A New Manuscript by Katerina Kolozova on Non-Philosophical Metaphysics

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gender / Katerina Kolozova / Laruelle / Marx / metaphysics / non-philosophy / science / Uncategorized / wittgenstein

I am happy to announce that my friend Katerina Kolozova has kindly shared with me a chapter from a new book she is working on. Kolozova’s original and groundbreaking work transversalizes (among other things) the concerns of a (Laruellian) non-philosophical nature with those of a Marxian engagement along with an emphasis on subjectivity and gender studies. She is quite a prolific author, and some of her most recent works include Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy (written with Laruelle) and also Toward a Radical Metaphysics of Socialism: Marx and Laruelle, a work that will resonate strongly with the chapter she has provided below. Katerina Kolozova is Professor of philosophy and gender studies in the faculty of political sciences at University American College-Skopje. Please enjoy!

Katerina Kolozova

Non-Philosophical Metaphysics: Critique of the Bourgeois Ideologies of the Ontologisation of Capitalism, Gender and Culture

(an excerpt from a manuscript draft)

Materiality of formalism

Marx’s study of the species-being of humanity institutes itself as a science that deals with value production and the relation of value to material reality. This is obviously a metaphysical question, but the suggested approach is scientific. Therefore, the science to be established in line with Marx’s precept ought to operate with “philosophical material” but in a non-philosophical way. Laruelle has furnished a rich conceptual apparatus (at once lexicological and methodological) to make this type  of science possible. The post-philosophical or non-philosophical Marxian approach I suggest here consists in the complete formalization of the question and the language to pursue this science. This kind of approach should treat the material at hand – the conceptual material originating in philosophy – as material and as matter, if you will, along the vector “from the concrete to the abstract” (de Saussure).1 A similar trajectory is undertaken in Marx’s Capital in which an exact understanding of “the concrete,” the description of empirical data and the explication of its patterns, leads to discoveries about the laws that govern the exchange of goods or the market more generally and, ultimately, to the abstractions of “commodity” and “value.” The examination and problematisation of the relation between the material and the abstract, between use value and exchange value, nonetheless requires the mobilization of “philosophical material.”

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New Translation of François Laruelle’s “Homo ex Machina” (1980)

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Laruelle, François. “Homo ex Machina”, Revue Philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger, vol. 170, no. 3, 1980, pp. 325-342.

Translated by Taylor Adkins

Homo ex Machina

How One Becomes Machine-Man

We ordinarily recognize a single machine-Man1 tradition. But there are two, perhaps three; they appear the moment when the grouping of the objects of knowledge and history of ideas to which philosophy is accustomed is substituted for another grouping, that of the eras of power or techno-political modes of production of man. These notions embody a “change of terrain2” or at least a change of “problematic” in the philosophy and theory of history. Here, we are supposing them as acquired without showing either their necessity or importance.

The most well known of these traditions, though not the oldest, comes together and begins with Descartes. It combines the anatomical and physico-medical description of man with his metaphysical foundation and a physical and technical model of the body with a technicist and voluntarist model of creation: the reconciliation of man as creature of the technician and man as the automaton of God. The second tradition is only discerned and named with Nietzsche, who makes us aware of it by overcoming it. This is a more expressly techno-political tradition of the human body, a lineage perhaps even older than the first because it finds in the polis, in its morals and its justice, the horizon of power relations (and sometimes of “hegemony”) between the soul and the body, between gods and men. We must begin thinking this techné proper to the polis in its specificity and its continuity starting with the “domestication” that Nietzsche sees at work everywhere in the modern world. In a sense, the properly “Nietzschean” perspective of “active” breeding and discipline, including this “reactive” and “gregarious” domestication, extends this lineage of machine-Man without really being inscribed in it, because it must instead explain how “domestication” is a mimetics and a side-effect of “breeding”.

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critique / kant / reason

Isocritique: Minor Diagrams Towards a Critique of Speculative Reason 

Joseph Weissman

View as PDF

alt text

Max Ernst, Birth of a Galaxy (1969)




How to become a transcendental detective

Yet by this I do not understand a critique of books and systems, but a critique of the faculty of reason in general, in respect of all the cognitions after which reason might strive independently of all experience, and hence the decision about the possibility or impossibility of a metaphysics in general, and the determination of its sources, as well as its extent and boundaries, all, however, from principles. (Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Preface (A), A xii)

This is the problematic which frames the first critique: How is synthetic knowledge a priori possible? Are there metaphysical propositions reason can know without the aid of experience (“independently of all experience”)? Is there a metaphysical correlate of geometric figures and physical bodies, which can be known with the same universality and necessity that we find in the mathematical and physical sciences?

In the first critique, Kant shares case notes from his investigations into the borderlines of pure reason. A philosopher-detective has been tasked, by a tribunal of reason, with the investigation of a metaphysical crime. The case will be that of the illegal placement of synthetic a priori knowledge within the minds of thinking beings. Let’s follow his hunt for transcendental clues.

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Interactive Bibliography for the Theorytalk Podcast Series

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theory talk

About a month ago, around the time that we celebrated the 35th episode of our philosophy jam-session podcast (Theorytalk), my co-host Joe decided to undertake a rigorous study of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. In response, I have—seemingly at random—threaded together a series of texts that reverberate with and spiral outward from this seminal work. Nevertheless, after the fact I realized that the texts that perhaps seem uncoordinated with this critique in fact tie it together obliquely with a text that I have been diligently working on: the translation of Gilbert Simondon’s L’individuation à la lumière des notions de forme et d’information. In the following weeks, I hope to expound upon these texts in a way that analyzes them, crystallizes them, and threads the needle connecting the concerns of Kant’s first critique with those of Simondon’s critique of hylomorphic reason. The majority of these reflections will be made available to our exclusive patrons over at our Patreon page, and these themes and refrains will be taken up, unraveled and rewoven in the conversations that Joe and I will continue to have on our weekly Theorytalk podcasts. To better orient ourselves and to highlight the texts that will be discussed, I have included here a sort of interactive bibliography along with links to these texts.

