coding, Deleuze and Guattari, dream, freud, joyce, production, psychoanalysis, unconscious, writing





“When I’m dreaming back like that I begins to see we’re only all telescopes.”

Joyce, Finnegans Wake



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. 

architecture, banquet, language, machine, metaphysics, Nietzsche, ontology, Politics, time, unconscious, violence, wisdom

Wandering Shadows: Reflections on Morality and Madness

In the disparity between the awareness of unreason and the awareness of madness, we have, at the end of the eighteenth century, the point of departure for a decisive movement: that by which the experience of unreason will continue, with Holderlin, Nerval, and Nietzsche, to proceed ever deeper towards the roots of time — unreason thus becoming, par excellence, the world’s contratempo — and the knowledge of madness seeking on the contrary to situate it ever more precisely within the development of nature and history. It is after this period that the time of unreason and the time of madness receive two opposing vectors: one being unconditioned returned and absolute submersion; the other, on the contrary, developing according to the chronicle of a history.

Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization 212 (“The Great Fear”)

If there is something in literature which does not allow itself to be reduced to the voice, to epos or to poetry, one cannot recapture it except by rigorously isolating the bond that links the play of form to the substance of graphic expression.

Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology 59

There is no antagonism here between a true world and an apparent one: there is only one world, and that world is false, cruel, contradictory, misleading and seductive, deprived of meaning… such a world is the true world. We need deceit in order to conquer this reality or “truth,” that is, in order to live. The fact that deceit is necessary in order to live still has to with the terrible and problematic nature of existence… This faculty by which he rapes reality with deceit, this essentially artistic faculty in man, is something he has in common with everything that exists…



How do we situate the metaphysics of language? The stratification and fragmentation of the signal goes so far beyond the empirical consciousness bound to its immediacy that the difficulty of the project is comparable only to its necessity. The original direction or deflection of the word, the passing-over of the word into image, and the collapse of meaning, follow a schema with which we are familiar. It is precisely here that it is most important not to interpret directly.

The point is not about suffering, but determination. Knowledge begins in delirium. The universe begins with a conjunction, an operator of connection. Everything moving is already a machine, plugged into a world of celerities, issuing regular pulses, gradually transforming itself and its surroundings. Thus the degree of transformation is also the degree of risk to the hidden operators. “ Oh, the poor bird that felt free and now strikes the walls of this cage! Woe, when you feel homesick for the land as if it had offered more freedom — and there is no longer any land.” (Nietzsche, The Gay Science) The problem is not only that names are caught up in ascending and descending chains, an infinite series of minimal differences; the problem never was identifying the limit, and at any rate, this is precisely where our organs overtake us. Creativity is nothing more than acceleration. Have we forgotten so quickly?

Our real problem can be provisionally summarized as follows. How to situate language itself in terms of metaphysics? A phase-map is not enough. The origin of language is indiscernible from a continuous transformation, not a signal but a teaching-learning that the Greeks had innocently called mathemata. A mark and not a symbol, a map and not a trace. Saturated, simple, deep. For the unforeseen origin of the code occurs precisely on the boundary of the unacknowledgable, the imperceptible rupture at the heart of every science. The parasite thus invents learning as well: it all begins with a difference in intensity, a tiny divergence accelerating into a raging vortex. Learning is becoming imperceptible. We are therefore with Artaud, when he writes of becoming-unspecified: “The soul could be reborn; however, it is not reborn. For although eased somewhat, it feels it is still dreaming, it hasn’t yet transformed itself into that dream with which it cannot yet fully be identified.” (from “Who, in the heart…”)

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abstract machine, code, Cognition, diagram, difference, energy, entropy, identity, knowledge, learning, memory, problem, structure, Thought, unconscious, wittgenstein

On Learning


One way of approaching the difference between knowledge and learning (so profound in our opinion that, despite their entanglement, there can be postulated neither a material nor conceptual ground which could ever serve to unify them) is by considering that even while wholly disparate, they are not in the least opposed for that reason. To learn and to know are two divergent operations, contrapositive dynamisms, which are nevertheless always both active simultaneously, as the “cutting edges” or ungrounding machines of cognition. A thought is grounded not in abstract oppositions, but in concrete forces traversing real problematic fields.

