating personal, public, and architectural spaces, psychophysiologic capacity for hyperorgasmic trance seizure, possessed in great abundance by her female ancestors, disappeared from the party of the first part: absent trance, frequently absent simple orgasm even, she became the storied log woman, craving dominance, yet hating the dominance she craved; (8) Regressed to the oral-anal stage, the party of the first part sought substitute in addictive behaviors, namely obsession with foreign designer labels on raiment stripped of every last investiture of the metareference required to socially facilitate the psychological identity transparency targeted for destruction by General MacArthurís Articles of Sexual Severance.
Designer-label-as-design-element exposes the fact that prevailing social prescription in vestiary references nothing deeper in reality than the encapsulated ego-sphere. Required before my I reached this level of understanding, a long tortured journey was; by the by, the idea of a SmartDress emerged along the way as the last human hope for recovering -- in face of prevailing social, political, and military realities -- lost psychophysiologic capacities.
The long, coarse over-tunic imposed on the Vietnamese woman by the occupying Chinese authorities evolved to be fabricated of two front panels, two back panels, and an underarm tab, the sum total symbolizing the set of familial obligations the woman was subject to. The front panels symbolized the womanís own parents; the back panels, the husbandís parents; the underarm tab, the personal self (subordinate to the husband). Men came to wear the same gown, of course, but the references are not so clear, in that men were not subject to the Three Obediences. In both cases, however, female and male, a cosmological attention focus was collapsed to fixation on social dominance relations. The tribal mini-skirt the woman was forced to pack away had been woven in abstract geometrical motifs symbolic of the origins of the universe, the principles by which it manifests, the manner in which it is sustained, and how the patterns of human life can mirror this vast wonderment. A galling, infuriating thing it was to have to pack away the integrative facilitation provided by cosmological metareference and substitute for it mere social prescription. When every object, every utilitarian artifact of daily life, carries cosmological metareference, and is therefore a kind of meditation bead, psychological functions become streamlined, take on the impress of Natureís form-in-process, fuse the group awareness through associational coherency triggered by shared recognition of the aesthetic properties of the forms-of-use (stylized mannerisms in washing clothes on the rock of a steam, of root-pruning a tree, of serving tea, of greeting a guest at the door, of preparing sushi), thus -- by facilitating ongoing, moment-to-moment collective attention to Natureís form-in-process and the groupís embeddedness therein via analogical mirroring as the forms-of-use -- promoting the psychologic condition of identity transparency. Abandoning this superintegration of cognition, movement, greeting, digital dexterity manipulation, feeling, cutting, wearing, cooking, sitting, eating, walking, drinking, bathing, running, seeing, active visioning was an epochal deterioration in the quality of human experience and depth of cognition, even if the quantity of unreferenced things in daily life increased without bound, along with passive receipt of image, sound, and ideation spoon-fed. No one escaped this neuropsychologic deterioration, not the wealthiest of the wealthy, not the most dominant of the dominant, not kings or prelates, prefects, princes, or other poltroons. Swathed in gold or rags, no matter, all alike were consigned to the basement of human awareness.
Surrealistically, only months after co-authoring an article on a mathematical model of the radiative properties of superconductant DNA, my I walked out of the 1980 quantum chemistry symposium at Delhi Institute of Technology into the hands of a handicraft exporter calling itself Nucleus International. They talked jewelry and folk dresses made of old sari. Folk dresses interested my me when in Old Delhi my I was shown gold-thread embroidered chiffon from the Vale of Kashmir essaying cosmic geometry intricate, enticing, and evocative in superposed equilateral triangle sequences of helix-coil transitions: gold patterns floating off diaphanous silk like radiating quantum signatures of genetic identity. Back in the ZI, hiding amongst émigrés of the Georgetown set, a young aspiring fashion designer from Kiev with imagination grounded in Russian folkdress, my I eventually located. As you work with this Kashmiri-embroidered chiffon, my me instructed, imagine producing a collection from exquisite antique sari which soon will arrive from Delhi. The gold-thread on taupe chiffon became every bit an Anne Klein original party dress and won first prize in a young designerís competition. But the old sari from Old Delhi never arrived and the project went bankrupt.
