Theory 1: Epigrams and Involutions
“When I’m dreaming back like that I begins to see we’re only all telescopes.” Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake
“We have to learn to think differently — in order at last, perhaps very late on, to attain even more: to feel differently.” Nietzsche, Daybreak, II.103
“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.” Montaigne
Preface. These collected epigrams, my thoughts of the morning — and occasionally late evening — this collection of azure and gleaming obsidian birds, I give to you today. If only you could have seen these terrible thoughts, these wicked birds in life, in joyful flight! I give this gift also to mark a break from this work, this first theory, this Theory 1 — for some of it is now alien to me. We are still becoming. Another theory, to refocus and amplify the first; incipit the second!
With infinite love,
Joseph Weissman, July 22, 2012 C.E.
Ratio. Between science’s eternal youth, forever sprouting green shoots, and the crumbling timelessness of art’s old age, there may yet emerge a new, a third kind of time, a crossing between the unique and universal which could bestow a new measure. The dream is young, the awakening ancient. Between the transformation and the formula, in the middle of the two shores of language, a glittering goal which shifts along with us, a nearly-invisible position which threatens to forever slip between the stories and theories into the depths. Between itself and itself, the earth is always the story — the only one we can remember or tell, that is, the one we are — this dream, and this awakening. On the surface, the two series don’t align, cracks burst throughout the volume. A map of hidden tensions is revealed. The lines don’t originate from a central point. They swerve and intersect madly, though they may sometimes seem parallel. It is only in the depths, where mixtures reign, that all is equilibrium — a transcendental immanence. All impossibilities are nullified by a smooth consistency of oscillation, a balance without ratio. All formulas, and none. Perfect peace, though it may sometimes seem chaotic. And between the surface and the depth, an interval, the third space: the profound Being of depth crossed with the mad beings of the surface — a plague or a prophecy? Even now, I still do not know. The law of bifurcation rules the depths of the sea, of the skies, and of time. Everything is reversible. It is a lesson found in the most ancient books, the law of the parasite, whose tiny silver thread always manages to cross the borderline. The least can become the greatest: everything can become nothing, and nothing — everything. Thus, upon the surface, reversibility gives way to the irreversible. The law of anarchy, of entropy, rules the surface — a kind of royal madness which sets about organizing chaos, even creating complexity to maximize disorder. Time itself expresses this blistering of the surface, the irreversibility of creation. Finally, there could be no formal law for the space in between, spoken of even less than the depths and repressed by the surface-depth system — another wisp of Plato’s ghost. Yet it would be that ratio whose reason was precisely pure love, or humility — the meaning, and perhaps the very reality of humanity.
Overcome. A situation tends to bring about the specific conditions of its overcoming. Thus advances in transportation and telecommunication technologies are slowly bringing about not only the collapse of the classical temporal and spatial interval as such, the annihilation of the discrete; but also a simultaneous collapse of classical distribution or dissemination as such, a self-destruction of the sign through optimal transmissivity, and hence finally the death of the voice along with the signal, theannihilation of the continuous. –Twin paradoxes which define and isolate our historical moment: to build channels without yet having anything meaningful to transmit, and to transmit without having any channels or destinations, or any hope of being received. A question disrupts the essence of the situation, its reality; but a greater noise can always drown it out. It may not even be heard the first time. But after long enough, there is another question, or another questioner, and then another to question him, and so on. Repetition and revolution. –Modernity is hatred of the modern. The state itself becomes noise, and hence is drowned in noise. Finally, there is only glare, pure positivity, a non-spectacle: a signal without a sign. What is it to be in excess of the state?
Everywhere. What is the nature of the difference between reflection and immediacy, between the orders of thought and of our inescapable exposure to light, to noise, to the proximity of another person? Between blindness and synesthesia, a word — a universe. Between the instant and the timeless, a positive indetermination which ruptures with the order of both image and essence, disrupting the fragility of duration as well as agitating the eternal time of truth — in short forcibly opening thought onto the pure multiple. Determination almost annihilates multiplicity, for unlike the one with its tiny arrow, (beholden to the singular, microscopic graph of substitution) with the multiple there is only noise — no categorical tables, no certain translations. Upon multiplicities, determination (especially as network, as protocol) is the work of almost total negation, a triple erasure whose traces are then painstakingly classified: subtraction dominating the supplement, an order without order. “Science is not necessarily a matter of the one or of order, the multiple and noise are not necessarily the province of the irrational. This can be the case, but it is not always so.” (Serres, Genesis 131) So what is it to “take” pure multiplicity as an explicit object for philosophy, for science, for politics, for art? What is it to think these surging flocks of singularities, or even to produce these dense aggregates of interconnections — dreams, the sea, time? What does the ego become, once one begins to think, to think the multiple as such? A transistor, a becoming, open at any rate to the noise of the sea: a model of knowledge, certainly, but also of the world. At once, all at once. Thought circulates, agitates through a radical indetermination in which it finds its singular positivity (if I may be permitted to say so, its humanity or humility.) A rigorous determination of multiplicity can be found in Plato and Hegel — hidden by the divisions characterizing the form of the Good, or the Whole — no less than in the Lao-Tzu, where multiplicity is reflected through cosmic experience itself and finds continuity only though the rupture of assigned identities: “From way-making arises continuity / From continuity arises difference / From difference arises plurality / From plurality arises multiplicity.” (Lao-Tzu, Daodejing 47) Thinking turns away, escapes at once, misses the point, goes astray; it is fluttering and chaotic, in the same way the world is turbulent. Always between sleep and consciousness, word and cosmos, being and nothingness, number and letter. No figure of thought, no poem or formula, could represent the multiple — no gesture could safely reproduce it. What is the multiple but pure risk, the becoming-excluded of the third, the very involution of the “safe” observer? The one in the other, without representation; the me within the multiple, the multiple in me, all at once and without extension. No distance is great enough, exposure is inevitable, we must respond. The essence of the generic is finitude, an infinite displacement; the meaning of finitude is noise, an infinite repetition. There is a darkness and incompleteness at the very heart of knowledge, a heresy in the most rigorous formulae, a dangerous obscurity and black magic in even the purest thought. Finitude implies iterability, proximity, futurity, in short: society, noise, time, the sea. Being coincides with a generic excess, and essentially refers beyond the situation, to a process of connection to the infinite, to an outside, to pure multiplicity. Thinking — what but a conversation, a dance for two? Being and becoming, logos and chaos, image and essence, time and light, movement and rest. Before the dance begins, and between each pose, there must be a step, a measure, a form or transformation, a pause: a resonance and reception, an order and a response, silence and exposure. A suppleness is needed in order to hang in-between, a certain light-hearted spark without which the dance evaporates. Yet hardness is needed in order to maintain the vulnerable posture, tense, pronate. Finitude ceaselessly iterates, rapidly alternates, suddenly disintegrates. Absolute knowledge and absolute ignorance are both impossible; the question is one of phases, degrees, angles, senses. Thought is submission and mastery, learning and teaching, power and humility at once. Mastery without mastery, submission without submission: the situation presented produces a new situation, which itself needs reiteration. How to translate the infinite, the multiple, this conversation without words, this text without image? This formlessness of the purest form, this uplifting of the veil, this pure impurity.
Syntax. The actual trace or cutting edge of theory is a veritable penetration into reality, not a moment but a certain force or intensity of thought which maintains its position in relationship to the real (understood as the indeterminate gap between syntax and spirit, or between an axiom and the imaginative power which both conditions and evades its’ grammar.) Reality and image, disjoint but co-present, conjoined only asymmetrically at specific suture points of flux: a coiled loop of time. This self-interrupting dimorph-system, the ‘formal’ figure of the parasite, is a property of not only every formal system but of formality itself, of the very essence of form; it undermines and coerces the event of transformation itself, as only a symptom of fate, of time. A feeling or noise which never goes away, and then suddenly disappears one day, for no reason at all — an inconsistent multiplicity, an ocean of light, a body. A writing which without being written is beyond any form, a language which without being spoken is beyond any thought. This disjunction is contact which provokes a co-evolution, an involution of every event, every moment into a single moment which effaces them. Thought captures the self-effacing movement of the mark through a penetration or disjunction, a contact without resolution. The becoming-formal of the indeterminate displaces syntax itself: a rupture which no set of axioms, or finite set of symbols, could encompass or comprehend. This ideal object evades finite inference. No axiom grounds infinite inference, no formal system dividing propositions into nonsense and sound judgments distinguishes its subtle grammar, only constituted within this improbable trajectory from noise to sound, from sound to voice, from voice to light. A parasitic evolution which proceeds from multiplicity and marches towards the empty, the open, the blank, the possible.
