assemblage, becoming, code, differentiation, disorder, escape, grammar, heresy, language, Nietzsche, structure, virus

Statement


Hypermediation. What is a statement? But the problem is already determining the singular projection of the statement onto life: both to identify the variously formed matters contained within it, with each of their constituent speeds and trajectories; but also the strata which capture and isolate (or ramify and merge) these intensities through one another. A statement is attached to productive networks which run throughout society; it is an auto-projection of the truth of society onto itself, which is perhaps to say the power of the false characteristic of a time.

Power induces, but also overflows and overdetermines the statement. The formations of power are composed of segmented, modular processes resembling and indeed modeled on the ‘rational ordered liberty’ which statements engender. The  statement surveys power itself as the structuring concept for philosophy, science and politics. Yet the productive networks negotiate the statement via a complex assemblage of enunciations in an asignifying and seamless process to which no subject may be attributed. The revolutionary potential of a statement can never be said to have been completely annihilated. Furthermore, this constituent impossibility of attribution which characterizes the statement can also be seen in the way it forms a projection of the social landscape as if from any position whatsoever — or from no position at all.

The question regarding the statement thus involves the problem of the attribute or stratification; which when uttered always amounts to a kind of triangulation of the individual: the voice (which expresses nothing,) the mouth (which is speaking — or eating?), the statement (as we have seen, collective, intensive vectors of expression which are auto-projections of the social and economic space in which they are uttered). Each attribute is a way to escape the technology of the signifier; but attribution is itself this domesticating technology, a simplifying formula (Sign + Sound = Voice) which intoxicates language with itself.

This intoxication may belong in rare cases to sobriety: configurations unleashing the profound aridity of the statement, driving us towards singular and — perhaps even always peculiar, perverse — spaces where collective enunciation is possible; the revolutionary potential of any attribute is precisely in that it defies pure attribution. Nietzsche explains over and over again that we cannot assess the value of life itself; it remains an incalculable question mark whose mystery gives weight to human decisions. All attributions are ultimately of this kind; the question of the statement is that of binding a cause to an effect, attributing a signifying subject to an asignifying process. It is the power of the false itself, the imagining of subjectivity into becoming.

A voice which enunciates a content and a speaker who formulates an expression; but the expression and the content are not conjoined, the speaker and the voice are not identical. In between a contingency, a gap which testifies to a becoming. The statement is always already an echo, an asubjective enunciation, a cry or infinite speed of language which can no longer be attributed to a subject, but which nevertheless always forms a kind of spectral projection onto the economic and political landscape in which it is uttered.


SpaceCoordinating, composing, assembling — all these processes involve the constitution (invasion?) of a space as though by an occult plague, operating not only through the activation of hidden networks and the distribution of coded messages, but primarily through the active process of re-assiging roles to all the components, all the organs, all the machines — overcoding the spacius. Space indicates a kind of ontogenetic fundament, which must be wrested violently from nothingness. Differentiation occurs not simply as an unemployed negativity, but as an active and heretical uprising — a terrifying upheaval only achieved by means of patient and long-hidden developments. Space is viral, regardless of how it is composed; space is an absolute nothingness which has become sick. It denotes insurgency itself, presenting itself as an assemblage of viral or sorcerous forces, a kind of occult revolution (co-ordination?) against Being in favor of becoming. What is produced in space necessarily involves a parasitic characteristic: existence has an essentially hegemonic-bacterial aspect. Absolute space and cosmogenetic love — but no longer the love of a human being; rather the love of the night and the love of sickness within man. Openness (interfaciality) is facelessness; becoming is insurrection. Space indicates a vir(tu)al infestation of onto-interfacial matrices — assemblages of death- or plague-vectors, responsible for the extrusion/invasion of space from inexistence.

Inhuman. The organization of the body, the self-enfolding or ‘bootstrapping’ of organic repetition, is also the beginning of a kind of horror-in-organization-itself. The death drive is at the beginning of culture; vengeance yet runs deepest and strongest within us — do we need to add that it is most often expressed in the form of revenge upon life?

Opening.  Thinking liquifies being; it demands a kind of patience with respect to forms of expression, a strategic resilience in constructing partial formulations, slowly gathering energy for the return. The thought, perhaps, never actually arrives; which gives it a kind of radical independence with respect to writing, to history and to nature. Not transcendence but becoming-imperceptible; an openness and opening which is also the extrusion of the heart of matter into immateriality.
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6 thoughts on “Statement

  1. Your ‘Statement’ opens lubricates an old thought of mine concerning glossolalia, specifically in 1 Cor. The problem for Paul there is that the Corinthian congregation is apparently disputing whose gift of the Holy Spirit comes first. Paul attempts to settle the dispute by declaring all gifts equivalent in their share in Christ (the metaphor of the body that cannot make do without its members). However, glossolalia is a little more problematic since “those who speak in tongues do not address other men but God”, which is a nice way of saying no one knows what the fuck they’re saying (which he goes on to say more explicitly a few verses down). More, glossolalia is antithetical to the church’s edification:

    “Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you in some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is the same way with lifeless instruments that produce sound, such as the flute or the harp. If they do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is being played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different kinds of sound in the world, and nothing is without sound. If then I do not know the meaning of a sound, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church. Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive.”

    Revelation, prophecy, teaching, these are all positive statements that are related to the church’s edification, but glossolalia isn’t even a negative statement, it’s no statement at all. If one takes Paul’s analogy too seriously, glossolalia is a sound indistinct from the heterogeneous array of sounds all the world makes since “nothing is without sound.” And this is a gift of the spirit! So what does it mean that Paul demands silence from the speakers in tongues if they cannot be interpreted than that the interpreter append an expression to the enunciation? That a subjectivity arise there where one cannot speak of, but only give voice to, becoming itself? Grant me some leeway in mixing a bit of speculation into my reading of this moment in the New Testament, but I hope you can see for yourself a connection between the writing here and this suppressing gesture.