By and by, an artist friend rang up my me and proposed sherry and shallots; there was an exotic, luscious young thing my I just had to meet. She was luscious and she was exotic. Home from a bust, she was licking her wounds and planning new capers on the Continent, designing lingerie as a recuperative preoccupation. My I asked her what she thought of the fact that so many GIs took their girlfriendís drawers off to war with them. This launched her on a metapsychological discourse that slammed my me back into its seat. Being the errant 19-year-old daughter of a professor, she had not only amassed an enormous body of research on the sexual dysfunctions of Vietnam War Veterans, she had developed metamathematical schemata relative to lingerie design. My I canít at this point resurrect her exact words, but the gist of her thesis, translated into my meís terminology, was as follows: Defetishizing fetishization by wearing underwear as outerware is an excellent metareferential twist on the non-orientability characteristic of identity transparency, but Madonna has made only a beginning because subject-object fusion cannot authentically be induced absent an eroticizing element made potent by concealment. There is a dilemma involved. Fetish imagery absolutely blocks authentic identity transparency; remove the fetish, however, and, for those already fetishized -- all of us in this contemporary civilization, that is -- the necessary eroticizing element is deleted from whatever catalyzing occasion there might be. How to solve this transference koan? The professorís daughter concluded: The eroticizing element must be there and not-there, A and not-A, simultaneously -- the offending garment must take on the logical properties of that which it will be used to catalyze. Silk undies, she felt, could reproduce the required non-binary properties only by becoming a corona of light. Accomplishing this task was what her gossamer loom struggled upon. The depth of this objective formulation astounded my me, given that most women are so confounded by the spiritual demands of the practice of omnipresence they canít even talk about it in mixed company.
My I was, of course, running off to all quarters of the planet at the mere-ist suggestion of a clue. Someone handed my me a translated copy of Phadaeng Nang Ai, a Thai-Isan-Khmer folk epic about the Rocket Festival and a love triangle involving a Lan Na Princess. My I became convinced this epic poem had originally contained an essay on sexual yoga and that the Rocket Festival -- where the lifting of skirts and the practice of omnipresence is celebrated by the firing of rockets -- was associated with similarly profound meanings. As one might have guessed, by the time the poem had been rendered into writing during the 13th or 14th century, the collective knowledge it contained relative to identity transparency had been completely dissimulated by the scribes. In Vientiane to see, my I was, if anything could yet be learned at the Rocket Festival, a shriveled up prune of a woman soothsayer set upon my me demanding its palm to be read. How my meís palm contained instructions for my I to seek out a certain peddler in the central market, only the Kings of Fire and Water will ever know. After a brief jaunt to the villages to verify that public omnipresence was still practiced during the Rocket Festival, my I made a visit to the peddler of renown. Ouu-la-la! He had the goods. A Muong skirt, later dated to the 1920s -- not very old, but apparently old enough -- containing geometrical iconography every bit as complex as Baliís Moon of Pejeng, or the Moon of Hoa Binh housed in Museum Pusat Jakarta: ancient bronze drums whose tympana -- moons that is -- have metamathematical cosmogonies cast on them in bas-relief. Upon the skirt, a turtle shellís hexagonal qua equilateral triangular grid floats atop a sea of milk, an axis of rotation riding its back: salient aspects of the iconography essaying temporal curl, complex angular momentum exchange, and quark symmetry patterns in derivatives of the local ancient Muong language: tanmantra, bindu, aditi, guna, and so on. This skirt -- Lord have mercy! -- was such an elaborate cosmological discourse, my I couldnít keep its eyes on the lady so pleased to model it.
