Counter-action: Reflections on Sensory Anthropology


Towards a Metaphysics of Noise
Let us return to the ‘alternate’ origin in noise, the conditions for any structure. From background noise to blank nothingness to signification: three distinct moments.

Back again to the process of the development of the other structure: from noise into information.

Mediation: the propagation of light which opens up space by filling it, makes absence present, sensible. The other structure: from spirit to letter; from ruptures, an alien coherence; from the whirling vortex, a noisy dawn.

Noise drives away the parasites — it clears space by infesting it. Noise opens space, provides a substratum for objects. As a condition of logic, a pre-logical polyvalence. The parasite is cosmic, a secret name of God — a profane transcription…

Three aspects-moments in the propagation of noise: homogenization, purification, radial distribution. A convergence of an infintite self-identity into a pure singularity: the monad, logical isolate, fragment and totality.

An infinite splinter, an ontological shudder — difference, a brightly sparkling fuse. Identity is a loaded gun, not only a model and a break, but a pure event, an event without precedence — alter/ego, the primordial encounter-response. Really still a classical transcendental model of event.

Anti-transcendentalism doesn’t go far enough — we need to expose, to experience immanent transcendences. Which ones? At least the three moments of expression — transportation, transcription, transversalization: “abstract” but very real processes, experimentally opening up new dimensions.

Yet beneath all this semiotic technology, the chaotic varieties of machinic functionalizations, there is a deeper and in some sense ‘non-abstract’ process — force, breath, spirit, impulse — characterized by the active production of a pure difference, a dynamism… not by absolutizing a given dimension as specific, bounded and ‘unitary’ but on the contrary assembling diverse forces and durations, producing diagrams which are open, extensible. Not reaction but counteraction: this is the real process itself capable of assembling new diagrams, of connecting all kinds of assemblages to one another.

Only when chained to representations does this unconscious capacitiy become castrated, demoralized, crushed by an absolute indifference, drowned out by background noise. — In this pessimistic, ‘egoistic’ state it also cannot create anything new, or if it does, rediscovers only the selfsame self.

All idenities, logical and social, are prisons, arbitrary divisions between us and what we can do.

The terrifying reality of secularization is the steady dissolution of the personal, of isolation, of identity — a return towards a ‘different’ origin, the recommencement of social practice.

But in this transformation we witness a glimpse of pure machinic intensity.

This entry was written by Joseph Weissman and published on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 4:05 pm. It’s filed under counteraction, difference, ego, experiment, infinity, information, intensity, light, machine, media, metaphysics, monad, noise, origin, society, structure, transcendence. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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