event, interface, machine, Politics, sense, sex, violence

Theses on Sexuality and Sense


(1) Ontology is the geometry of assemblages, and logic the topology of evolving surfaces.

(2) The face is the ultimate object of political violence, or counting.

(3) Politics precedes being.

Axiom I: The face is an abstract political machine.

Proof: Faciality is the enigmatic source of radical freedom, the paradigmatic social assemblage. But in the face we also find the primary form of education, even of confidence — a critical power, and a critical powerlessness. Since the deployment of an ontological framework is always an operation, facialization is to functionalize, to become-abstract and even become-machine. Thus the question of sense becomes: how does our belief-desire constellation gain its apparent autonomy– or conversely, whence emerges the face’s power of making sense, of teaching, of bestowing confidence and trust? More simply, we quickly see this question is also: are freedom and power only to refer to social assemblages, in short, to particular historical spaces (and faces)?
But we can still conceive of a yet more primordial break and flow to sociality. Where the state-machine encounters the war-machine, we find the first true encounter. To be certain it is not the face, but rather the interface which is to be read as the immediate experience, a direct encounter with the overflowing infinity of being’s being. Thus the ontologically transversal encounter must be understood as unleashing the pure flow of social desire and belief, as unravelling or bifurcating the very medium of sociality. The inter-face is the mode of becoming two at once — thus also the primary machination.

Corollary: Infinity now appears as the impossible smoothing of an already ‘pre-stratified’ encounter, a transcendent light encountered as one approaches the exterior limit of being’s being. The dimension opened up by the face is one of a radical but immanent alterity, the overdetermined prerequisite, or becoming-in-motion of a state-signifiying machine.

Lemma I The infinity of the face is the only possible ethical criterion.

Proof: There is no ethics beyond the face, beyond the content or source of a self-coordinating vitality. Indeed the face is the very origin of radical social molecularity. Thus there is politics only behind the face, that is, between segments of responsibility-distribution. Political intensity is invested where it will produce affects and counter-actualizations in the social body– the very primordial molecular forms which structure, for example, facial expressions.
So the political comes before the face, but is always and immediately re-facialized. Can we derail or delay this moment of reification? But the political question would still always be: what is not shown? What lies behind the surface? The surface remains the whole of the ethical, the depths and heights already an ontological breach of the immanent revelation in the face of the other.

Corollary: Hence the vigor of dialectic involved within the political process as well as by its commentators. Yet dialogue is not the essential form of the political, but of the ethical. The form of the political is secrecy– the anonymous universal. A political system is built not by institutions but secret phrases, passwords, which magically transform the everyday into the eternal. The ‘dirty secret’ of politics is that it’s structure is inherently religious, indeed overtly sexual: the separation of church and state is no more than a slogan, a sort of geometric imbalance in a unified social energy field. We can take as a classic example the de-facializing authoritarian power source. The fulcrum of power is always an analogous point of radical divergence: we consider the full extent of social and biological ‘accomplishments’ to be the starting point of revolution, as witnessed in, for example, the constructed separation of genders, sexual orientations, political parties, social classes, etc.

Axiom II Therefore any ontology of sense would have to be able to distinguish between ideologies, and even to indicate where ideology is irrelevant: thus, such an ontology would be more like an ontology of nonsense. The aim of such a project must be to critically analyze process of the evolution of the political, before it questions the event of the political as such (or the molar and undifferentiated being of the political conditions.)

Proof: Political events create the spaces they act upon; the ‘pure’ political event would only alter the very topology of the political universe, for example, to open a new space for public enjoyment, or to close off a space for privacy. The question of an ontology of sense reduces the question to self-observation, the genesis of hiding away: for example, this division between the hidden and the visible could be read as a tension between the geometry (or grammar) of sense and the algebra or topology of the conditions of the event.
Perhaps more simply, there cannot be an ontology of sense per se because events are meta-logical interfaces which transcode energy. The ontology itself is an event, it is an oscillator or transducer–and thus it follows from the political which conditions and energizes it. There are only ever ontologies of nonsense: the conditions of the political are never stable, even for the serial time of contiguous moments. But the temporality of the political attains to an imperceptible time, as though from a cosmic energy-source. Thus singular, historically-contingent unities charade as both one and infinity: so the law manifests and miraculates itself as pure infinite judgment, born of an alternate temporality, perfect assemblages of an ‘eternal’ time.

Corollary: Thus we can understand the autogenesis of sense and sexuality at once. For sense partakes of yet a third order of temporality, as an interface between evolving forms and static forms. The flow is reciprocal: we should try as hard as we can to view sense as a kind of radically comprehensible mediation between the (infinite-dimensional) temporality of the law and the cartography (or four-dimensional tensor geometry) of bodily affects. Thus the categorizers of being’s being always miss the encounter. For sense is already the first permeable membrane, the mending of a gap, not the void but a breaking and recomposing. Sense is an intermediation, an interface, a transimulation: the sense event happens within, or between two layers or stages: sensitive zones, sensual coordinations, sensible conjugations.
This break is sexuality, or the real of the sexual encounter. A contact interwoven with non-contact, an infinite reflective image-density, in short: a distance more precious than contact. This infinitesimal or pure difference between surfaces mirrors the abyss of the depths of bodies, but spectrally, transcendentally, vocally — it engenders the very production of sociality, even perhaps of light itself. For there is a face before being and the void. Neither God, the Universe, nor Nature is silent–why, then, should we fall quiet before the very specters which shape and haunt our world, which speak through static? Why should we not sing with the boundless chaos just behind the glittering splendor of exteriority? We would rather howl than fall silent: for the true danger of a critical mass is never in relation to the social order which it would threaten to fragment, but only in relation to its own trajectory of escape.

Axiom III: Just as politics precedes ontology, an ‘ontology of sense’ would be a map of the singular points and vortexes of the process of social abstraction, or the tracing of flows, of machinic and virtual surplus-values.

Proof: It should now be clear that this is true because no event is possible on its own. Events are subjects in an autometric space, or a radically extrinsic geometry: events are possible only when compossible with every other event in their (pseudo)logical space.

Corollary: This also means subjects are events within an autopoetic space, or radically intrinsic rhizome: the pure difference between the event and itself is a minimal cut or hole which stitches the interface back onto historical praxis.


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