How could such metareference possibly find its way into modern fashion design -- that design which robs oh, my I is sorry, appropriates as in Appropriation Art and Decoration Art mere folk motifs and transforms them into high sewing by stripping away all metareferential attributes and subjecting the bare motifs to an educated sense of color, pattern, and rhythm in order to make a personal statement, embody a personal vision, give form to a personal flight of fancy, a whim, a personal dreamfantasyvision? Fashion art as Umwelt, as own-world, as ego-sphere entrapment. Rather elementary-school aesthetic problems, wouldnít you say, compared to those of cosmological metareference? Whereas contemporary fashion at its very best is a kind of social (not socialist) realism -- like Hollywood, mirroring the prevailing complement of collective obsessions, engaging in no prefiguration, let alone analogical embodiment of a cosmogony -- aboriginal dress and ritual cloth psychogenically precluded massed warfare by facilitating sociologies of participation mystique or identity transparency (holographic counterpoise to any hard-wired hierarchies that might appear with emergence of role specialization and stratification). Massed warfare developed when the collective introjection, which cosmological metareference is (embodied in, for instance, soul cloths), was transformed by emergent ecclesiastic and profane elites into projection of human social hierarchies onto Nature as cosmological construct: patterns in clan, caste, and club discovered as laws of nature. Since woman was not only the repository of cosmological motifs in weaving, but also the primary empathic agent in collective introjection, if the disintegrative inversion of Bicameral-mind introjection into post-Bicameral projection was to occur, then woman had to have reins placed upon her lamia, her sexual response repertoire had to be reduced, public omnipresence had to be policed and controlled by the emergent hierarchies, and ultimately depotentiated completely by commercialization and silk undies. All cosmological metareference in female adornment had to be removed in order to keep her presence disempowered. Move over Molly! Whatever metareference left there was was regressed, infantile, and largely resident in male military garb. Instead of omnipresence, there was war! Inversion of Amaterasuís conflict resolution algorithm. How could omnipresence be a conflict resolution algorithm? Ask yourself: What more intimate invocation of identity transparency could there be, given the association with conception and birth?
Just such thoughts my I was back in Japan on the Inogashira Line thinking as the train left Kichijoji Station railing toward Shibuya and this fellow sitting next to my me was talking on and talking about Whatever! half in Japanese half in English and my I couldnít have cared less when he opened his large samples case and there big as you please were Egads! scads of designer silk undies displayed for the customer to ogle. He designed silk undies! He had just come back from China sourcing new raw materials. Why he had decided to unburden himself to my me about this subject at just this particular moment was only a matter of clairvoyance or clairaudience or whatever, but here he was talking about different colors for different days of the week being different for the Japanese woman who is unique and sees different days, he means the days themselves, as different colors and so my I imagined something like colored-hearing synaesthesia only colored-day-seeing synesthesia which, obviously, according to him, should be a part of the REFERENCES carried by intimate apparel, because the Japanese woman being naturally synaesthetic not like everybody else in the world should feel that part of her person to be especially in tune with the color of the day of the week almost as if it were the LIGHT of her life. Western undies designers just couldnít do so well in Japan because this intimate psychology of the Japanese woman isnít understood outside of Japan, but of course he found it hard to sell his products in Europe or America because people in those places there simply didnít perceive the subtle aspects of his designs which he displayed by holding several pairs up to the light inviting my meís close attention to the details he had in mind and pointed out and everybody sitting around us simply ignored the display, because, my I supposed, they were not particularly synaesthetic in their attitude at that moment to intimate apparel. My meís God! the silk undies as corona of light thing again. Half way around the world! A modern version of soul cloth in gestation stage? Maybe the only place cosmological metareference can enter modern fashion design is through panties?
That very moment sitting there on the Inogashira Line, silk undies thrust in my meís face, my I suddenly knew Amaterasu had returned to her cave, taken the real Emperor along with her, and set the fox spirits out as guarding sentinels. That act of withdrawal, surely, far more than the hammering American pressure, had doomed Japanese rice culture: the flood of inferior imports was only a confirmatory gush. The fox spirits even in Kyushu no longer come down from the mountains to guard the rice fields and sanctify omnipresence of the saotome, the female planting crew: the little rice field has left the big rice field. The imp dwarf oppressor and his Eibisu -- regressed-compliant adult male-adolescent soldier and his Captain of Industry -- reign supreme in their world of collapsed awareness. What is the real Emperor, the real King? you ask. He is an empty-center, about which, through identity transparency constantly serviced by cosmological metareference (including that of raiment), spontaneous social order, absent coercion, can congeal. This is the central theme of the myth of origin, the essential feature of the cosmogony. The royal personage never acts, never decides, never imposes, permits no prescriptive civil law -- for to do so is to destroy self-organizing processes born of identity transparency. An empty-center is a singularity on an equipotential surface (regarded by Western scientists as a catastrophe: thus, catastrophe theory is one of the underlying theoretical justifications of the Shinto myth of origins), a strange attractor, a physical-region singularity in a quantum field, a gravitational wormhole, a quantum tunnel: the cave to which Amaterasu has withdrawn. She will not repair from her cave until an act of omnipresence has been performed. There will be no spontaneous social order, no expanded awareness, no resurgence of identity transparency, no absence of war, so long as the Emperor insists the new clothes be silk undies and not a corona of light.