Knowledge is classically represented as a heterogeneous assemblage — our minds are far too imperfect to clearly perceive the pure, homogeneous Truth — which is self-totalizing and self-regulated by an internal learning process, charged with traversing its own experiences (as they are represented and reactivated as memories of varying intensities.) In this sense, abstract oppositions emerge only as variables of these mixed compositions of energetic and entropic flows. This is the illusion of hyper-diagrammatism (implying a kind of super-diagram of “all” thought.) We must try and see that thought isn’t about models and copies, not about identity and ideology — but rather about lines along which interminglings are operative, as though “between” concrete and abstract flows of energy — food for words, money for sex, death for love, virtue for pain, and on and on…

What is produced in this process of establishing communication between incommensurable problematic fields — or learning — should certainly not be characterized as a pure memory, but rather a decentralized and a-subjective cognitive process. “Thought” is not the difference between learning and knowledge, but rather an abstract machine which underlies them while nevertheless separating them, almost as though by an absolute divergence. Learning fights dullness and emptiness with lightning and fire, mortally threatening the stasis and death of “serious knowledge,” which would otherwise totally consume the brave and fiery heart of discovery. So let’s stop asking what “knowledge” and “learning” mean in themselves (and trying to ‘deduce’ the ‘difference’ — and thereby, most likely, only serving to overcode it by an all-too-serious line of death); let’s rather ask: how do these operations work?
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attention, barrier, deconstruction, lacan, language, metaphor, signifier, structure, subject, Thought, unconscious

For Lacan


The question of vigilance is important. It is as if a demon plays a game with your attention [lit. “watchfulness.”]


To identify a “subject” is not only difficult, but truly impossible: we always only ‘nominate’ in the last instance one of its barriers; or rather, we indicate only what is barred, but we do so by signifying the barrier.

How can we understand this barrier — this imaginary line of symbolic exchange? In what sense does it have an “articulable” structure?

We may risk the following thesis. There are two poles or dissymmetrical operations to metaphor, not quite internal and external, but rather ‘intimate’ or ‘extimate,’ characterizing the relationship of the barrier to what is ‘barred’ (from speech, consciousness, etc.)

For example, we can speak of a line of variation (instead of the ‘actual’ — intimate — varieties of matter); but we can also we speak of multiple figures or forms (instead of the ‘virtual’ — extimate — force of pure multiplicity.)

Thus ‘figurate speech’ is that which thinks by tying together the two figurative series, itinerantly circulating between the extimate and intimate poles of metaphor. The “subject” comprehends and expresses his reality metaphorically; the subject is a metaphor.
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alienation, death drive, Eros, eros and civilzation, freud, herbert marcuse, metaphysics, pleasure, psychology, reality, superego, unconscious

Notes on Eros and Civilization


Notes on Eros and Civilization

In Eros and Civilization, Herbert Marcuse presents Freud at the level of metaphysical psychology. That is: we find Freud engaged in overturning “conventional” metaphysics through psychoanalysis — methodically substituting pleasure and imagination for reason and logic — but paradoxically in so doing he produces a “theoretical” practice which, through its “diagnostic” methodologies and even in its “axiomatic” structure, still reflect profoundly traditional conceptions of humanity. For example, Freud analyzes the principle or essence of being (of organic life) as Eros — in contrast to the traditional understanding of being as Logos. This ontological dimension revealed in psychoanalysis is what allows Freud to interpret Eros as corresponding in a ubiquitous way to the death drive. The erotic instinct and the death drive are fused together in Freud’s interpretation in precisely the same way as the metaphysical principles of being and of non-being.