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chance / cosmos / flight / Hermes / Serres / virilio

cloudy natural scene

Critique of pure laughter. Laughter plays madly through the body, as though suddenly accessing another layer of reality. The shock of the abstract. A pure line is embodied in the spatiotemporal dynamisms of the laugher — which are in the same ‘order’ as that of the joke… –Laughter shakes loose the world, discovering something which doesn’t belong; that which the world hides from itself. Things hidden since the foundation of the world (Girard has a book of this title.) —The laugh opens onto virtual events: pure space and time; modalities in the flesh. Laughter perhaps even regenerates the world, in a cosmic convalescence: the strangely familiar thing-beneath-things is shaken loose. —At the feast of the gods, laughter is inextinguishable (Serres’ Hermes).

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Philo-fictions and Experimental Texts: Philosophy as Artistic “Whatever” Material

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art / experiment / Laruelle / non-philosophy / philosophy / text / textuality / Uncategorized

photo (2)

A few years ago, I took a graduate seminar on experimental texts at Emory University. Some of the work I have done during my studies I have put up on Fractal Ontology, but I never included this one. I will run you through the basics of the project.

First, I wanted to showcase the “consumption” of philosophical texts that I have participated in over the course of my reading. This usually entails me, pen in hand, marking and re-marking texts with underlines, brackets and marginalia. At the end of the course, alongside my own reflection in text-form, I produced an artistic artifact. Basically, I ripped out the pages from 25 of my favorite–and most marked–texts, juxtaposed them as partial objects, and grafted and glued them onto a desk chair. So, the seat and center of the chair looks something like this:

IMG_0299Below, I will include my experimental essay reflecting on this project and the questionnaire I had to fill out for the project. Here is the questionnaire:

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Celebrating Our 25th Podcast on theorytalk

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Katerina Kolozova / philosophy / podcast / Theory / Philosophy / theorytalk / Uncategorized

Hello everyone! I would like to extend an invitation to check out what Joe and I are doing over at our new theorytalk podcast. We just released our 25th podcast and show no signs at all of slowing down any time soon. For a more complete description, you can find Joe’s earlier post on theorytalk here at Fractal Ontology, and be sure to check out our Patreon page for even more information on what we’re doing and how you can contribute financially (with your money) and creatively (with your feedback).

As an example of some of the pathbreaking avenues we are trying to breach in our attempts to vary our podcast content, check out Joe’s interview with Katerina Kolozova (episode 20). I give full credit to Joe for this episode, and I had nothing to do with it (or, if I am feeling charitable to myself, perhaps only indirectly due to my translations of Laruelle).

In the spirit of following Joe’s initiative to do something different for episode 20, we have begun discussing ways of changing up some of the formatting and thematic content in the podcasts. Since this is still something quite new for me and Joe, we are trying to diversify some of the content while continuing also to do our traditional jam-thinking sessions. This is something like taking the next step of balancing the old with the new.

Now, Joe and I have brainstormed a few different ideas for new formats for our podcasts that go beyond mere topics of episodes, and I will create a new post this weekend detailing some of these ideas to give everyone a taste of what we had in mind. We would also like to hear back from our dear readers and your ideas, comments or questions, so if you have anything in mind that you’d like to share, please feel free to comment on this post, and we can start the discussion.

Look for our next episode in the next few days, most likely Friday or Saturday!


Notes on Derrida’s “Structure, Sign and Play in the Human Sciences”

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deconstruction / derrida / Levi-Strauss / Nietzsche / structuralism / Uncategorized

Derrida: “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”

From Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978): 278-93.

“We need to interpret interpretations more than to interpret things” (Montaigne).

Derrida refers to the history of the concept of structure and an “event” in that history (it should be noted that in this opening paragraph, Derrida himself highlights the bracketing of the term event in quotation marks to serve as a precaution). Even here, the choice of the word “event” is “loaded” with a “meaning” that structural or structuralist thought seems to preclude. Thus we would have to say this word “event” as though it were crossed out or sous rature (under erasure). And so, with these precautions and noting structuralism’s potential objections, Derrida chooses to speak of an event whose “exterior form would be that of a rupture and a redoubling” (278).

This rupture perhaps brings to mind what Althusser normally calls an “epistemic break”, insofar as Derrida notes how the concept and word “structure” are as old as the episteme of Western philosophy and intertwines deeply with the “soil of ordinary language”. In fact the word and concept of structure are metaphorically displaced by the “deepest recesses” of the episteme. Of course, Althusser attributes epistemological breaks specifically to Marx and the way in which ideological conceptions are replaced by scientific ones. Here, what concerns the notion of an “event” in the history of the “structurality of structure” is the way in which it has always already been at work and “neutralized or reduced” due to its spontaneous attribution of a center or point of presence, “a fixed origin”. The goal of attributing a fixed center to structure is in order to “limit what we might call the play of structure”. It is not to eliminate play but to limit it according to the “total form” of structure that the episteme has succeeded in warding off “the notion of a structure lacking any center”, which would represent “the unthinkable itself”. (279).

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catastrophe / creation / escape / literature / micropolitics

Some inchoate thoughts on curvilinear transition and navigation between radically alien milieus.

