about the NKdeE



The Neue Kathedrale des erotischen Elends (NKdeE) is an update of Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau works brought to the virtual environment of the internet. It was initiated on September 27th 2004 by Dirk Vekemans (Belgium °1962). Its is an abstraction/adaptation of the way Schwitters used garbage to build his works of art.

In the NKdeE process however any mention of the word ‘art’ or its derivatives is banished. The NKdeE is a mock-up (working model) of an autonomous program for creative reasoning. It aims to be strictly rationalistic and independent of commercial or ideological purpose and since all art is corrupted by (mostly) commerce, all art and any mention of ‘art’ is prohibited within the NKdeE environment. Garbaged art however can be used, since the Cathedral takes all garbage indiscriminately as input for its workings. Its output is reinforced garbage (fertiliser) that is set free in its network or ‘real’ surroundings hoping to produce more garbage.

The main function of the NKdeE program is its Author. Authors are human or otherwise intelligent agents that are given their function within the Cathedral for the duration of their life (lifespan). The Author and its Cathedral are symbiotic processes that define each other.

Most of what these programs ‘do’ is research and writing (or ‘coding’: a Cathedral Author is a codeworker, the code produced may be any code: literal, auditive, visual or any mixtures thereof). A quick overview:

  • At the moment the research done by Dirk’s Cathedral is centered on the auctorial function and adapting auctorial strategies for private use from authors like Velemir Chlebnikov, W.B. Yeats, Maurice Scève, Charles Baudelaire and many others.
  • in the wake of the auctorial program the Cathedral recently has restarted earlier attempts at establishing an online-offline publishing platform for the open source practice of literature. This project is a collaboration with Sadà \Exposadà an esoteric corpus of text living in the Netherlands. See http://platformplee.nl
  • a lot of research is centering in on (hand)writing, the human script as a grey zone in between writing and drawing, a field where the current practice of Asemic Writing can readily be commodified into a Cathedral Resource.
  • The Cathedral is developing its own Mindfulness program based on the use of handwriting (aptly called ‘Meditative Writing’).
  • For its  interface with philosophy the Cathedral has high hopes in (and equally deep dread for) the research being done by Neo-Rationalist philosophers (the likes of renegate poet Reza Negarestani, former nihilist Ray Brazier or the neo-marxist overthrower of academia Peter Wolfendale) but since that strain of philosophy apparently tends to reduce the world to whatever it can handle before moving on, we will in any case have to make sure they keep moving on, so the Cathedral is also working on a private system of Gignomenology (provisionally defined as the logos or technè of Movement), a radicalised phenomenology that abolishes Being and the ontological status of Things, and on a rationalistic epistemology that broadens the classical philosophical epistème of desire with a non-philosophical epistème of aversion (Timotuition).  At this point both the Neo-Rationalist and Gignomenologist program seem to be facing insurmountable difficulties, so it’s safe to say: we’re good.
  • The Cathedral has developed the LYRIEK, a cryptocurrency using its own garbage production as a ecologicy aware means of encryption: each ‘coin’ has its encrypted counterpart in a unique collage made by a cathedral-certified collagist. It’s a very simple idea that no doubt would save the world (a lot of trouble and needless mortality) but then of course the world would have to somehow decide it is worth the effort…The NKdE program is autopoetic by definition, so it is constantly renewing and rewriting itself. It’s main functions however are kept stable by it’s author, whose irrationalist desires and aversions function as growth encouraging energies. Perhaps here you can see just how symbiotic the program is with its author: the purpose of the program is to provide the Author with a purpose in life.

Both the NKdeE and its Auctorial subroutine are open source programs designed to be distributed freely and widely and are largely independent of the hardware used to build it.


Since its creation the NKdeE has implicitly or outspokenly taking the form of

  • an elaborate web application (@www.vilt.net/nkdee during 2004-2009 registered in Rhizome’s database of Net-Art (sic); currently only its partially restored ruin is online at http://nkdee.be)
  • a series of blogs (2005-ongoing)
  • the KLEBNIKOV CARNAVAL a yearly international festival for ‘Free Lyricism’ in Kessel-Lo near Louvain, Belgium (2008-2011) co-organised with the art collective Grapes of Art
  • a likewise coproduction of a weekly radio show on Radio Scorpio (Radio Klebnikov – 2009-ongoing), live performances with the Radio Klebnikov Live Band
  • the international Poetry Kessel-Lo Poezie blog
  • a series of graphical researches into the practice of (Asemic) writing and attempts at establishing a sound method for the graphical representation of (lyrical) thought and concepts as they happen, e.g. the series ‘second hand writing’, L!NT or the SUN(T)RA(NCE) program
  • an entirely web based and radically a-commercial practice of (Dutch) writing through http://dirkvekemans.com
  • an active  participation in the publishing platform at http://platformplee.nl