I wrote a sort of synopsis/introduction for a trader fiction project I am working on. I will continue to publish parts in draft format here or elsewhere as it makes sense to me to do so....
It was eight years of wasted life. And before that it was all wasted life. Different wastes, different reasons, different lives, but I had been wasting it all the way through. And maybe I was wasting it again. And maybe it was all the same waste with the same source of internal reasons. The perfect unity of life and senseless waste, boiled down to its essence. Me and my ways. Universal waste. All lives are alike, all wastes are alike, and it’s happening to all of us in the same way right before our eyes.
Childhood and youth were wasted by not being fully committed to art. The years of distraction and the years of mistakes. And once fully committed to art in adulthood, it had been wasted by making the wrong art. I didn’t understand that art was waste. And just as I began making the right art, wasteful art, my life was wasted by reckless obsession, addictive behavior, loss of control… All those months absorbed in the screens trading crypto. Actually, years. Those were the eight years of wasted life. Eight years in crypto. Eight years of crypto tabs maxing out the cpus and gpus, maxing out my brain in front of them. Clicking with the wrist, crippled in the wrist. But it was the final months in front of the screen where it all started to turn. Where my landfill brain succumbed to toxic waste.
It really couldn’t have been otherwise. The sequence of all my actions lead to my decisions that night. The karmic evaluations and spiritual transgressions lead to my punishment. I betrayed the coin. I had wanted it to crash. I was praying for a crash. I got the crash. But it couldn’t be my fault, could it? No, no, no. No no no no no. Spinning with no’s and clawing at the air, forever belonging to my traumatic memories. Black screen glued to my eyes, forcing me to watch the red dripping down my retinas in the Trading View arena. News feed blaring damage toll updates through both my ears up to the minute. Not knowing how to adjust my position, what to click, what values to change. I didn’t launch the second invasion. I didn’t know there would be a second invasion. I didn’t know the markets would get so scared. Vulnerability in the deeply human crushed optimism, illiquid and hairless, dissolved in form. Not blown up by bombs but accounts evaporated in their heat. And all this right at the bottom of a natural cycle low. Right when we were all laid out at our lows. Below this, where no nature can be found, all is constructed and abusive.
There is no waste in the age of recycling. Not even nuclear. This is evident from my childhood. My childhood was more or less perfect, a beautiful nostalgic dream, playing in streams and meadows. How could that be a waste. I wasn't trading, beyond minor allowance enhancement schemes, and I wasn't making art, anymore than any other curious child. Soon after I began seriously as an artist, I discovered crypto and immediately began trading it, obsessively. I even became a prominent anonymous figure in the dogecoin community right from its beginnings. It is no coincidence that I began seriously with art and trading at about the same time. This is becoming abundantly clear as the two spaces develop and merge together at the bleeding edge of our most openly wounded culture. Culture is wounded, it always is, and speculative culture crawls out of this wound. The wound is the festering stasis to which cultural participants adapt and attempt to excel within. But for speculative culture the wound becomes positive as an open market exposure to new connections with an environment of valuations that is only just emerging in high volatility and may collapse completely. But here the wound has the possibility for new types of healing, complementary relationships with its infections, skin grafts and other surgical aids from the medical technology sector, as well as the potential for mutations and evolution as the healing sometimes requires the growth of whole limbs. And the bacteria not sufficiently moisturized with alcohol gel can unwind, almost instantly, any euphoric aspirations once held in the wound, forcing the organism to retreat into solitude for a regenerative period. The artist’s bear market, where all good things are born.
For myself, the waste came from not blending the two cultures together earlier. Trading crypto in secret, working on dogecoin in secret, but making art with the public. My bits of communication for them to take in and understand. Missing the entire essence of communication, the lesson I should have learned from observing communication while on mushrooms, which is that the only true conversation is one where the participants not only speak past each other but speak in the language of their own little world. Only in 2020 did I discover trader fiction in Rebecca X. Hildegard's novel The Dangling Chord Ticks Away the Seconds of My Life. And only in 2021 did I begin to paint my charts in oil, which was my expression for a framework of reality, laid out on a grid, but also extending backwards and forwards, with light reflecting and augmenting into a multidimensional illumination. Peter Brandt drew his charts by hand with pencil and graph paper. This method is an exercise in understanding and memorization, learning the patterns, developing the intuition, but is insufficient to capture the psychological and emotional depth of the course of any plotted activity, where the culture lies. History, culture, psychology, economics, emotion, mathematics… art, it's all in the graph. So I had my one or maybe two years there, where I really felt like I was on to something big. Finally, after 30 years, I was producing some true waste… That was before the crash. The wasted years, not the waste, were retroactively established by the crash.