Schoenberg : Xenakis :: Joyce : Negarestani

Cyclonopedia comprises a downward spiral into hyperstitional collapse or crack-up, alongside an outward spiral towards another universe. It may seem to perversely unfold a nightmare crypt of the death-drive, but this monstrous theoretical depersonalization is operating through the harshest singularities of space and time; it resounds in the howling of the magnetosphere, and echoes the cries of rebellion from the Core to the imperial Sun outside. Negarestani’s harrowing leper-creative legerdemain covertly unfolds gateways and meta-fictional portals; analyzed in the work in terms of worm-holes or vermiculations, gnawing consumption of solidus by void incursions that can only invade from without because they have also corrupted from within; the void’s infernal and instinctive will to devour solidity revealing the underlying softness of the solid, the internal decay and hollowness already growing and slicing matter-energy from within solidity itself.

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affect / capitalism / creativity / machine

Catherine Malabou has created a meticulous and profound new concept of the brain. Malabou analyses the functions which neuroscience has discovered, conducting a contemporary synthesis of neuroplasticity, crystallizing a new concept which acts as a curious new abstract machine with many parts. She names this concept plasticity after the plastic multiplicity of the brain; and one component of this concept expresses the brain’s power to learn and to heal, and even to reconfigure itself. Another component is transdifferentiation, or the power of life to remake and refold itself: the capability of certain (pluripotent, totipotent) cellular organisms to unfold into some or many other kinds of cells.

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aesthetics / communication / mathematics / technology
Nils Guadagnin, Hanging stone, 2014 Mousse polyuréthane, bois, électroaimant, 28 x 28 x 125 cm

Nils Guadagnin, Hanging stone, 2014
Mousse polyuréthane, bois, électroaimant, 28 x 28 x 125 cm

Demodulation. There is always a monadic resonance to which a repetition is coupled in order to form a motor or compose an operational line, assembling at the limit a free phylum of machine interconnectivity. Every machine an operator or operand of another functional aggregate, assigned to an eternal repetition of variability, sweeping out a transversal trajectory through a self-constructing milieu of heterogeneous forces. The abstract machine injects new consistencies into turbulence, extruding flowing lines of fusion and mixture or extracting curved planes of development and organization; filtering out novel functions, concepts or compositions, refactoring or creating in contact with an outside. But does the abstract machine not express mutability in another way — by extending and exponentiating the variadic series of genetic practices (art, science, philosophy…)? Decrypting the image of thought again, in a virtual torsion of equal depth and power — art, science, philosophy, x…? Yet again is it not also the shadow falling upon the modulation of knowledges, eclipsing every enclosed topology determining discursive territories or structuring disciplinary forms? An abstract machine is indeed the shadow of a people to come, of a cosmic science-art-philosophy; unleashing at least in its virtual potentiality a deimaged and meteoric creativity, with a future beyond the terrestrial continuum of variadic practices and discourses.

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assemblage / complexity / death / flux
Jan Maarten Voskuil. "broken light blue", 2013, acrylics on linen, 120x90x10cm

Jan Maarten Voskuil. “broken light blue”, 2013, acrylics on linen, 120x90x10cm

The line of the river is a line of terraqueous flight; a flow flush with the substrate, conditioning and mutating its own channel, both wandering over the territory and slowly reconfiguring it, in a gradual mutation or decryption…

A river system is composed of intensive aqueous lines diffracted from a fusional substrate — a vorticial assembly of multiple planes of consistency in chaotic metastability.

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Technoscience and Expressionism

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acceleration / becoming / control / Deleuze / machine / Nietzsche / subjectivity / virtual
Alfred Muller -- Plaza Juarez, Mexico City 2006

Alfred Muller — Plaza Juarez, Mexico City 2006

Technology and Control

The technocrat is the natural friend of the dictator—computers and dictatorship; but the revolutionary lives in the gap which separates technical progress from social totality, and inscribed there his dream of permanent revolution. This dream, therefore, is itself action, reality, and an effective menace to all established order; it renders possible what it dreams about (Gilles Deleuze, Logic of Sense)

Gilles Deleuze’s indication of a certain affinity between technocrats and dictators seems prescient. By Postscript on Control Societies the new realities resonating between society and its machines, in the middle of technological acceleration and social upheaval, have become so intense that every interior is in crisis, and the entirety of society has to be organized to resist the eruption of these dreams into reality.

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Abstract for DeleuzeConf

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becoming / Deleuze / guattari / horizon / machine

Alexi K, Cognitive Polygraph (Woman Disrobing), 2013 (Pen & Ink)

This is the abstract for the paper I will be presenting at DeleuzeConf 2014, “Technoscience and Expressionism: On Deleuze and Computability”.

Deleuze, in his 1992 essay Postscript on Control Societies, describes technology as concretely expressing forms of social consistency. Technoscientific machines are collective assemblages “easily matched” with modes of consciousness and styles of composing realities.

A technological stratum relates to conceptual, referential or compositional capacities and tendencies. Yet technologies are neither causes nor effects of social transformations. Technologies do not engender new folds; rather societies continuously discover capabilities for specific machine components to be made use of or constructed, or to be related in new ways. Technologies at all scales, degrees of materiality and visibility are swept up and reshaped by abstract machines which dynamize new styles of thinking, feeling, living.

In Chaosmosis Guattari outlines the operation of the abstract machine which extracts singular possibilities from the components of technical and social machines. An abstract machine is installed transversally to every other machine component and stratum, capable of relating the heterogeneous levels of materiality, cognition, affection and sociality. The abstract machine effectuates, donates existence to components or withdraws it, assembling functional ensembles of virtual and constituted elements.

