comments 7
change / creation / rupture / turbulence

Events are decentered and non-relational, and always a kind of creation (the event is the very introduction of novelty into existence.) As the substance of history events amount to  chasms splitting the world in two, and sometimes sweeping it away, or even shattering it to pieces. The event insofar as it is always already the production of revolution, is the very becoming of becoming.

Now, an ontologist naturally grasps the event precisely through its diaphanous non-identity, in its differential externality, and especially as a kind of infinite multiplicity. The event is understood then as a kind of hyper-being, a without-being which enters into being through –what, precisely? The void — which is to say, it must create itself through a bizarre repetition, but whence? An infinite dissemination is demanded. And what of the turbulence of the Event, its volcanic or cyclonic roaring?


Emancipation can be understood as the liberation of forces necessary to produce the will to resistance. This event is indeed “eternally recurring”: strained ears may catch the distant footfalls of daybreak, and the dangerous voice of a love without a history and without hierarchies — which is, after all, not a signifier to be interpreted, not a “meaning,” but an asignifying rupture, already an act of creation.

The Author

mostly noise and glare


  1. The physicist maintains that nothing is created or destroyed (conservation just IS or WAS), but he hesitates to even consider the act of creation of the universe (which may violate his paradigm). The philosopher considers everything in a constant state of creation and destruction, but he cannot consider one thing alone because everything is an infinite multiplicity and he must consider the entire universe and beyond at once (events are decentered and non-relational only in his voice).

  2. Pingback: Praying to the Evil Demon « Deontologistics

  3. De-centred and non-relational? Why? Surely an event leads to something, it is the door between two patterns of being? An event is asymmetric and tied to it’s specific changes, the very creations and destructions it produces are it’s relational structure!

    And the state of being is itself a pattern of events, joined up and co-stabilising so that their change is obscured. We may call something a new event, only to have it continue in a new stable form and drift into the background. It’s conditionality on invisible un-named things shrinks below our field of view and we just say “it is this”, before that surprising conditionality injects more unknown into our experience.

    The unknown in the case of emancipation is the unexpectedness of another perspective, papered over and ignored. Making the world depend on that alternaty is a recipe for confusion, but so is everything personal!

  4. Josh,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I would agree there is a kind of relational ‘structure’ produced by the event, but I would disagree that this product is equivalent with the event itself: we could perhaps say the event relates “through” itself, but not within itself, in that it transcends relationality, and it uses and transforms relations, and that this is the very means which it grasps in order to effect its transvaluations. Yes, the event relates, but a relation to an event is always problematic, troubled by the abyss it opens up.

    I think to be precise we could say that events-as-such relate themselves to nothing, and further that there are no “patterns” in being except for the rather simple, one-way relationships between singularities. That the event is not relational is perhaps a clumsy way of saying there are no stable structures but only an endless sundering, resisting and overthrowing; that the “relation” to the event is essentially a trauma or caesura, the dissolution of relationality itself.

    So perhaps it is not only that another and unexpected perspective becomes perceptible in light of the event; rather could we not say the event implies the impossibility of mediation, that those situational elements selected and ‘reconfigured’ by the event can precisely no longer recognize themselves?

    So, yes, the event is singularity, and in some sense it is even “purely” relational, transparent, causally-determined. But in another sense it is certainly without relationship, impenetrable, radically unpredictable, a sort of immanent thing-in-itself. I agree my formulation was ambiguous, and I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this.


  5. I’m reminded of Gotthard’s two versions of NOT: 25 is not 22, but it is also not the smell of mown grass! The second NOT is one of opperating within a different ontology, of being incomparable. So the relationships of “normal change” may be considered in the first category, numbers on a dial that shift etc, with the changes all existing within a single ontology.

    The sort of event you seem to be talking about leaps from one ontology to another, flicking the world wholly from one realm of distinction to another and if that is true, it sounds like it would make all forms of description meaningless. It would take up the semi-Nietzschean idea that change destroys comparison, and that nothing is preserved, and would put every instant of time in it’s own sealed ontology with no comparison from second to second.

    Or would it? Gotthard suggests that taking the Hegelian idea of Becoming arcing over from being to not-being, and placing it instead on ontologies, you can consider meshing two perspectives. More specifically to our purpose you can say that the event fuses the old to a new way of thinking, even as it destroys it. In other words the present is incomprehensible to the past, and the past to the present, unless those in the present account for how the past has become the present, building a new understanding. Now this understanding may well be pointless; if events can never be undone, then you need only see the present, but if they can go the other way too, or portions of the past can reappear in the present, and history repeat, then a fusion is necessary.

    If you drill that “present and past” down and down subdividing until you get to the moment to moment blinks of our perception, then perhaps you have to be able to recognise events, bridge those becomings, just to live as a human being.

    Now my next stage of thinking was inspired by you, zen and cybernetics, which would be that though we can bridge some becomings, incorporate some events into an expanded present tense, new expressions of novelty may suddenly bubble up, as new kinds of change express themselves, and are worthy at the time of the most game-changing elements of your definition. If we can find a wind to match the hurricane, a normal growth to match the metamorphosis, we can say “In 1367 a volcano exploded”. Ignoring that as it was happening it was the world ending, and total discontinuity ensued. The recursive zen-like part is the idea that these divisions into static things may last for a little while, but from the future they will seem only transient expressions of something else.

  6. Events… Some consider them to be the opposite of categories… An evental thinking as far more interesting than a categorical one… I view it as a play of antitheses… As it is easy to talk about text-as-evental, I would say that no matter how complex a text is, we can _ultimately_ schematize it — reduce it to a quantity — a coded emanation!
    I like your focus on “decenterment” — indeed, we can say there is _no_ priveleged center to the cosmos — for anything! This includes the _self_! Each moment is a decentered experience… A “novel” experience… As you say, the “becoming of becoming”… To desire-X is impossible, on this reading, for you-desiring will never “reach” you-obtaining…
    “All that is solid shall melt into air” (Marx), and true enough, “infinite dissemination is demanded”… All is atoms and void — and the void is indeed essentially empty — no matter what quantum craziness may spontaneously erupt…
    “An act of creation” — though I would say it is a _signifying rupture_ — it is a Sign, meaningful, and _speaks_ with us…
    Speaks _through_ us…

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