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. 

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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: a coiled loop of time.

This self-interrupting dimorph-system, the ‘formal’ figure of the parasite, is a property of not only every formal system but of formality itself, of the very essence of form; it undermines and coerces the event of transformation itself, as only a symptom of fate, of time. A feeling or noise which never goes away, and then suddenly disappears one day, for no reason at all — an inconsistent multiplicity, an ocean of light, a body. A writing which without being written is beyond any form, a language which without being spoken is beyond any thought. This disjunction is contact which provokes a co-evolution, an involution of every event, every moment into a single moment which effaces them.

Thought captures the self-effacing movement of the mark through a penetration or disjunction, a contact without resolution. The becoming-formal of the indeterminate displaces syntax itself: a rupture which no set of axioms, or finite set of symbols, could encompass or comprehend. This ideal object evades finite inference. No axiom grounds infinite inference, no formal system dividing propositions into nonsense and sound judgments distinguishes its subtle grammar, only constituted within this improbable trajectory from noise to sound, from sound to voice, from voice to light. A parasitic evolution which proceeds from multiplicity and marches towards the empty, the open, the blank, the possible. 

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 — in short forcibly opening thought onto the pure multiple. 

Determination almost annihilates multiplicity, for unlike the one with its tiny arrow, (beholden to the singular, microscopic graph of substitution) with the multiple there is only noise — no categorical tables, no certain translations. Upon multiplicities, determination (especially as network, as protocol) is the work of almost total negation, a triple erasure whose traces are then painstakingly classified: subtraction dominating the supplement, an order without order. “Science is not necessarily a matter of the one or of order, the multiple and noise are not necessarily the province of the irrational. This can be the case, but it is not always so.” (Serres, Genesis 131) So what is it to “take” pure multiplicity as an explicit object for philosophy, for science, for politics, for art? What is it to think these surging flocks of singularities, or even to produce these dense aggregates of interconnections — dreams, the sea, time? What does the ego become, once one begins to think, to think the multiple as such? 

A transistor, a becoming, open at any rate to the noise of the sea: a model of knowledge, certainly, but also of the world. At once, all at once. Thought circulates, agitates through a radical indetermination in which it finds its singular positivity (if I may be permitted to say so, its humanity or humility.) A rigorous determination of multiplicity can be found in Plato and Hegel — hidden by the divisions characterizing the form of the Good, or the Whole — no less than in the Lao-Tzu, where multiplicity is reflected through cosmic experience itself and finds continuity only though the rupture of assigned identities: “From way-making arises continuity / From continuity arises difference / From difference arises plurality / From plurality arises multiplicity.” (Lao-Tzu, Daodejing 47) Thinking turns away, escapes at once, misses the point, goes astray; it is fluttering and chaotic, in the same way the world is turbulent. Always between sleep and consciousness, word and cosmos, being and nothingness, number and letter. No figure of thought, no poem or formula, could represent the multiple — no gesture could safely reproduce it. What is the multiple but pure risk, the becoming-excluded of the third, the very involution of the “safe” observer? The one in the other, without representation; the me within the multiple, the multiple in me, all at once and without extension. No distance is great enough, exposure is inevitable, we must respond.

The essence of the generic is finitude, an infinite displacement; the meaning of finitude is noise, an infinite repetition. There is a darkness and incompleteness at the very heart of knowledge, a heresy in the most rigorous formulae, a dangerous obscurity and black magic in even the purest thought. Finitude implies iterability, proximity, futurity, in short: society, noise, time, the sea. Being coincides with a generic excess, and essentially refers beyond the situation, to a process of connection to the infinite, to an outside, to pure multiplicity. Thinking — what but a conversation, a dance for two? Being and becoming, logos and chaos, image and essence, time and light, movement and rest. Before the dance begins, and between each pose, there must be a step, a measure, a form or transformation, a pause: a resonance and reception, an order and a response, silence and exposure. 