In contrast with structuralist theories which indicate signification and hence semiological microtechnologies as the vectors unifying expressive economies, Guattari differentiates protomachines (simple instruments or ‘least-structured pieces’) from the ensembles out of which effects and sense actually emerge. Even sophisticated machines such as robots (“which will soon be engendered by other robots”) are nothing without these complexes, machinic assemblages to which they belong.

Artificial intelligences and expert systems, despite all the negativity, totalization and servitude to which they are inevitably linked, do not simply subtract from human thinking: they also “relieve thought of inert schema”. Computer-aided forms of thinking are mutant, capable of relating to “other musics, other Universes of reference.”

Has an outdated mode of science-fiction overtaken speculation about the future? Opposite metaphysical and religious objections to increasingly-extreme technoscience, singularitarianism indicates the dramatic extent to which it is possible to internalize an indifferent love for oppressive machines, while accelerationists frame their centrist interventions under the curious aegis of remembering the future.

I would argue that beyond these intense positions the emergence of artificial general intelligence (machines decoding expression) is in turn expressive in Deleuze’s sense. Which consistencies do they effract, what new folds do they effectuate? Planetary culture is in the throes of becoming-computable, marked in part by an extremization of technoscience — on the one hand stripped of purity and degraded to mere invention; on the other newly devoted to reverse-engineering noetics and genetics (at the limit, to a bifurcated ‘transcendence’ of the biosphere and noosphere.) D+G’s machinic philosophy offers a critical alternative to singularitarian and accelerationist images of the future. Their emphasis on abstract machines illuminates the expressive potential of the virtual assemblages actualized in general purpose computing.

Nietzsche once asked after the meaning of science. Today this question points beyond the involution of the technical within globally-integrated capitalism. I will indicate in what way software may be considered a humanity or people-to-come.

Machine Fusion

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difference / information / language / sign
Simona Pries, "black heart" (2011)

Simona Pries, “black heart” (2011)

You can simulate transparency, but behind your back an overheated network will condition your component lines. It is remarkable indeed the degree of encryption, not to mention extreme speeds and slowness, which a signal may be made to endure. Gentle decelerations, frenzied accelerations, stationary null journeys: real movements which the machine or a part undergoes — or else sudden breaks, unforeseen shutdowns, severed lines. The differential logic of the signal system mutates continuously according to the functioning of a semiological machine which does not resemble what it creates, crystallizes, shatters or sets into flight. Expression, insofar as it frames or signs itself, is always-already conditioned and operated by a grammatical field of semiological dynamisms redoubling encounters-affects into visions and auditions, possible worlds. The receiver is symmetrically encrypted, a recursive and resonating labyrinth: translating wild variations of rhythms, interpolating approximately-decrypted sub-signals, differentiating referential opacity where it is not constitutive. A signal is always-already composed of instructions, an actively-encrypted network of orders: a volumetric control field radiating from multiple command cores, enmeshed with the transmissive and receptive apparatus. The virtual line is incorporated into the machine; actual resonating devices become attuned to the most subtle or rarefied waves. Desire, dreams, delirium are signals as real production: a construction of new senses or problems, new distributions of the interesting and uninteresting, the surprising and unsurprising, the tolerable and the intolerable. Reattributing the cosmos, dreams create problems… What nourishes the bad dream, that the void should dominate? What distributes scarcities, interpolates lack, interposes this alien and monstrous ontology of interrogation-judgment-punishment? Who wishes this interrogation of delirium, this interpretation of desire and dreams according to need, wish-fulfillment? It is astonishing that reactionary madness should have had such wild success; that low truths, base dreams, sick desires should be able to appear high, noble, affirming; that entire discourses of these broken and enslaved truths should attain cultural hegemony. How is it that it could occur, what happened? How can it be that this slow suicide, this disinterested love for whatever is fucking you, can masquerade as life? Capital Tyrannus, or Oedipus Rex: the self-immolation of desire, the diminution of dreams, the toxification of the sky. The signal communicates with a virtual substrate organizing deeply-nested or encrypted signs, conditions expressive lines which are also lived forces or affects: sadnesses or joys. The dream is open to becoming a nightmare as a condition of its possibility; desire goes all the way. The delirious and wandering line of decoding, of the adventure of decryption, does not only face certain disaster or death; but also sings seductively, in minor keys; it is melancholy, and itself a risk. But while it is easy to botch their construction, only cartographies of the virtual, planes of consistency at the limit of consciousness or the common, can emancipate new images of the collective, mobilize and restructure conditions of possibility…


comment 1
acceleration / becoming / inhumanity / language / machine / ontology / radiation

Richard Long, “Walking a circle in mist” (Scotland, 1986)

Beyond telepathy. At long last, after centuries if not millennia, and perhaps only if conditions will have it such that the voice may reach its fullest expression and height, we may foresee it finally passing; into the imperceptible. In this future beyond the future, the noontide of vocal expressivity; the death, or at least becoming invisible, through an unrecognizable transformation, of speech. At the outer limit of writing, beyond telepathy, an opening onto new luminous substrates of expressivity.

