“Backup. Backup. Backup. …Believe it or not, however, there are programs out there that are expressly designed to PREVENT you from backing them up. They can’t be copied unless you’re a teenage computer genius with plenty of free time on your hands. You can try ‘til doomsday and you will never make a successful copy of them. This may be a user’s manual, but when it comes to come programs that you buy off the shelf, you’re more in a position of being used than you are of being a user. What’s worse is that some of these programs are downright diabolical!”
Colors to use: Pure Black. C=0,M=0,Y=0,K=100.
Black out and we are all doomed. The K slowly exudes itself onto sheet after sheet. Incessantly in motion, impossible to backup, Flee Immediately? But no, time is not on our hands: mechanism moves to override manual. K-K processes prints to dot-dot. The incessant turning of the wheel only serves to fill any voids that remain to be discovered. And the voided elements are only there to serve in the oblivion of the black. We cannot Flee Immediately; we must remain exploring.
Dimensions: Please print on A1, as per instructions, fold down to A5.
Blink once and the doom is still there. The sheets slowly contrive into the fate of their line by line. Glaring of the screen, glitch of sight, Flee Immediately? But no, time travel does not exist: monitor speaks only through manual. 1280 x 800 displays itself as default. The finished display only serves to cover up the processes that allowed for its very creation. And the processes are only limited to the lingo of the manual that fits the dimensions allowed to the display. We cannot Flee Immediately; we must understand manually.
Ironically, flee immediately the incessant repetition, and inhabit the convention of the ritual. We, as the user, have the right to proceed as ritual has its origins in rite, and rite has its origins in usage, and ‘Manual’ has its origins in service books for priests and Flee Immediately! has its origins in the spirituality of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and oblivion…‘Flee Immediately. All will be revealed.’: the hand that touches the spirit is just as instructive as the spirit itself. And so the dot-dot hum of the machine ceases towards incessant silence. We fall into the void, the white space that surrounds the black, the darkness behind the screen: doomsday. The manual is revealed as another screen that hides the code behind the print. It is a manual without labour. It is a prescription that only cures the common cold, leaving the virus up to the manual dexterity of unskilled hands. Click-click-click-crash, black out and blink once: error. What happens in between the code and the screen, the instructions and the results, the design file and the printed page? Backup.
KKKK…..dot dot dot.
Machine = contrivance = fiction = to contrive.
And Flee Immediately! does have its own ritual that initiates it performance into its printed form. A call is produced, an overall frame work considered, a work is submitted, then edited and designed, an issue is prepared according to the printer’s standard, and then is printed folded and launched: machine. The machine was oiled to think of ‘manual’ freely. The gears linked into this contrived manual. But it is elements of fiction that reveal the very appearance of this contrivance, that create the turning of the machine, that show process, that click-click-click between dot-dot-dot.
And if Flee Immediately! is a machine and ‘machine’ stems from Greek for contrivance; and if fiction is the link between the dot-dot hum of the instructions that power the machine of Flee Immediately! and its printed page, and fiction stems from ‘to contrive’; and if out of the fiction a manual is born, then fiction ironically comes to portray the very ideal of Flee Immediately! We extend beyond the screen and into the blackness, from fiction we reveal process and expose the contrivance of the contraption. We contrive to edit a manual. But in contriving we create a fictional world in which we can imagine with the blackness. So yes, Flee Immediately! does have its own manual, but it is not the one directional manual that only emerges as another screen of the screen, quietly glaring to blind us of its process and possibilities. The Flee Immediately manual uses fiction openly, it contrives and imagines, and with that remains in the liminal blackness, humming back and forth between dot-dot-dot and thought-thought-thought.
Flatten this manual as you wish. It is left up to your own manual dexterity, your own hands to fold, re-fold, fictionalize: horizontal. There is no standard, no specific audience, only the dot-dot hum of the blackness of imagination. And as a frustrated searching over and over in the manual for the non-existent error message reveals, one use is never enough: the screen can only reveal so much. And Flee Immediately! is never done experimenting. So if Flee Immediately! does have a manual, but one that accounts for the labour of contrivances, and labour is not just human but includes physical work, then Flee Immediately! is left to the manual handling of its own devices. It does its own work, and continually contrives its own history. Flee Immediately! too falls out of the hands of its own manual production and into the realm of its own machinic contrivances: blackness.
Error: ‘Obey them or be prepared to endure the sweet noxious horror of silicon on fire.’I Backup.
This editorial may still be a manual, but it is not downright diabolical.
And so to prevent the fuming of doomsday…