Involve. Ideas arrest and extrude contents from a flux and thus illuminate forms from chaos. An inversion or involution, not the simple highlighting of a pattern or introducing a context — but rather through a constant, asymmetrical, positive communication with the flux, and so in a sense a commingling with the essence of form itself. Yet a bifurcation defers any discernment of the origin of ideas, they are not a memory. They do not come from you. (A code has an inventor, to be sure; but like a strand of DNA, these codes are always secondary, indirect, relative — a map with moving parts, not the tracing of a blueprint.) Codes ensure the maintenance of a form only to an approximate degree; in this sense they mimic the behavior of soap bubbles which appear spherical — the question is whether an ideal form exists, or whether we are interpreting patterns from the turbulent interaction of forces. Does matter dramatize ideas into reality, or do ideas awaken things into being? A code documents a becoming, hence it is not a relationship as such, though it may be connected or disjoined from other codes. What is coded does not necessarily resemble the code which is applied: in fact these cases constitute rather singular exceptions, which have formed the morphological substructure of the concept itself. A strange kind of concentration is required to distinguish abstract lines from concrete, a balance which thus glimpses the purity of the unformed. Ever more rigorously is the implicit demand of communicating multiplicity, which thus is identical to real thought in an essential sense. Both being and becoming, the void and the multiplicity, are required: their origin is an orbit: a sun of pure light and a decentered relative emptiness, always two foci about which the endlessly varying expressions of successive ideas sketch a slow ellipse. Two axes of pure thought are distinguished in the revolution of the concept: an involution by which the idea interrupts itself and places itself in question, and an evolution which now appears to follow, and now appears the lead these involutions. A turbulent geometry, at the very least: and so it would seem a sense for singularity, a kind of implicit differential topology is required to catch sight of this tightly controlled turbulence, this uncanny becoming — the essence of form.
Other. A science of being is not enough. This subtraction which purifies, this selection and division which makes holy, which ‘invents’ and ‘discovers’ truth — how could ontology do anything but give us theories of the One, of the Law, of the Real, of the existing-as-such? How could it do anything but carefully induce multiplicity to subtract itself into unified theory, divide itself into functions and axioms; endlessly seduce differences into homogeneity, and minorities into conformity; plumb the depths only in order to reproduce an absolute height for an absolute voice? Ontology is always the political ontology of Power, taken to the absolute point of dispersion where nothing remains, everything is subtracted, except for forces and matter — only functions, pure functions, and even concepts are now only seen in terms of effects, the site they create, “their” ontology. Ontology as both lens and situation, a regime where truths are always the same, is insufficient as long as it remains without a phenomenology of becoming, the concept as event, coming from outside of being which throws existence into doubt. Multiplicity is first apprehended as risk, as danger; this much seems to be always already understood. The ontological question is how much can we take, what can be subtracted — from the situation, in short from life. Life as subtraction and transubstantiation. The holiness of being should not be misunderstood, for we encounter the most peculiar bifurcation precisely here, the curvature of space itself, the uncanny pull of the invisible — the Other, a zone which implies another reality — where being merges with non-being. The fold between us. Ontology grasps the other only as what-escapes, as invisible or abstract lines of flight carrying on vertiginously into infinity, as impossibilities spiralling into a “beyond” of the situation itself. The other infects ontology like a virus, causes thought to question itself. The other is why ontology is insufficient, and why it always already demands a meta-ontology, and perhaps even explains the disconcerting rigor of ontology’s essence: a code of codes designed to produce a generalize, cosmic decoding. Multiplicity is the outside: ontology grasps the Other only in the form the void-set, thereby grounding multiplicity in the void. The ontologist prays: the void is One, being is empty, God is dead. Anarchy and servitude, chaos plus transcendence: strangely enough, this is precisely how ontology forces an overflow, an excess, which causes it to precisely catch sight of its other. An agitation which awakens.
Transparency. The world is hollow. In-itself anything is precisely nothing. A thing exists positively only in the precise sense that it exhibits certain forces, that it forms connections or disjunctions with other things, or assemblages of things, in such and such a way. Moreover, is it not necessary that at some point in the process of any machine, there is something that may and must become reduced to a generic and redundant unit? It may indeed be said that the machine presents us with the most spectacular and dangerous breakthrough in all of history, a breakthrough written into our desires themselves. Love is not a question of signals, but of production. Not words but noise. The word is hollow: in itself everything means precisely nothing. Yet no thought is ever without its heretical dimension, its strange and apocalyptic promise — the dangerous promise of possible knowledge. Not only does nothing “exist,” but it is the essence of existence itself, and so all knowledge is a kind of nothingness: a rigorous silence, a selective and critical passivity, a dangerous and misunderstood weakness. Truth is a parasite, we are infected: knowledge is never without this vertigo dimension of being self-imposed, like a sickness which you acquire simply by imagining it. I emphasize this point precisely because it is all too clearly understood by the creature within. and is it not so that when its roaring becomes imperceptible, we encounter an ancient silence, without limits? Yet everything begins in noise.
Trajectory. A series of imminent and necessary breakdowns are inherent to the production of desire: first, because desires connect up to an outside, with something which is always unrecognized, which is totally foreign; next, because desire is brought to turn upon itself, it is seduced into betrayal (by resentment, fear, hate, etc.); finally, because desires are always collective, but the individual makes these collective desire their own, digests and reintegrates them. In each case, there is a kind of fundamental deadlock to any investigation of the unconscious which reflects the essential paradox of psychoanalysis. We risk not only our feelings and thoughts but even ourselves as beings entirely: the risk of losing not just our habits, our beliefs and our identities, but the very significance, the subjectivity, of our reality. Everything becomes a trajectory, a cosmic machine, a universal process of production. A becoming-nothing which is the essence of consciousness: and in the end will we know which it is — a disease or an experiment? –But what do we matter? For alienation is becoming a stranger; not trading places with a double, nor a diagnosis, but rather this mis-recognition of an alien consciousness always already present within enjoyment, within our desire itself. The Disaster, the Event, Difference — this is what is always recognized but never known; or rather, you don’t know, you will never know whether this alterity is truly radical or not. We must make a certain wager in order to discover the real, to know our desire, to learn anything at all about ourselves. It is not a question of imitation, but of pure intensities, of movements and singularities and flows. There is always a risk involved in a becoming, a risk which is always recognized and never known to us — a displacement of essence internal to becoming, an infinite capacity which transfigures reality. Fantasy depends upon an element exterior to the situation itself radically exceeding the space which is gazed upon and yet intricately involved in every detail of its structure: it is not only because the gaze is the fantasy’s only audience that this absolutely alien element is always already the hidden meaning of its excess. But what is ultimately so traumatic is the very fragility and inconsistency not of our fantasy but of reality itself, its ironic vulnerability to sudden and immediate disintegration, our apparent powerlessness in the face of disaster.
Cyclone. A properly ontological investigation is a ceaseless circulation around the notions of emptiness and presence, a rigorous attempt to discern the peculiar concepts of existence and nothingness, always and once again a faithful commitment to seeking out ones and zeroes. Patching up holes; but precisely in such a way that the reality grasped by ontology (like theology) is always-already as a shadow of reality, like the phantasm of another life. Cantor thought transfinite series a pure and untouchable trace of Difference. A proof of transcendence, disguised as a proof of immanence. But how else could a universal theory of events be constructed? The critique of ontology encounters yet another surprise when it allows its gaze to move beyond the event itself. The patient observer discovers within the folds of interleaving processes an uncanny kind of hidden writing, whose nature is exceptionally difficult to grasp, for the nature of this half-erased or subtle writing ceaselessly shifts its ground as quickly as the question is posed, and can just as easily turn out to have been nothing at all. –A coincidence, upon which ontology has always made a strange decision: that being and nothing are One, existence is non-existence. God may or may not exist, but this subtle writing can be exhumed from the essences of things. It has affirmed this strange paradox precisely in order to allow a meta-philosophical plane of thought to be constructed. Being is the first focus of the elliptical orbit traced by ontological thinking. The basic ontological statement is made by Lucretius: all things have within them the seeds of their becoming. Even the void, absolute nothingness, can be seen as a positive emptiness capable of infinite becomings. Being can thus be seen as a kind of positive nothingness, the radically empty pure essence of reality. Hence to be is to become everything — to communicate with infinite becomings, with forces radically exceeding our “individual” structural limitations: the earth, the cosmos; animals, plants, molecules, stars, etc. Thus nothingness is the second focus of the elliptical orbit traced out by ontology, for the reason that to become capable of becoming is the event itself — the paradox which ontology affirms as its rigorous essence: to diagram being. Existence is essentially infinite in a precise sense: it has within itself the seeds of countless transfigurations — creative, neutral and destructive events. In fact what ontology can be counted upon most faithfully to remind us is that to be is always already an event, and only falsely divided into subject and object. Being is the source of becoming, already a trans-ontological process ceaselessly disseminating events, communicating with processes beyond its own boundaries. Ironically (perhaps) it is precisely this uncanny inter-resonance of widely disparate events which causes the ontologists’ rigorous functionalization to falter.
On Guattari. The first ecosopher has arisen — but how to read his writings? There is not a single answer, everyone disagrees. To read Guattari without Deleuze seems like violence to the polyphonous fury of their mutually-authored works; yet to read Deleuze and Guattari seems like according primacy to the philosopher, to the authority of philosophy over psychoanalysis — asserting the traditional prerogative of philosophy over science, with the usual absent-minded condescension, a perverse kind of triumphant naivete. Our new ecosopher shrinks into the background of the literary uproar he is unleashing. The strange power of Guattari’s writings is such that his works are less collections than whirlwinds, less toolboxes than roaring vortexes one is apt to be drawn violently towards: to study Guattari is neither a coincidence nor an accident (for an English academic) but rather a symptom, even a political symptom. Perhaps simply an indication of the self-destructive desire inherent to global capitalism in which the dissemination of essentially “anti-capitalist” literature is not simply allowed but in fact widely promoted — the faint glimmer of global Renaissance. But I think Guattari might remind us of something else. Political struggle is more than a linguistic struggle, a struggle with texts and pure concepts. It is of course involved with these things, but even more than these signifying systems, political resistance connects with the a-signifying as well, an order of reality more primordial than human meaning, where the distinctions imposed upon reality by our signifying regimes are rendered irrelevant and secondary. Where the cosmos as a process of production becomes perceptible, where the inhuman asignifying order of reality emerges, we may perhaps catch a glimpse of the future dreamed by our first ecosopher. To have to emphasize that the asignifying isn’t the insignificant, but the non-signifying, we realize that already, we have hit the white wall. Misunderstanding is a symptom both of the origin and the impossibility of meaning. The gap between us here is not simply an aspect of the mobile wall of obstacles Guattari has prepared for his students, but already of the even more intransigent obstacles of history, society, economy — in short, the entire political “problem” of desire. A history of desire is difficult yet not impossible, but it does not begin by asking what desire is, pretending some kind of perfect and external objective viewpoint.