Freud interprets being in terms of Eros, repeating a formative moment in Plato’s philosophy — a conception of culture not as a repressive sublimation, but as the “free self-development of Eros.” (Marcuse notes that even in Plato this concept presents itself as an archaic-mythical remnant or “residue.”) So being strives for pleasure, which becomes an aim for organic life — human culture in particular: “The erotic impulse to combine living substance into ever larger and more durable units is the instinctual source of civilization.” (125) In short, the sex instincts are life instincts, principles of organic being: “the impulse to preserve and enrich life by mastering nature in accordance with the developing vital needs is originally an erotic impulse.” (125) The struggle for existence is not the unending struggle against death, but originally a struggle for pleasure: “culture begins with the collective implementation of this aim.” The erotic desire is organizational, super-ordinary; but it is only much later that the striving for existence itself becomes organized in order to dominate life.

In this repressive organization the erotic basis of culture is “transformed.” On this point especially, most revisions of Freudianism have meant regression: “The assumption of any special instinct begs the question, but the assumption of a special ‘mastery instinct’ does even more: it destroys the entire structure and dynamic of the ‘mental apparatus’ which Freud has built. Moreover, it obliterates the most repressive features of the performance principle by interpreting them as gratification of an instinctual need.” (219) Perhaps Lacan is guilt of this in particular: labor in general, and especially the “work” of psychoanalysis (transference,) is presented purely and simply as the chief social manifestation of the reality principle.

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Anaxagoras, becoming, being, chaos, cosmos, desire, discourse, freedom, infinity, intensity, lacan, morality, morphology, Nietzsche, nous, ontology, phenomenology, psychology, Theory / Philosophy, unconscious

Beyond Desire: Remarks on Nietzsche and Becoming



Topos (biocosm)



In the beginning all things were mixed together; then came understanding and created order.

Anaxagoras [1]

What had to be accomplished in that chaotic pell-mell of primeval conditions, before all motion, so that the world as it now is might come to be, with its times of day and times of year, all conforming to law, with its manifold beauty and order, all without the addition of any new substance or force?

How, in other words, could a chaos become a cosmos?

Friedrich Nietzsche [2]

The true difficulty for psychology is that the field of the unconscious is also the site of the production and interpretation of reality. With the unconscious we encounter thoughts and bodies mixed together heterogeneously, without the clear ontological divisions we tend in other disciplines to take simply for granted.

It is no wonder then why Lacan has suggested the reality of the unconscious is the most difficult subject for philosophers to approach [3] — for there is no ontological method which could aim to find handles on this incorporeal assemblage, on this “body without organs.” In the enfolding of the psychic within the material we discover a phenomenological reality of the unconscious which is necessarily presupposed by any ontological analysis. Continue reading

algebra, complexity, decay, diagnosis, ethics, insanity, language, literature, machine, mathematics, Nietzsche, Politics, prejudice, psychoanalysis, schizophrenia, Science / Mathematics / Technology, society, structure, transformation, truth, unconscious

Cyborg Nietzsche: Conscience, Affect, Transvaluation

Part One: Criticism and Untruth-Machines

A. Neurosis and Transcendence: the Algebra of Bad Conscience

We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full.  Marcel Proust

For Nietzsche, uncovering the peculiar logic of the unconscious, revealing the function of this or that unobserved striving, would only form part of the analysts’ role. A rich, analytic transformation of the real space of mental (political) activity is the full meaning of diagnostic criticism. Any real diagnosis contains a hard criticism of declining mental (social) habits. Criticism moves towards a healthier biopolitics. Diagnosis isolates cycles, reaction-patterns, irresponsible and neurotic aspects of mental and social processes.

This selective isolation, the method of genealogical deconstruction may seem purely negative and critical; and indeed, it amounts to a profound negation of conventional modes of thinking and feeling. But there is also always a powerfully positive sense of diagnosis: to indicate and affirm the pathways which return us to health, which unhinge our bodies from habit, which bring us to a new earth.
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