The Foreword

Welcome to the culture and philosophy of the underground of the underground of East London, so underground in fact that for approximately two years now (prior to October 2007) it has lived and strived within the appreciation of only one person, namely its creator. In this page I shall seek to make a justification for the copious amount of work that has gone into ‘The [so called] Ockress’ (the Power Point format presentation) and my reasons for putting it onto the World Wide Web. As I think each matter should be treated as distinct from one another, I shall treat them as such.

Magpie, Eagle and Vulture

Those who think I am here to tell you not to steal my work, although this still applies [although once you’ve read my confession you’d think it shouldn’t], I am actually here confessing my own appropriation of online material. From ‘Part 2’ and onwards in the Ockress I have utilised picture after picture that I have found merely from doing image searches on Google [with words like ‘fire’, ‘thunder’, ‘night sky’, ‘cliff face’ or ‘mountains’]. I put this point to you first because it needs clearing up before we can progress. I have used these pictures as fill-effects of numerous objects within the tale of the Ockress to make the tale seem more appealing to the eye. It is better if it is seen rather than explained (see ‘The Pages’ on the home page).

Well basically the Ockress had always been a means to and an end in itself during most of its life; I was its only ambition and impresser. It was not until the construction of Part 6 that I began to seriously consider setting up this website.

1)Why did you not change or remove the pictures from the Ockress when you decided to broadcast them?

To change them would basically mean a hell of a lot of work which I am not prepared to do at this stage: the Ockress in itself is already enough. If someone was willing to help me on that agenda then I should be grateful, but for the most part I am perfectly happy with leaving the Ockress as it is; as I intended for it to be. As for removing the images (and filling them with colour, as I pretty much did in Part 1) it would simply not look good. I would imagine that readers would agree that the art in Part 6 has no comparison with that of Part 1, and to ruin that would mean to ruin so much of the aesthetic ‘building-up’ effects that I intended for the Ockress to have upon the reader.

2)The Ockress does not end on Part 6… what about the rest of the story? Shall you continue stealing?

Since I realized that the Ockress was open to broadcast and since, I also realized that my skills in using ready-made images had probably reached its creative peak at the end of Part 6 (creative in the sense of how I use the images), I felt the urge to decide to completely reinterpret how my work was done. I bought myself, for such a purpose, a digital camera (a Samsung NV3 with 7.2 mega pixels and 10x zoom), along with a small army of art equipment so that I can draw, paint or sketch some image that could be used for the remainder of the project. Finally, after years of work, I can call what I am currently working on (I have currently, as at October 2007, completed quite a lot of Part 7) 100%, entirely and completely my own work. It fills me with pride and joy which words cannot describe.

3) Nonetheless, if you insist on keeping the Ockress the way it is then why do you still think you ought to have any obligation to making the Ockress public? You have taken the right action at the right time to make the Ockress your own (from Part 7 and onwards [which shall probably not be posted on this website anyway]), but what gives you the right to do what you have done?

I believe that the Ockress is important. Fundamentally (please be understanding of the word) it is my work. The images that I use are only used to serve a purpose, the purpose of the Ockress (which was my only initial reason for using them after all when the Ockress was made specifically for me alone and for my own amusement). Some of the pictures I have used are incredibly beautiful and a lot of work had obviously gone into them by others. In time I shall redeem myself, for those people who made such pictures shall get their recognition. Yet to let the Ockress be no more than a dusty file on my computer seems to me to be unthinkable. Read the Ockress before you judge my actions.

On a minor note, some pictures used in the Ockress were done by me on ‘Paint’; the sign to ‘the Black Cloud’ Inn on part 3, the starry sky and moon and some others (rain effects on Part 6).

More importantly once this web site is up and running I shall more easily find the strength to lengthily retrace my Google searches and find the sources of the pictures I have used. Eventually I hope to clear up this matter by consulting with all or most of the sources of the work I have used. But please be aware that this shall take time, especially with a dial-up connection, and therefore I would beg of your patience. I hope to one day have a list of links to such sources posted on this website, along with actual permission from such people to use their work. Those who do not wish for me to use their work … I shall cross that bridge when it comes to it.

What I do personally own copyright to are obviously the words within The Ockress and figures such as these:

Me, Music, Art and Philosophy

Although the Ockress was never initially or wholly inspired by any other persons work (see explanation number 1 below), it has moved along with my tide on artistic and philosophical appreciations in life, as it has moved with every other tide in life. At the time when I was writing Parts 1 to 3 (roughly 3 anyway) I was hugely involved in the works and philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche. This may indeed make itself evident, or more than evident, within certain parts of the Ockress one way or another. At the age of 18 (early 2005) the book ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ was being studied by me and my philosophy class for A-Levels.

