Author: Joseph Weissman

Diagram

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becoming / Deleuze / machine / ontology

    “We define the abstract machine as the aspect or moment at which nothing but functions and matters remain. A diagram has neither substance nor form, neither content nor expression. Substance is a formed matter, and matter is a substance that is unformed either physically or semiotically. Whereas expression and content have distinct forms, are really distinct from each other, function has only ‘traits’ of content and expression between which it establishes a connection: […]

Overcome

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continuity / modernity / noise / ontology / Politics / question / reality / signal / silence / state / subtraction

  A situation tends to bring about the specific conditions of its overcoming. Thus advances in transportation and telecommunication technologies are slowly bringing about not only the collapse of the classical temporal and spatial interval as such, the annihilation of the discrete; but also a simultaneous collapse of classical distribution or dissemination as such, a self-destruction of the sign through optimal transmissivity, and hence finally the death of the voice along with the signal, the […]

Mind

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being / flaw / impossibility / knowledge / language / machine / message / metaphysics / ontology / trace / truth

Where is truth — in knowledge or learning? If truth is processual, it is therefore also non-definitional; if it therefore exceeds classification, it annihilates a priori any possibility of its subtraction or division as such. Hence truth is impossible; yet this “impossible” subtraction of truth from an inconsistency, once postulated, nonetheless functions, it even begins to produce something, the impossible even becomes possible — and so perhaps produces everything. Thus the question remains, like a […]

Syntax

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axiom / form / image / multiplicity / noise / ontology / parasite / real / spirit / theory / writing

    The actual trace or cutting edge of theory is a veritable penetration into reality, not a moment but a certain force or intensity of thought which maintains its position in relationship to the real (understood as the indeterminate gap between syntax and spirit, or between an axiom and the imaginative power which both conditions and evades its’ grammar.) Reality and image, disjoint but co-present, conjoined only asymmetrically at specific suture points of flux: […]

Phantasm

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actualization / event / future / moment

  Why is every event a kind of plague, war, wound or death? Is this simply to say that there are more unfortunate than fortunate events? No, this is not the case since the question here is about the double structure of every event. With every event, there is indeed the present moment of its actualization, the moment in which the event is embodied in a state of affairs, an individual, or a person, the […]

Everywhere

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darkness / determination / difference / form / Hegel / infinity / iteration / Lao-Tzu / light / multiplicity / Plato / purity / safety / situation

    What is the nature of the difference between reflection and immediacy, between the orders of thought and of our inescapable exposure to light, to noise, to the proximity of another person? Between blindness and synesthesia, a word — a universe. Between the instant and the timeless, a positive indetermination which ruptures with the order of both image and essence, disrupting the fragility of duration as well as agitating the eternal time of truth […]

Ratio

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depth / disorder / dream / language / Plato / space / story / surface / theory / time

  Between science’s eternal youth, forever sprouting green shoots, and the crumbling timelessness of art’s old age, there may yet emerge a new, a third kind of time, a crossing between the unique and universal which could bestow a new measure.  The dream is young, the awakening ancient.  Between the transformation and the formula, in the middle of the two shores of language, a glittering goal which shifts along with us, a nearly-invisible position which […]

Implosion

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desire / diagram / future / language / life / machine / ontology / outside / philosophy / thinking

Philosophy begins in aporia, with a paradox or inconsistent consensus. Thus, the most ancient metaphysical figure, which we also recognize as the most simple, the shadow of the parasite upon the unconscious: a thought which denies and provokes, which produces a paradox through its utterance, through its very way of existing. Precisely, then: a prohibition which prohibits its paradox from being thought. The most ancient trope of philosophy begins and ends with this “must,” which […]

Hinge

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black hole / disjunction / ghost / infinity / light / message / possibility / reality / words

    Between the terrible clarity of the sun, and the secret power of the night, a fault-line. Dusk: neither the bright sun of madness or the black hole of God, neither a messenger or a channel, but the infinity of their absolute interconnection — which is surely also to say, their complete disintegration.  Between growth and decay, learning. Instruction crosses between, voyages outwards, away from the familiar. An exodus.  Between saying and doing, an […]

There Is

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becoming / mathematics / metaphysics / ontology

  “There exists, if I am not mistaken, an entire world which is the totality of mathematical truths, to which we have access only with our mind, just as a world of physical reality exists, the one like the other independent of ourselves, both of divine creation. Charles Hermite       “By keenly confronting the enigmas that surround us, and by considering and analysing the observations that I have made, I ended up in […]

Laruelle

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being / communication / Deleuze / immanence / language / Laruelle / naivete / paradox / philosophy

Notes on the Preface of Laruelle’s Critique of Deleuze “There is reason to revolt against the philosophers,” this is where philosophy, in its greatest triumph, only further encourages itself. This is the moment, when philosophy perhaps no longer recognizes the autonomy of science and art, that it denies their autonomy, and with the utmost subtlety. Francois Laruelle, “I, the Philosopher, Am Lying: A Response to Deleuze” Deleuze has discovered a secret — the secret or […]

