December 2013, and Eddy is invited to perform at Susanne Palzer’s ‘Open Platform 4’ event at Access Space in Sheffield. He reads out his 10 minute piece of writing ‘Motherboard’, a poetic SF text exploring the gift of the secret of silicon microchips, given by a silicon-based life-form from a distant galaxy.
Here is an excerpt:
'And four times in the coming weeks the captain broadcasts terse progress reports to the crew.
First message: ‘the silicon words become strange, scarce even one dimension flat. Taut as any rim-shot, unimaginably compressed, forever saved as the last sedimentary gills of fossils.’
Message two: ‘Silicon language is spelled in letters, but also numbers and algebra, punctuation symbols and symbols from keyboards like percentiles and money, and symbols from playing cards and from any alphabet, Arabic, Armenian, Cyrillic, Greek. And it has words for spaces for breathing, and pauses and stress, and the inscrutable intonations of Mandarin. And sometimes passages of volatile bits, its cells of zero and one, hoop and stick, all clicking like the consonants of Africa. And sometimes silicon language is in colour, and sometimes hovers over the screen, as spatial as the helter skelter of DNA’.
Message three: ‘silicon cannot understand the kaleidoscopic ambiguity of our mother tongue, so talks in obsessively precise circles to avoid mistakes and shut out background. And its words are imperative because silicon has no common sense. It is at once retarded and advanced, concrete and mercurial. And unable to read eyes or bodies.’
The final message: ‘the best silicon languages, though stripped of metaphor, can put into words inexpressible ideas, to become poetry. Recursively rhythmic like music or perseverating like Gertrude Stein. Esoteric languages whose vocabulary is the white space between words, or the movement between twenty modernist colours. Or squares of cells like Vermeer chequerboard tiles.’
Photograph by Susanne Palzer