Undone by a cascading liquidation, sniping my funds as they were in transit. They shouldn’t have been part of the collateral, I was just consolidating my funds on FTX before I withdrew them to my bank account to pay taxes. But the trading opportunity was there, so I took it, and the big event invalidated it. No stops. I was on the floor amongst the detritus. Dirty clothes, cryptographic tokens caught in the cogs of web2 machinery leading the browser to a web1 inspired error page, a future meme for the failed visions of podcasters and bloggers. Head sideways on the floor, through the hair and dust balls under my bed, I looked at my jpegs as they faded into the dimming screen. Just me and my dirty skin…jizz rags, dust, reality is dirty, words are dirty, write as few of them down as possible… the sin of my existence underwritten away. I had to butterfly my way into a new existence.
Fragrant traces of a plan lingered nutmegly in my wandering visions. Windmill Pulp: Leiden, 1624. Somewhere in the spiral of peak euphoria, savage drums beating in the Batavian jungle, it called to me like a siren. The perfect place for a digital instrument to hide. Brain tick log: create map of universe. The one universe that I would inhabit. A story is only one thing. I had begun writing a historical play, unresearched, unfinished. But what if I could become an nft, I thought, while looking at the few remaining tokens I had in my wallets. Gamefi tokens. Defi Kingdoms, Tojis, etc. That's where the idea came. I could make my own personal metaverse game. I hated video games. I loved ponzi-fi tokens. But only in the glimmer of some aesthetic inspiration they could promise to influence. And only in the sea frothiness of high seas price discovery missions. Spice Trade Simulator, Tulip Yield Gardener, Brothel Manager RPG. Metaverse hype and new digital paradigms. Not to save the artist but to stimulate anxious movements that somehow keep him pushing through the bad trip which always feels good to leave behind. As Bacon says, the artist must deepen the game to become any good, but I don’t feel natural playing with others, and so prefer to make my own game. Jakartan wine, drunk, deep crimson drowning pool of vomit.
I wouldn’t even have to code the game. Just imagine it and write down various aspects and parts. AI could eventually take care of the rest, right? The brain's defense mechanisms are the strongest coders of all. Repression, healing from trauma. Transportation from the darkest corner. Fear the world burning. I am safe in Vienna, we are not part of NATO. My family is safe, they live in rural canada, in the great lakes paradise, the great lakes region is its own country. The enemy does not understand this, even the Canadians and Americans outside the region do not understand it, only the people who identify with the water understand our social integrity. And there I was. The Amsterdam exchange, 1624. Trader fiction. Windmill punk. North Holland alternative map making scene gets VC funding boost from the Dutch East India Company. The youth’s inclination for poetics is too powerful. Art supersedes data in navigational aid. One always forgets what they are navigating. A poetic mapmaker for Dutch East India Company learns to apply his geographical and celestial mapping techniques onto the landscape of commodity and share prices, preceding the Japanese invention of the candlestick chart by two hundred years. And there the adventure lies, from Brazil to Batavia, bananas and beans, brothels, jewish syndicates, smuggling, dutch golden age culture, windmill pumped swamps, Dam Square prostitutes, port prostitutes, cute Flemish paintresses, spinhouse sorcery, botanical gardens, pickled eel capitalists, and many more chain hopping circuits to paint on the chart.
Salvation through liquidation. With his mental shackles broken, he falls deeper into the network. But transmutation is not escape, any child of Caravaggio knows there is never any escape, only liberation through more spiritually enhanced labor. Through this labor time is passed. As Bocaccio’s tales wait out the plague, the trader with his art must wait out the bear market. The goal is to wake up every morning and touch the earth for the first time, freshly painted, high gloss satin finish. The north Holland chart scribe believes in a cartographic network of the human which can be transcribed onto the globe as much as the soul, painting and the markets. He believes his deliverance from his own failures and inadequacies lies in plotting out this network. And I want to help him. All I can do is wait for technology to improve, as I plug my story into the engine to construct my video game for me, my own private game to play and watch for the rest of my life, infinitely and forever. In human biological terms, I am against all life extension technology beyond trad western medicine. But chart time, which always flows east, along with mercantile history, its heart detached from biology, must keep ticking along the one second chart, observed and acted upon for as long as possible. The pump will come. I know it will. The sprouting green candle sticks will liberate us mortal losers from the work farm. Tending our bags, passing our time. Waiting, waiting, waiting… living through the crash.
The war begins with a crash, the bomb explodes in a crash, the market cycle is born in a crash, the universe began with the Big Crash… before the crash, after the crash… It begins with the crash.
Part 1: I knew it was going to crash…