becoming, difference, flow, recurence, structure, transversality, truth

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Rene Magritte, "The Lovers" (1928)

Will. The question of the will is not whether to emphasize cycles or fluxes (identities or events, structures or processes, concepts and percepts or acts and effects); still less how to conduct a grand unifying synthesis of the two — events and processes as differing stages or aspects of what is ultimately some overly ideal dialectical Unity; the question is rather, first and foremost, to determine how we can possibly proceed (vis a vis the unconscious) given the radical discontinuity between the two accounts of thought and existence. A theory of the will (a diagnostics of the sick will and a genealogy of the healthy, that is to say the real analysis of the unconscious) must affirm the divergence of a purely ‘immanent’ theory of flows and a purely ‘ideal’ theory of machines. Yet the very difficulty in convincingly theorizing the will is precisely the fact that these two modes of interpretation beg one another and are ultimately cut from the same cloth; a successful account of the will cannot disguise the deadlocks which have hitherto almost completely blocked the progress of understanding the unconscious. (It was owing to the sterile dogmatism wherein both accounts decayed for centuries, each thinking itself “complete,” that their kinship and even mutual implication had been able to go so long unnoticed.)

Resemblances. The event has an excess over existence, as a surplus; must this intimate some radical intervention of Truth or more simply, an intangible and virtual dimension of immanence — that the event happens to return, perhaps without limit, breaking with the continuity of resemblances, linking up with a pre-individual and differential flux?

Ground. Becoming can also be understood as a terrible guest: a noisy, ill-mannered, and parasitic inhabitant of beings. Both noise and parasites (and bad manners for that matter) indicate pathways to grasping becoming — these transversal or transevental vectors each affirm a dangerous divergence from the smooth severity of the host or background. Becoming fractures (a) being into a prism: it is precisely the assemblages of parasitic flows of matter and of life which collectively constitute “becoming,” the eruption and eviction of Being; and yet, in another sense, the singular, material and sufficient cause of existence.

Degeneration. Growth (whether cosmic or vital) is never simply a question of similarity, it is not a matter of the general but rather precisely of the repeated: not of convergent series but “degenerate” planes and lines which expand only through a rigorous fragmentation, a limitless mechanism of tortuous recurrence. What is ontologically primary are these infested and “aware” surfaces, the resurgence of certain parasitic elements within the event, the systematic degeneration on the part of the surface of being, the positive knowledge of our incapability to maintain the stability of the surface against the rising ground.

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barrier, break, capital, cycle, difference, economy, energy, flow, paradox, Politics, space, subjectivity

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Capital is nothing without energy, without a working which it desires to measure in terms of itself — and often wishes to imagine itself coincident with (and even more original than) this working — so much so that capital is often said to “represent” the flow of energy into the machine. On this reading, the economy is a largely imperceptible field of forces which, like a magnetic field, disappears instantaneously when the flow of energy stops. But capital is not quite this virtual flow (e.g., of electricity,) nor its abstract numerical representation — and furthermore, capital is not even the surplus energy guaranteed by distribution, or “real” profits (the actual satisfaction of desire.) Rather, capital appears in the spontaneous transfer of segments between flows of energy.

To be sure, desire makes an appearance here, too. When aspects or “internal relations” of capital grow rigid or supple, forming fields and blocks, they begin to produce breaks in the flow; this process is like an infinite division, a decoding without boundaries. Divide by zero. At some moment within history, the virtual body of capital produces an indirect appearance in the form of money, but its true appearing occurs in the gesture of acquisition, only coinciding with itself as a kind of indigestion which takes hold of the body from without.

What remains is perhaps the husk; capital “realized” is nothing but an englobing retention of matter. “Things” multiply ceaselessly: an obsessional matrix of part-objects, a machine built around “breaks” or “fissures,” places where a flow of energy breaks apart, explodes, ruptures, starts leaking from the seams. When do we discover that these apparent blockages are “really” just a species of more slowly-moving flows of energy? How does this imperceptible differential shift occur, this minimal break between the part and the flow? Is it finally “all” a question of spacings, different speeds, elliptical cycles? If indeed, we walk the thin line of supposing that neither can we presume absolute chaos, nor a fundamental harmony.

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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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