On voyages of discovery, one learns that new insight never, but never, comes from expected quarters. And thus it was in flying on a cut-rate ticket from Chicago to Albuquerque with six touch-downs when a drawl-talkiní cowpoke wearing turquoise-in-silver and $800.00 boots took the seat next to mine in Nashville tuckered out by Easterners, deeeemandiní Jack-in-the-Black. God! if we didnít stop in Cincinnati. We flew further north. Then east again! Finally, we started heading south and west. By this time we was flying in our seats no less than in the air. And the air stewardess appeared high on the fumes, if she wasnít sneaking a few of her own in the toilet. Our seats faced forward; herís backward. The more Black Jack she poured, the more she required to rest her skirt in her seat. Hotdamn! I think itís begininí ta glow, said the cowpoke under his breath, eyes aíbug. Yeah, my I agreed, She must be packing a mini-laser. He grinned broad and toothy. Wonder if thatís somekinda neeeeew-fangled sex-change operation they got these days? Then he became serious, turned to my me, and said: I know exactly how to accomplish that effect. My I should have known: he was the president of a fiber optics company on a business trip. Well, my I received a technical discourse on silky fabrics with optical fibers in their weave, and how fibers with fractured cladding leak light in higher order modes. It was all a joke, of course, and we laughed our way into the next drink, but my me became pensive having recognized a significant contribution.
Traveling is often the only way to make karmic appointments, which always occasion the world-lines/song-lines of ideas in the cultural birth canal. Trains are even better than planes, as you donít have to be ticketed down next to the person with whom you have an inner connection. Four of us were standing in the space between cars on the overnight train from Bangkok to Butterworth: two saucy sauced Japanese girls provocatively dressed -- or undressed, however you prefer -- in neo-tribal threads recently acquired in Chiang Mai; a sophisticated European lady in her mid-forties; and my me. We were between cars to smoke cigarettes, of course. The Japanese girls were sipping on a pint of Sangtip, fondling each other, giggling, and just generally putting on a show. The woman offered my me a French cigarette. After one was pulled from the pack, she gestured and said, Sexy little things, arenít they? Her accent was soft-edged. My I responded, True, but I hardly think the original intent of their tribal garments was to show off underwear designed in Daikanyama lofts. She smiled and toyed with her cigarette. The abrupt retort was delivered in an accusatory tone: Your experience must be thoroughly different from mine. The ability so easily to recognize the district of the designerís loft is a skill not readily acquired. Quite frankly, I would have guessed Hongkong. My I was a bit embarrassed, thinking itself likely wrong. Why Hongkong? She smiled again. Because the lace comes from a Kowloon manufacturer who sold it in enormous quantities last season. Thus began an ultimately failed, but highly educational, co-conspiracy to re-introduce metareference into fashion design.
