Plus Ultra, or Excerpts from the Living Digest of, a text messaging manuscript from the eventuality (Version 2.0) by Ray Ogar

>>> COPYRIGHT 2006

To purchase a PRINT version you can go to <HERE>
To download the book as a FREE PDF go to <HERE>


<edition information>

Version 1.0, originally released as a limited edition of 100, a handmade book with illustrations, vellum, and sewn pages. Version 2.0, now available as an unlimited paperpack edition, including updated text, original essays from the website, glossary and bibliography.


Speculative fiction, essays and neologisms based on extensive research into contemporary use of cellphones, mobile technology and the advent of Told through a series of text messages received from a future version of the narrator.

<begin fiction excerpt >

SEND DATE: 12-27-44
RECEIVE DATE: 06-23-04
- - - - - - - - - -

Deep in the Metameta, fluxed under the wi-fi-worldserpent, I place my hand over the vibrating hull of my cellphone iconomorph. rings me. I see his face in the cell’s micro-screen. His totemicon blinks like a badly rendered .GIF animation.
>>>>>Volume down.

I ignore Baudrillard in real-time and let my iconomorph’s primary simulac, Wyl1, field the message. Reduced to background noise, their conversation takes only a slice of my attention. The call abruptly ends as my feet grip solid my bike’s taloned pedals.

I balk as the pixilated insurgents of a smart mob spill onto the street from a nearby alley. I try to swerve but become instantly tangled in the confusion of faces. I flinch as someone explodes a text messaging fog above the crowd.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Gloss war!

Compressed text messages, misspelled comments and half-resolved words project across a chalkboard of smoke. Various brand propagandas compete for the mob’s attention. I cover my ears as dozens of cellphones simultaneously ring a Walt Disney theme song. I smile as a competing flood of Warner Brothers ring-tones break out a few feet away.

Because of the confusion I can’t make out but a few of the brands that battle for consumer primacy. To my left I hear someone scream, “Figments! We are figments!” And I laugh when I finally look closer at the crowd. They all wear the face of Andy Warhol. Snarling. Frothing.

I watch as one squat Warhol casts several texts from his iconomorph onto the message fog above. His words turn inside out as a competing brand warrior fires a cellular virus into the crowd. One woman’s pixel
mask fragments and reconfigures into the totemicon of Bill Gates. All
the Warhols instantly turn and devour this symbol of upload terrorism.

I skitter my bike unnoticed through the remains of a few misshapen smoke entrails at the mob’s edge. I sigh, already bored with the theme
of this consumer plague.

One Warhol’s finger wags at me with disdain when I finally escape onto an unfamiliar side street.

The bike spokes tick.

My nerves calm as I coast into a fresh, ad-saturated space. Wyl1 minimizes most of the irrelevant pop-ups that vie for my audience. What few he marks for my later perusal are left to my tertiary simulac, Wyl3,
to digest and catalog.

Around another corner. And an entire city block shifts in scale after a nearby server fingers my iconomorph. Wyl1 instantly alters the details of my infocloud. The Braille of me re-arranges. Now the server’s code tendrils caress an array of personas. My simulac merely confuses the city’s attempts to mirror my desires as well as any casual agent of Google.

As a fuzzy trace of me, Wyl1 is my loving precognizer.

I trust his intellect as I trust myself.


SEND DATE: 12-27-44
RECEIVE DATE: 06-23-04
- - - - - - - - - -

The wind streamlines my hair as I dip past a cancerous outcropping of ghost-repeaters. I can only hope, pray, and halleluiahize they won’t swing ambient spam into my cell.

Pedalling faster now, I accidentally slip into the gauzy dot-gain of a wireless notzone—almost entirely black and white, this mute subset of the city affects me with a dizzy moire of lines and walls covered in the scales of pyramid-shaped sound baffles. The zone is lightfast without the norm of ads. There is no motion but me. All of my personal hyperlinks dissolve. Stillness.

My pedals backspin. I squint to make out the features of a staticky wi-no clinging to a paperback book.


My eyes blur as the zone stagnates with the code crash of deliberately broken Internet links. When I finally look to my cell, it slowly reverts to a neutral, impersonal form, unable to pick up a wireless signal. I nearly cry as the ghetto continues to sap all of the city’s connections from my iconomorph, Wyl1—me.

To my right, a sliver of luminous RGB color beckons. I struggle to pull away from the zone’s hypnotic materiality and dive back into the Readymade.

As the notzone deflates behind me, I relax, once again, attended by comfortable ad saturation.

My legs turn faster.
Wyl1 and his brothers slowly wake from standby mode. My information skin reboots like a dandelion recollecting spent petals.

Still queasy from the desaturated zone, a shudder persists across my body.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>My bike tires screech. Rubber peels, only to thread the concrete with chocolate shavings. A Penny Dreadful buds from the side of a building like a chameleon shifting in the sun. He caterwauls into his iconomorph, tweening and distracted. He is a cellphone lush.

Thousands of digital tethers writhe over his body. And of course his face is porcelain perfect from the excesses of Greeking. What parts of his body remain unfixed look more like exotic bird feathers than hair. My stomach turns slightly at the visual overload.

I carefully walk my bike around him.
Then tumble back on.
Looking X then Y. From Z, a virus!
I groan as an autonomous spambot seeps into my iconomorph with snarled precision. As the bot infects my skin, fractal advertisements infinitely unshell and impregnate my infocloud. Wyl0 peels from my simulac core to defend the ramparts of my persona. A spawn of attack hummingbirds bud from my iconomorph. Each one snatches away at the ever-changing scales of ad that now suffocate my space. I smile at the fact that Wyl1 is my shadowy guardian in the Readymade.

Disgusted, I try to toss the phone to the curb but instantly stay my hand, clutching it as a doe-eyed thigmo would. I look into the micro-screen for Wyl1. Annoyance instead. Another call from I ignore the call. Still, I want to throw away the cell. But my contract with Tmotile says that to continue free cell service I absolutely must always keep my iconomorph near. Besides, the thing has no OFF button.

Do I reconsider my situation? Maybe now is the time to take on the veil. To drop out. Or at least filter the Metameta and all its saturation. Should I go to ground and slough off the grid’s grossly integumented snakeskin? Or is that too selfish? What would happen to Wyl1? Or his cascade of simpler brothers? I have spent too much time rearing him from a seedling-AI to me-encapsulated. The artilect,, would argue that this relationship is the most diseased and vain of its kind—a self love.

This matters not and I temper my tweening. I grit my teeth. The wi-fi-worldserpent still snatches at my senses. It coils around the city with the slither of encryption. It lies like a hydra under all that is the Readymade. Sly. Shallow. Merely attendant to its own desires. I can never swat away its infinity of heads. I cannot control how it rapes my simulac like a swarm of digital succubi. Is Wyl1 in constant threat? But he is MY protector. As I pedal deeper into the city, I cannot help but notice how the einvironment I travel through more exactly narrowcasts me with its branding tattoos and advertising skins. How the city morphs to appeal to my supposed likes and dislikes. The bots of reptilian rhetoric try to model all my secondary selves. I take comfort knowing Wyl1 works tirelessly in the margin between me, the Readymade and the saturation.

Thankfully, I am nearly home.

<<end excerpt>