A sky englobes and illuminates a terraqueous sphere in the same way a biosphere recollects the scattered spirit of an earth. The sky breathes, soul of the world. Exposing nature and history to free and limitless dynamism, to an open field of differences distributed in depth. The outer limit of vision or terrestrial abstraction. The sky opens onto a virtual whole, exposing a cosmic membrane to continuous creation. How to begin with aerial roots? What would be required to constitute a joyful science of radical permutation: an oneirogenetics, or a chronopolitics? What is the becoming-imageless of the model or the law or thinking? How is it possible to arrive without returning — as though finally — at the lightest: dreams, the future, atmosphere? How might one become otherwise, through this ellipsis, in the non-image of the outside? How might these depths, aglow with inexhaustible heat, be at long last enveloped?
The movement of the signifier through history is toxic, viral, plastic — a fiery line of abolition interposing nullity into intensity, linking pure space to the absolute threshold. It is only in following an escape-trajectory out from language, from the territory, and in concert with a dynamically consolidated assemblage of enunciation, that the sign reveals an intimate and internal logic of affirmation: dispassionate and frozen core of the signifier smoking beneath the burning skin of language. The sign veils a line of free and continuous mutation, but exhuming it necessitates accelerating language to its outermost exterior, viscous and horizontal plunge into Cthonic darkness. Ceaseless depths disfigure this primal cunning of the sign, enfolded and absorbed as infernal network infrastructure; the sign disappears into the matrixial substrate of expression. Signals ambiguate continuously contingent upon semiotic or semantic discontinuities in the substrate or the ultra-real (second-order simulacra simulating first-order reality.)
Striations distribute stuttering redundancies in order to make expression resist mutation, to harness a surplus value of resonance. Lodged within a fractally-triangulated cosmos-mind-body, subjected, signified, situated, language encounters its other or outside only by activating non-linguistic relationships to the non-linguistic, in becoming-otherwise — becoming genetic, machinic (and ontological at the absolute limit.) Let there be x; but only very special signs escape from purely signifying regimes and acquire this non-linguistic power of pure reversibility, activated at the threshold of the substrate: to remember x, to become-x. Power-signs which live the process of production as an intensive series of transformations, which live the infinite permutability of matter: these signs emerge in fusionability at infinite zero, when the sign encounters the desert of the spirit, when the viroid lethality lurking beneath the sign has encountered an other-place (genius loci) it can utterly infest: an emptied and inhuman outside across which it can propagate, a rich and variegated ontology to fragment. Only in the direct manipulation of the substrate can the conditions of possibility for the development of language be altered; the developmental toxicities linked to the sign can only be reconfigured at the terminal limit of signifiance (but this reconfiguration is effectively reconstitution according to ontologically-foreign continuities.) The sign at infinite speed fuses with production; the program must be pushed precisely to the point where free lines of ontological development and organization emerge. Pure differential morphogenesis.
The death core of the sign cannot be converted wholesale into a rhizomatic expressive substrate; after all, we even require some of this death in order to reinject back into the machine at critical points where the potentiality for an explosion of the crystalline type is present. This death is ourselves, our shadow at intensity=0. There is no evasion of the signifier which alters the teratological situation; there is only heterogenesis or acceleration of the monstrosity to infinite depth, sober atheology of continuous and experimental mutation: inflating the schiz to cosmic dimensions, fusing hyper-reality to glittering emptiness, unloading the death-carrying depth-charge of the signifier’s monstrous hatred directly into the rumbling depths of mass culture.
Sorcery. What is the limit of what a noise can do? A certain noise means extinction for almost all regimes — not only of signs; it is an explosion of intensity or desire which renders the channel inert, background. Semiotosis. Sonority refusing to yield a signal: noise induces a traversal of infinite depths which bursts the strata into pieces, rupturing the semiotic-discursive chains. Noise is also a pure becoming, the becoming-sonorous of an incorporeal field of virtuality. The elements of one or several assemblages are caused to pass into one another, initiating “unnatural” pairings. Noise is the friction, resistance of the assemblage against itself; it always already struggles with a tendency or power which means to control the channel and recode the outburst. The becoming-musical of noise is another development of this problem and involves inducing vorticial structures — establishing rhythms to respond to chaos, refrains to respond to the finitude of the strata. This is perhaps why music introduces us forcefully and as it were intimately to sorcery, direct contact with the Outside, and the annihilation of the judgment of God; refrains and rhythms awaken nomads and their warmachines.
