abyss, birth, cycle, disorder, erasure, learning, multiplicity, parasite, trace, transcendence, universal, zero




A properly ontological investigation is a ceaseless circulation around the notions of emptiness and presence, a rigorous attempt to discern the peculiar concepts of existence and nothingness, always and once again a faithful commitment to seeking out ones and zeroes. Patching up holes; but precisely in such a way that the reality grasped by ontology (like theology) is always-already as a shadow of reality, like the phantasm of another life. Cantor thought transfinite series a pure and untouchable trace of Difference. A proof of transcendence, disguised as a proof of immanence. But how else could a universal theory of events be constructed?

The critique of ontology encounters yet another surprise when it allows its gaze to move beyond the event itself. The patient observer discovers within the folds of interleaving processes an uncanny kind of hidden writing, whose nature is exceptionally difficult to grasp, for the nature of this half-erased or subtle writing ceaselessly shifts its ground as quickly as the question is posed, and can just as easily turn out to have been nothing at all. –A coincidence, upon which ontology has always made a strange decision: that being and nothing are One, existence is non-existence. God may or may not exist, but this subtle writing can be exhumed from the essences of things. It has affirmed this strange paradox precisely in order to allow a meta-philosophical plane of thought to be constructed. 

Being is the first focus of the elliptical orbit traced by ontological thinking. The basic ontological statement is made by Lucretius: all things have within them the seeds of their becoming. Even the void, absolute nothingness, can be seen as a positive emptiness capable of infinite becomings. Being can thus be seen as a kind of positive nothingness, the radically empty pure essence of reality. Hence to be is to become everything — to communicate with infinite becomings, with forces radically exceeding our “individual” structural limitations: the earth, the cosmos; animals, plants, molecules, stars, etc. Thus nothingness is the second focus of the elliptical orbit traced out by ontology, for the reason that to become capable of becoming is the event itself — the paradox which ontology affirms as its rigorous essence: to diagram being. 

Continue reading

activity, alterity, birth, break, darkness, event, evolution, individuation, matter, network, neurosis, sexuality, speech, transformation, world






The world is hollow. In-itself anything is precisely nothing. 

A thing exists positively only in the precise sense that it exhibits certain forces, that it forms connections or disjunctions with other things, or assemblages of things, in such and such a way. 

Moreover, is it not necessary that at some point in the process of any machine, there is something that may and must become reduced to a generic and redundant unit? 

It may indeed be said that the machine presents us with the most spectacular and dangerous breakthrough in all of history, a breakthrough written into our desires themselves.

Love is not a question of signals, but of production. Not words but noise. The word is hollow: in itself everything means precisely nothing. Yet no thought is ever without its heretical dimension, its strange and apocalyptic promise — the dangerous promise of possible knowledge. 

Not only does nothing “exist,” but it is the essence of existence itself, and so all knowledge is a kind of nothingness: a rigorous silence, a selective and critical passivity, a dangerous and misunderstood weakness. 

Truth is a parasite, we are infected: knowledge is never without this vertigo dimension of being self-imposed, like a sickness which you acquire simply by imagining it. 

I emphasize this point precisely because it is all too clearly understood by the creature within. and is it not so that when its roaring becomes imperceptible, we encounter an ancient silence, without limits? 

Yet everything begins in noise.

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 series diverge, but a singularity escapes both: a counter-signal, a nuance.

God is tucked behind innumerable folds, joyously obscured by the interweaving, patchwork garments of the messengers.

Perhaps the difference is tiny enough, and ever shrinking in this cosmos of interfusions. But already we are carefully following them, even — as it were — drawn forward by these untamed singularities…

He dances in their silences. What is the message? There is no answer to this question. Only, perhaps, the briefest of glimpses, the outline of the fold, an opening nearly obscured by dangerous glare.

The frame doesn’t converge with the outline; and there were never really outlines. Without signals the frame bursts, and what remains is neither finite nor infinite, but inter-finite, creation, resonance.

aesthetics, beauty, birth, decay, learning, leonardo da vinci, light, noise, parasite, psychology, semiotics, surrealism, truth

The Monstrosity of Dreams: Beauty after Surrealism


If narcissism could in any sense be said to be the basis for a proto-aesthetics, a necessary condition for the production of any aesthetic intervention whatsoever — if not the outer eclipse of the primordial movement of creativity itself… Then this is because beauty captures, absorbs, exhumes. It fascinates. It opens up new distances, illuminates novel depths, original styles. It pierces a depth whose distance is infinite, the absolutely other. Beauty, what else? –but null futurity, the brutal light of the ultimate apocalypse.

Beauty is extinction.

Both a pure white emptiness and a heterogeneous black abyss: beauty, always a grotesque transfiguration. Without Da Vinci this uglier aspect of narcissism would have gone unnoticed even longer. The history of the theory of art has been about drawing this glittering, distracting line, ultimately proving it not indeed to be a line at all, certainly leading nowhere and anyways, not a thin line.

Nor a no-man’s-land.

But rather a discontinuous movement, a gesture: a non-linear, free, undetermined, anonymous gesture, a suffering and powerful movement of expressivity. (Perhaps even a foundational motion, genesis…?) This creation of an uninterruptible channel for the distribution and division of energies –Is beauty but the tool-building hominid’s dream of infinite celerity, of pure mobilities, that is, a total category of absolute transport?

Continue reading

becoming, birth, composition, expression, mathematics, music, Nietzsche, resonance, rhythm, sensitivity, space, transformation

Rhythm, Expression, Transformation: Music and Nietzsche

(Image by Hectik, http://www.hectik.com/)

In music the passions enjoy themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche

In early 1872, the same year The Birth of Tragedy was published, Nietzsche delivered a series of lectures entitled “An Investigation into Rhythm and Meter.” (The lecture which interests me, “Toward a Theory of Quantified Rhythm,” appears to still be untranslated!)

Music is at the heart of Nietzsche’s effort. In a very important sense, without a musical ear, his work cannot be understood. Music is his framework. Not only that he writes in arpeggios, but that his thought is arpeggiated; to make sense or value from his work, we must hear it performed; that is, we must realize through ourselves all the properly musical moments of discord and accord in his thought, all the contradictions and harmonies which resonate not only through his critique but also through his concepts.

The moment of accord between morality and genealogy (or discord between truth and science) must be felt; they cannot be simply understood. His account of the origin of morality, for example, only seems not to be completely rational for the reason that it is perfectly and even sublimely rational; it is in fact a mathematical argument! Just as the infinite overflows reason, Nietzsche’s style, his thoughts and ideas, must be heard and felt, not only read but performed. His voice must become as a pulsation or rhythm seizing us; or else it remains, merely a contradiction, merely a static critique.
Continue reading