Author: Joseph Weissman

Isocritique

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critique / kant / reason

Isocritique: Minor Diagrams Towards a Critique of Speculative Reason  Joseph Weissman View as PDF Max Ernst, Birth of a Galaxy (1969)   Introduction   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 […]

Cloudbank

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chance / cosmos / flight / Hermes / Serres / virilio

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 […]

Metafiction

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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 […]

Malabou

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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 […]

Obliquity

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aesthetics / communication / mathematics / technology

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 […]

Rivers

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assemblage / complexity / death / flux

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.

Technoscience and Expressionism

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acceleration / becoming / control / Deleuze / machine / Nietzsche / subjectivity / virtual

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 […]

Machine Fusion

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difference / information / language / sign

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 […]

Edges

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

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 […]

Solidity

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becoming / metaphysics / ontology

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 […]

Clouds

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

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 […]

Binding

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becoming / distance / language / machine / negation / territory

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, […]

Surf

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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 […]

Remember

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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 […]

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:

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 […]

Transmission

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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 […]

Eternity

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acceleration / becoming / language / metaphysics / ontology

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 […]

Exchange

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culture / machine / ontology / Politics / work

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, […]

Mutable

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boundary / catastrophe / evolution / information / language / machine / noise / ontology / production

The movement of the signifier through history is toxic, viral, plastic — a fiery line of abolition interposing nullity into intensity, linking pure space to the absolute threshold. It is only in following an escape-trajectory out from language, from the territory, and in concert with a dynamically consolidated assemblage of enunciation, that the sign reveals an intimate and internal logic of affirmation: dispassionate and frozen core of the signifier smoking beneath the burning skin of […]

Notes towards a Metaphysics of Light

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acceleration / code / light / metaphysics / spirit

Every tool carries with it the spirit by which it has been created. (Heisenberg) I would like to think light as the dynamic interval between events, as a kind of singular tension between time and space, determining in the last instance both the simultaneity of the event as well as the order of succession for chains of causal relations. Light as the luminous matrix of the substrate and the glare of its utter annihilation; as […]

Risk

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aesthetics / becoming / difference / disaster / laughter / machine

I began writing this before disaster struck very close to home; and so I finish it without finishing it. A disaster never really ends; it strikes and strikes continuously — and so even silence is insufficient. But yet there is also no expression of concern, no response which could address comprehensively the immense and widespread suffering of bodies and minds and spirits. I would want to emphasize my plea below upon the responsibility of thinkers […]

Exology of the City

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acceleration / becoming / exhaustion / labyrinth / metaphysics / ontology / potentiality

How to think the infinity of the city, where all is fire and shadow? How could we hope to see into its opaque and terrible darkness; or hope to enjoy a view unblinded by its brilliant light? A city explodes into a world; perhaps under the tension of this polar opposition — fragments under the weight of its multiplicity — becomes a cosmos, all streams of flowing light and immense structuring voids… The dromology at […]

Utopian

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becoming / metaphysics / Politics / sickness / thinking / utopia

“[U]topia is a fictive representation of an ideal social structure…”[1] Michel Serres names heaven the rejoining of the rational and the real. Is there not truly a disquietingly infinite distance between the celestial dream of this adjoining and the hell we have made of the world? What then is the utopian? A first provisional approach might highlight temporal disjunction, utopia as uchronia: a no-when as well as a no-where; utopia denoting a world, a city, a […]

Theory 1: Epigrams and Involutions

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becoming / Deleuze / language / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics

Theory 1: Epigrams and Involutions “When I’m dreaming back like that I begins to see we’re only all telescopes.” Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake “We have to learn to think differently — in order at last, perhaps very late on, to attain even more: to feel differently.” Nietzsche, Daybreak, II.103 “The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.” Montaigne Preface. These collected epigrams, my thoughts of the morning — and occasionally late evening — this […]

Differend

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becoming / difference / language / literature / micropolitics / ontology

Light. Events are not inherently luminescent, but perhaps in a certain light (to careful observers) they may become perceptible. Part of the difficulty of this logic is that the event cannot be contained within a stable image or duration; they perhaps consist in this inconsistent stuttering of sign-particles, which are in turn capable of directly becoming cosmic, of becoming all the infinite senses of being. What vision could encompass such a multiplicity? Such a vision […]

Living

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becoming / black holes / capitalism / creation / difference / language / metaphysics / ontology / power

What is modern? It can perhaps be discerned in the radical questioning of the status of piety, a questioning which slowly infects every discipline and discourse — a questioning, in other words, coextensive with a generalized instrumentalization, experienced at the psychic level as a new asceticism. Modernity in this sense includes souls no longer living; it embodies achromatically the spirits of wildly disparate eras. In this way we may perhaps be permitted to speak of the […]

New Serres in English: Biogea from Univocal

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biology / daybreak / irreversibility / language / Politics / Serres

“Always the same. This history could make a rock cry from boredom and death. How sad that history seems when faced with the crystalline and floral diversity of things; how often human history seems monotonous in comparison to the enchanting adventures of the world.” (Michel Serres, Biogea) The presses at Univocal have caught fire lately. This first English translation (thanks to Randolph Burks) of a major work of Michel Serres, the Biogea, thunders with the […]

Sorcery

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automation / becoming / difference / event / Hermes / noise / ontology

Sorcery. What is the limit of what a noise can do? A certain noise means extinction for almost all regimes — not only of signs; it is an explosion of intensity or desire which renders the channel inert, background. Semiotosis. Sonority refusing to yield a signal: noise induces a traversal of infinite depths which bursts the strata into pieces, rupturing the semiotic-discursive chains. Noise is also a pure becoming, the becoming-sonorous of an incorporeal field of virtuality. […]

Animal

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Uncategorized

The status of the animal raises a number of critical questions — for psychology, for political economy, but also for philosophy, gathering together the problem of the meaning of the animal as well as the question of the nature of the relationship between human beings and animals. We shall attempt to explore the problematic status of the animal through the investigation of the status of animals in antiquity. What might ancient beliefs in metempsychosis, and the ancient practices of […]

Metamorphosis

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becoming / Deleuze / difference / ontology

Metamorphosis. There is a kind of explanatory knot or gap in every narrative model of world history; a thread of teleology which tightens around the throats of every minor voice, every parasite and schism. One of the gravest dangers of the line of the flight is the line itself. The notion of a trauma which fractures history itself is built into the problematic vision of a historical totality. It seems to me that it is […]

Three Hundred

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Uncategorized

We would like to take a moment to celebrate a milestone: Fractal Ontology is now over four years old and boasts more than 300 posts. We’ve upgraded our theme to celebrate. We are hoping that it might also serve to make navigating through our archives a bit more accessible and pleasant. We would like to invite you to explore! We would also like to take this oppourtunity to express our heartfelt gratitude for those who […]