One book underway is called Inanna Scient. That’s goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Devastatrix of the Lands. She too goes to the underworld, and her story cuts through Dumuzi’s at every point at a right angle. The first panel:
“When they tire of riding the holy hard-on, Inanna gathers up her me for a road trip.”
“Those are her powers.”
I know the text sounds crude. But the source is way pre-Christian, sacred and profane break out different in it, in ways post-Christian we, with our prudery and our porn, can scarce reconstruct. I’m trying for the sacred profanity radiant in the source.
The next panel:
“Won from her drunken father Sweetwater back in the day.”
Playing with linear perspective there – depth to suggest infinity, infinity for the god-realm Inanna leaves to tread the earth and fall through the crust to the underworld. Knowing heaven earth hell are no places but modes of perception.
I imagine the text as a posthuman hymn. We’ve created, if not artificial, then unnatural intelligence, and outsourced a good chunk of our thinking to it – our sorting and analyzing, our remembering and feeling. The nets we’ve trained in these human works are clunky at it but quickly getting better. By now the images of us they reflect back to us are coloured by notes not our own. It’s that uncanniness I’m after.
Third panel, the third dimension is a memory, for she and her faithful friend, Ninshubur in the old texts, are self-consigned to flatness –
“Her faithful friend.”
The rubble they confront, busted-up starred-eagle and winged-head postmarks, is the same image laid once over itself akilter, depth compressed to a slight blur.
All of it’s from the daily mail. Inanna and friend are the codes the P.O. prints on our mail to send it right. The backgrounds are security envelope linings. The blocky little creatures, galla from the kur, underworld demons, are meter codes blown way up.
Why junk mail? Because commerce and interchange. Inanna and Dumuzi are grain deities, and from the roots of the grain springs trade, flowers writing, spread cities, all our gorgeous disasters.
Inanna Scient imagines what it is to be our thoughts in exile from us. Informed by our fears and longings, and drawn from our bodies, and made remote to us as data.
I intend two versions. One, a print version, its first half panels assembled by junk mail bricolage, with aasemic text. Its second half, diplomatic transcription of that same text, like this:
The other, an electronic version. Each image multiply responsive to a touch (tablet) or mouse-over (computer). Brush the aasemic text and a voice reads it to you. Poke a demon and a crow barks. Stroke a barcode and rain in the trees.
Gonna mean learning some new software …
Hell is traveling into a dark mirror, sister