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becoming / metaphysics / ontology
Metropolis Series | Aluminium Wall Tiles by David Umemoto

Metropolis Series | Aluminium Wall Tiles by David Umemoto

Negativity. I want to think the movement of thought, movement within stillness; the movement of nothing within the negative. To think the immediacy of this active movement or flow; to think in the very middle of what is unthought within thinking. An impossible or recursive landscape. The psychic architecture underlying cognition is not contingently but necessarily in blindness and without-vision; alien, obscure and encrypted. This labor, of thinking itself; the first work of thought which is necessarily in darkness but radically pluripotent expresses an encrypted germinal flux of perceptions, affects, intellections. Thought begins in decrypting the architecture of the image on behalf of a concept-to-come. What is unleashed in the confluence of simple, dark and contingent affects at the birth of thinking (feelings, notions, and ephemeral images) are forces, powers, lives, blisses — that after long gestation may give birth to new ways of thinking and feeling, new creative disciplines or discourses. These contingent noogenetic involutions precede all that has come to be known as thought.

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becoming / freedom / machine / metaphysics / noise / secret / variation

2012-09-21 20.06.43

A sky englobes and illuminates a terraqueous sphere in the same way a biosphere recollects the scattered spirit of an earth. The sky breathes, soul of the world. Exposing nature and history to free and limitless dynamism, to an open field of differences distributed in depth. The outer limit of vision or terrestrial abstraction. The sky opens onto a virtual whole, exposing a cosmic membrane to continuous creation. How to begin with aerial roots? What would be required to constitute a joyful science of radical permutation: an oneirogenetics, or a chronopolitics? What is the becoming-imageless of the model or the law or thinking? How is it possible to arrive without returning — as though finally — at the lightest: dreams, the future, atmosphere? How might one become otherwise, through this ellipsis, in the non-image of the outside? How might these depths, aglow with inexhaustible heat, be at long last enveloped?

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Non-Philosophy in Translation

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Laruelle / non-philosophy / translation

I wanted to let everyone know that two of Laruelle’s books (Dictionary of Non-Philosophy) (Philosophy and Non-Philosophy) are now in print and available to order.  Univocal has done a great job in getting both of these books out in rapid succession, and the mirror fractal images of the covers just makes the pair the ultimate accessory :).

The Dictionary has been fully revised, and there’s a new introduction by the author included, along with his essay on the non-philosophical dictionary. All in all, it’s infinitely better than the PDF dictionary, which is outmoded and incomparably inferior.

I also wanted to link to a number of translations of F. Laruelle’s that I have posted in the past year or so, just to cross-wire the translation interests along with Fractal Ontology, my original conduit and channel for my translation-inspirations.

Intro to Textual Machines

The Transcendental Computer: A Non-philosophical Utopia

Badiou and Non-Philosophy: a Parallel

The Concept of an Ordinary Ethics or Ethics Founded in Man

The Concept of Generalized Analysis or of ‘Non-Analysis’

Who Are Minorities and How To Think Them?

[UPDATE] Toward an Active Linguistics


comments 2
becoming / distance / language / machine / negation / territory

Zoya Gregory, “Endurance”

Hard right. Eternity and history do not enter into the pure multiple without an absolute translation or relative transfiguration, an intensive traversal of the code against the code. The decryption of time and an encryption of the future, or connective activation of infinite resonance. Remembering or becoming every property, trait, characteristic; everyone; everything. Traversal of the open virtual whole. Glare beyond which it is unendurable to go.

Binding. A crowd networks without distance or depth, in-divides a multiplicity. A crowd even perhaps opposes a multiplicity; faces the turbulence and variability of the meteorological or the demonological, yet just as much opposes the one, the infinity and in-differenciation of the bacteriological or cosmological. Between the one and the many, a calculated subtraction of the middle. –The multitude of the crowd? But a crowd is not a multiple for itself, does not participate in an infinite multiplicity in itself. A crowd is a restricted or relativized multiplicity; barred or fractional multiplication or differentiation-without-division. The obscure or unspecified etiology of the crowd, the pack, reflects that of the abstract band, pure zones of proximal potentialities. Crowding is after all perhaps the characteristic operation of the territory itself, the process of making a territory and binding it, opposed to poesis or peopling; negation though tracing and reproduction. –Yet a crowd is nevertheless a micro-poetry in its way: the crowd dramatizes itself without representation, enveloping and amplifying affective diagrams to infinite speeds of conjunction and disjunction, concentrating differences of intensity, distributing gradients, conditioning dynamisms. The secret future or encrypted essence of the crowd is generalized itinerancy, generating spaces, populations. The crowd manifests itself in disappearing; a battle or a disaster. The crowd enters into a becoming-imperceptible; the present is detached from within its own eventuality. A crowd, what but a vicious binding of alienation to xenophobia, of association to vengeance? A binding which unbinds in binding, even extrudes a hallucinatory ego from an intensive depth, an idiotic signal from an infinite blindness; binding the psyche to a god, consciousness, truth; the socius to capital, signification, schizophrenia. No, a crowd is not a multiplicity. It has not yet become space-creative; it has refused the boundaries binding it to the severing of bonds, it has avoided experimental mutation. It is the refuge of the arboreal in the mycelium.

Floating above. Everything about the minor artist turns towards or into the one, revolves around an absent center; every word is a politics, every act an ethics. The affective content of minor literature reflects this unity without identity of a minority; identified only via domination, immunological suppression, paralysis. A broken-down machine; and a breaking-down atmosphere. Everything minor is always-already in migratory or itinerant motion, or in wild flight… –Breaking-down as a side-effect of breaking-through.


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acceleration / becoming / machine / ontology


Soaring above the waves, the surf line finds or creates a means of encrypted communication with the conjoint or conjugal striation of the surface and the disjunct or disastrous perplexity of the depths. A nomad geometer, the navigator of singular and extraordinary waves, the surfer of the pure multiple of the sea, journeys in place to remain in place. The surfer occupies a finely balanced territory, between infinitesimal inclination and infinite extension; an absolute survey becomes possible.

