"Dystopias are just as seductive as utopias. These -topias are totalizing, fantastic places in our heads and may reflect our reality or become our reality – heads which are connected to our bodies (which in fact are our bodies). Topias that don’t adequately map the territory of our experiences of human experience, let alone observation and experimentation."
-Fragments of Memetica, No. 3. 
"I observe that the language of ‘information’ runs across all domains and often is the core or grounding language or concept no matter what domain, field, or discipline.
‘Memes’ are simply one of the latest and most popular versions of this. But annoying internet memes are like an annoying pimple – it gets all the attention but there’s still a whole body, a whole organism, a whole person that goes with it.
Maybe we have to pop a social media meme in order to get relieved of it and get back to the larger dynamics, the larger realities of the construction, flows, and interactions of information."
-Fragments of Memetica, no. 1 
Current issue of Meridian: Newsletter of the Global Studies Center (Gulf University for Science and Technology):
Ben Bennett-Carpenter, "The Global as Trope-ical."
Years ago the literary and cultural theorist Kenneth Burke (1945/1969) outlined what he called the “Four Master Tropes”: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony/dialectic. If we put these four tropes up as lenses in front of what we call the “global” we get some interesting perspectives.
"Sound Experience, Feeling Sound: Alan Nakagawa and the Point of Turn Project"
by Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter
"Point of Turn emerged from an invitation by Prospect Art to the sound artist Alan Nakagawa. The project is conceived to invite individuals to share their stories of themselves or someone they know leaving organized religion, shaping the results into a sound composition. Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter was invited to consult, converse, and write about the project as it developed and was completed. As the Point of Turn project synopsis describes, 'The framework of the work is an analog stretching (inspired by data stretching) of the verse and chorus of 1970s pop hit ‘I’m Not In Love’ by 10CC. Working with vocalists Evelyn Davis and Steven Speciale, Nakagawa recorded them singing the chromatic scale. Then he used those recordings to form the chords used in the 10CC song and constructed an elongated choral work using those recordings. The various anonymous stories Prospect Art collected through an open call have been folded into the choral tracks. Also added into the work are frequency clusters from Royal Rife’s scientific experiments of the 1930s. This drone-like sound recording was then mixed to be experienced as a vibratory sound experience.'
You or someone you know left organized religion?
Artist Alan Nakagawa invites submissions of 3-sentence stories of this 'turn' in life -- see:
"Prospect Art is pleased to present "Point of Turn," a participatory project by Alan Nakagawa.
Alan Nakagawa is an interdisciplinary artist with archiving tendencies, primarily working with sound, often incorporating various media and working with existing communities. Nakagawa is the recipient of two Art Matters grants, the City of Los Angeles Artist Fellowship, the California Community Foundation Mid-Career Artist Fellowship, and a Monbusho Scholar.
"Point of Turn" is a community-based project about the final moment or experience that led to an individual's decision to leave organized religion. Organized religion's role in our lives can be deep and complex. As the current Pasadena Buddhist Temple artist-in-resident, Nakagawa has learned about the dynamics between faith and religion as a cultural center in individuals' lives, dogma versus community.
The project initiates with the data collection of short sound bites that name the moment that led individuals to break with religion. Not the complex history that led to it or the subsequent journey, but the story, the straw that broke the camel's back. Ideally, he would like to collect dozens of narrated moments and compose them into a sound piece.
The project will launch with a free and open forum through a public zoom meeting. In the zoom meeting Alan, will be in conversation with Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter and will introduce the project and invite audiences to share their point of turn. Bennett-Carpenter is the author of Death in Documentaries: The Memento Mori Experience (Brill, 2018) and Explaining Jesus: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of a Phenomenon (Lexington / Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).
The event will be Friday, March 3rd at 5pm PST.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 831 7117 1003
Some work ends up being ‘an experience of encounter with an ethical challenge of creating one’s life for one’s self within its defined existential limits and engaging the work one has inherited.'
-DD, p. 25
Some 'makers' in creative practice 'are strong personalities, and to experience them through their work is to come away differently, to have one's "form of life" altered.'
-DD, p. 24
"What’s the first thing that comes to mind for you when you hear the word “global”? Beyond the global as system or sphere, I have in mind the ways it may work as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, or dialectic. This short essay reflects briefly on some initial associations that may arise in the context of exploring global studies."
PDF at: https://gsc.gust.edu.kw/sites/default/files/files/GSC%20Newsletter%202%20-%202021.pdf
"To not cower at apparently insurmountable odds calls for courage, and the need to “hang together” and advance creative action is crucial for human life."
-"Personal Memento Mori: The Iconic 9/11 Footage and the Threat of Death"
'Any item, whether word, image, artifact, or what-have-you, that makes a difference to somebody as it runs into other items (words, images, etc.) means we have a sign. The chains and networks of all these signs that form as they bump into each other are semiotic systems.
It is also possible to conceptualize the system of signs as not only synchronic and diachronic but also as a "fluid" "surface" that may ebb and flow, jump, appear and disappear, and absorb "closed systems" defined by linear patterning and non-relative schemas. One may conceive of an infinite "play" of signs, with [any particular] prominent sign [one may choose] within that "play" or semiotic "game" space.'
-XJ, pp. 110, 117, adapted
'It is said that thinking and reading and writing and talking about living is no substitute for living, except that thinking and reading and writing and talking are already life.
These marks on this page/screen are not "not natural". Both these pecks on the page/screen and the pecks on the bird's nest (outside my window) are natural, where "natural" is a totalizing term for all that is, positively speaking, and which comes to us humans and individuals as most obvious in the most powerful "other" that humans deal with, which are the physical elements, external and internal.'
-Memento Vivere project rough notes, 12 Oct 2020, adapted
'These are notes and observations from memetica: los estados unidos de memetica.'
-Memetica Ecologica project notes, 25 Sept 2020
'There are obvious lessons to be learned in regard to [the rhetoric of transformation] from religious history and theory in terms of the rhetoric of conversion, which was not infrequently coupled with physical and psychological force, torture, systematic persecution, killing, or some combination of these, including genocide.
Here, however, [this project is] employing the idea more in the sense of William James (1902/1929) of an individual experience [or personal affective transformation], even when there are also social consequences.'
-DD, p. 23
'The scope of signs in human culture is vast.... Diachronically, signs may be identified as originating at least by the time we have the first human-made cultural objects possibly 200,000+ years ago. Synchronically, signs are manifold across the globe, including what one has on one's shelf and what appears in one's dreams.'
XJ, p. 110
'Indeed, it is a strange-disposèd time. / But men may construe things after their fashion, / Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.'
-Julius Caesar, 1.3.33-35
'Living systems are made of the same chemical elements that make up the rest of the universe, running according to physical principles that extend also into the inanimate realm.'
'The hard part of the mind-body problem is explaining that last side of our mental lives, explaining in biological, physical, or [computational] terms how felt experience can exist in the world.'
-P. Godfrey-Smith, Metazoa, pp. 11, 13
Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter teaches at a public university in North America and consults/coaches at Sollars & Associates and independently.