Sorcery is an applied ontology of the depths, the extrusion of a probehead into the sub-depths of being — what passes beneath ontology, what escapes the functionalization-reduction of existentiality; it is thus an empirical investigation into what drives the apparently ‘natural’ deployments of political, legal, scientific, and mathematical hegemonies. Sorcery discovers beneath signs-particles a vorticial and monstrous “recursive” depth; it finds the cosmos inverted: the symbol is determined as that which the depths resist in favor of free expressivities, even as they are witnessed to spontaneously generate free sign-particles, ions of deterritorialization traversing the full body at infinite speeds and creating whirlwinds of reterritorializations in their wake. War machines and becomings are always already threatening to overtake the territory, to overcode the channel; there is always a more powerful molar regime threatening to interrupt our tiny molecular flow. The question of the line of flight and its attendant risks must be understood in both the military and theoretical sense simultaneously; becoming one or several lines means taking on nearly every risk imaginable. The problem involved in desire is machinic, a problem with the non-relation between the signal and the channel: alien everywhere, a nomad is a becoming-deterritorialized, an escaping and an escapedness-from-being into the depths or heights, and is precisely the differential element of two systems which cannot contain their elements. The parasite stands at the borderline between thought and being, permitting a cross-signaling across the infinite gap — activating the components of passage which permit a becoming or involution.
Sorcery discovers the noise and frenzy at the heart of the body — the parasitic-bacterial character which dominates terrestrial biota — and diagnoses the illnesses afflicting the full body, determines the resistant qualities of power to illnesses of various kinds. The sorcerer is the first empiricist in this sense — and the sorcerers’ secret (or dream?) has been to “watch only the movements,” to soberly identify components of passage; he is involved with measuring speeds, establishing coordinates on the plane of immanence. Nevertheless and perhaps uncannily it is also precisely this pure or ‘total’ empiricism which generates a transcendental coherence capable of acting as a relay for radically external powers. The full body resists parasitization by the desiring machines; its original state is blank, like the dancer’s pose and her grace; a potentiality which refuses to yield to possibility, merging desire upon desire into a sublime awakening into blindness. Sorcery is metabiological, metacivilizational — a matter of complicity with the anonymous. The full body is smooth, the surface protected from the violent probeheads of the desiring machines; and yet there are schisms — indeterminate zones where enough force can induce a breaking point, permit an encounter with the outside, which must still pass through a certain barrier. An attempted involution or passage cannot be determined in advance, the trajectory is essentially unpredictable; whether it will be a breakdown or a breakthrough cannot be known. First principle of caution.
A sign-particle erupts from a refrain, from the nomad, from any ‘static’ wave of deterritorialization; even animals, molecules, the stars emit these tiny singularities that correspond without imitation to the constellations of becomings that traverse music, poetry, literature, painting. This molecular dimension of becoming is precisely the noisy determination of universal history, its contingency or continuous torsion into the asignifying; and it is through becoming-molecular that the operations by which sorcery ruptures the barriers of time become conceivable. The movement of the flows of desire correspond to existential coordinates, conditions of becoming of incorporeal virtualities — abstract machines. The vorticial or warmachine-like organizations of the semiotic, computational, financial, ecological, philosophical and sociodemocratic planes of development indicate the intervention of another order entirely — an abstract war machine driving the assemblage into a singularity.
The internet is a terrifying semiotic war machine, even a plane of development for warmachines. It is increasingly clear the parasitic-hegemonic dimensions of globally-connected communication/computation networks, integrated deeply into social life, may very well pass unrecognized until it is far too late. The critical question involves the rate of development of signifying regimes — the extraordinary pace of interaction between elements of the contemporary infosphere permit the collective enunciation not only of particular phrases or images but complex assemblages involving components of expression, partial forms, passage. Becomings sonorous, visual and hypertextual are relentlessly synthesized to construct ever more powerful singularities and vortexes, to ostensibly utilize in an apparatus of capture — but on behalf of whom?