Jargon. A word decodes by assembling: a mobile army, a mob or mass of “blocks,” segments extruded from heterogeneous flows: flows with and without codes, flows of energy and of waste, flows of debt and of money, flows of food and of goods, flows of women and children, flows of pulsing affects and flows of intricate concepts. Speaking assembles together, connects and conjoins or pervades and envelops as many radically divergent elements as possible. Language is at once unifying and fluid, both normalizing and improvised, both static and evolutionary — a system of rules neither abstract nor essentially syntactical but rather constituting a radically material and pragmatic collective assemblage. Deleuze and Guattari argue as much in A Thousand Plateaus, suggesting the reason for the coextensivity of collective assemblages with language systems, and even with “language as a whole,” is this very fact that these assemblages express a complex pragmatic — a group of transformations which produce the very condition of possibility of language: “… if the collective assemblage is in each instance coexistensive with the linguistic system considered, and to language as a whole, it is because it expresses the set of incorporeal transformations that effectuate the condition of possibility of language and utilize the elements of the linguistic system…The language-function thus defined is neither information nor communicational; it has to do neither with signifying information nor with intersubjective communication. And it is useless to abstract a significance outside information, or a subjectivity outside communication. For the subjectification proceedings and movement of significance relate to regimes of signs, or collective assemblages. The language-function is the transmission of order-words, and order-words relate to assemblages, just as assemblages relate to the incorporeal transformations constituting the variables of the function. Linguistics is nothing without a pragmatics (semiotic or political) to define the effectuation of the condition of possibility of language and the usage of linguistic elements.” (Deleuze and Guattari) Not language’s “essence” but language’s praxis involves the complex syntactical disjunction of these wildly-varying elements; speaking is not (effectively) tracing-enunciating an ideal form by rote or metempsychotic memory. Pascal notes in Pensées 556: “Languages are ciphers in which letters are not changed into letters, but words into words, so that an unknown language may be deciphered.” It is true that speaking not only defers to but deciphers an ancient and mysterious writing. Is language ever simply a tool, even when it is a weapon of power? We think it always conditions and disseminates a protocol operative over the entire communications network of an enormous mega-war machine. Nonetheless, language ceaselessly and systematically invests and reactivates collective desires, awakening decoded flows capable of sweeping away all resistances — indeed forming a kind of collective consciousness: the birth of the war-machine coincides with the birth of the voice. A polyvocality whose essence is not a lack but a fullness; language is not necessarily based not on castration, upon the disinvestment and privatization of the other, of the organs, of the outside. The transformations convoked by the collective assemblage must be understood in the precise terms of a desiring-production which invests the organs and others and outsides, not as subjects (once again users of machines, slaves to events) but rather as the complex assemblages they are. The revolution of collective machines of expression is the nucleus of the question of language today.
Dream. Dream-analysis does not necessitate an affirmation of the existence of universal structures of expression; it need not amount to the tiresome interpretation of the same hidden message over and over again, wherein the forms of thinking and speaking and finally reality itself are rendered identical, cruelly reduced to a single and all-encompassing formula. It suffices to mention that the good doctor Freud would have us believe the dream-work is essentially uncreative, that it amounts in the end to an organic process of coding, one of unsteady translation between the sleeping consciousness and the passive unconscious, producing a kind of dense hieroglyphic writing which must then be interpreted through an analytic exchange. The dream understood as writing (even schizowriting) becomes poisoned; the dream taken as representation leaves us only with a kind of mindless condensation and confusion of many distinct memories. Even so, the messages are too free; Freud always seems to lose sight here, missing the material process of decoding unfolding before his eyes. We miss the dream-work entirely, we find only translation instead of production. Freud is neither the last nor first scientist to seek relentlessly to crush singularity in favor the universal — a strange moment where it seems reason itself has gone mad, engaging itself in an infinite and searching analysis “beneath” for some powerful and profoundly-hidden writing. It is this desire for some universal “meaning” disseminating itself through the dream in a distorted form which necessitates the uncreativity, the non-productive character Freud ascribes of the dreamwork. And thus the dream has already frozen, and becomes a little analysis in itself. The interminability of the analysis corresponds precisely with this frozen process, this hideous arresting of the infinite circulation of the dream. It is only possible to open psychoanalysis to the outside by arresting its own process of continuous interpretation: “No longer are there acts to explain, dreams or phantasies to interpret, childhood memories to recall, words to make signify; there are colors and sounds, becomings and intensities… There is no longer a Self that feels, acts and recalls; there is a ‘glowing fog, a dark yellow mist’ that has affects and experiences movements, speeds.” (ATP 180) It is clear enough a non-productive unconscious could not produce a cure; such an unconscious could only accept one imposed from without, a cure intended to code and crush desire — to normalize our unconscious, not to assist its process of production.
Is mathematics discovered or invented? But what if we have misplaced the scent from the start; in other words what if this clear distinction elides the process itself, if the particular and immanent relation between invention and discovery forms the basis of the ‘singularizing’ expression involved in a new mathematical proof? But a rigorous diagram of novelty itself, of the Event, seems to escape the boundaries of mathematical thought. Ontology is not the royal road to reality, any more than dreams are a singular road the unconscious. In a way, it does not even seem to get us very far at all; at least in terms of understanding “truth,” that exceptional ontogenesis of knowledge and/or being, which after all constitutes what philosophers have so far approached as the ideal “problem” according to which all others are to be modeled, and to which the creation of any new concepts must invariably be induced to correspond.
Risk. The utter annihilation of the soul is an unavoidable stage of becoming human. The human soul is restless, without certainties — at least until it has finally inoculated itself to the world, jamming any channels still open to the outside.
Nihil. Philosophy is a whirlwind from which very little can escape; the breaks are not always where they appear to be! A pure negation of philosophy remains pure philosophy; it is coded in the same semiotic, an inverse. Even suspending this decision (to separate essence from appearance) is still a philosophical position. Finally, even if we manage to truly escape philosophy and found a new science which could in turn truly take the “human” science of philosophy and grasp it as raw experimental material, the risks of a new asceticism corresponding to this “higher” rigor are nearly unavoidable. All these risks are not unlike those Nietzsche or Deleuze are continually warning us about. The worst consequence of nihilism is not necessarily that of forgetting our philosophy in our despair; rather there is a stranger, more uncanny possibility — that the pious suspension of philosophy would be capable of sweeping reality away along with it, abandoning us in some non-human plane of transcendent nullity, enslaved to transparent emptiness and arcane jargon. Nonetheless, a positive “nihilism” undoubtedly constitutes an ideal space for the creation of a new kind of science capable of grasping in turn any human science, and even philosophy itself.
Supplements. What is true cannot change; what changes cannot be truth — is this not the miserable dream in which too many have diffused their cleverness?
Non-expression. Speaking is a donation of words; but in this donation is dramatized an idea of alterity, an uncanny and infinite Power mysteriously unleashed, and this by a seemingly peaceful sharing of signs.
Is it possible? Ten thousand years of speaking, and still we are waiting for a sign.
Problems. We owe to Deleuze the discovery that the difficulty of a problem is not simply the number of differential elements it assembles within a single ideal situation, but rather the process of problematization of an element or elements which somehow causes the contents of the problem to problematize the very situation itself. This marks a radical becoming-social of problematics — or if you like, the becoming-event of the concept (becoming-problem.) Yet does it not seem as though this method is still profoundly Lacanian somehow, as though the real is being implicitly understood as a strange hyper-real gap between Difference and itself — mysteriously and paradoxically allowing a differentiation to differenciate itself infinitely, suspending both the emotional-organic ontology of desiring-repression as well as the mechanical logic that underlies materialism, allowing thought to move at infinite speed on a hyperplane of immanence — ripping a hole through the symbolic networks, allowing the transpiercing and reprogramming of the assemblage by the outside? The difficulty remains even if we understand the practice of militant problematization or counter-actualization to be a process of differentiating problematic or ‘insurgent’ elements of the situational social assemblage with respect to their capacity for transformation.
A certain noise is all it takes. Parasites can indeed be shaken off and immediately so; but they are chased out only by a greater noise, by the willing invitation of still more powerful parasites. –So at least there are specific cries which are anathema to a given variety of parasite: the roaring of their host-cum-predators. Of collective liberation.