She -- we will call her She -- presently worked from a Bangkok penthouse studio for the Milanese Beb Amour label, and had under her belt, so to speak, fifteen years experience adapting folk idioms to the requirements of high sewing: Bombay; Darjeeling; Mauritius; Marrakesh; Dakar; Alexandria; Cartagena; Martinique; Buenos Aires; Dhaka; Ubud, and so on. A refugee from Paris Days of Rage, she was not one of those ex-Yippie American agents of global monoculture who present themselves as culturally sensitive advocates of local constituencies. Endless hours of debate, conducted while stuck in traffic between her business meetings with members of the Bangkok rag trade, eventually produced a dyadic consensus that cosmological metareference in raiment is profoundly different from the referential content and significations of contemporary fashion design. Full-blown political discussion was deferred under agreement that any factor which facilitates spontaneous social order minimizes the occasions for coercion and is therefore an unmitigated public good. The large issues thus settled or tabled, the real business at hand began: individual designers cannot create a consensually efficacious framework of cosmological metareference, no matter how many collections infused with such reference they might create. And no amount of writing about the importance of metareference in clothing will in the least affect the fashion industry. Of this, there was not an iota of doubt in her mind. How then can one possibly begin?
Further discussion yielded the notion that the three-pronged attack strategy of liberation war has direct application: (1) design system innovation; (2) production and marketing of prefigurative collections; (3) agit-prop, the selling of the paradigm. The technique of using a strategy associated with warfare to create a vehicle precluding war is an old Taoist trick called beating the man with his own cane.Cosmological metareference of any possible haute couture collection or specific individual garment can only exist as an extension of the metareferential attributes of the design system within which the designer must work. This is known by extension relative to architecture, art music, and painting. Based largely on the Greek proportion system, the grid systems for medieval sacred architecture, and the design framework established by the traditional Japanese ken unit length, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright both made major efforts to re-institute modular design systematics, because, without some such system, sophisticated meme-complexes simply are not possible in architectural space articulation. The diatonic music system of key signatures, modulatory schemata, and associated conventions was an analogical model of the Cartesian-Newtonian world construct. Similarly, the system of linear perspective underlying post-Renaissance painting permitted mathematical codification of Newtonian absolute space and time. Cosmological metareference in tribal clothing had its basis in sacred cloth woven on a loom, which, along with the numerology of associated weaving variables, was a model of the cosmos in weaving metaphor. The design system innovation presently required, She and my I agreed, ultimately would involve properties of smart fabrics and systematics of weaving and design that congeal around them. You want a re-emergent cosmological metareference in contemporary clothing, then focus on the meta-conventions informing the total environment of smart fabric production and use!
She had already put her big toe in the water of an innovative production and marketing challenge. At the very beginning of economic liberalization in Viet Nam, She had made two collections in the country, being with certainty the first Western designer to do so: the initial collection was a total flop, as the government required use of government-owned enterprises only; the second, utilizing private firms, was satisfactory and sold in Buenos Aires. To do it right, however, one would have to start an operation from scratch. The Vietnamese have a very good hand and, given their long exposure to French couture, She saw a brief window of opportunity before those possessing the good hand were ruined by being taught to make cheap clothing in conformity with the regional prescriptions imposed by the global fabric and garment industry. She and my I set about trying to find venture capital to bring together a small operation in Viet Nam, likely to be located in the coastal town of Nha Trang: start with six; max-out with eighteen employees. Several years of attempts belly-flopped and the window of opportunity closed: Viet Nam fell in step as one more cheap labor producer of cheap clothes, squandering the good hand and the many-decades-old sensitivity to French couture. Once the good hand is lost, a whole generation goes with it. The silk undies designer in Tokyo was not interested; having been burned too many times, no thought whatsoever was given to the Italians; all three ends of a Tokyo-Dallas-Washington firm with garment investments would not risk a yen or a dollar; and a Kyoto Nishijin silk manufacturer with deep generational roots in handicraft and a desire to develop a relationship with Milan was not into incremental planning or willing to think seriously in realms like metareference.
Absent a collection produced as a study for development of metareference relative to contemporary cosmogony, there can be no effective agit-prop: the show-and-tell principle. Even with such a collection, She felt, forget the trade and fashion magazines. Those to cultivate initially would be art journal editors: Flash Art, ArtInternational, Bijutsu Techo, Contemporanea, Tema Celeste. Only after a ground swell of interest had developed in the art world would the fashion industry prick up its ears.
