Editorial Issue Zero

from occulto issue zero, October 2009

Adherents of Discordianism believe in the power of chaos. They deny that the kosmos has order or, even less so, harmony. They will claim: “We believe this! And its contrary as well!.” They define their cult as a religion, disguised as a joke, disguised as a religion.

The great recession that has dominated this past year is in some ways an offspring, a failure of the deterministic principle. How could a system that claims to be based on scientific foundations implode in such a way? How much, and in what way, is scientific knowledge actually deployed in the management of the planet?

As Massimo Sandal explains, the movement of objects in space is a deterministic system on paper but swerves and generates chaotic models that no brain, human or electronic, is able to predict. Occulto is a magazine about variables gone awry and stories that take an unexpected turn. The algebraic revolution of the 20th century starts with the brief and tragic life of a young French Republican in the post-Napoleonic era. An English non-fiction writer is trying to persuade us that the entire world is in the hands of an élite of alien reptiles; what would happen if we believed him? An American scholar at the beginning of the 20th century left us an endless and indecipherable archive of his obsession with unexplainable facts. A small sliver of the disillusionment and fears of post-war Germany takes refuge in the mountains of Piemonte, in northern Italy, and spawns a daunting religious community.

If it is true that where the light is brightest is where the Fecal secretly rules, then we must look elsewhere. The best weapon against sane opinions and triumphant competence is still to trip it up, as Adorno suggested over 50 years ago.

This is why Occulto is nothing but a magazine, disguised as a joke, disguised as a magazine.

Irene Lumpa Rossi and Alice Cannava, October 2009