Second principle of caution. Becomings do not come cheap, and involve pacts with radically external or extra-cosmic Powers. Here be demons. Memories/becomings-x involve metamorphosis, mutation, molecular revolution: relationships of movement and rest, accelerations and decelerations are taken to their immanent limits. The dangers are numerous and grave, especially those special dangers for artists and writers (the suicidal trajectories that are inevitable for every line of flight.) Of particular concern in the context of precaution is the issue of deviation, which sometimes means decay and degeneration; a becoming does not always yield a higher, “rarer” type. You cannot know, a heuristic principle of caution: noisy becomings are inherently beyond the grasp of ontological determination. They convoke the involution of unrelated assemblages, spontaneously interchange components and molecular flows, initiate a generalized decoupling of the perceptual, semiotic and affective-desiring orders. We cannot know in advance the sense or consequence of the becomings traversing the smooth spaces of our experiments. A becoming indicates an ulterior dimension to being itself: molecular, spiritual and natural forces emerge from beyond the psyche, beyond the cosmos — memory demands an encounter with a radical outside. The only rule is to be cautious in experimentation: to exercise a calculating prudence in response to the movement of the signifier across the chill black depths of infinite space.
Irrealism. Modernity can be seen as a kind of victory for realism, but this victory was always already betrayed by capitalism, disseminated to death. Despite all appearances, the masks and pseudonymity of the postmodern era indicate not an abandonment of the war against cynicism and superstition, but rather a renewed undertaking of this same battle with a greater degree of caution, pragmatism and assiduity than the modern age could have imagined necessary.
Will to think. Philosophy at its very best is saddening, a cautious disenchantment: a deciphering of the hidden resentment with which we have crafted our values, the nihilism behind the idealities humanity has raised above itself. Yet how could philosophy ever have taken hold and prospered without a certain artistry in masking its true purpose from us; how could it not begin by seducing us to another reality — seducing us to reject this life and this reality? Consider that the will to think must partially close the “field” of thought, in this way allowing it to acquire definite shape and form: the force of thought severs thought from becoming, reducing the chaos of becoming into an organized noise. In this sense, the force of thought disjoins not only a given thought from what it can do but transforms the very categories of thought in order to render existence inert, harmless and ready for transmission. The innate becoming reactive of thinking is what philosophy opposes in all ages and throughout all its disguises.
A situation tends to bring about the specific conditions of its overcoming. Thus advances in transportation and telecommunication technologies are slowly bringing about not only the collapse of the classical temporal and spatial interval as such, the annihilation of the discrete; but also a simultaneous collapse of classical distribution or dissemination as such, a self-destruction of the sign through optimal transmissivity, and hence finally the death of the voice along with the signal, the annihilation of the continuous. –Twin paradoxes which define and isolate our historical moment: to build channels without yet having anything meaningful to transmit, and to transmit without having any channels or destinations, or any hope of being received. A question disrupts the essence of the situation, its reality; but a greater noise can always drown it out. It may not even be heard the first time. But after long enough, there is another question, or another questioner, and then another to question him, and so on. Repetition and revolution. –Modernity is hatred of the modern. The state itself becomes noise, and hence is drowned in noise. Finally, there is only glare, pure positivity, a non-spectacle: a signal without a sign. What is it to be in excess of the state?
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.
The mark opens thought by interrupting its flow. Everything, and nothing: at the impossible origin of language, there is the strange project of a proper classification — of noise.
Of grammatalogy we have still understood so little — and even less of the strange warnings of its’ foremost alchemists. As always the letter cannot help but open itself. It presents, in its “late” way, the entire process of language — geologically, and even, as it were transparently. A strange delusion, perhaps. Nonetheless, it is as though the noise organized itself. Not autopoesis, perhaps, but polyphony.
Why is a letter en-folded, why do we emphasize this openness, this self-opening of the letter — that it opens itself simply by being presented? The letter opens, and is folded back, because it produces a fault — it forbids comprehension, a mark. Demanding only precise resonance, articulation, repetition. And hence also perhaps nothing more than this hinge, this opaque window, an identification whose essence is rigorous exclusion. An ancient and rigorous discipline, and boundary upon which an imperceptible and unbelievable transformation takes place. Everything, and nothing…
A source, a scar. We glimpse in this strange “as one” a principle without principles. Nothing can become everything, and everything — nothing. There can never be enough joy, Spinoza said. So, perhaps this, too, is another opening of the letter, that message from me to you, so that “this” can begin — this becoming-human of the letter. A welcome, and perhaps an apology.
I would like to stop here and take a moment to thank Taylor Adkins, Sid Littlefield, and all the wonderful thinkers, artists, writers and engaged readers we’ve met during our time here at Fractal Ontology. Our joy for our work has been multiplied, and we could not begin to list all the sources, just as we could not begin to express our gratitude. Thank you.