Having already constructed a certain philosophy of my own (which to this day has been that of Perfect Sound [it’s a long meandering story) I found that Nietzsche fitted in perfectly (apparently) with my own intentions in life, specifically in philosophical terms. His work had a profound effect on me. I read a lot of his work (but not all of it), and quite unhealthily took his word ‘seriously’. In those years I worked as a philosopher and wrote, thought and had aspirations within such a field. As a thinker (strictly speaking) I was furious and ferocious to say the least, just as I am now, regarding artistic issues.

My aesthetic appreciations by very early 2006 were pitiful to say the least. I was a huge ‘Van Der Graaf Generator’ fan as a result of being sucked into the culture of Nietzsche’s pretentious and shallowly loud profundity (the men in the law firm that I worked at during the time mocked me to the ground for it as I blasted VDGG out on my stereo in the basement, sticking stickers on envelops). The times, music and culture of the 70s held a strong grasp on me. Other music that I liked was Return to Forever with Chick Corea (who I still think are ‘okay’), Gentle Giant, Egg, Khan, Comus, Mahavishnu Orchestra (I do still think the ‘Birds of Fire’ album is phenomenal), Emerson Lake and Palmer (…), Sheila McDonald, Spirogyra and other such stuff. When I later went on the buy Mellow Candle’s ‘Swaddling Songs’, my love of the 70s was coming to an end as I slowly realized that Mellow Candle were aesthetically a lot more up to standard than all the others (or mostly).

Nonetheless I did earn myself some credibility. I enjoyed works by Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and other such composers quite a lot. I was no expert in the field (and still aren’t) yet I did have about 12-15 CDs/tapes that I not only listened to quite thoroughly but also very enthusiastically.

By roughly around the summer (perhaps the winter) of 2006 Nietzsche began to grow weary on me, as did my own individual system of philosophy, thought and musical appreciation (example 1 [again]) and as a result; a void of nothingness took hold. One could say that it was at the pinnacle of this stage that I began Part 5 (an excessively morbid/nightmarish part of the Ockress). Those times weren’t great to say the least.

However soon after beginning Part 5 I began to realize to a fuller extent the wonders that the Ockress held, wonders that I hadn’t quite fully appreciated before. Until then I had always thought that the Ockress was merely an entertaining amusement for my part; something that danced playfully on the side of my serious and almighty ideas concerning Nietzsche and philosophy. Obviously the change was slower than that. In ‘Part 4’ I began to feel (rather than think) that the Ockress held within it something more valid, substantial and definitely more credible than I initially gave it credit for. The Ockress began to speak to me, or whisper to me if you like, at this stage, signs of what was to come. I never would have dreamed that it would have come to this and gone this far. I became so brainwashed not only by Nietzsche and my own ‘Perfect Sound’, that underneath its limited so-called ‘infinity of depth’, something else began to lurk and grow of its own accord, like a sneaky parasite waiting for its moment to strike as I obliviously fed and grew it upon scraps of leftover food that fell off the table (that’s Nietzsche speaking here, ha-ha!).

Counteractively, I began to feel subconsciously (rather than think) the need and desperation for something else in my life and belief system besides Nietzsche and ‘Perfect Sound’. And so whilst I was sitting in my home-made music studio constructing (perhaps) the 13th Slide of the Ockress my younger brother came up to me and said ‘Hey Victor, come and see what’s on TV’. It was then that I had my first real experience with the composer Richard Wagner as I watched Gőtterdammerung, the last instalment of Wagner’s ring cycle. I stayed up until about 3am watching this megalith of an opera. Sleep deprivation was taking its toll, but boy did I not care a single jot. That experience changed my life up to the present day (and I’m so glad that I did not approach Wagner through Nietzsche). Nietzsche and ‘Perfect Sound’, with a single swipe of my hand, were replaced with Richard Wagner and the Ockress. I soon went on to buy, and eventually bought, all of Wagner’s operas on DVD and later (and in the mean time) went on to buy opera DVDs by Berg (Lulu is a fantastic opera), Beethoven, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Dvorak, Shostakovich and Schoenberg (all of which is bound to grow).

Before this discovery of Wagner however, I had discovered the wonders of modern music with artists such as Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, which later went on to develop my love of electronic music, particularly breakcore. People such as I Broke My Robot, Venetian Snares, Krystov and Antenym went on to become the agenda. By this stage I also went on to find the website and found what I had always been looking for; a dictionary of underground bands available on a dial-up internet connection. Up to this point my love of jazz-fusion had moved away from the 70s and moved into bands like PanzerBallet, Panacea, Audio Squadron and the Jazz Pistols along with all the legends of the 60s such as the obvious Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans, Chet Baker and the mega-legendary Herbie Hancock along with some Gershwin. My love of world-fusion music was reborn with Azigza.

