1 | How fares the muting word?

From The Dictionary of Semantics and Metasemantics, Miles and Sigurðardóttir, 2010, no publisher, retrieved artifact — oblivion factor 9.975.

Invariant variation | The law of semantics. Nothing ever means the same.

Departure shadow | The word as it understood to leave.

Arrival tremor | The word as a tremor of premonition. Before we hear what we hear, before know what we know.

Semantic horizon | The limit ascribed to a parcel of semantic information: for example, how much a word can possibly mean; how far the meaning of a sentence can travel before effective dissolution.

Un-zone | An impossible construct, or a construct indicating impossibility or no further conceivable semantic progress — the “place” we imagine where there is no meaning. The un-zone is said to “occur” beyond the semantic horizon. It is an indicated place: an outline of nothing. Certain commentators ascribe to it a sacred function: and some of these commentators have called the un-zone God.

Perception investment (1) | The process by which a non-existent phenomenon is constructed by the amount of attention we choose to allot to it.

Perception investment (2) | The process by which an existent phenomenon is regulated by the amount of attention we choose to allot to it.

Perception investment royale | A phenomenon is the amount of attention of we choose to allot to it.

Semantic ratio | The ratio of meaning to non-meaning in any semantic construct. A notional and indeterminate value: A word means far less than it doesn’t mean.

Zauberfeld | “The domain of magic” | “The charmed field” | “Magic country” || Language; language as it operates; the operation of language: semantic country — the place of meaning, or the state where meaning occurs. A conjured space, wherein life floats semantically.

Ghost tailor | Semantic actor in their role as designing and dressing other actors.

Discussion | reading and interpretation: interpretation – words don’t pre-exist, and we don’t interpret pre-existing words. We don’t “place a construction” upon the meaning of a person’s words, because that would be to suppose that there is an ideal entity underlying speech or writing. Language is a form of semantic energy. Language is not a set of objects, but a series of events that can look like objects, or we treat as objects – but are “wrong” in so doing. We don’t place a construction upon a person’s speech – we perform construction upon it. “It” is a fiery detonation of non-existent explosions, the creation of modalities.

Invest | To clothe a ghost.

Investor | Actor in a semantic play.

Semantic capital | The amount of meaning accumulated within a semantic construct.

Semantic hoard | Another term for semantic capital.

Semantic bank | Another term for semantic capital.

Semantic metropolis | A construct with a high semantic population.

Semantic province | The area of meaning not included under the portfolio of a semantic capital.

Semantic coherence | The moment of meaning.

Capital semantic coherence | What you are reading.

Provincial semantic coherence | What you are not reading.

Semantic decoherence | The moment of semantic capital fading into semantic provinces.

Semantic incoherence | The region of neither semantic capital nor any semantic province.

Hodgepodge | The actual state of the total semantic field value at any one moment.

Semantic field | Ghost envelope of semantic activity assumed at any one moment.

Glass capital | The desired investment value in a semantic capital (as opposed to the actual state of the total semantic field value) at any one moment.

Glass capital games | The analogous semantic spree that includes “glass jaw” , “glass ceiling”, “glass floor”, “glass walls”: glass country…

Recursor | Semantic actor exhibiting a pattern of behaviour.

Strong recursor | Semantic actor with a pattern of behaviour that imposes attraction, either on a large semantic population, or with great power on a solitary semantic actor.

Weak recursor | Semantic actor with an apparent predisposition towards ephemerality; a semantic actor unable to assert its attraction over others. It should be borne in mind that recursors are subject to the law of invariant variation — in other words, a strong recursor can grow weak; and a weak recursor can strengthen. Any actor’s semantic horizon is endlessly and necessarily in the process of expanding or contracting: no semantic horizon can remain stable, because no semantic actor can dominate the stage for more than a certain amount of time.

Dominant weak recursor | An actor that is constrained by logic to appear to provide a stable pattern of behaviour; a quasi-logical operator, yet still subject to the law of invariant variation.

Dominant strong recursor | An actor who holds a starring role in the Zauberfeld: the audience for a dominant strong recursor is large, and this audience is highly convinced by the actor’s performance. A strong recursor in the dominant phase can hold sway over nations, and even over entire trans-national blocks of population. Such a strong recursor is so convincing that their pattern of behaviour is accepted as literal: the performance, in other words, is no longer a performance, and what the audience believe they are seeing is their own lives, and the basis for all their lives. Only age may diminish the powers of a dominant strong recursor. On all screens, on all channels. Charismatic. A world-swaying actor — “the foundations of civilisation”, “the Lord”, “Her Majesty”, “Rule”, “Law”, “Public good”, “Public order”, “Revolution”, and so on.

Recursor royale | Highly controversial actor, the existence of which, even as a concept, is hotly debated. A quasi-mystical actor, often attributed with divine qualities — the ability, for example, to exist outside of the Zauberfeld, or to possess the power to bring the Zauberfeld to an end, or to create, or to have created, the Zauberfeld. Beyond aporia, and not subject to the law of invariant variation. Some commentators align “the royale” with (in English) the “I” — the individual human agent, and the source of that agent: a specialised notion of self. The actor who never appears on stage, The sleeping actor, The actor in the audience, The actor without a play — “the royale” has been the recipient of many different epithets, with the validity of these epithets also a subject of much discussion. A “symptom of a decadent discipline”? Or “the longed-for figure of absolute unconstraint: freedom from traditional models of humanity — a revolution not by, but in, humanity”? Or (my own favourite characterisation): “It will do until we get bored — like anything”.

Recursion | Both the institution that employs semantic actors, and the theatrical principle of definition. Actors gain and lose status by their powers of recursion: actors likely to enjoy a long run in a production (in the Zauberfeld) recur over and over again, performing night after night: some are mere humble extras, others enjoy the privileges of fame and celebrity — but like all actors, semantic actors only exist if they have roles, and the roles of semantic actors change at an imponderable rate. (The paradox of the “out-of-work actor” is a famous example of recursion theory.)

Semantic population | The people who mean: also, the numbers of people who invest in a particular semantic capital.


from the series construct (2012–present, ongoing)
(this poem, October 2018)