Other. In order to grasp the organless body of capital, we must also grasp the decoding and distribution of scales (layers) necessitated by its cyclic, redundant pragmatic of infinite dissemination. This transmission of alien messages continuously and cynically demanded by the increasingly-powerful actualization of capitalist social diagrams is in fact an essential characteristic. We must think this transmission on the molecular scale at which capitalism opens, divides, reprograms and transfigures our minds and bodies. But no less can we ignore this transmission on the cosmic scale in which capitalism cannot help but figure as the looming, obscure Power sleeping silently within the earth itself, simply waiting for the right conditions to make contact with powers originating from a radical Outside.
On long ears. What goes “without saying” is undoubtedly far more interesting than what is actually said.
Logic of cents. Capital occupies a restless place-without-place, presents us with an absent focus of exchange — an obscure third only absolutely present as a kind of channel, or a decoding of series of channels, forming vast networks allowing the growth of indirect and secondary interconnections. Money taken formally as unlimited diffusion continuously re-enacts a strange and arcane drama, the creation of wealth. In some cases the system of capitalist production aligns itself with the existing and traditional power structures only to break with it in the most extreme fashion in others. Primary desiring-repression is much, much older than capitalism; we are today actualizing social diagrams of pain and destruction only dreamed of by the ancients. But it is this specific paradox of necessary and humiliating castration to an inhuman, exterior, malevolent machine which is the very soul of capitalism — or to put it less dramatically, there is a kind of catastrophic desire-to-subvert-desire which constitutes the ultimate logic of capitalist “sense.”
Permutation. An idea, an axiom, and especially a supposedly universal system, cannot help but attach to what is readily available. A finite stock; an endless and chaotic assemblage of variations, as Levi-Strauss’ famous bricoleurs: scientists, artists, philosophers, revolutionaries — what but psychosocial handy-men, making use of what is both close by and useful, what is already and what can be quickly assembled? How could we create new machines, except by utilizing the stock which remains from previous constructions (and deconstructions)?
Novel. The event is rare — is this not an inherently tragic proposition? Would not the souls to witness it discover the event branded upon them indelibly, or else lost forever? For the new can indeed induce joy; yet under different conditions it is capable of producing a strain under which a break is nearly unavoidable. –Is there breakthrough, novelty, only in extraordinary cases? Deleuze reminds us that Spinoza kept for years the coat he wore the day a young man attempted to take his life, in order to remind himself that human beings do not always love thought. That the event is rare seems a platitude; yet it can be an opening for gloomy passions, for a creeping cynicism and an uncanny piety: in short the belief that there are few beings in the world capable of the creation of new capacities – new concepts, new passions, new perceptions… But we do not know the thresholds, we are groping in the dark: the event is an event, they come in bursts, and their frequency depends on the associated rates of flow. An event is indeed infinite, but to seek a living, transcendent meaning in the pure rate of innovation is to fall prey to one of the most dangerous lures for thought today. –An infinite number of effects is not a cause; nonetheless we believe in extracting the cause from ‘within’ the effect, thinking we are ‘objective’ by thus subtracting the true cause from the field of the question, all the while we are actually subtracting the thought itself from the consciousness of thought.
Vocality. A particle of dream; this cyclonic voice, whose element was never pure breath, but extremely pressurized breath as it flows violently throughout the vocal assemblage — the dangerous and elusive voice, always and already a kind of non-figure, a non-sign strangely parallel with spirit, is not air alone but the intricate disjunction of innumerable micro-movements and a concerted series of infinitesimal resistances. A voice arises without transcendent cause or teleology; yet despite, and in a sense precisely because of this, it engineers an immense and dangerous collision with the outside, with the other. Alterity cannot be taken to indicate a fundamental or direct correlation; the perplexing condition is that every single bit of transmission is indirect, effective only because it is redundant, always and ultimately carried out through an absent third, a medium, whose abstract structure matters much less than the integrity of its encoding and decoding functions. Of course in the last instance direct and indirect channels of transmission cannot really be so readily distinguished; but what matters here is that transitivity, transmissivity logically precedes the movement of the signifier. The voice is not a sign of the spirit, not a representation of mediation, but more like the material and a-signifying “core” of the sign — an eventfulness, a material whirlwind, a blockade and a line of flight.
Nietzsche. That joy and vision should be brought to bear even in the darkest corner of the human soul — and especially upon that within it which surges upwards and beyond the human species entirely; above the world, and so finally able to see, from a vision born of flight. To “survey” reality as though from an impossible distance, an incommensurate height.
Joyful wisdom. Science is such that it can only truly be said to exist once many powerful and warring social and psychic desires have been tamed, coerced into accord, allowed to achieve their fragile pact. (A difficult enough thing; and, indeed, the conditions for a joyful science are still far from ripe!) The result being that a scientist, insofar as he or she is a scientist, is precisely the one who is unconcerned about whether another agrees to the “truth” of this or that proposition; in every instance it is rather the force or real function which counts, which is to say: the manner in which a given idea alters, amplifies, and re-assembles already existing systems of ideas. The production of a new semiotic system is always coupled to a wide variety of psychic and social machines, together forming a new regime of ideas along with an appropriate “pragmatics” of desire. This “image of thought,” for our purposes here, can be considered simply as a series of collective practices interwoven with a multiplicity of signifying systems, the coupling of productive processes with anti-productive processes, a conjoining of systems of pure affects with order-words. A pragmatic then is precisely a ‘process’ which can be said to function ‘structurally’ only in a heuristic and reductive sense. Indeed, the reality of thought is not a stasis or immanent emptiness but rather (or more fundamentally) a transfinite process of conception, first and fundamentally a flight into new pragmatic regimes. This a conceiving of new practices may be realized or constituted in any particular case, but only insofar as it tends to produce novel and singular functions. It is not true that the repetition of a similar effect is the origin of thinking; rather it is precisely a difference, in the last instance a shift in perspective, sometimes infinitesimal, which is required.
Scars. A break is a source, a disjunction capable of unravelling the reality, the stitches of any flux. A break is a void, a schism — think only of the ‘irreducible’ split between grammatical subject and object — which serves a fundamentally connective role, constituting a heterogeneous stitching-together of a multiplicity of disparate elements. The void binds as much as it serves to disjoin and interpose its chilly emptiness and taste of the beyond. So much to say that this unravelling co-extensive with the Void (despite gloomy prophesies to the contrary!) connotes a kind of concerted deconstruction whose force is entirely positive, an affirmative disjunction.
War on Information. Idealism begins with the proposition that life is futurity, yet attempts to halt before the inevitable futility this produces, the cancerous desires which follow, not from “particular” notions, but precisely from the incorporation of Truth into life, that is, the incorporation of a point of ideality into the social diagrammatics of thought. A bad conscience, alienation, a nullity or ‘nihilism,’ is the necessary counterpart to this process of internalization of the infinite (or at least a “point at infinity”) into the collective machines through which the world is enunciated. Existence as the stability of identity is the absolutely firm foundation upon which all idealism has hitherto constructed its watchtowers and fortresses. The struggle of nihilism is not simply that of the rejection of transcendence, but rather the real production of new “reality” through the incorporation of truth. To the degree that the truth bears such an incorporation, there is a degree of nihilism in all thought, a war on Information, a degree of rupture and continuous elusion of identity. Thinking is therefore inextricable from a micro-politics of subversion, from the actions and passions of war machines; the question is one of strategy and not of ideology. Without this struggle of desiring-machines, this war of learning and desiring, all beliefs, all thinking would lack interest.
Truth defaced. Both the origins of truth and untruth may always be followed back to a human face — an other whose thoughts and expressions were found useful, for a longer or shorter span of history. Yet the origins of mathematics and philosophy, the evolution of the scientific instinct and will to truth, could hardly be explained in the same way; rather the problem of the origin of the will to truth could be approached in a general way only through a genealogical analysis in which the origins of morality are primary; this kind of thinking is oldest, older than language (whose history must be considered in an ultimate sense sense quite secondary to the history of morality.) The origin of the drive for ‘reality’ must be sought through the actions and passions of human bodies, through that uncanny relationship between desire and its Outside.
Twins. Capitalism is nihilism, an endless betrayal of production in favor of an infinite — imaginary — debt or Void, which implies the transcendental equivalence of all processes, their essential or characteristic meaninglessness. Indeed the hostility towards life evinced in the machinations of capitalism are strictly correlate to the heterogeneous means by which nihilism achieves its destructive victory: through a generalized deterritorialization which can barely halt before its radically external, schizophrenic limit.
Firestorm. Heidegger reminds us that despite our apparent control over the machines we create, that in fact we do not even control the desire within us which causes us to create, to use them, or to extend our control over the world through the conception and production of new machines. To this problem, indeed, there is no solution, and very likely there will never be any solutions. The mystery, the secret truth of desire, lies within the machine.