An occupation replete with indeterminations, bristling with events and pure qualities; which can perhaps be defined in terms of the flowing athletic de-situation of centrality, non-motion rather than the catastrophe of activation or spatiality, of extraordinary or disruptive points or segments or the epidemiology of too rigidly fixed positions or too fluidly supple segments. The telepathic geometer or temporal metallurgist, the surfer of future waves, oscillates internally then between two very different kinds of axioms or principles; apparently in real and irresolvable contradiction.

Between restrained or disjunctive materiality (the wave function, if you like) and generalized or conjunctive aesthetics, the depths of the sea or its xeno-crystalline temporality, characterized by chaotic and lawless interventions across streams, between ontologically foreign regimes of development and organization; expressing itself perhaps as future light, infinite glare of machinic resonance from the hard-right edge of time…

A hyperlink is determined dimensionally by planar waves and volumetric surf. It is politics itself, solidary with the delirium at the heart of our highest reason (all too anthropoid, neurotic, regional, drifting…) Conjunction and disjunction; but there is always a ductile and cybernetic surf line. What is the relation between the surf line and the smooth space, or between the line of creative extension and intensive striation? How does surfing make machines rhizome, become a line of flight capable of possibly, if it survives many risks, surveying from hyperborean heights of intensity the haunted depths that separate and link us? –At infinite speed, “all at once”; rather than falling back onto furious mechanical redundantly-parallel recursive analysis? Nevertheless, one must be careful with all these intensities, one must be ready. Hyperlinear conjunction accelerates too rapidly to control, maximizing trauma and bliss at once. But after all the link is a connection, an arrow cast into a void. Whereas conjunction and disjunction are primarily traits of relations produced in tactical route analysis; in which case there is a geographical problem of establishment of points that determine pathways for striating vessels, or smooth transmission, etc. –Rather than the geological or ethological problem of the relay itself or pure logistics, which converts striated positions into smooth spaces, invents or discovers means of oscillating between, a higher-order calculus of acceleration, speeds and slownesses (convalescence.)

The other lines — the subaqueous assemblage of supple lines of the sea; the rigidly delineated striations of oscillatory forces — are no better or worse than the surf line, which wouldn’t exist without them, even though it does not relate to movement in the same way they do. Rather than extend traits the link activates relays or actualizes virtuality, proliferates pure becomings and stationary journeys. The political infrastructure of the hyperlink dominates resonance; this machinery is the accelerating index of redundancy. The surf line is operated by a plane of virtual judgment; hungry for resonance and singularization. They are the teeth of the vampire.

Conjunction occurs precisely because bodies are not yet connected. Because judgment has decreed gravity, ideas are voidic compositions… And the surf of course always overflows itself into death; risking along the way any danger imaginable: and of course the surf line itself emanates a strange melancholy melody. The unsegmentary secretes authorities and pieties and fascisms of its own unique type. The surf is no better than the sea or the waves.

The surf line itself is not the secret, though it may seem to be inventing and discovering a strategy or machine by which the sea and waves may communicate. But even though it is between the supple political segments of biology and the rigid macropolitical lines configuring abstract machines, it is still only a memory-machine; victories are rare. Between inter-involution of a multiplicity of imbricated and mutating rhythms, overflowing organized ontologies, the surf line faces infinite risks, worse perhaps than madness and death; but nevertheless can sometimes navigate an escape into survey, resonating with a wild becoming and expressing the movement of the actualization of the virtual (a world into a city…)


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acceleration / corruption / disorder / growth / language / limit / organization


A signal develops conditions suitable for conviviality of noisy lines, conjunction of colored planes, convergence of pure volumes. Development emerges encoded from the remotest and most alien depths of the sea. Chaos filtered: decrypted or machined.

Evolution or the pure differentiation of a life? From a crystalline substrate, from the earth to the navigation of the world. Analysis of stratigraphic zones and synthesis of degrees of proximity. Integration of the night, the indifferent — the universe.


Organization overflows time. Death, or beginning without limit? Production or product? –But the simulacrum is mute. Enfolding infinity, life eclipses itself. The full body is annihilation. Every horizon collapses. Light dissolves. Time crumbles. Movement decelerates into imperceptibility. One becomes old. A word always turns to ashes; all books burn. Any duration elapses. Seas freeze. Channels fade into silence. Creation halts in the middle.

Between blindness and visionary dilation, the long winter of a dying cosmos. Spirit unfolds, converges with eternity; comes and goes. Everything is forgotten.

Between Planes

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acceleration / complexity / exchange / laughter / network / relation


Relata. Noise (always-already virtually present) vibrates, and only indicates in becoming-channeled. Primary indication is extinction, dis-embodiment (subject), dis-articulated (sign), dis-simulated (situation). Immediate indicia; omen or axiom? –At any rate the percept and the affect are in a troubled relation. We attempt to attune a machine to this relationality; its speed approaches infinity asymptotically; it is exologically “determinative” insofar as:

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Speed of Time

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becoming / machine / metaphysics

Acceleration physically denotes a second-order or cybernetic speed of speed; analogically, celerities in the technological phylum, mutation-rates of technologies of inscription (framing, writing, coding), permutational-vectors in expressive media, denote a cybernetic speed of time.

A time in a way which is without past or future; an eternally ephemeral or transitional time which is light, spacing, energy. Already a kind of quantum power plant: a device to activate emergence; a virtual machine which permits transduction of intensities, qualities across ontological borderlines, attuning forces and properties to the fulminating delirium of nothingness; so a kind of “technical” time capable of establishing a functional enframing of the world within regimes of abstract operations. Read More


comments 2
becoming / difference / language / machine / ontology


The emancipation of a line of difference; Movement thinking itself; Becoming-imperceptible; Demonic signatures; Degrowth of vision; Experiment cautiously; All maps are provisional; All nodes are networks

The emancipation of a line of difference

Only in extinction, annihilation before the rising ground, can a process of differentiation emancipate itself from its repetitive articulation in both directions at once, break free from the entanglements and alienation of preconditions: situation, signifiance, subjection.

