Now that ( nula.cc ), which first went live in 2009, has officially spanned a Gregorian decade, let me spend a moment looking back.
It started as an itch in my brain, sometime in the mid-00s, a dissatisfaction with how the wwweb was being used; mainly: how most creators of its “sites” were making use of it. Grounded as it was in text, the wwweb by all rights should give birth to a new form of literature. Files are digital artifacts, “written” on electric media. If we accept a certain equivalence, what does that imply? I decided to create a problem space within which to conceptualize, and populate it with my own works. That is how ( nula.cc ) started.
The medium of text, let us understand, began several thousand years ago as an aid to arithmetic, and was used mainly for the recording of numbers of sacks of wheat, for example, or camels, or amphoræ of oil. Its usefulness thus demonstrated as an aid to our biological memories, it later took on sacred and magical roles, fixing ritual in immutable forms so it could be perfectly repeated, thus pleasing the gods; and, along with that, stories, poems and songs were also written down. Text could enthrall, it could sing and teach, and it could preserve history.
In the digital age, text was, for the first time in thousands of years, asked to do something entirely new. It was asked to do work. The instructions in a program file (electrically written words) can be “run” so that some new result, often impossible to create by physical means, can be displayed on a glowing sheet of glass; or flood out of loudspeakers; or a moving image can be thrust forth on a cone of light. Each of these experiences are fundamentally different manifestations of the same thing: computers interpret the instructions given them and some attached speaker or screen gives us the chance to perceive the results.
So the web site ( nula.cc ) is my response to this problem space, an exploration of some idea of what a “digital artifact” is. The project continues to grow and change, by grace of your attention and responses to it. My enthusiasm is yet unflagging and I am grateful for all who have paused here to read, look and listen.
1 January, 2020, Prague
This site is the online presence of the project nula.cc, which consists of a series of filecasts, each an assemblage of sounds, images, or words, and made available for download, sharing, commentary, and further manipulation.
Filecasts are generally, though not exclusively, created from found material or field recordings (also “found” in some sense, after all), assembled together with possibly other original source material. The tendency here will simply be to let the works speak for themselves as much as possible. Even so, each individual filecast is accompanied by more or less detailed clues as to the significance, context, or possible interpretation of the works offered.
The site can be perused by means of an array of user interfaces, which include: ad libitum, chronologically, geographically, and via filtered search. In addition, both rss feeds and an irregular mailing list for subscribers are also offered.
Your messages are always welcome via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In a limited and selective way, nula.cc also makes use of a variety of social media services, some of which you will find listed in the “functions” menu.
It all boils down to words, I must not for this, I have not forgotten it.
Samuel Beckett, The UnnameableNew quotation