Radical media, politics and culture.

John Morton, "The Origin of Writing," Draft for Download

"The Origin of Writing," Draft for Download John Morton

A draft copy of "The Origin of Writing" is now available for download. This is a post-structural analysis of the form of image writing used by the First Nations of North America prior to European contact, with particular care given to generating anasemantic concepts which are configured directly to the subject matter, rather than drawn pre-established from dominant schools of semiological thought. If you like Derrida and the concept of grammatology, and/or Deleuze/Guattari and the concepts of schizoanalysis, I think you'll enjoy this.

It is great to see that The Interactivist is back up and running - I, for one, certainly missed it! Yeah; so, I hope everyone has been keeping busy in the meanwhile. I certainly have. In the interim of The Interactivist's absence, I have gone from working my ass off as a manual labourer on a production line in a factory to, once again, that precarious and tenuous existence of the unemployed.

But okay, I can't complain since I left my last job voluntarily (for various reasons unconnected to the job itself) just before the economy nosedived back in 2008.

What I did manage to do in the meanwhile is put together a draft copy of a research project I announced (as "Lon Cayeway") back in Semiotext[e] Canadas (1994). I had to exhaust my limited personal resources to do it, and max out what credit I was allotted for holding a stable factory job over a 5-6 year period, but I have finally managed to pull together the core of my research into the form of image writing used by the First Nations of North America prior to European contact.

I have uploaded a PDF of my research draft to my website, and anyone can download an e-mail version at:


This file is over 6MB in size.

I also have a print version PDF, with much higher resolution photographs; and I would be happy to mail copies on a CD to anyone interested for $20.USD; hey, come to think of it, if you feel like sending me $5.USD if you like the downloaded version, I won't complain.

The print PDF is over 40MB in size.

I cover a lot of ground in my research draft: beginning with the establishment of my methodology - considering consciousness in terms of articulated co-extension, to eliminate any hierarchical components that would prefigure the concepts I develop, I then proceed to inquire as to when writing as such would have become possible.

The core texts I draw upon are Jean-Paul Sartre's "The Imaginary" and Jacques Derrida's "Introduction to Edmund Husserl's 'Origin of Geometry'."

Needless to say, there is a fair bit of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari worked in there as well.


John Morton.

P.S. I guess I don't have to mention that I have received absolutely no funding for this work whatsoever; and that this would of course not be the case if I were researching any Eurocentric form of phonetic writing...