The work of Franz Kafka has recently become a significant point of reference for me too. Nonetheless, amongst all this, Wagner holds his place in the spotlight, as much as I would partly prefer not to admit it as such. My admiration of Wagner’s work is as expansive as my admiration of the Ockress; if not then more so (Wagner has brought me more joy than I thought possible of a person that lived so long ago). I only have to hear a single minute of any section of Tristan und Isolde and all my preconceptions of the importance of the Ockress are swept away. If heaven existed it would exist upon the stage of Richard Wagner, where communication between one human and another, although often misunderstood or misleading amongst characters, is characterized by the nature of their being; and from the third person’s perspective every feeling, intention and desire is intricately and infinitely clear (unlike the morbidly subtle world that we currently live in). Life is good when motifs run through your head (and no, not the Ride of the Valkyrie).

That is where I drew the line in terms of similarity between the work of Wagner and my work in the Ockress. Ultimately, they both seek to enhance and empower our use of communication. What I have tried to do within the Ockress is test the limits by which language can convey a particular feeling, particularly in terms of a ‘private language’ (I have a vague knowledge of Wittgenstein from my older brother and the first half of the Tractatus), namely my own. Of course I will regret having said this the second after which it is said yet I do still think it needed saying, as does the following… Unlike Nietzsche and ‘Perfect Sound’, Wagner and the Ockress hold a merit which shall always shun my previous appreciations; they are joyful, they dramatically destroy a handful of soil and they create an entire sky and landscape as a result (other than vice versa). They simply embrace feelings rather than scrutinise, analyse, praise or condemn them and they do not hold fast onto hierarchical and labelling schematics by which everything becomes desensitized and agonizing.

In conclusion, the main and critical point I wanted to convey was no more than this. I believe that one way or another I have a lot (if not necessarily highly based set) of expectations from artistic forces in general. It takes a lot to get me moved and enthusiastic about a specific work. Although Wagner might not exactly be intellectually the most compelling composer in the professional, respectable, music or art-loving eye, to someone who would rather ignorantly feel than intellectually think in musical/artful spheres, Wagner undoubtedly has a lot to offer. I am not by any means an expert in art in terms of the canvas yet I feel that my art within the Ockress has ‘something’ commendable about it. What’s more is that I believe that the drama that takes place within the Ockress holds some specific significance, even though I myself do not know exactly what that significance is, nor the extent of it. I am not a great linguist, and perhaps much of my writing is easy to mock one way or another, and many of my grammatical errors are quite shameful. I do not in any way take what I have said in this section seriously. I only find that I have no choice other than to say what I have said.

1) I have written a book which is 70,000 words long which I completed in October 2005 2005 called ‘The Quest for Perfect Sound’ and 20,000 words of an uncompleted book called ‘The Aftermath’ which I wrote soon afterwards. This book-and-a-half, which inspired much of Parts 1-3 of the Ockress in ways that only I can know, was basically about all of my own personal systems of thought and philosophy, which, although heavily inspired and propelled by Nietzsche, was not entirely dependant on such a philosopher. The work is immature to say the least (not that the Ockress isn’t, only the Ockress has some admirable quality about its immaturity, especially in parts 1 and 2; I think anyway). The philosophy that I constructed within the book-and-a-half, which was mostly already constructed in my head previous to its making (unlike the Ockress where I cannot by any means see more than one slide ahead of me), contained basically the story of how I had an idea on how to go about making ‘perfect music’ (for myself, not the world). It’s a very long story but basically I succeeded (or that is how the tale so went).

Enjoy the Show

The Ockress is the greatest thing that I have ever achieved; whether that says a lot or not I shall leave up to you, the audience, to decide. Nevertheless, I value its worth as highly as I value my own life. Please allow me to continue expressing my joy in my own creation by not having this website shut down due to my manipulation of online images. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this matter (or if you just want some good discussion), please contact me first:

I shan’t tease the plot in any way yet for those who wish to start from the very beginning, allow me to give you a pre-warning. The Ockress is a (very) slow developing story. It moves quite quickly in terms of each day within the plot, holding onto key events, yet it develops slowly. It takes a while to get started. In fact it’s quite easy to say that the Ockress actually begins at the beginning of every part of the Ockress. As each section begins, new rules for story writing are introduced. Yet if you manage to get through Part 1 for example, and find that you are wholly unconvinced by my efforts (it’s an easy thing to do), I would ask of you to watch the first scene of Part 6 (skip through the introduction). It’ll come with many teasers, yet it’ll give you a good idea of what the whole thing, creatively speaking, builds up to.

You can also visit my family website and see what kind of intellectual background I have in my family:

Also, on a minor note, there are a very few, and very rare and mild swear words in the Ockress (that might not even be true, but I’m just covering my back). There is some very mild violence in it as well. All in all, there is nothing much that you wouldn’t get from an episode of EastEnders.

I was born on 31st December 1986.

Victor Rikowski.

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