A suppleness is needed in order to hang in-between, a certain light-hearted spark without which the dance evaporates. Yet hardness is needed in order to maintain the vulnerable posture, tense, pronate. Finitude ceaselessly iterates, rapidly alternates, suddenly disintegrates. Absolute knowledge and absolute ignorance are both impossible; the question is one of phases, degrees, angles, senses. Thought is submission and mastery, learning and teaching, power and humility at once. Mastery without mastery, submission without submission: the situation presented produces a new situation, which itself needs reiteration. How to translate the infinite, the multiple, this conversation without words, this text without image? This formlessness of the purest form, this uplifting of the veil, this pure impurity. 

becoming, celerity, confinement, control, history, humanity, intensity, multiplicity, nature, Politics, power, production, spirit, swarm

Outline for a Philosophy of History

If we listen closely to the breath of the spirit as well as to the word of being, an entirely new kind of history may become possible.

Disclosing a lethal truth (into) power, organization trembles before the disorganized generativity of decentralized multiplicity.

Are we transmitting history backwards through time? Are languages transforming themselves through us?

Is it by nature that we are socially-oriented creatures? Or does “humanity” on the contrary mark with precision a moment of originary disarticulation of (biological) organization — is a “human” a swarm?

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assemblage, channel, communication, diagram, forgetting, form, intensity, language, media, memory, multiplicity, parasite, Plato, signal, Thought, wisdom, writing

The Horizon of Language

If men learn this [writing], it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks.

What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder.

And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance, for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing, and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows.

Plato, Phaedrus 275a-b

If we speak language, then it is at least equally true that our languages speak us — even up to that extreme sense wherein language becomes actual, corporeal — and so the horizons of language and of writing cannot be the same as the limits of thought. Yet there is a single abstract machine underlying both thought and language.

Language is neither a channel, a signal, nor a noise. For if language is a channel, then language channels us — it becomes a closed loop, thought = language = being. The result: only intensive realities, only qualities — we’ve isolated the durational aspect of being, a consequence of self-transformation or self-affection.

On the other hand, if language is born from pure noise, it situates itself within us, finds somewhere between and inside us to become a station… Noise clears, but does not disclose, or does so only darkly, ambiguously.

Language transmits us — what does this mean? Nothing more than that language is not a medium, not communication — but a relational attitude to the world, a turning towards an immanent and essential reality.

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becoming-animal, borges, infinity, jorge luis borges, labyrinth, literature, madness, maze, minotaur, multiplicity, pride, sacrifice, salvation, transmutation, work

On Borges: Labyrinths


I deny, with the arguments of idealism, the vast temporal series which idealism admits. Hume denied the existence of an absolute space, in which all things have their place; I deny the existence of one single time, in whcih all things are linked as in a chain. The denial of coexistence is no less arduruous than the denial of succession. (Jorge Luis Borges)

The maze is (a) work, mazes are always at work within work. The maze is the very object of work itself. The subject is always labyrinthine: a largely unknown interconnected field of instances, spaces, engagements — whose convoluted and intricate structure as such must be actually explored. Enclosing a journey, a work is a maze: the subject becomes a convoluted space by becoming a wanderer of these forking paths which continuously converge and diverge, cyclically multiplying spaces, ever forwards to infinity.

The fabled maze which confines a minotaur, labyrinth already contains the Lydian labrus, the double-headed axe of Minos. A sacred dual-weapon to rend the folded beast, to slay the man with the monstrous head of a bull. The labyrinth itself is monstrous and harbors monsters; within its folded space, amidst tunnels and promenades, somewhere a terrible half-man, half-beast is wandering alone, on the borderline between infinite spaces, waiting within the imbrications of fractured infinity, waiting for his death, for his redemption. Salvation is a question of transmutation, and like all metamorphic fables, a mysterious secret is contained, an answer to the question: what to do with the hybrids, these half-men, half-x…?
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