On a visit to Japan from Thailand, my I decided to seek out one of its childhood abodes in Kitakyushu: a small rice-growing hamlet called Midori Gawoka (verdant mound) twenty minutes outside the small coastal town of Ashiya. On the hillside above the house, which still exists, standing before the same Shinto shrine frequented in boyhood, my me reached recognition that shinki, the god-spirit made to circulate for specific ends by the possession cults -- Shinshiu and Mitake -- was the basis of the aforementioned corona of light. Just think of it! My I stood gawky, gawking. Leaving the flowered hillside and returning to the rice paddies below, visions of planting seasons almost 40 years past flickered in hallucinatory vividness on the windsong ripples eddying blue-green paddy stands. The planting crew, the saotome, moves across the field in midwife-ish dress and vulvar headgear performing dance theater in rhythmic patterns of the fertility rite, accompanied by stick beating and voices in ribald song. There! my I grabbed it: the idea came and my me understood why this return journey to the camellia covered verdant mound had been required.
Back in Bangkok, She had found a French computer guru with whom to brainstorm design software ideas. She wanted my me to meet him and we settled on our favorite Sukhumvit green curry house. Actually, the Frenchman was a laser physicist with a company selling medical lasers. She listened and enjoyed curry while we talked technical: laser projection systems, multiplexing, superconductant DNA coherent waves. Butted in She did saying all very interesting But! what about this Japan idea you mentioned? My me said: SmartDanceWear! Like in the village planting ritual; like the fox spirits circulating as tranced-out light of those possessed. TeeHEEhee! Snickers and derision. Okay, then. SmartDanceWear woven with optical fibers of fractured cladding in the weave; medical mini-lasers in the seams feeding light to the fibers; biofeedback pickups on the dancer feeding impulses to the lasers. The cladding fractures leak the light in an aura of many colors enveloping movement, the changing properties of which exteriorize altered internal psychophysiologic states of the dancer. The radiated light can be a choreographed aspect of the given dance which the dancer can achieve only by attaining the requisite inner state in conjunction with the required expressiveness of physical movement. The light-forms exteriorizing the dancerís inner state can be light-pencil input to a computer driving a music synthesizer, such that the dancerís inner state not only exteriorizes sculptured light-forms but accompanying symphonic gestalts: Music-sculpture: Musculpt. She became excited. The physicist sat back in his chair, pensive. She described a design idea literally dreamed recurrently by She over a twenty-year period where the dress is a sheath of interactive light responding to the changing environment, not nude-to-see, nothing so gauche as that, but opaque light contouring the body, caressing the body, different by day than by night, in sun and in shade, a dress that is there and not-there, that one can almost walk right through like it was a spiritual envelope or something, but now with this BiofeedbackWear idea, not only is it there and not-there, inner is outside as a kind of reminding factor, phylactery, meditation bead, as a MedicineDress, a curative put on, and there are so many possibilities with the light that mere cloth cannot achieve, all the MEANINGS Picasso worked with in Analytical Cubist superimpositions for instance are doable with this SmartDress and its wrap-around light-forms. Think of the CAD system rooted in the loom-driving software interfaced with some sort of module. THE WAVELENGTH OF EMITTED COHERENT RADIATION FROM INTRANEURONAL DNA! my I toned in. Yes! The modular reference unit has to be a physical-organic invariant, said the physicist, so the attributed meanings worked with by designers can reach to the ends of the cosmos. MUCH BETTER THAN ANTIPERSONNEL ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE WEAPONS! my me toned in, too. WHO IS IT WE HAVE LET CHOOSE OUR FUTURE? DR. JASON? No conversation stopper was going to stop this conversation. Barely a pause for sips of beer. Think of the music synthesizer interfaced with the loom-driving software! said She. A trance-dance choreographed to-the-ends-of -the-cosmos performed by a dancer in SmartDanceWear is, just simply is, composition of music which, when fed to the loom-driving software, weaves fabric for a SmartDress carrying the metareferences of the dance choreographed to-the-ends-of-the-cosmos. Smart like platinum cloth clothes, She mused, recently having been commissioned to design such for a Japanese alternative medicine practitioner and entrepreneur. Smart enough to feedback-interact with the bodyís internal radiation exchange in repair processes. Big dream! BUT ALL THAT IS DEPENDENT ON DECLASSIFYING DNA CONDUCTIVITY, so said my me. Letís concentrate, then, on cosmological metareference. The biggest technical problem for the SmartDress, said the physicist, is the power source; all the other components already exist and need only be put together. The proper power source, though, that will take some development. Settled back in the chair, pensively, he did. The dress dreams of She are the real metareferential innovation here, my I spoke. Tribal clothing carried its metareference mainly in the plane: geometrical designs woven into the cloth. Cloth is two-dimensional, a surface. Worn clothing, however, is three-dimensional, volumetric. And three-dimensions are needed to analogically metareference contemporary cosmogony. This can be done with development of a nonlinear perspective in the reference space of Musculpt. A metacultureís various creative arenas will become superintegrated in facilitating cosmological metareference. In fashion, Sheís dream points the way: Volumetric signification via the logic-structures of the Musculpt manifold. The SmartDress will dance its way into being!