Differently! This creature Life, beyond all evaluations, remains an uninterpretable difference — a kind of difference which is primary with respect to a differential identity, a difference which directly induces individuation, and thereby also seduces us to imitation, to the law of identity, and the shackles of representation. Difference for itself becomes the enemy and not a single word is possible on the value of life; how can we interpret this chaosmogenetic reality, arrive at by subtraction this very truth which endlessly ruptures with the signifying systems we use to interpret the world to another? It seems to verge on a kind of heresy, a prediction of apocalypse with respect to philosophy as such: can a mathematization, an axiomatization of the real take place? The enormous suffering which has gone into everything beautiful is a misery which not only fails to become sensible in the light of Being, but which forcibly undermines the notion that all descends from pure forms (existence from Idea; God as pure and liberating Force of truth) rather than through the violent admixture and interpenetration of wildly heterogeneous forces and bodies (existence from cruelty; God as the tortuously circular Process of differentiation.) A metaphysics from the absolute will to tragedy is an anti-moral, materialist, atheist metaphysic: the singular vision of the real in which our decisions could be dangerous (need I mention also the only one in which knowledge necessarily involves suffering and self-deception?) Thinking is precisely this adventure which connects its desires not to an identical reality or a primary nullity, but precisely to the an-identical, the differentiality of existence. Not a kind of compromise between two poles of the idea but a war with the arbitrary division of the idea into isolated components, the body of Life into organs without bodies.
Will. The question of the will is not whether to emphasize cycles or fluxes (identities or events, structures or processes, concepts and percepts or acts and effects); still less how to conduct a grand unifying synthesis of the two — events and processes as differing stages or aspects of what is ultimately some overly ideal dialectical Unity; the question is rather, first and foremost, to determine how we can possibly proceed (vis a vis the unconscious) given the radical discontinuity between the two accounts of thought and existence. A theory of the will (a diagnostics of the sick will and a genealogy of the healthy, that is to say the real analysis of the unconscious) must affirm the divergence of a purely ‘immanent’ theory of flows and a purely ‘ideal’ theory of machines. Yet the very difficulty in convincingly theorizing the will is precisely the fact that these two modes of interpretation beg one another and are ultimately cut from the same cloth; a successful account of the will cannot disguise the deadlocks which have hitherto almost completely blocked the progress of understanding the unconscious. (It was owing to the sterile dogmatism wherein both accounts decayed for centuries, each thinking itself “complete,” that their kinship and even mutual implication had been able to go so long unnoticed.)
Resemblances. The event has an excess over existence, as a surplus; must this intimate some radical intervention of Truth or more simply, an intangible and virtual dimension of immanence — that the event happens to return, perhaps without limit, breaking with the continuity of resemblances, linking up with a pre-individual and differential flux?
Ground. Becoming can also be understood as a terrible guest: a noisy, ill-mannered, and parasitic inhabitant of beings. Both noise and parasites (and bad manners for that matter) indicate pathways to grasping becoming — these transversal or transevental vectors each affirm a dangerous divergence from the smooth severity of the host or background. Becoming fractures (a) being into a prism: it is precisely the assemblages of parasitic flows of matter and of life which collectively constitute “becoming,” the eruption and eviction of Being; and yet, in another sense, the singular, material and sufficient cause of existence.
Degeneration. Growth (whether cosmic or vital) is never simply a question of similarity, it is not a matter of the general but rather precisely of the repeated: not of convergent series but “degenerate” planes and lines which expand only through a rigorous fragmentation, a limitless mechanism of tortuous recurrence. What is ontologically primary are these infested and “aware” surfaces, the resurgence of certain parasitic elements within the event, the systematic degeneration on the part of the surface of being, the positive knowledge of our incapability to maintain the stability of the surface against the rising ground.
Soul. A man like Kant can explain the beautiful in terms of a pure disinterested pleasure — such a knotted definition is not in itself surprising, nor is the kind of cynicism about the potential and limitations of life which is quite effectively communicated thereby. What is curious is that he in fact means to enhance the importance of artistic creation by converting the unsettling power of the artist into a kind of channel to a familiar universality. Is the beautiful not, then, grasped – but grasped in precisely at its most narrow and isolated state, through a transcendental enframing, even as an annihilation of life itself: as a kind of dazzling infinition which nonetheless does not interact with our conscious interest but with our immaterial, intangible “soul”? There is even almost a kind of foundational axiom of psychoanalysis embedded in Kant’s definition (of course a paradox): there is no pleasure except in losing the possibility for pleasure — the glare of infinite Being when one has finally completely lost one’s identity, and dissolved oneself into the universal (father-mother)… The deep pessimism expressed in this kind of escape, this resentment of life which is by no means peculiar to Kant, is nevertheless quite clearly the pulsing thread underlying his patchwork labor in his “critiques” of the mournful becoming of things. We find in psychoanalysis as well such a stoic willingness to defend the infinite ‘metaphysical’ essence which refuses to escapes its container: and always he leaves open the possibility that human beings are indeed the receptacles of divine messages, channels of pure truth. Frames… The various critiques in effect each pass through God: the divine body in each case codified, colonized, and contained according to a schema or matrix. Ancient diagrammatics: but religious prophecy and classical philosophy — which is perhaps to say a body without organs and its degenerate, parasitic outgrowths — allow such a convergence only through the quelling of a kind of very earthly subterranean enmity between the drives amounting to a kind of repressed hatred. For now they are neither and only pretending, which lodges us squarely in the endless hypocritical abyss of the subject: and finally this desire (and repeated failure) to escape, to dissolve and to disappear turns inwards and becomes a kind of holy resentment, a “stoic” pessimism. The way out is completely blocked, or rather the only path of escape is precisely through this divine sieve we thereby create: and is there not always a bizarre consciousness of self-division which takes place, a realization we are merely ‘acting,’ which suddenly seems almost to divide the Cosmos itself in order to produce the way out such vanity desperately and incessantly seeks? In short, perhaps Kant meant to be — an artist…?
Silence. Silence, that shadow of language in which everything is nevertheless said, is today almost always but a lapse, the momentary oversight of an animal which acts as though in speech it found its very reality, its absolute and primary function. The distinction between language and noise dwindles, and yet is taken all the more seriously. Too often our silence seems but a desire to escape noise; it is so rarely to evade our enslavement. And so one but barely and insubstantially glimpses that Silence which is both resistance and elevation, even a kind of victory against a terrible foe, which is not without its spoils. To discover language is in fact to be without a language, a radical immediacy which at once shatters every moral or political claim, and every shred of symbolism; and at this point many things are possible, indeed, too many things: a violent regression to the prelinguistic, a wispy and premature transcendence to the postlinguistic, or finally the immanent resistance and spontaneity of the counterlinguistic. The necessity of silence in the transformation of the soul cannot be overstated. That indeterminate silence in which sublime meditation, the uncanny intermediation of thinking, takes place — is a warlike silence. For language as such does not think but merely tyrannizes, blindly suturing truth to meaning, a neuroticized “schizophrenia” whose experiments lead inevitably into a cavernous abyss. The health and growth of a language is precisely the death-instinct of language “for-itself,” which is to say that language, in this limited respect like philosophy, is profoundly dangerous for unhealthy cultures. A culture without the power to reinvigorate and transform its language is already a slave to it (the same thing is true, in fact, of production more generally.) The health of a language requires a continuous recreation and enrichment reaching precisely the point of a critique of language (for without this no creation is possible.) What is demanded with respect to categories and axiomatic ontologies is precisely a kind of “schizophrenization” or, more precisely, the unconscious aggregation of radically disparate forces which underlie a sublime silence (which turns towards thinking and tends towards novel creations.) The reproduction of language is a kind of explosion of machines, whose repression is quite intentional and even the basis of conscious awareness (consciousness is a being-strangled by the Sign.) Silence may then be grasped in its positive sense as an inexpressible chaos, as a fearful and indeterminate abyss in which an infinity of heterogeneous forces are dangerously and inextricably intertwined. Yet it may also be grasped as some truly “heretical” Unexpressed, the enthusiastic proclamation of energy itself as pure potentiality — a blank canvas, upon which thought dares to create. Language is always both at once, in a constitutive and radical ambiguity. While currently constituted as a tyrannical conjunction of signs, nonetheless the possibility of transformation remains embedded within it. Discouraging as the current conditions may seem it is nevertheless not unreasonable to predict, with Derrida, the death of not only such a conception of language but also (albeit at the distance of some centuries) its practice.
Event. They are decentered and non-relational, and always a kind of creation (the event is the very introduction of novelty into existence.) As the substance of history events amount to chasms splitting the world in two, and sometimes sweeping it away, or even shattering it to pieces. The event insofar as it is always already the production of revolution, is the very becoming of becoming. Now, an ontologist naturally grasps the event precisely through its diaphanous non-identity, in its differential externality, and especially as a kind of infinite multiplicity. The event is understood then as a kind of hyper-being, a without-being which enters into being through –what, precisely? The void — which is to say, it must create itself through a bizarre repetition, but whence? An infinite dissemination is demanded. And what of the turbulence of the Event, its volcanic or cyclonic roaring? Emancipation can be understood as the liberation of forces necessary to produce the will to resistance. This event is indeed “eternally recurring”: strained ears may catch the distant footfalls of daybreak, and the dangerous voice of a love without a history and without hierarchies — which is, after all, not a signifier to be interpreted, not a “meaning,” but an asignifying rupture, already an act of creation.
Irrealism. Modernity can be seen as a kind of victory for realism, but this victory was always already betrayed by capitalism, disseminated to death. Despite all appearances, the masks and pseudonymity of the postmodern era indicate not an abandonment of the war against cynicism and superstition, but rather a renewed undertaking of this same battle with a greater degree of caution, pragmatism and assiduity than the modern age could have imagined necessary.