    I’ve written about this a little more extensively some months ago (http://nightisalsosun.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/speaker/), though on a blog I may be retiring.

  2. The “lack of attribution in language” becoming a sort of “spectral projection/echo” reminds me of Michel Serres’ theory of parasitism, where a form of universal parasitical behavior is sound/signaling as static… and hence furthering this idea you maintain regarding the revolutionary potential of a statement having the inability to be diminished – precisely because such statements annihilate, silence, and/or demonstrate this static as such.

    It is much like, before the Bolshevik revolution, when Trotsky called out “Proletariat of the world unite!” For a moment, the three-fold division of the working class peoples of the West (i.e., the intellectuals, the pseudo-criminal gangs/collectives, and the populists)and some of the East saw the static for what it was… and thus, Russian revolutionary potential became rampant, however short-lived, until the static managed to transform its frequency (post-structural capitalism, capitalism with ethics, etc.).

    This is a great post, Joe – it has the capacity to produce much discussion.

  3. Josh W says:

    Benoît, that idea of personal enunciation vs public statement has another form, the idea of speaking for ourselves or speaking for others; statements not designed to reveal meaning according to the standard forms of communication, that are not directed towards people (to be more exact), may be of personal value, but their action as noise as far as other people are concerned distances the speaker from those people it is not directed to, but nonetheless hear it.

    Noise makes people foreign.

    This idea has quite a bit of relevence in the world of blogs and facebook statuses, where speaking is often done for personal reasons and not for those who are it’s supposed audience, if this observation is true, then by acting as noise this process emphasises our foreignness from each other.

    Interestingly the christian tradition suggests that it is possible to change the personal and unexpressible into the public domain of language, it suggests a seperation exists between personal and public meaning (and even that personal meaning can be non-linguistic, a meaning that we ourselves are partially foreign to) but that it can be bridged.

    The speaker first stands as an individual speaking in their unique foreigness, and then this is interpreted to make it mentally productive. But this translation of personal noise into public meaning is not to contain the speaker, to replay the creation of the utterence as many notes on works of art do, but to treat the personal as a contribution to community by finding that in it. Procedurally validating the speaker, by implicitly treating the utterence as similar to Badiou’s event.

  4. Josh W says:

    Crap, I never got to my response to the main post:

    To seek a unified discription of a statement is a tricky business, because of how heterogeneous the category you are trying to define is. For that reason I think you do well to consider the differences between statements in terms of their embedding in the world: To draw a border around all statements is to cut across the very different relationships that things within that border have with things outside of it. (as a boring clarification, that “cutting” is simply a perpendicular intersection of a relationship and a perceptual differentiation, a line of interaction and a border, in that sense the seperation implied is neccesary for the relationship to be defined, and nothing special, instead it is the fact that multiple forms of interaction are considered to be perpendicular to the same surface of distinction; that they are all participating in the same class of relationships, similarly different-between, that means you need to watch out)

    So recognising their relationship to existing objects is good, but embedding all statements within the general autopoiesis of a social structure is to go too far. Remember that there is no requirement for statements to be well formatted, and ammenable to the sustaining of the situation that created them. It is entirely possible that a statement could form a “fatal error” to one of the systems that come together in it’s production mechanism, even as they reinforce another.

    Basically, don’t worry so much! Language can open thought even as it closes it. Or maybe I’ve misunderstood and you get that.

    The non-historical side of statements; that the trace of an action in the world and the moment of action itself can be conflated and considered equivalent, is a part of that destruction of the subject, as it’s amenability to being removed from the moment to moment existence of the person who said it, having a suspended semi-life of it’s own, seems to me to be a consequence of that person’s own embedding in the multiple structures that sustain that statement through useful repetition or embodiment. In other words, your club (or your house) carries your words for you. That’s not to say that statements have no subject though, I’d say they have many, depending on their temporal pattern of usefulness. So depending on the cut you take through time, space and statement modification, they could have a constant subject but differing form, or a bundle of incompatible subjects. In the same way the attribution of a statement can be partial and multiplied, alternate (possibly overlapping) systems as conditions of possibility, and constituents of it’s particular sustaining process.

    Tieing those two threads together, one distinction within the concept of statements is their different histories of sustainance, their differing ringing in the air, as the life-sounds of a system, or the commemoration of the past in it’s replacement, or anything between.

    To be honest I find your discomfort with “signifying technology” a little baffling, is it your personal trap to avoid? A form of thought leading to known criticisms that you have not yet resolved? Probably some theoretical developments I’m missing.

    On space, don’t forget that spaces can be received, with a pause and a suspension of intentionality, paths of perception can dance through what we guess is a space, and weave themselves together through their own consistency. In other words if we let our guard down, spaces can infect us!

  5. fallingsilvers says:

    from the glacial lakes
    looming, the horizon is
    swollen
    in times, half past
    machine breath
    in a
    bowl,
    sockets of dusts, wires, circuits glisten beaded and drift – exiting empires, whispers the dunes
    dry a part caught in the ancient bedrock cut, oblique
    edge stark, tapering
    spine of interstate concrete.

    We stand on five minutes and devour centuries.

    (i like the second image, very much. maybe thats where sound and silence breach each other shores, looking futures pasts looking collide remembering through you, on the road.
    josh w, sayin ‘spaces can infect us’ if we’re receptive to it,
    i like.

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