In the wee hours of the morning, we called it and each went hiser way. Scuffling across Sukhumvit to Thermae, which was just shaking the sleep out of its eyes and rolling into motion, my I thought: Trouble is, thereís no real interest; whoís psychologically capable? Exteriorizing the inner state, given todayís modes of being? No identity transparency, no experience being the being of another, who could tolerate dressing in the metareferences of a quantum cosmogony, a color-field aura denying the localized ego-construct? Entering the Temple of Thermae requires transiting a dark deep passage. There is an unlit tunnel through the building to a small lot in the rear which steps down to a basement door. The unmarked door opens into a large unisex toilet with vertical urinals for men and splayover troughs for standup women. Having been here before, my me was not the least surprised by the mixed public performance of ablutions. Passing through the inner door to the sanctum of the club, one is handed a steaming white towel to refresh the eyelids and scrub Bangkok soot. My me sidled into a seat signaling for Sangtip and soda from the barman. And there is Sang Deuane, Light of the Moon, side-glancing significs as always: once married to a Czech filmmaker, she was only months back from a Europe whose social lifeforms soured on her after but few years. She talks semiotics in several tongues as derisive shrug off to farang (foreigners) with farfetched ideas of self. And there is Hue, up to her usual saucy saunter: shrewd shrivel-up-to-you curves of a Vietnamese-Thai shrimp sharp as a shoff evaluating coin: her equation from Isan village mind is an essay on identity transparency if there ever was one. Howsit? says he, taking the empty seat next to mine. Ya know, says my me, this time my Iís going to ask your name. He whips out a business card and lays it on the bar. My I stares at it: SEX IN BANGKOK. How original! You didnít look closely, he remonstrates. My I looks again. SAX IN BANGKOK. I play in one of those Japanese-only clubs on Pat-Pong II; thatís why I canít make it in here each night before 3 A.M., says Sax. Living my second childhood, or first real life. Used to teach philosophy at UC-Berkeley. Sang Deuane is fascinating, isnít she? To put it mildly, agreed my me. How much you know about the cognitive sociology of this place? Sax asked. Not as much as my I should, my me suspects. Looks like a singles bar, donít it? asks he. Yep. Clearly not a hostess place, as my Iís had more drinks bought for my me than my Iís bought for them -- my I thinks: explained my me. Well, itís very far from singles, Sax explained. More like a house of corporate marriage greased by the usual unit of exchange. There is a pride half a dozen deep around each everyone of these girls and they donít often stray from it: unique to the modern world, as far as I know. Of course, there are a few cross-pride nestings, but even those are pretty darned stable. Itís roughly like it used to be in matri-system villages all across East Asia: no monogamy, no concubines for the peasants, but frequent movement between several life partners taken on the part of both sexes, made possible by that spiritistic-Isan-animistic experience of being the being of another. My I suddeningly shutterrrrred, felt dead caught up-around-in the full swirled center of Lucia Hwongís THESPELL, struggling through the fog of a house filled with not-so-sleeping beauties modeled on Tanizaki. My Iís thoughts you just verbalized! accused my me: Being the being of another. Sax smiled and waved over Sang Deuane as he slid away to one of the tables. How would you like to slip into a SmartDress? my me found my I uttering silently as her she approached through the cognitive mists of the prevailing ambient sociology.
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