Arpeggio

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birth / creation / difference / glare / outline / parasite / religion / resonance / signal / silence / singularity

We are not one, but two. Dimorphs, in between, always escaping the fold and the unfold, running off madly in both directions. We are more viral — composed of parasites, miniature bodies without organs — than we are “hominid,” more “dead” than alive. The origin of religion is the veil, the simplest tomb: the meaning of birth is not death but exposure, a novel opening into what admits of nothing but pure exchange. The two […]

Immersion

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badiou / becoming / Deleuze / form / language / machine / myth / notion / ontology

    At the height of its concentration, the art of the [twentieth] century — but also all the other truth procedures, each according to its own resources — aimed to conjoin the present, the real intensity of life, and the name of this present as given in the formula, a formula that is always at the same time the invention of a form. It is then that the pain of the world changes into […]

Polyphony

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fault / mark / noise / opening / source / Spinoza / Taylor Adkins / this / you

    The mark opens thought by interrupting its flow. Everything, and nothing: at the impossible origin of language, there is the strange project of a proper classification — of noise.  Of grammatalogy we have still understood so little — and even less of the strange warnings of its’ foremost alchemists. As always the letter cannot help but open itself. It presents, in its “late” way, the entire process of language — geologically, and even, […]

It Means Becoming Human

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animal / art / becoming / flesh / freud / guattari / human / lacan / machine / ontology / space / territory

But he [Lacan] did not realize the consequences of his rupture with Freudian determinism, and didn’t appropriately situate “desiring machines” — whose theory he had iniated — within incorporeal fields of virtuality. This object-subject of desire, like strange attractors in chaos theory, serves as an anchorage point with a phase space (here, a universe of reference) without ever being identical to itself, in permanent flight on a fractal line. In this respect it is not […]

Vessels

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art / becoming / dimension / encounter / experiment / force / molecule / resonance / time / variable / vortex

The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different. (Aldous Huxley) Through saturation an artist brings all the diverse elements of experience into a real interfusion, an affirmative disjunction. The artist opens passageways, a vessel for engendering a pure becoming. An encounter with an outside, presenting a pure force which art can only express — art as transistor, as […]

Warning

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death / ecology / exchange / flight / flux / force / machine / message / motion / possibility / power

      The evolution of an ecology expresses itself through both gradual and violent transformations. An ecological system is indeed a continuous system of exchanges, where functions actively extract themselves from an open horizon, producing a conjunction or interface, an active occupation of space.   We exist as these spatial and energetic languages, as regular translations between them, continuously enriching the ecological circuits upon which both they and we depend. Thus we realize the […]

Subtraction

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algebra / desire / force / form / lacan / libido / love / real / signifier / structure / transference

Responding to a question concerning the loss incurred by the sexuation of living beings, Lacan correlates the opening and closing of the gaps of the unconscious to the opening and closing of the orifices of the body. This inter-relation is real because it is in the unconscious the presence of the living being becomes fixed. The erogenous zones are indissolubly linked to the unconscious, the organ of the libido itself. At the level of the […]

Special Operators

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being / cur(s)e / discovery / dust / fold / gift / knowledge / language / map / speed / spirit / Thought

How to begin to understand? Yet what is knowledge but the degeneration of learning? “Knowledgeable” thought waits, jealously, to snatch away our hard-won jewels of real experience — why this false patience, this impatience, this now-congenital haste? Thought and speed: thinking, the very light of speed in which all distinctions are blurred, internalized, folded — made significant again, logicized, facified. As though it lived only upon a vulnerable or delicate surface, in which it consumed […]

Notes on Totality and Infinity

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being / blanchot / ethics / event / exteriority / future / gleam / Hegel / history / infinity / judgment / levinas / peace / Politics / totality / vision

Does objectivity, whose harshness and universal power is revealed in war, provide the unique and primordial form in which Being, when it is distinguished from image, dream and subjective abstraction, imposes itself on consciousness? Is the apprehension of an object equivalent to the very moment in which the bonds with truth are woven? Levinas I will not say that the disaster is absolute; on the contrary, it disorients the absolute. It comes and goes, errant […]

Invisible Writing

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alterity / desire / difference / freedom / imperceptible / language / metaphysics / nobility / outside / Politics

The outside, or Other, is accorded an incomparable eminence in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. In his penetrating account, metaphysics desires an elsewhere. It persists within an alibi, in which we assert true life as absent. But then our idea of the other would seem to hinge upon the imperceptible — that is, upon an Other which is not other like the bread I eat, or the land in which I dwell. It is not […]

Counter-mythology

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being / event / face / gift / infinity / lacan / language / levinas / logic / machine / silence / turbulence / violence