Will to think. Philosophy at its very best is saddening, a cautious disenchantment: a deciphering of the hidden resentment with which we have crafted our values, the nihilism behind the idealities humanity has raised above itself. Yet how could philosophy ever have taken hold and prospered without a certain artistry in masking its true purpose from us; how could it not begin by seducing us to another reality — seducing us to reject this life and this reality? Consider that the will to think must partially close the “field” of thought, in this way allowing it to acquire definite shape and form: the force of thought severs thought from becoming, reducing the chaos of becoming into an organized noise. In this sense, the force of thought disjoins not only a given thought from what it can do but transforms the very categories of thought in order to render existence inert, harmless and ready for transmission. The innate becoming reactive of thinking is what philosophy opposes in all ages and throughout all its disguises.
Psyche. We are always furthest away from ourselves: there is a “necessary unconsciousness” of the underlying machinery of thought; it cannot be integrated into consciousness without violence and tragedy. The healthy constitution of the workshop of the unconscious is the entire problem of psychoanalysis; yet is not psychoanalysis then, at least insofar as it depends on extruding a repressed trauma to work its cure, founded upon the paradox (or illusion) of knowing what we cannot know — the unconscious meaning of the symptom — in short, knowing what we should not be able to know? It is indeed this strange ethical status of psychoanalysts which makes their “cure” possible — i.e., by pretending to an esoteric insight, a “necessarily unattainable” knowledge of the nature of the soul, the pathway to a cure for certain neurotics is possible. For everyone else, psychoanalysis as constituted cannot help but botch the cure at the start, driving it to return again and again to an overpowering and miraculous violence by which the unconscious may be interpreted, and so already transformed, “healed.” Our certain ignorance is ignored for the sake of the cure, since at any rate therapy will provide the hooks one requires to enact the transformation; in this way one ultimately abandons the truth of the symptom. Without shame one may now impose an identical interpretation upon every case, since we should not know the truth.
Torn. There is a tragic flaw in every first principle; behind each first principle there is a force which may be interpreted. Thinking is not mediation (or axiomatization for that matter) but always a becoming, and a becoming “active” only insofar as it is taken to its limit. Thinking is itself rendered legible in turn only by uncovering the force of thought, which is not the driving force within the thought; rather almost the opposite: the force of thinking is that which subjugates thought, that force which extracts thinking as though from the raw “material” of subjectivity.
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.
Space. Coordinating, 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.
Genesis. Enormous psychosocial and political transformations were necessary in order to put into place the global transhistorical capitalist institutions we take for granted. Capitalism is different, genetically as it were, from all previous ways of organizing human society. It dissolves society in favor of the decoded flows of pre-individual traits and elements which will form abstract labor and commodities. This dissolution is what previous forms of society had attempted to prevent. They had precisely developed various auto-immunities against this total subversion of traditional sense and value engendered by the radical deterritorialization attending the development of capital. Modernity is this insane and universal cosmopolitan social order which encircles everything within its technocratic grasp; degeneration, death, disaster and apocalypse are both its legacy and sense. What remains for subjectivity but the twin messiahs of nothingness — the state and the market? A timeless celestial burrowing-machine and a timely sociopolitical ungrounding-device — messenger and channel, rex and flamen. Hermes and venus. History discloses a message to delicate ears — a riddle for the sphinx, as it were: existence and its whirling turbulence are continually winding down, breaking apart, falling and leaping back up — but in this metastability even death gives in, even disaster and apocalypse hold back, allow themselves to be defeated. Even time allows itself to be overcome, oversaturated, absolved and annihilated — in the name of a time which remains, a time to come. This gift of time is a luminous substantiality, a virtual trace situated beyond the chaotic waves of immanence, beyond the noises and silences of eternity – where shadows and colors at last exhaust themselves in a final and furious burst of apocalypse — and fall silent… And when light holds back, when the voice of health is silent… of course, we already know: pestilence, noise, darkness – parasites proliferate. What happened? When health holds back it is enough to unground discourses and psyches and societies. This silence bludgeons holes in time and the landscape, it burrows beneath the sky. History is the production and education of desire, the unique evolution and development undertaken by particular flows of desire, arranged in complex differential systems and entering into a variety of singular relations with assemblages of transhistorical agencies and collective discursivities. But the work of time is the movement of angels, that is to say, the development of minor voices — which are precisely not the ones who ‘give voice to’ an idealized minority, not transhistorical institutions or their representations. How to hear these schismatic voices of the desiring-machines themselves – these always already revolutionary/literary/theoretical machines, voices of the schism or flux/gap in eternity and productive psychosocial diagrams at once, complentarily? Well – it is not enough, for instance, simply to listen…
Loyalty to Earth! There is a primordial immanence of the body, a primacy of lived experience; natural-and-spiritual forces are firstly constellations of singular point-signs, assembling lines of flight or death, and merely falsified (explicated at best) through signifying abstractions incapable of unleashing — and in fact devoted to nullifying — their chaoid variability. The Earth, whose infernal and howling depths unground the transcendence of organic representation, purifies the living death of abstraction through oblivion. Consider the transcendent death-carrying agency transmitted by the sign, its inherent duplicity and danger. Signals hide virulent spiritual and natural forces beneath their opaque transparency, imperceptible and uncanny agencies strategically and fiercely engaged in combat against the tyranny of heaven. The speech of angels would be the unvoice of the Godhead, the planetary annunciation of a regime of point-signals (logospheres) ungrounding or self-awakening. Desertification indexes fiery pathways to aridity, holey spaces desiccated by an eternal fire. Consider Heraclitus’ paradox of the inescapable proximity of warmth and dryness: “[h]ow, from a fire that never sinks or sets, would you escape?” For the destiny of matter is to be swept up and conjoined to a differential field of explosions, overturnings — to be thrown into a combat zone. Reality is not constituted by borderlines but functions; the identity of a thing is not a matter of limits but of capacities. In this way the turbulent development of matter and life and thought is in every case a matter of an annihilation of certain delimitations — even if this is in each case to replace, supplement or supersede these old delimitations with new borderlines, they indicate radical transitions in capacities for undergoing and inducing transformations, of extracting variations and variables from the fluidity of chaos. Lines are becomings or memories, which is to say, quite real beings whose presence indicates a virtuality enfleshed, pure movements of a body ‘all by itself’ with no need of organs; a glowing divine thread crossing each borderline in turn. These movements are the ‘forces’ of the parasite, running madly along the flows; and they are the body of the abstract machine, the essence or interventionary diagram which occurs when an abstract machine directly (strategically) conjoins a collective assemblage of enunciation. The abstract machine conjoins lines of flight to concrete assemblages, specifying a mechanospherics or molecular topodynamics of forces, a spiritual-natural aerology of power. If reality is drift, life is absolute flight — an exploratory winged creature plunging into a viscous and fluid hyperchaos (spreading like a patch of oil, fleeing in every direction at once.) Not levity alone but also aridity, and celerity, are necessary in the war against the spirit of gravity — what does this mean? Affirm contingency even unto to the most utterly abstract forms of law (and the piety-misery complexes they generate). The speculative proposition involved here seeks not to unite a paired opposition but to promote ceaseless hybridization; it does not yearn to unify the contradictory order of interests (so that there can be no resumption of the diverted desire) but rather affirms a general complementarity and transversality of desires and lines of flight.
Occupy Theory! The 99% movement sweeping the globe is indeed something new under the sun. Little molecular revolutions, the occupations are rhizomes; in this clear revolt against neoliberal “realism” who does not see the spirit of sixty-eight, dormant for a long winter of four decades, awakening once more? Thinkers have not only the opportunity but in many ways a profound obligation to help focus and organize the will of the people, to help inspire and to amplify revolutionary reflection and affect.While the medium of thinking is primarily writing, nevertheless theory can help crystalize and push complex systems towards transformation — towards becoming-something-else. This transformation need not, as some might have it, be specified entirely in advance; indeed, such a specification is perhaps impossible. The self-regulated emergence or becoming of the people’s voice through the consensual decision-making mechanism of general assembly, the thunderous roar of the people’s mic, are things that philosophy should not simply note, or even sit back and interpret, but actively encourage and assist. It is perhaps incumbent upon theory as well to offer certain precautions, to warn of the various dangers attending the construction of smooth spaces and lines of flight. The warnings should be multiplied as much as the inspiration, at least enough to temper blind enthusiasm. It is certainly true that a smooth space is not enough to save us; we must also foster the continuous development of self-regulating systems, and help conceive and develop other kinds of spaces that can effectively resonate with these novel impulses. To actively construct a new plane of consistency and create new concepts to populate it, the occupation of theory would be obligated to take up the refrain not only of the multiple and immanence but of the event and its complex genesis or emergence. At any rate, the occupation of theory cannot just amount to a theory of the occupation. What is the politics of philosophy, rather than the philosophy of the political as such? Theory can illuminate the battlefield, reveal behind politics the spiritual and natural forces animating it: the system of judges whose dream is to crush and regulate desire; the virus of resentment and misery which has turned the world into a madhouse; the searing want that tortures working people all over the world. My hope is that more thinkers will directly engage the occupation; at least to address them, as Zizek did, and encourage them to continue to have the courage to want what they truly desire, as well as to share concerns and certain warnings. (I am inspired by Mirzoeff’s excellent consideration of the 99% movement; he concludes confidently that while it may be difficult to specify precisely what an ‘occupied’ theory might look like, we will figure it out: “As we occupy theory, we’ll find out what it is that we need to learn.”)
