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.