Information shapes substance and creates new pathways in the minds and bodies of the subjects who position themselves in relation towards the flow. We are what we read, eat, drink, watch, hear, and feel.
Special Agency maintains a list of formational references that help advance soma~cognitive reconfiguration practices and further develop ideological and methodological aspects of our work.
All of the works presented below are powerful cognitive stimulants. Not only because they elicit powerful effects (some of which are listed), but also because they divide the reality of the one who perceives into “before” and “after”.
In this list we are not interested in one-off hits, but, rather, in the references that have a long-lasting effect and positive influence on Special Agents’ practices. We also exclude material substances that should come into direct contact with the inside of the body to be experienced (such as drugs, liquids, foods, blood and semen).
The references are organized into categories, regularly updated, carefully selected, and sorted in no particular order. Some materials are available to the agents through our internal repository at the Special Agency locations worldwide and online.
The works are listed with the effects they have been shown to produce in the subjects who experience them. Those may vary from person to person, depending on their particular circumstance and constitution.
One of the most thought-provoking and intelligent publications on the internet.
Provides an answer to almost any question, often in a highly comprehensive and intelligent way.
Produces a heightened sense of awareness about the current state of events and connections between them.
N Plus One →
An in-depth and comprehensive analysis of culture, politics and inter~subjective relations.
The only fashion title that is stimulating in a way that is not only superficial.
An online journal (in Russian) on culture and humanity. Thought-provoking and deeply engaging especially for its presentational formats.
Elicits a sense of plurality with a moving center, produces oscillatory effect (zooming in / zooming out) in perception.
This personal blog (in Russian) provokes and breaks patterns.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Blurs the border between dreams and reality, increases sensitivity to coincidences and signs.
Remainder by Tom McCarthy
A very good example of a narrative mirroring its own structure. Enhances awareness of traumatic tendencies and the dynamics of simulation and psychosis.
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
Improves comprehension of cultural and anthropological phenomena as well as the observational skills. Frequent intellectual orgasm response has been observed.
Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The notion of doing “good” applied in near-realistic circumstances. Has a pacifying effect on the one who reads and may cause permanent changes in behavior with the focus shifting from oneself towards the environment.
Steps to an Ecology of Mind by Gregory Bateson
Enhances the subject’s understanding of relational dynamics, psychological processes and schizophrenic behaviors. Produces a strong homeostatic effect.
The War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The reading subject has the experience of multiple points of view and constantly shifting perspective (both on subjective/personal and objective/political layers).
The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov
Produces a long-lasting (sometimes irreversible) ability to zoom in and zoom out on a certain perspective. Enhances fractal narrative view of the world.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Elicits a sense of interconnectedness between things, people, phenomena and beyond. Sensations of pleasure from the narrative structure.
Magic and Happiness by Giorgio Agamben
Dissolution of sense into speechless beauty.
Novel 11, Book 18 by Dag Solstad
Produces a strong impetus to explore one’s own sense of self to the fullest potential.
Mean Free Path by Ben Lerner
Aesthetic pleasure from watching shimmering narrative structure playing along the structural vertices of abstract dimensions. A sense of protracted engaged detachment from the object of observation.
The Computational Beauty of Nature by Garry Flake
Alters perception of natural phenomena translating them into mathematical representations.
Visual and Performative Experiences
Humor in Music by Reggie Watts →
Produces disorienting effect and polysingular awareness.
Cuentos Patrióticos by Francis Alys →
Transforms everyday environment into playground, elicits prolonged contemplation on the nature of submission.
The Crossing by Bill Viola
Has a pacifying and soothing effect on the observer.
The Last Riot by AES+F Group →
Slows down time and produces a mix of aesthetic pleasure and contemplations on violence.
Bassett, D. S., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Achard, S., Duke, T., & Bullmore, E. (2006). Adaptive reconfiguration of fractal small-world human brain functional networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(51), 19518–23.
Bystritsky, a, Nierenberg, a a, Feusner, J. D., & Rabinovich, M. (2012). Computational non-linear dynamical psychiatry: A new methodological paradigm for diagnosis and course of illness. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 46(4), 428–435.
D’Mello, S., Dale, R., & Graesser, A. (2011). Disequilibrium in the mind, disharmony in the body. Cognition & Emotion, 00(00), 1–13.
Kello, C. T., Anderson, G. G., Holden, J. G., & Van Orden, G. C. (2008). The Pervasiveness of 1/f Scaling in Speech Reflects the Metastable Basis of Cognition. Cognitive Science, 32(7), 1217–31.
Yamada, N. (1995). Posture as a Dynamic Stable State of a Body. Research and Clinical Center for Child Development.
Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky
Slows down time and produces oscillatory dynamics between the empirical, scientific and spiritual representation of the surrounding phenomena.
Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowski
Increases variability in perceptual dynamics, produces hallucinatory effects and temporary hypnotic symptoms.
The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr
Enhances observational capacities in the subjects exposed, produces a strong awareness of time and resistance.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Produces a deeply satisfying sense of aesthetic pleasure and disquieting comfort.
Music and Sound
Presidence by Excepter
Enhances perception of repetitive phenomena in time/space.
The Belly, With Us All In It by Ezra Green and George Lewis
Tears and joy.
Atavism by SND
Space disorientation and hallucinatory shimmering structure effects.
Soa-4 by Mark Fell
Dissolution of perception into clusterized attention.
101007_set_cd_r-1_ct by Kraniche
Heightened awareness of natural non-equilibrium variability with a soothing effect.
Wriss by Planetary Assault Systems
Azimuth by Primitive World
Dissolution into the horizon.
The Trap by Fantastic Mr Fox
Positive mood boost, increased movement activity.
Stack Exchange →
Produces the need to formulate questions precisely enough so that they might get answered during the process of formulation.
Strong visual stimulation, facilitates symbolic interaction.
Hallucinatory effect of omnipresent availability, facilitates access to collective subconscious (especially through its search suggestion and Keyword suggestion tools).
Motivates writers to integrate structural design elements into their textual narratives.
Facilitates the formation of co-isolated multiplicities that retain their essence: ad-hoc private networks around certain subjects of interest.
Triggers connective network thinking, improves general overview of a situation, proposes new options.
Increases awareness of rhythm and oscillatory sound dynamics.
Stimulates imagination and visual collaborative thinking, reduces dependency on electric devices, activates sketching activity.
Stimulates networking activity, facilitates both offline and online connections, develops the thumbs.
Creates a medium for simplified inter-subjective interaction (can be compared to alcohol or MDMA).
Heightens awareness of loops, causal formations, iterative logic and variable parameters.
Somatic and Cognitive Practices
A sense of oscillatory wave-like recurring dynamics and heightened awareness of incoming and outcoming impulses.
Relaxation and deeper connection to natural elements and materials.
Promotes iterative approach to production, purpose-oriented project-based work with clear objectives, frequent pauses (zooming in / zooming out) and pair programming.
Calming and empowering effects on the body and consciousness.
Soothing effect and increased nonverbal awareness.
Refreshing effect on the body, better fluid dynamics.