Protocol. Perhaps one dimension of the aesthetic appeal of the mechanical is in the ‘purity’ of the interleaving of dynamisms — the quality of being a kind of ‘moving’ and even ‘living’ diagram that excites certain sensitivities. Each machine is already a manifold network of various configuration-spaces (involving significant mechanical, environmental, logical factors, etc.) — its singular and intricate behavior produced ‘simply’ by becoming activated and operated. I ask: how was it possible to lay out a common plane where signs and objects, code and data and things and people could all participate ‘democratically”? Everything unfolds as though some master plan were pre-existent, as though the very organization of society, language and thought itself implicitly support a certain orientation, a certain set of virtual borderlines and existential territories establishing a kind of plane of consistency. The capitalist mode of production engenders the conditions for a radical destruction of the consistency of classical plans in place of a generalized decoding of flows; that is to say, flows of words, devices, actions, passions, people, all swept up into a decoded ‘polyvocity’, a collective elocution of a machinic assemblage complete with black holes and lines of flight, bursting with fractal islands of knowledge and complexity. The network illuminates. At any rate we are not far from that pure diagrammatic force — that becoming war-machine which deterritorializes and sweeps up both signs and objects at once in an ever-broadening vortex. In particular a computer network, though composed of apparently ‘static’ devices, is radically mobile and creative in terms of this process of mobilizing a generalized decoding; capital decodes, but this decoding itself relies on the correspondence between the coded flows and the architecture of the network through which they are disseminated. The network is in a certain way the mode of production of capital itself. Everything occurs in such a way that we cannot really say which comes first, the thing or the sea of relations; the exchange or the objects and signs manipulated; the signal or the asignifying. There is no silence; there is always background noise threatening to overwhelm the whole process. The sea is always there, a living and “electrical” sea whose deafening roar is always looming, even if we are able to forget it; always threatening to drown our voices into silence. There is no peace without certain noises that allow us to distinguish, not fall back into the background and the vortex of social and animal life. At any rate background noise should not be reduced to a pleasant hubbub or murmuring or the dusty old secrets of a forgotten sea god. A certain noise can transform the world in an instant. The sea is a network of relationships, an assemblage continuously in flux. The roar of the sea hides certain curious and perhaps terrifying dimensions — beneath the noisy surfaces, in the (nearly) silent depths, the highest mountains are born and grown… But how to remember the noise of the sea at all and what it indicates when we are forever indoors with the murmuring of our machines?
Spectral. Spectrality may consist in the destruction of time — or perhaps just of our relationship to history, the world, life. Uprooted from the flow of events — this is perhaps what it means to ‘possess,’ to hide from the violent flow of time. Possession means to always be on guard against the future and one another, and even in a way against oneself. What is history but the unfolding of new and obscure powers? –and perhaps there is one most curious of all: the power of becoming alien that has been growing in the profound depths of the human animal. What is this becoming-alien, to oneself and others and to the species and the world? A ghost does not even combat the world but simply abhors it — deigning only to ‘possess’ aspects of it as needed. The promise of modernity is perhaps this spectral vision of overcoming of the organs; that is to say, it is a glimpse of the actuality of ‘pure’ becoming, a ‘becoming’ independent of a substrate, a body of light — a half-remembered dream of a thought without an image. Efforts to paper over the schisms of the overlapping and contradictory agendas of industrialization and colonization and globalization will continue to exacerbate the basic challenge facing us as a species (which is our immanent destiny, to have done with the organism/organs and the judgments of God.) Becoming imperceptible perhaps relates to this glimpse of a body of pure light and our reaction to it — our turning-away from one another and from ourselves, our disappearance into ourselves and into the vortex of capital and technology. Our spectrality is perhaps a symptom of our terror at discovering what we are becoming. We are haunted by the future.
Metamorphosis. There is a kind of explanatory knot or gap in every narrative model of world history; a thread of teleology which tightens around the throats of every minor voice, every parasite and schism. One of the gravest dangers of the line of the flight is the line itself. The notion of a trauma which fractures history itself is built into the problematic vision of a historical totality. It seems to me that it is a rehabilitation of the concept of the event as substance of history and radical irruption at once which is required, rather than the restoration of the concept of ‘story’ as total historical narratological unity leading to some eschatological utopia — whether Judgment Day or finally-actualized communism, this is the force of ideology at its purest (Nick Land’s recent article in Urban Futures conveys some of the unsettling depths of this problem). Metamorphosis participates in a series of evental diagrams which collectively assemble situations, gradually ‘applying’ these diagrams in order to accelerate or decelerate certain movements, intensities, affects, passions. The point is not about imitative action but becoming-molecular. The psychoanalytic investigation of the unconscious is effectively deadlocked around this central difficulty — only beginning to be displaced by the gradual transformation of linguistics into a praxis or pragmatics, a diagrammatology. The movement of the signifier is bound within vorticial frameworks that traverse the unconscious like a network; a kind of wormhole dynamics where lines of flight are intimately related to lines of death. The intermixing of abstract forces and concrete forms, expressions and contents, enables a practice like schizoanalysis to be possible — by subtracting a dimension, the political dimension of a milieu becomes visible, “auto-diagrammed” as a collective assemblage of enunciation. The ‘automatic’ character of the schizoanalytic process should not be dismissed; it is indeed a kind of auto-experimentation, the cautious and deliberate extrusion of abstract machines from within their concretized expressions, gently removing the shackles from desire. Inspiring metamorphosis involves meta-modeling — diagramming tendencies, processes and functions heuristically in order to maximize them. The whole problem is within metempsychosis, in a way — the possibility of ‘de-individualizing’ and ‘re-individualizing’ into another existence, which points towards a pre-individual intensive continuum. The political dimensions of phenomena like metempsychosis point to the joy and freedom implicit in myths of metamorphosis. Is there a secret or hidden aspect to the animals, to the earth, to moments and becomings? This secret or this withdrawal is related to the possibility of an alternative orientation, which is perhaps to say to philosophy’s radical project of the creation of a ‘free’ subjectivity, one not subservient to the aims of State or the Church — who with critical joy and deliberate freedom aggressively seeks the demystification of world-historical narratives, whose daybreak is the twilight of all false idols, all master codes.
Sorcery. What is the limit of what a noise can do? A certain noise means extinction for almost all regimes — not only of signs; it is an explosion of intensity or desire which renders the channel inert, background. Semiotosis. Sonority refusing to yield a signal: noise induces a traversal of infinite depths which bursts the strata into pieces, rupturing the semiotic-discursive chains. Noise is also a pure becoming, the becoming-sonorous of an incorporeal field of virtuality. The elements of one or several assemblages are caused to pass into one another, initiating “unnatural” pairings. Noise is the friction, resistance of the assemblage against itself; it always already struggles with a tendency or power which means to control the channel and recode the outburst. The becoming-musical of noise is another development of this problem and involves inducing vorticial structures – establishing rhythms to respond to chaos, refrains to respond to the finitude of the strata. This is perhaps why music introduces us forcefully and as it were intimately to sorcery, direct contact with the Outside, and the annihilation of the judgment of God; refrains and rhythms awaken nomads and their warmachines. Sorcery is an applied ontology of the depths, the extrusion of a probehead into the sub-depths of being — what passes beneath ontology, what escapes the functionalization-reduction of existentiality; it is thus an empirical investigation into what drives the apparently ‘natural’ deployments of political, legal, scientific, and mathematical hegemonies. Sorcery discovers beneath signs-particles a vorticial and monstrous “recursive” depth; it finds the cosmos inverted: the symbol is determined as that which the depths resist in favor of free expressivities, even as they are witnessed to spontaneously generate free sign-particles, ions of deterritorialization traversing the full body at infinite speeds and creating whirlwinds of reterritorializations in their wake. War machines and becomings are always already threatening to overtake the territory, to overcode the channel; there is always a more powerful molar regime threatening to interrupt our tiny molecular flow. The question of the line of flight and its attendant risks must be understood in both the military and theoretical sense simultaneously; becoming one or several lines means taking on nearly every risk imaginable. The problem involved in desire is machinic, a problem with the non-relation between the signal and the channel: alien everywhere, a nomad is a becoming-deterritorialized, an escaping and an escapedness-from-being into the depths or heights, and is precisely the differential element of two systems which cannot contain their elements. The parasite stands at the borderline between thought and being, permitting a cross-signaling across the infinite gap — activating the components of passage which permit a becoming or involution. Sorcery discovers the noise and frenzy at the heart of the body — the parasitic-bacterial character which dominates terrestrial biota — and diagnoses the illnesses afflicting the full body, determines the resistant qualities of power to illnesses of various kinds. The sorcerer is the first empiricist in this sense — and the sorcerers’ secret (or dream?) has been to “watch only the movements,” to soberly identify components of passage; he is involved with measuring speeds, establishing coordinates on the plane of immanence. Nevertheless and perhaps uncannily it is also precisely this pure or ‘total’ empiricism which generates a transcendental coherence capable of acting as a relay for radically external powers. The full body resists parasitization by the desiring machines; its original state is blank, like the dancer’s pose and her grace; a potentiality which refuses to yield to possibility, merging desire upon desire into a sublime awakening into blindness. Sorcery is metabiological, metacivilizational — a matter of complicity with the anonymous. The full body is smooth, the surface protected from the violent probeheads of the desiring machines; and yet there are schisms — indeterminate zones where enough force can induce a breaking point, permit an encounter with the outside, which must still pass through a certain barrier. An attempted involution or passage cannot be determined in advance, the trajectory is essentially unpredictable; whether it will be a breakdown or a breakthrough cannot be known. First principle of caution. A sign-particle erupts from a refrain, from the nomad, from any ‘static’ wave of deterritorialization; even animals, molecules, the stars emit these tiny singularities that correspond without imitation to the constellations of becomings that traverse music, poetry, literature, painting. This molecular dimension of becoming is precisely the noisy determination of universal history, its contingency or continuous torsion into the asignifying; and it is through becoming-molecular that the operations by which sorcery ruptures the barriers of time become conceivable. The movement of the flows of desire correspond to existential coordinates, conditions of becoming of incorporeal virtualities — abstract machines. The vorticial or warmachine-like organizations of the semiotic, computational, financial, ecological, philosophical and sociodemocratic planes of development indicate the intervention of another order entirely — an abstract war machine driving the assemblage into a singularity. The internet is a terrifying semiotic war machine, even a plane of development for warmachines. It is increasingly clear the parasitic-hegemonic dimensions of globally-connected communication/computation networks, integrated deeply into social life, may very well pass unrecognized until it is far too late. The critical question involves the rate of development of signifying regimes — the extraordinary pace of interaction between elements of the contemporary infosphere permit the collective enunciation not only of particular phrases or images but complex assemblages involving components of expression, partial forms, passage. Becomings sonorous, visual and hypertextual are relentlessly synthesized to construct ever more powerful singularities and vortexes, to ostensibly utilize in an apparatus of capture — but on behalf of whom? Second principle of caution. Becomings do not come cheap, and involve pacts with radically external or extra-cosmic Powers. Here be demons. Memories/becomings-x involve metamorphosis, mutation, molecular revolution: relationships of movement and rest, accelerations and decelerations are taken to their immanent limits. The dangers are numerous and grave, especially those special dangers for artists and writers (the suicidal trajectories that are inevitable for every line of flight.) Of particular concern in the context of precaution is the issue of deviation, which sometimes means decay and degeneration; a becoming does not always yield a higher, “rarer” type. You cannot know, a heuristic principle of caution: noisy becomings are inherently beyond the grasp of ontological determination. They convoke the involution of unrelated assemblages, spontaneously interchange components and molecular flows, initiate a generalized decoupling of the perceptual, semiotic and affective-desiring orders. We cannot know in advance the sense or consequence of the becomings traversing the smooth spaces of our experiments. A becoming indicates an ulterior dimension to being itself: molecular, spiritual and natural forces emerge from beyond the psyche, beyond the cosmos — memory demands an encounter with a radical outside. The only rule is to be cautious in experimentation: to exercise a calculating prudence in response to the movement of the signifier across the chill black depths of infinite space.