Responsibility is what first enables one to catch sight of and conceive of value. Levinas, Otherwise Than Being 123 Beyond the question of being and non-being, language is not the event — but rather a process of assembling unformed and unspecified elements, an abstract machinics which imagines new forms for itself by correlating the various distinct orders of reality with a plane of consistency in which a unified vision becomes possible — in short uncovering […]

Fair Reflection

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axiom / derrida / diagram / fear / Interpretation / joy / Marx / proof / property

The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property — historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production — this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property you […]

Hegel and Universality

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awareness / Hegel / justice / language / law / levinas / objectivity / ontology / Politics / reason / society / teaching / time / tyranny

[Photograph by Will Godfrey] In an essay Hoffmeister suggests was written in 1808 or 1809, Hegel — certainly not without some irony — identifies an important ethical connection between abstract thought and power: Who thinks abstractly? The uneducated, not the educated. Good society does not think abstractly because it is too easy, because it is too lowly (not referring to the external status) — not from an empty affectation of nobility that would place itself […]

Outside

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alterity / awareness / being / difference / inequality / inhumanity / language / levinas / love / metaphysics / Politics / reason / truth / tyranny / Uncategorized / violence

The relation between me and the other commences in the inequality of terms, transcendent to one another, where alterity does not determine the other in a formal sense… It is produced in multiple singularities and not in a being exterior to this number who would count the multiples. The inequality is in this impossibility of the exterior point of view, which alone could abolish it. The relationship that is established–the relationship of teaching, of mastery, […]

Explosions in the Sky

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ego / freedom / humanity / justice / other / peace / philosophy / Politics / truth / war

Common to both capitalism and democracy is competition as the basic principle of social organization. Politics in a purely competitive key has a majoritarian ring — it is monistic, totalizing, self-absorbed — whereas philosophy from the competitive perspective — and we may wonder whether there have yet been any others — are egologies. The complementary model, or sharing, has been more frequently preached than practiced. Yet it is the meaning of language: the demand for […]

Difference, Primacy and Peace: Deleuze and Levinas

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courage / death / Deleuze / dialogue / filiality / identity / levinas / metaphysics / ontology / peace / Politics / state / technology / violence / war machine

Preface It is perhaps time to see in hypocrisy not only a base contingent defect of man, but the underlying rending of a world attached to both the philosophers and the prophets. Levinas, Totality and Infinity 24 I have no wish to soften the saying that to write lyric poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric; it expresses in negative form the impulse which inspires committed literature. The question asked by a character in Sartre’s play Morts […]

Learning to Fly

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acceleration / anti-gravity / Bachelard / belief / brother / celerity / change / dream / dreams / feeling / flight / future / laughter / love / memory / reality / texture / Thought / transformation / truth / Uncategorized / world

Psychologists — and more especially philosophers — pay little attention to the play of miniature frequently introduced into fairy tales. In the eyes of the psychologist, the writer is merely amusing himself when he creates houses that can be set on a pea. But this is a basic absurdity that places the tale on a level with the merest fantasy. And fantasy precludes the writer from entering, really, into the domain of the fantastic. Indeed […]

The Voice of Silence

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1 = 0 / art / clarity / contradiction / courage / cruelty / daybreak / future / God / identity / nature / noise / parasite / science / signal / silence / Uncategorized

Flow. There are no words, only silence; no silences, only words. It’s not as bad as you think. It’s worse. There is no beginning which is not also an end. The fire rages on, infinitely. Beyond time. Above the waves. Can you hear them? Singing? So softly, like angels’ whispering secrets to us. In silence. A broken flaw in the scheme, the impossible number. Ten equals one million. One equals Zero. A flock of birds. […]

The Poetics of Psychoanalysis: Towards an Ethics of Expression

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art / cruelty / difference / language / love / metaphysics / morality / nature / Nietzsche / Politics / rigor / science

Introduction: Rationality and Affect The lofty prize Of science lies Concealed today as ever! He has no thought To him it’s brought To own without endeavor! Goethe, Faust (1st part, 2567-2572) Intelligence is a moral category. The separation of feeling and understanding, that makes it possible to absolve and beatify the blockhead, hypostasizes the dismemberment of man into functions. Praise of the simpleton has an undertone of anxiety lest the severed parts reunite and put […]

Abolishing Distinction: Adorno and Sense

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creation / dialectic / intellectual / madness / music / philosophy / play / production / rationalization / reason / science / sickness / Uncategorized / waste / work

I should account as the foremost musician one who knew only the sadness of the most profound happiness, and no other sadness at all; but such a musician has never existed yet. Nietzsche (The Gay Science 183) The dialectic cannot stop short before the concepts of health and sickness, nor indeed before their siblings reason and unreason. Once it has recognized the ruling universal order and its proportions as sick — and marked in the […]