How does a difference exceed the situational, overload the signalized, reprogram the subjectivized? The birthplace of monsters: the unconscious, the law, language; so many lines of abolition. The inoperative darkness which links and separates at once, bidirectional but nullary and auto-affective, consuming by being-consumed.

Time, light, the sea; a pure multiplicity, a line or volume of infinitesimal differentiation. We catch a glimpse of the distributed genesis of relation: the emergence of emergence itself. Termination and involution. Virtual and actual, timelike and lightlike; guest and host, abolition, redemption; all at once.

The burrow, the forest or cyberspace; developmental toxicity rages through these perforated terrains, conjoining and transmuting smooth and striated spaces through an ad hoc inter-dimensional chaos. One may perhaps glimpse in holey space the furtive trace of an empty form of time.

Lines of permutation are perhaps always-already lines of perverse monstrosity. Memory or becoming involves a critical punctuation of a pure being, rendering the axis or ontological continuity to the beyond: from empty and blank to lacerated, open(ed); from positive, redoubling to irreflective, anechoic.

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comments 11
acceleration / becoming / language / metaphysics / ontology


Artist or artists unknown. [Though I suspect Nicholas Alan Cope & Dustin Edward Arnold.]

Since before memory, certainly the Greeks, a temporal continuum supervening upon the physical universe delimited the scope of ontological speculation. This delimitation of vision to a vertical axis transpiercing the cosmos necessitates a moment of insight generated through a brutal acceleration or jerk into clarity/modernity, or alternately futurity/sightedness; at any rate unleashing an irreversible and continuous transposition of subjects, translation of signifiers, transversalization of situations.

The fluidity of this image of time is experienced only in absolute survey, from the perspective of a violently-interpellated point at infinity. The displacement of phenomenological time depends on the decoding of the cosmos enabled through the impossible division of ordinary time by nullity. Primal or ordinary time, before the letter, is more ostensibly fluid than this terrifying vista of an eternal time of equivalence (born alongside tragic mythopoesis.)

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Lecture on Huxley contra Freud 4/1/13; ACLA Paper on Guattari

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On April 1st of this year at 11:30 I will be giving a talk on my paper concerning Huxley and Freud. For those of you in the area, it’d be great to see you at Emory. For those of you outside of that area, I’ll try to see if we can get a recording of the event. Joe that could be something you can handle :). This lecture is a PSP luncheon meeting, and it finishes out my requirements for the PSP certificate (psychoanalytical studies).

Also, on April 8th at Toronto for the ACLA I will be giving a paper on Guattari and components of passage. I am already contemplating reflecting on Huxley or Proust for Guattari’s examples. Brave New World would have everything one would need to trace most of the transformations of the schizoanalytic fields Guattari envisions in Machinic Unconscious.

Constant’s Seductive Education, or Adolphe’s Astonishment (with translations)

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[Update: I have taken the liberty of translating, by my own limited and critically biased means, the French citations of Constant in this essay. I hope that this makes for a more enjoyable and comprehensible experience! :)].

Benjamin Constant’s Adolphe presents the reader with the guiding inspiration behind its genesis, which is that what is at stake here is a narrative that would feature only two main characters. In his preface to the third edition of the novel, Constant himself broaches this idea in relation to his attempt to thwart the counterfeit versions of his novel by writing that the work concerns “la possibilité de donner une sorte d’intérêt à un roman dont les personnages se réduisaient à deux, et dont la situation serait toujours la meme” [the possibility of giving a sort of interest to a novel that would be reduced to two characters and whose situation would always be the same] (32). If we take this claim seriously, it is a question of what emphasis is to be given to the notion of “sameness” in the situation of the novel. According to the third preface, what seems to be the “same” in the narrative is also coincidentally indicated by how often Constant himself is approached by his readers with testaments of how they identify with the narrator and titular character Adolphe: “ce qui me ferait croire au moins à un certain mérite de vérité, c’est que presque tous ceux de mes lecteurs que j’ai rencontrés m’ont parlé d’eux-mêmes comme ayant été dans la position de mon héros” [what made me believe at least in a certain merit of truth {for Adolphe} is that almost all of my readers whom I’ve encountered have spoken about themselves to me as having been in my protagonist’s position] (33). Furthermore, at this point one should also ask: which situation is the same, which situation is the model for the sameness of the text, and to which two personages is the narrative reduced? In other words, what is the general situation of the novel that leads to such a universal identification on behalf of its readers? Although in a first reading of the novel the answer appears to be quite obvious that the two characters in question are Adolphe and Ellénore, perhaps “le moule universel” [the universal mold] of these two personages is more abstract and not necessarily easy to identify with proper names.  In order to shed more light on this subject, we will investigate what it means for the reader or anyone to claim to be—or more specifically and crucially “to have been”—in the position of Constant’s “protagonist”.  The guiding thread for this reevaluation of Constant’s famous claims in his third preface will be the extent to which the generalized theory of seduction regarding the “allogenetic” conception of the unconscious put forth by Jean Laplanche in his reading of and with Freud can be put to good use in rereading and resituating the orientation of Adolphe’s narrative thrust.