What is modern? It can perhaps be discerned in the radical questioning of the status of piety, a questioning which slowly infects every discipline and discourse — a questioning, in other words, coextensive with a generalized instrumentalization, experienced at the psychic level as a new asceticism. Modernity in this sense includes souls no longer living; it embodies achromatically the spirits of wildly disparate eras. In this way we may perhaps be permitted to speak of the modern both as a regime of forms and as a series of powers — a question of celestial purity and terrestial madness. Thus every people participates in an eternal modernity, or perhaps it is that the modern is always arriving or yet to arrive. The stable conception of identity is the central problem and “utopian” promise of modernity. Very early on, relatively speaking, the problem was decisively proved to be undecidable. It perhaps took longer to realize that the promise could not be kept; that the modern enacts the irreversible rending of the identical from individuation, that it will not (and perhaps cannot) be halted. The modern is then not irreversible in the sense that a regression is not possible, but rather irreversible in the sense that once intiated we cannot determine when the involution, the deferral, the sickness will stop. The modern is a health and a sickness of cosmic proportions; a dream of infinitely-deferred waking, which is perhaps to say a nightmare. The modern assembles war machines, and the uncanny and passionate hunger of modernity is the thirst of virtual incorporealities for actualization. This hunger perhaps accounts for a certain globalizing impulse; for the modern at its best populates or resingularizes, it directly engages processes of subjectivity; yet at its worst this same tendency perhaps accounts for the propensity of the modern to provoke the shocking encouragement of complicity with horror and the cynical dissolution of the subject in a transcendent universality. The symptoms of modernity are radical involution, future shock, motion sickness and infinite deferral. The modern is then perhaps a variety of dreamsicknesses; the dangerous problem of a daybreak eternally deferred. Yet is this very eternity not suspiciously excessive, the deferral not strangely disjointed? Are we, fractured group-subject of modernity, not untimely, not continuously on the verge of actualizing and thereby exceeding it?
Living. The intolerable ignominy of possibilities of life under capital should not be permitted to cause us to forget the reality of infinite becoming. Evolution and genesis, or the development of contiguous spacetimes and automorphisms, are powers of the infinite; and a life is always already this infinity. It is never simply a question of an organism but rather a problem of pure variation: infinite movements compose and condition living; infinite speeds permeate a life. Inorganic life lives exclusively at these speeds, in a hyperaesthetic eternity that traverses history. It moves across a slice of a time, through a supple segment of a world; yet a life is not merely the traversal of a spacetime or a form (territories and landscapes, organisms and faces) but it is also the direct reality of flows and forces: rhythms and speeds, signifying regimens and variable frameworks of production. It is not individual or collective but infinite, neither alter nor ego but singularis. We do not know the limits of what it can do or will become — in fine: what living, thinking, feeling could be. Though the risks of an errant involution are grave and even incalculable; yet any life, any feeling, any thought whatsoever is destined to find itself at some longitude or latitude on the plane of immanence — that is to say, always already in flight, swept up by a line of continuous variation, facing infinite risks with limitless potential.
Mapmakers. Desire becomes perceptible to a schizoanalytic cartography only because such a mapping undertakes anew in each case the cautious assembly of a map of the unconscious with everything included: experimentally activating and quantifying virtual lines of flight, calculating the gravitational acceleration of semiotic black holes — and determining the structural characteristics of white walls.
Geosophy. Geology and geometry both initate absolute surveys; and in their own ways they are each aerial formal analytics, turned inward and outward in a reciprocal relation; at infinite speeds might they not fuse? The earth may be both speculated stratigraphically, or evaluated strategically in terms of virtual movements; and so a geometer offers unknowingly a dangerous secret to a geologist, and vice versa. In both there is the unnoticed presence of an unexplored sense of or practice within the discipline, which when fully articulated would make it possible to organize both evaluative and speculative faculties otherwise. In any case, of course, an enormous divergence has already occurred from their common origin and destiny — the earth and theory each as a life in communication with the other: not the philosophy of genesis but philosophy as genesis. The vertiginous collapse and interfusion of the hard and soft precede the gentle birth of a geosophy, joyous science of the (maladies afflicting the) body of the Earth — perhaps at the end of an arc traced by the flight of a golden ball…
Light. Events are not inherently luminescent, but perhaps in a certain light (to careful observers) they may become perceptible. Part of the difficulty of this logic is that the event cannot be contained within a stable image or duration; they perhaps consist in this inconsistent stuttering of sign-particles, which are in turn capable of directly becoming cosmic, of becoming all the infinite senses of being. What vision could encompass such a multiplicity? Such a vision must be winged, born of flight; yet the event has been almost exclusively seen at ground level… The event presents itself as a simple materiality — this matter being that of stable bidirectional relations, of structured time and historical urgency; but does the event as such not reveal a certain intimacy with series of powers passing into one another, contingently actualizing singular, one-way relationships — in other words: with a kind of parasitical symbiosis? After all is there not an uncanny emergence from absolute zero demanded by dialogical relations, an acceleration of virtual movements to infinite speeds — explosive actualizations “from nothing” commensurate with pestilence, neurosis, hyperinflation, ontological collapse? Why do breakdowns and contagions precede the event, even perhaps the concept of the event? An infernal engine, an unholy workshop is required to induce the requisite uncanny and highly-contingent situations in which they can emerge. A line of flight tearing at the seam of the cosmos: the event rides a wave of radical decoding and weaponization; it presents a body or a subject not only with the problem of transmission but more ominously of cryptanaylsis and disarmament. Events present thought with an unnatural abyss, even a terrifying vortex; the greatest risk of thinking the event is omitting the background noise against which it becomes audible; in this sense the event is wildly contingent, merely an artifact of the white noise, the abysmal depths, the darkness from which it distinguishes itself.
Differend. Only what stirs, what stutters, what shakes is essential; only a minor literature, and only when it directly mobilizes intensification and becoming, is capable of releasing from the bondage of the signifier and the subject (and hence the body, the spirit, the cosmos, existence, time.) Minor literature deploys infinite movements as emancipatory operations; in this sense a literature is not “minor” in a structural or numerical sense, but rather only exists because of a people who are yet to arrive, that is: infinite speeds are the engine of minor thinking and writing, and the acceleration towards them is gravitational; is a minor artist or writer not always already drawn forward into a dangerous course by an unbroken dawn? A knife’s edge of pure mutation permits incision through reality itself; minor writing becomes transcendental through a process of empirical experimentation with speeds and movements. Difference in itself, the recursion of infinite movement repeating-in-itself; repetition in itself, the divergence of infinite speed differing-in-itself: the minor transforms, permits the differend or the different-in-itself to become audible and visible, by shattering the linear order of time in the name of a time to come.