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 threatens to forever slip between the stories and theories into the depths. 

Between itself and itself, the earth is always the story — the only one we can remember or tell, that is, the one we are — this dream, and this awakening.

On the surface, the two series don’t align, cracks burst throughout the volume. A map of hidden tensions is revealed. The lines don’t originate from a central point. They swerve and intersect madly, though they may sometimes seem parallel. 

It is only in the depths, where mixtures reign, that all is equilibrium — a transcendental immanence. All impossibilities are nullified by a smooth consistency of oscillation, a balance without ratio. All formulas, and none. 

Perfect peace, though it may sometimes seem chaotic. 

And between the surface and the depth, an interval, the third space: the profound Being of depth crossed with the mad beings of the surface — a plague or a prophecy? 

Even now, I still do not know. 

The law of bifurcation rules the depths of the sea, of the skies, and of time. Everything is reversible. It is a lesson found in the most ancient books, the law of the parasite, whose tiny silver thread always manages to cross the borderline. 

The least can become the greatest: everything can become nothing, and nothing — everything. 

Thus, upon the surface, reversibility gives way to the irreversible. The law of anarchy, of entropy, rules the surface — a kind of royal madness which sets about organizing chaos, even creating complexity to maximize disorder. Time itself expresses this blistering of the surface, the irreversibility of creation. 

Finally, there could be no formal law for the space in between, spoken of even less than the depths and repressed by the surface-depth system — another wisp of Plato’s ghost. Yet it would be that ratio whose reason was precisely pure love, or humility — the meaning, and perhaps the very reality of humanity.

affirmation, Deleuze, depth, difference, Difference and Repetition, extensity, heterogeneity, illusion, quality, representation, sensibility, unground, volume

Intensive Depths: Notes on Difference and Repetition

In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze proposes what we may be permitted to term a differential phenomenology capable at last of setting mathematics and logic themselves upon a proper “ground” — that of difference, and multiplicity… Not only is it possible to overturn representation, but we can begin right away — if we immediately cease to encode relationships between singularities as identities, oppositions, analogies, and so on — but instead in terms of constitutive inequalities.

Deleuze’s project, as always, is pure affirmation without negativity or contradiction. Here he challenges all of us to affirm a Difference capable of constructing the very system which then cancels it — precisely by explicating it! — so that, strictly speaking, difference ought to be (and always will have been) inexplicable. What does this mean? How does this affirmation work?

Difference resists inclusion within the symbolic network which it produces as its destination and even “discovers” as its origin. Qualities, especially when taken as signs, present us with these same two faces. For on the one hand, they indicate “an implicated order of constitutive differences”; but on the other hand, the quality “tends to cancel out those differences in the extended order in which they are explicated.” (Difference and Repetition 228) It is also in this sense that signification is at once an origin and a destination (or directing agency, an “ordering” machine.) But the two functions are uneasily fused together: the destination denies the origin. Difference cancels itself by extending itself, covering itself with a quality. What happened? What is this uncanny “empirical” effect of qualitative distortion?

For Deleuze, “[t]he peculiarity of ‘effects,’ in the causal sense, is to have a perceptual ‘effect’ and to be able to be called by a proper name (Seebeck effect, Kelvin effect…), because they emerge in a properly differential field of individuation which the name symbolises. The vanishing of difference is precisely inseparable from an ‘effect’ of which we are victims.” (D&R 228) The unblinking (or “indifferent”) victims of a vanished Difference which nonetheless lives on, in itself, even as it is being evacuated, cancelled, and mutilated by its own explication. Deleuze returns again and again to the the two distinct “faces” of pragmatics, characterized by the fixation upon a particular “extensity” guaranteed by an illusory functionalization of difference (for example, the empirical or sensible as opposed to the transcendental.)

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becoming, bergson, break, depth, diachrony, divergence, event, experience, flow, fracture, intensity, invention, irreversibility, memory, phenomenology, rhythm, science, sensation, time, victor hugo

On the Origin of Duration

Caspar David Friedrich, Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon (1824)

On The Origin of Duration

(Notes towards a “Genealogy” of Time)

Time is invention, or it is nothing.

Henri Bergson

Time is a stutter, a clue, a signal from beyond which comes from within. The concept “temporality” breaks itself, already expresses divergence, it forever escapes our control.

The flow of time outruns itself, it is always diachronous, bringing thought straight back to its origin, to the quality without quantity, to an intensity issuing neither in number nor form, but rather in pure expressivity itself, in the depth and fullness of experience. Memory is the form of this recurrence, through the continuous variation of matter along certain axes of symmetry, the flowing solution of a complex problem of folding events, unfolding new durations.

Becoming is a transmission received in convoluted mazes, actualization is labyrinthine: not only a million decisions, but a million ideas — and so a million qualities, varieties and dimensions of time, tucked away and tiny, alive in the cracks between the problems and the idea, between memory and the future, waiting to be explored.

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affirmation, becoming, darkness, Deleuze, depth, guattari, horror, Negarestani, noise, pestilence, satan, Serres, unground

Warning, Hive Meltdown Imminent: Serres, Negarestani and Deleuze on Noise, Pestilence and Darkness

Four Birds Mixed media on paper (Catheryn Austen)

Openness only comes in the imperceptible recesses of infection: A faceless love. (Reza Negarestani)

Michel Serres never fails to remind us of something simple and indispensable. It is that all relationships are founded upon noise. In the beginning, there is noise, not silence. Even the simplest words arrive much later; and, at any rate, our words are still noise. The din and clamor of the many is sometimes frightful; and Serres’ work can be singularly terrifying. But Serres’ reminder is highly rational, even a joyful reconsecration of science.

Serres delights in showing us old meanings of new words, and vice versa; but it particularly to this word, noise, and its French cognate, parasite, that he gives unique expressivity and sonorousness. One of the primary meanings of noise in his work is chaos: the pure multiplicity behind things, without any pre-existing order or organization. All our knowledge is an organization of unorganized noise; noise is being-in-itself. In this context noise can also mean static, a cross-signal or lawless irruption, witnessed in the chaotic permutations introduced by chance into a flow of information, perhaps even from another physical system entirely. Static can also mean stationary, the white noise which persists even in the stillness of non-existence: in this sense noise also stands for the ever-present background noise, the racket and din of human and inhuman machines, over which it is often necessary to speak loudly in order to make oneself heard. Noise means that no system is without turbulence for very long, that there is always chaos, multiplicity and deviation; in short, there is always a parasite, always background noise, always depth and darkness beyond order and disorder. No system is an island, without relations, above the sea; but there are islands of ordered relations upon an ocean of noise. The universe is turbulence, but — and this is the strange and subtle turn — the converse is not true: turbulence is not universal, but local. It is absolute and relative at once: the violent sea becomes calm, a top falls, an earthquake ends. Still there are always larger forces, larger closed systems tumbling into chaos. Every system is an image of a system free from turbulence, an abstract or virtual composition. But reality is always chaotic, always in minimal deviation from every possible model: everything is in motion; everything falls.
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