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To Read or Love as She Pleased: Dream-Reading ‘Dora’ through Dora’s Reading-Dream

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2012-10-12 00.19.42

They do it in fear and trembling, with an uneasy look over their shoulder to see if some one may not be coming.—Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, Touchstone: New York, 1997, p. 92.

How are we to approach the singular genre of the case history that Freud develops early on in his psychoanalytic and writing career? This genre is all the more striking in his first case history Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria precisely because it remains in fragmentary form for several reasons. Although the text is divided into five parts—which might spark in the literary critic the desire to see the structure of a Shakespearean play—the plot and subplot of the work is not necessarily easy to locate, for the action seems to encroach on the divisions and overflow on all sides. Perhaps this is another consequence of the fragmentary nature of this first case history or an indication that Freud has not mastered the genre with his first attempt, but it is necessary to remember that there is a multiplicity of narratives at play simultaneously throughout the work whose compositeness requires careful analysis before suggesting any unproblematic theoretical wholeness or unity.  But it is also the fragmentary status of Dora’s desire indicated by the fragments of her memory that sustains and also complicates the narration of this case history.

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Notes on ‘Introduction aux sciences génériques’

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The following are notes typed up fairly summarily and quickly from Laruelle’s Introduction aux sciences génériques [Introduction to the Generic Sciences], Paris: Editions Petra, 2008. Since this work hasn’t yet been translated, I have tried to stick closely to Laruelle’s verbiage. Any lack of clarity is definitely on my part. One thing not included in these notes is a little dig that Laruelle makes at Badiou and Deleuze (p. 21). Since I am mentioning it now, I will go ahead and preface it here…two reasons being: why not highlight some minor polemic spectacle? but, more generally and importantly, because chapter three on non-epistemology has a lot to do with distinguishing ‘ensemblism’ from ‘en-semblism’…bringing in Lacan’s notion of the ‘semblant’ and really ‘riffing’ on it extensively…But that’s not in these notes–yet!

Here’s the Badiou/Deleuze thing, just for a taste!

The distinction between the ontological fundamental and the applied would correspond in classical philosophy with a broad distinction between two possible descriptions: one speculative, of the whole/all, the other of objects and of the empirical manifold. The ontological fundamental would involve tight relations with fundamental research, and the regional of the philosophies [would involve tight relations] with the distribution of the theoretical domains of objects. A philosopher like Badiou leans on the text of Set Theory, rather than on the fact that there are millions of theorems produced annually. Must one then lean solely on the interesting, the striking, the singular (Deleuze) rather than on the fundamental or the foundational? Philosophy supposes that there is a topology of the sciences, a cartography of disciplines and continents, an archeology of knowledges [savoirs]: this is an immense effort to lay the sciences on this Procrustean bed that philosophy is and into the coffin of history, to reduce knowledges [savoirs] to quite distinct disciplines that they consequently exceed. [This quote continues in the notes, cf. pirating on the high seas!].

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‘The Mother or Her Substitute’: Sexuality and Self-preservation in Huxley’s ‘Anti-world’

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Paulo Auladell

–Our Ford—or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters—Our Freud has been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life. The world was full of fathers—was therefore full of misery; full of mothers—therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts—full of madness and suicide (Huxley, p. 39).

For all of its fictional recasting of famous names, perhaps Huxley’s Brave New World is a utopia that should be considered as a text of counter-intertextuality insofar as it constitutes a responsive or counter-insurgent textuality. With all the names that circulate, like Trotsky, Ford, Lenin(a) and Marx who are scattered on almost every page of the text, Huxley makes it difficult to disavow the fact that he is wanting to call attention to this re-contextualization. Yet it is particularly striking that Freud’s name only shows up in one passage in his novel—ironically at that—precisely in the form of a Freudian slip[1]. Nevertheless, this single instance of naming should not be taken as a sign that Freud’s influence is not readily apparent. On the contrary, an understanding of Freud’s work—mainly his Civilization and Its Discontents published two years prior—is essential for grasping the genetic inspiration behind the crafting of the themes of Huxley’s novel. Instead, what should be focused on is the very fact that Huxley chooses to refer to Freud ironically through the very medium with which his name has become eponymous: the slip. Investigating the importance of this humorous reference to Freud will help to shed some light on what is at stake in Huxley’s narrative.

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comments 10
culture / machine / ontology / Politics / work

“untitled (structure)”, 2007. Jim Kazanjian

Markets effect the generalized dispersion and annihilation of collective power.  Along with the material inputs to industrial production, labor is brutally dismantled by the process, decrypted, dissolved; we sink into the soil or melt into the sky (to become plague-vector of planetary toxicity.) Creation disappears beneath commerce, enfolded within the commodity, its tiny molecular flux occluded by continuous and irruptive exchange. Work in every sense today is turned by the market against itself, against people, psychically, socially, physiologically, and especially and urgently ecologically, against the future of the world.

When knowledge-work predominates, this violent dynamic becomes vertical: ideas themselves weaken and dissolve in the madness of generalized commerciality, they lose their way in the darkness, or are simply reprogrammed. Infected by the plague-core of the commodity. Integrated world capitalism is equivalent with the annihilation of the Ideas; the dismemberment of production; the deliberate dispersion of thinking and feeling; the universalization of a certain narrowly-scoped image of thought.

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Internetics and Conviviality

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Tierney Gearon

So I thoroughly enjoyed reading through two books this weekend: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum and Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon. The first book focuses on the geographically grounded physicality of the internet and is quite fascinating insofar as it brings it back down into the mud of things in flesh and blood away from the heavenly realm of Platonic Ideas–even though the ‘blood’ of the internet is pure light, something Blum is really insistent to point out all throughout the book.

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