badiou, becoming, difference, force, function, metaphysics, ontology, virus

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immortal-technique

A science of being is not enough. This subtraction which purifies, this selection and division which makes holy, which ‘invents’ and ‘discovers’ truth — how could ontology do anything but give us theories of the One, of the Law, of the Real, of the existing-as-such? How could it do anything but carefully induce multiplicity to subtract itself into unified theory, divide itself into functions and axioms; endlessly seduce differences into homogeneity, and minorities into conformity; plumb the depths only in order to reproduce an absolute height for an absolute voice?

Ontology is always the political ontology of Power, taken to the absolute point of dispersion where nothing remains, everything is subtracted, except for forces and matter — only functions, pure functions, and even concepts are now only seen in terms of effects, the site they create, “their” ontology. Ontology as both lens and situation, a regime where truths are always the same, is insufficient as long as it remains without a phenomenology of becoming, the concept as event, coming from outside of being which throws existence into doubt.

Multiplicity is first apprehended as risk, as danger; this much seems to be always already understood. The ontological question is how much can we take, what can be subtracted — from the situation, in short from life. Life as subtraction and transubstantiation. The holiness of being should not be misunderstood, for we encounter the most peculiar bifurcation precisely here, the curvature of space itself, the uncanny pull of the invisible — the Other, a zone which implies another reality — where being merges with non-being. The fold between us.

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

Vessels

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 angel. As the cruelest resistance, which dispassionately disentangles the varieties of forces of essence, cautiously (even systematically) allowing the new to break free.

Art is certainly multiple, social, plurivocal. But our harmony is also a hint — we remind each other at every turn that force is also musical, cosmic, vegetable, molecular, animal…

Greatness in art is the power of resonance, not of reflection. Communication is certainly not the point. An experiment approaches the real precisely in order to catch up, to leap behind it, to stop time. Great art harbors no secret soothing, no escape into transcendence, but real insight into an immanent transformation. The human spirit — that greatest of resistances which causes even the stars to resonate — can overcome even itself.

The dimension called “aesthetic” could perhaps be distinguished as a singular torsion in the soul, a kind of critical overcoming of an internal limit, from which emerge limitless variations. A dangerous dimension of pure becoming which has always been working, in secret, just narrowly breaking free from this abyss overflowing with thorns, diverging lines, machines, animals, molecules, stars.

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

Warning

 

 

 

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 impossible equality of nothing and all things, perpetual motion, the flux, the seafire at the impossible origin of motion: one in, one out.

 

Energy amplifies the field, weaves separate forces together. There is no cooperation, there is no war, the channel is neutral. We are messengers, a signal from within.

 

 

 

Is there not an angelology of energy itself? A theory of traces which finally erases itself, leaving only the land and the sky and the sea. A beach with stars. What is this signal from beyond with paradoxical demands?

 

 

 

Light is only a hint, a map of time, a confirmation of possibility. The perversity of desire mirrors the perversity of God, the supreme irony — the sardonic lightness which we cannot help but associate with the beyond.

 

A messenger, a confirmation. A third who works, better than we could have hoped — summoning from without that which could never have been, perhaps should never be: the machine, the forge, that image which burns through the lace tracings of flesh without flinching or fatigue, opening the way onto another sense of being completely: time-as-vortex, turbulent and eternal.

 

Already a clarity, a power, a disgust which carry their own unique dangers.

 

Remember this: the cautious, steady, clear path leads into stagnation. It is the cut, the line of flight veering into the wild vortex.

 

Corruption eating away within. Death is not even as terrifying as these openings, these hooks dripping from every surface, every letter, every face.

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

Subtraction

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 drive, the relation between the drive and a specific action or passion is purely grammatical — a support, an artifice, literally a machine whose functioning coincides with the outward-return movement of the drive. Re-articulating this machine allows Lacan to indicate not only his tension with Freud, but even to raise concerns regarding the — perhaps masochistic — desire for psychoanalysis as such:

“Today I have shown in the most articulated way possible that each of the three stages, a, b, c, with which Freud articulates each drive, must be replaced by the formula of making oneself seen, heard and the rest of the list I have given. This implies fundamentally activity, in which respect I come close to what Freud himself articulates when he distinguishes between the two fields, the field of the drives on the one hand, and the narcissistic field of love on the other, and stresses that at the level of love, there is a reciprocity of loving and being loved, and that, in the other field, it is a question of a pure activity for the subject. Do you follow me? In fact, it is obvious that, even in their supposedly passive phase, the exercise of a drive, a masochistic drive, for example, requires that the masochist give himself, if I may be permitted to put it in this way, a devil of a job.” [Jacques Lacan, “The Deconstruction of the Drive,” The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis]

The driven-subject or the field of the drives, or what Lacan claims is pure subjective activity, must be rigorously distinguished from the desiring-subject, the lovers and the field of love produced, characterized by inconsistent reciprocity of loving/being-loved. A dimension of eternal force and a plane of inconsistent passion. The question becomes: what is lost in the passage from the drive to its other side which makes sexuality present in the unconscious itself, and what remains? What, then, is left of the sign — and for whom?

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custom, force, morality, Nietzsche, Politics, power, society, sovereignty

The Sense for Custom and the Feeling of Power: Nietzsche’s Joyous Denial of the Old Ways

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We should take Nietzsche seriously when he asserts that Daybreak is the work of the subterranean man, one who constantly undermines the foundations of our belief by illuminating the mixed origins from which those beliefs emerge (Preface 1). While Nietzsche indicates briefly that it is the scientist who best represents this figure, the subterranean thinker could stand in general for anyone who conducts thought experiments that examine and dismantle our faith in morality. The active decay of morality also forces us to overcome degenerate artists—like Wagner—who are always trying to persuade us to worship where we no longer believe (Preface 4). Beyond the philosophical pessimisms of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Hegel, Nietzsche aspires in Daybreak to construct a train of thought that affirms a sophisticated immorality through the cultivation of the ability to deny joyously an outworn set of customs.

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